My first encounter(s) with a PRS

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by BeyondJoe17, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. BeyondJoe17

    BeyondJoe17 New Member

    Aug 13, 2018
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    I remember when I first played a PRS. It was very close to the beginning for PRS, in the 1985/86 timeframe. The first time I played one was at Gus Zoppi Music, in Detroit MI. I remember that they just started carrying them, and the model I played was a lighter blue color. I remember it felt like my favorite, worn in tee shirt, really comfortable!. I was in a band with a very close friend, and he got to take two of them to rehearsal to see which one he liked the best (he was a very good customer!). I remember liking the all mahogony version the best, as it was just slightly mellower.
    What was your first experience with PRS?
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  2. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

    Aug 19, 2012
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    My first encounter was probably back in about '91 when I stumbled across a local classified ad with a PRS for sale. I had seen the PRS ads and that 1985(?) Guitar Player review and thought that 1.) they were the pinnacle of electric guitars, and 2.) that I'd never be able to afford one. Yet here was one on sale for a very reasonable $700, so I had to check it out. Turned out it was an '89 Classic Electric, and TBH I was dubious about it at first. I didn't like the tinted yellow finish that had been put on over the whole neck, including the frets and dot markers. Said finish had subsequently come off some of the dot markers, and there was quite a bit of play wear on the fretboard (prior owner was a shredder, and it showed). The pickup selector knob had obvious cracks in it, and the neck pickup ring was deformed because it was smunched up against the end of the fret board. Yet it played effortlessly, the trem worked great, and that guitar loved my Mark III Boogie! The first night I played it out, my wife told me I played it better than my other two main guitars. As it happened that gig was a jam night, and some guy wanted his friend Damien to get up and play, telling me "he's the antichrist of the electric guitar man!" Well, Damien turned out to be a giant guy in sweats and a scuzzy T-shirt, and a gigantic 'fro, and I don't know if he got out of his bedroom much, but he could certainly shred. The best part of the night was as he was finishing up, I could see him thinking "yeah, this is a pretty good guitar, I wonder what it is?" And as he turned it over and looked at the headstock, I could see him mouth "holy s!?t!!!" :D
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  3. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

    Apr 26, 2012
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    2010 at the very first Dweezil Zappa band camp.
    There were open cases of PRS core there and my jaw totally hit the floor every night.
    I won a SE ONE.
    I was going to buy an EC Strat or something but found a 305 instead.
    Done like dinner.
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  4. ooglybong

    ooglybong New Member

    Apr 11, 2013
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    It was back in about 1989. I was in a local music store where my friend worked, and they had one PRS in stock, a black CE-24. Now, I'd never played a PRS before (probably on purpose, too, since I was hesitant because of the appreciable cost for me at the time), but I gave it a go. I only recall that I really liked it (a lot); it was built so nicely, and I especially liked that it felt like a definite step up from what I'd been using at the time (a really nice Ibanez Roadstar and a Washburn Explorer type. I had also had a couple of nice Les Pauls and Strats by then.)

    Anyway, I was almost thinking of buying this black CE-24, but my friend told me to hold on... that their other store was due to get about a dozen other PRSes that very Friday. So alerted, I waited until that day and went over the their main store with my wonderful (and way too supportive) wife. Yes, there were about a dozen brand new PRSes hanging in a row, fresh out of their cases. Gorgeous. Honestly, I don't recall all the models, however, I do recall their prices, ranging from $899 up to near $3K (GULP). Oh, well. Time to dive in, but how could I really be sure?

    Here's the part I like to remember: First, I set up an amp with a typical tone I would use (I'm thinking it would have been a Peavey Bandit at the time—not a bad amp at all), I sat down on a stool, and then... I closed my eyes for about a half hour. (I wanted to do this right! There was no way I wanted to be influenced by their looks or price tag, only their tone and playability.) At that point, with my friend checking the tuning of each guitar before I would play it and with my wife carefully putting each one into my hands, I would give each guitar a somewhat decent go for usually at least a couple of minutes, sometimes longer. And, no, I really didn't peek!

    Anyway, I got that dozen down to my favorite three (groaning because they were ALL really nice), and then I went through the process all over again with only those three, finally picking my favorite out by an edge. At that point, my eyes were still closed, and, OMG, I was SO scared that I'd picked a $2,500 guitar "with birds and all", but the winner was... a beautiful CE-24 with a lovely tortoise shell/root beer flamed maple top and pearly dots. I was also SO relieved to discover that it was "only" ticketed at $1099. PHEW. Really, with that flamed top, it looked a whole lot more expensive than its tag (the only cheaper one there being yet another black CE-24). So, in the end, I had picked a wonderful bolt-on CE, and I do think that that specific design must have played a part in my choice without my being aware, being relatively unschooled at the time, and for years, I really couldn't find another PRS that I preferred. (Ahem. I have since corrected that several times over with some other equally nice PRSes.)

    I still have that guitar, albeit recently modded with a 3-way toggle and a pair of Thornbuckers, which I have come to prefer to the HFS/VB pickups after a couple of decades. (I still have all the original parts.)

    Oh, yeah. And my wonderful wife is STILL way too supportive of my guitar obsession...
    Herr Squid, BeyondJoe17, Peet and 3 others like this.
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Apr 26, 2012
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    I’ve got good memories of Gus Zoppi’s Detroit store from back in the day.
    BeyondJoe17 likes this.

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