HELP !! PRS Newbie just made 1st purchase and need feedback. THANKS!!!!


New Member
Mar 8, 2015
Hello new friends,
I am going to ask everyone for HUGE favor and take the time to read this long post because before you can give me correct advice about the specific guitar I bought about 5 hours ago, it's very important you know my background and my playing style and a few other important items that will make it easy for you to give me advice if I bought the right or wrong guitar. So a BIG heartfelt thanks to anyone who takes their valuable time to read and respond to this long post

I had a horrendous accident at end of 2012 that changed my life and left me permanently disabled. My only income is SS disability insurance & food stamps. So this was a expensive purchase for me due to my very limitied income . That's why knowing if my purchase was the best model for my musical style.

I have been playing guitar for 37 years ( I am 52 now) and also owned home studio in my apt about 15 years ago and dropped almost $30,000 into it. 7 years ago life threw me a curveball., I was forced to sell my entire studio, all my guitars, all my CDs, and my beloved taylor acoustic. I swore I would never play music again.

One of the injuries fI sustained was a traumatic brain injury. My neurologist asked me if I had any hobbies. I told him I have been playing guitar and chess my entire life. He said he wanted me to start my hobbies again because it would make me use my brain. I purchased a nylon string guitar 8 moths ago and started practicing classical guitar. I joined which is free. My user name is Empathy1. If you join, send me a friend request and mention that you are from the PRS forum.

I fell back in love with playing and had the same feeling I had when I was 15 years old learning the pentatonic scale and jamming along with songs. The first solo I ever learned and play note for note using my ears was Jessica by the Allman Brothers. That's when my addiction to music truly started. I was 17.

A few months ago, I decided to get back into home recording. I picked up software called Ableton 9 Live Suite and an instrument called "Push" This is related to questions about buying the PRS.
I own is a nylon string and I need an electric to lay down tracks. It seems that certain PRS guitars are better suited for certain types of music. I saw a PRS that had a Floyd Rose and EMGs. That guitar was not designed with the country player in mind.

I play in many genres but my favorite style is the blues ( as almost is based from the bluesa) I play funk, & heavy hard rock My favorite musicians in no particular order are: Jeff Beck, Steve Morse, Joe Bonamasa, Hendricks, Robin Trower, SRV, Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Leslie West (Mountain) Eric Johnson, Al Dimeola, Warren Haynes,,etc. That should give you an idea of the tones I need from my axe. I also dig the heavy guitar tomes like Rob Zombie.

I always wanted a semi-hollow body guitar and when I saw the S2 Custom with an F hole and tremelo, I new that was the guitar for me. But $1579 is a huge amount of coin for a person in my financial situation. So here is my dilemma. God makes my life interesting because I accidentally stumbled on another PRS model called the Custom 24 semi hollow-body guitar. The aesthetics of that guitar were absolutely beautiful, but $3799, was out of my price range. I was trying to understand what extras besides the aesthetics and 2 extra frets he $3,799 CU 24 gives you that the $1579 S2 doesn't include. I be would be extremely grateful to own the S2 CU Custom if everyone agrees that guitar will give me the tones I am looking for after describing the players I enjoy. I also realize the amplifier is responsible for a HIUGE part of a guitarists tone, and we all know the PRS /Mesa Boogie combo became Carlos Santana's signature tone. When you provide advice regarding the guitar, I will be playing through a Boogie or another tube amp of the same quality.

God really makes life extremely interesting because I cam across a used Custom 24 Semi Hollow Body on Ebay that was selling for $2,578 in mint condition, and in a beautiful color called black Gold Rust. It has a 14 day return policy so If I purchased this guitar and found out I made a mistake, all it would cost me about $50 to send back. There was 7 minutes left to go today before sale ended and even though it was a big stretch for me as far as money goes, I spent the extra $1000 and purchased the guitar. I will know if I am going to keep it tomorrow afternoon after reading the feedback from the questions I listed below. I wanted to treat myself to something special, and this is a real trip considering I swore off music 7 years ago. It took an accident that literally killed me to get me to this point in life. This is really heavy stuff we are dealing with hear and I will even share something even heavier and extremely personal with everyone in this community that in a million years I thought would never happen. I am Jewish and on February 21st, 2015, I accepted Jesus as my savior. I truly hope I did not offend anyone and please forgive me as this is a guitar forum, but that was a life changing event, just like my accident. I will never again mention that in this forum, My own family doesn't even know. Go figure I would share this strangers who happen to play guitar. The spirit moved me to share and I follow the spirit. OK... back to a guitars.

Here is a list of questions that I have which will determine whether the guitar is sent back before I even open the box and play it, Or I will keep the guitar and she becomes the love of my life based on everyones feedback/advice.

1.) Sonically is there a difference between the tone of the two guitars. They both have F-holes and made in USA. Not sure about the woods used in each guitar.

2.) Would I have been better off purchasing a solid custom 24 without the semi-body if I am only going to own one guitar?

3) I would think there is a playability difference due to 24 frets versus 22 frets. I was primarily a Les Paul player and owned a few Strats, so it's cool having the extra 2 frets. What is the playability difference between the two guitars if you had the chance to play both of them?

4.) I am going to be recording this guitar direct to my computer through a special interface card. I want the audio clean because I will be adding gain, distortion, effects later on during the mix or even live when laying down tracks for inspiration by having a tasty, tone with right amount of gain, reverb chorus etc. The cool thing is that during the mix, I can switch the sounds that I used during recoding process for inspiration because the audio is a pure clean analog signal. The software is essentially the same as a modeling amp. I am going to start out software called Guitar Rig which allows me to choice between different settings such as a Vox amp, Boogie, Marshall etc plus a whole lot more. This way I can change the sound during the mix rather than being "stuck" with a sound if I mic'd a small tube amp and threw a few pedals in path before sending signal into computer. So my question is how the clean sounds from both guitars differ when recoding direct into a digital recorder? This also goes for the clean sound from a solid body custom 22 or 24.

5.) Does anyone find themselves more inspired to play when they are looking at beautiful flamed out piece of art like the PRS I ordered?

6.) For the lucky few who own multiple PRS guitars, do you find that you play the less "beautiful" guitars more often for fear of adding scratches or dings to the guitar?
I will only have one guitar so even if she gets a few scratches or dings, no biggie to me . I would prefer I don't get any dings, but so what if I do. After all I have been through, I have learned not to "sweat the small stuff".Guitars are meant to be played, and spending this kind of money means it should be played a lot!!! I plan on playing the s**T out of the guitar.

So that's my story and as I was writing this thread, I saw a notification pop up on my apple that the guitar just shipped.:adore: Please remember that if there no difference between the two guitars accept for aesthetics and the two frets, that extra $1000 could have been spent on an amplifier. I would love to know about any other features that make the cost of CU 24 semi $3,799 versus the CU 22 semi that costs $1,579 f. Guitars are like woman, the more beautiful they are, the more you want to play with them. And in the past, before my accident, some of those beauties actually preferred a few dings and scratches when we were playing.

Thanks so much for reading this mini novel, because this was the biggest investment I have made since my accident. I do not even own a car at the moment and yet I am happier than I have ever been.

And one last thing, for those intellectuals on this Forum who watch TEDx videos, I flipped last night when I saw Paul made two of them.
Here are the links:

Here is a link to photo of my new beauty. This is almost like buying a mail order bride

I wish everyone and their families a life of health & happiness and abundance in mind, body & spirit. Please let me know if I chose the right guitar for my musical tastes and if it was worth dropping an extra $1000 on the custom 24 semi-hollow body or if I should have purchased a a solid body guitar.

God Bless

At high volume and high gain you might get some feedback from the hollow portion. You can stuff the cavity if it becomes an issue but its also controllable by turning away from the amp. It will be bluesy most likely bit the 59/09 pups can rock pretty hard. I doubt you will have any issues at home volume. These problems are usually related to a cranked 100 watt against a wall of 4x12 cabs. The playability will make it one of the easiest playing instruments you can imagine. The guitar will be beautiful. the carved top in the core line is amazing. The beveled top of the s2 is nice but the carved top is incredible under your arm. The American trem needs no upgrades. The American pups are great sounding. The better electronics in the core line are nicer than the s2.

Look at it this way. The core line is the equal if not the superior to most other big builders custom shop stuff. You get A LOT for your money. If your favorite genre to play then you bought a great guitar that will have the flexibility to do much more.
I think you did the right thing in going with the custom 24 hollow over an S2, they're nice and all (S2) but the real deal is the Maryland factory custom 24. I own a Mccarty hollow body and you would not believe how versatile it actually is (depending on your amp), so you should be able to cover a lot of different tones with it. But the main issue to me is this, I own an SE singlecut and I have it listed on craigslist now because compared to my Mccarty, I just don't connect with it musically like I do with the Mccarty hollow. It's an instrument of a higher caliber and I'm sure you will enjoy it much more than you would have the S2.

PS-I'm a cat that's been through a lot financially and physically too, partial paralysis, workers comp, etc., so it's good to hear you using music as therapy, stay at it!!
Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about your physical and financial problems. It sounds like you are on the road to recovery and that music will help. I wish you all the best.

I just crossed the 60 year old threshold and like many of the same guitarists as you do and played a lot of Allman Brothers music when I was in my late teens and early 20's. Today I spend more time listening and trying to play music by Larry Carlton and Robben Ford. I like the jazz blues combination. In any case, I think our musical tastes are close.

With respect to question 5 - re: Inspiration when picking up a custom PRS - my short answer is "YES, YES &YES"
Re: Question 3 - playability of 24 fret guitar vs 22 fret guitar - I have noticed that it is easier to bend strings, especially above say the 12th fret on my CU24 solid body than it is with my 22 fret or less guitars. This may just apply to me however. I will be curious to hear what others have to say.
Congrats on your new guitar! Given the history that you describe, I am surprised at how well spoken (written) you are. I have seen many traumatic brain injuries in my life/career, and it is obvious you are managing extremely well, with the ability to communicate so well and even play guitar successfully.

Given your obvious abilities at this point, I wouldn't sell yourself short and be content to live on Disability money and food stamps for the rest of your life. You are obviously still capable, so I would encourage you to pursue a new career. Perhaps it will be in music!

I think you made the right choice. The semi-hollow CU24 will give you 100% of what you want, no compromises: great looking top, the best hardware, a semi-hollow cavity for some resonance (and since you don't play super heavy stuff feedback should not be an issue). And the price you paid seems fair.

And that is a beautiful guitar, very nice top, very nice color.

So welcome to the PRS club, keep on playing!

And whenever you get done a recording or two you are proud of, feel free to share a link to it/them here. SoundCloud seems to be common - I used it a bit recently for samples of an amp I bought.
There is nothing wrong with the S2 line, but the USA core range are just amazing. I love black gold and yours looks beautiful. You will soon realise what a great decision you have made.

The extra money you paid may not be obvious to some, but in my opinion it goes to a number of small things that add up and make for an enhanced playing experience.

One of the best parts in a core guitar are the pick ups. They are miles ahead of the S2 pups and the 59/09s are some of PRS best.

Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you'll come back and tell us exactly what you think of it when it arrives.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my LONG post and respond. It humbles me that 7 people responded so quickly. I had a smile of gratitude on my face this morning because all were in agreement that I made correct choice. I wish there was a way to take quotes from each of your responses and combine them in this reply because I wanted to say a personal thanks to each of you depending on what you wrote. To "CVS" congrats on passing the 60 year old mark and still rocken out. That inspires me. To "HUGGY B", sorry to hear that you also been through a similiar situation, yet you are on this forum and still playing. God Bless you. And to everyone else. thanks for giving me the piece of mind that the extra $1000 was not just a good investment, but a great investment as I will only have one guitar for many years. I learned things I did not know like it has better pickups than S2 ( I had no idea), better electronics, used price was fair (I thought it was great), and more importantly it will fit my style. And the comments regarding feedback is something I was aware of ( I am a big Ted Nugent fan) and I remember many decades ago the first time I saw him playing a PRS on MTV with a band called NightRanger. I am sure he also played a hollowbody ( Gibson 335) or my memory is shot. For some reason, I thought Ted also played guitars with F -Holes. But I can tell you this with 100% certainty. I will never be standing in front of a 100 watt Marshall 4 x12 cabinet. Maybe a 50 watt boogie 1 x12 if I want to play some ZZ top. And a thanks to "KES7U" for your nice words. The ONLY career I would ever start again is music. I can finally call myself a full time musician when 7 years ago I swore of music ands guitar for rest of my life. God works in mysterious ways, As much as I suffered the past two years, I wouldn't trade them for anything. Maybe the 15 broken ribs because that was a tad painful but was part of God's plans for the new & improved BobbyD. Peace everyone.
Here's another thing to consider. Even if you decide in 2-3 years that you don't like it you will be able to sell it for what you paid for it most likely if you take good care of it. The other guy took the depreciation hit of going from new to used.

While I love the 59/09 pickups I am of the opinion that the carved top is worth the upgrade price alone over an s2. Pickups are cheap, you can't put a carved top where there isn't one today. When you open that case you will get such a rush that you will instantly "get it" and never think about what you paid for it again.

but anway... Welcome to the family! Have a great time with the new axe.
EWF - you made a good choice. As several folks have said, you're getting a versatile, high-quality instrument. And black gold is just gorgeous.

As for quoting multiple people, that button with the quote and plus sign to the right of the Reply With Quote button is how you reply with multiple quotes. The order you click those buttons determines the order the quotes will appear.

Congrats on the new guitar!
I think you will be very happy with your new guitar , I have yet to find a bad PRS and the CU24s are sweet
You made a great purchase don't question that at all. There are a lot of variables when it comes to perfecting your tone. With the PRS guitars I own the guitar part of that equation is covered. I was able to focus on other areas. Now after 30 plus years of gigging I am very happy with my tone.
I would keep that guitar. Does it inspire you and give you happiness? That's the most important thing with any guitar at any price range. I think you made a great choice that should suit your tonal desires very well. That guitar seems like it was destined to fall into your hands, I hope you enjoy it and it brings you happiness! Post a NGD with your thoughts on it when she arrives!
You sir made a excellent choice purchasing the guitar you did. I can vouch for only 2 PRS guitars that I own, and one that belongs to a buddy for a total of 3. I have a PRS Custom 24 30th Anniversary and a PRS S2 Custom 24 (that I updated every piece of hardware and electronics on, this is important) my Buddy has a PRS Custom 24. All three guitars are great, especially the S2 now that I have all USA Core parts on the guitar, it was "okay" before. I would stick with the guitar you have. Don't let "Style" get in the way of the right guitar. I was a Les Paul and Strat player for 20 years and loved both but the PRS is everything I ever wanted. They are a lot of money, and worth EVERY PENNY. I feel guilty that I don't play my Gibsons or Strat anymore. Oh well... Keep the guitar dude, you'll be happy you did because now if you were to go back and get the other, mark my words, YOU WILL REGRET IT AND MISS THE BEAUTY SOUND AND FEEL OF THE CORE PRS.

Enjoy your new guitar! Cheers!