New to the forum and considering a Vela

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Gary_W, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. Gary_W

    Gary_W New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    34
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to the forum but not to PRS - Hello :)

    I am fortunate enough to have a Stripped '58 and an SE 277 (the solid body as opposed to the semi) plus a few other makes. My favourite guitars are the Stripped '58 and a Tokai Goldtop which has a pair of P90's in it. Whilst I have other guitars, these two just 'feel right' (I guess I like a shorter scale length) and sound right too for my personal taste. Both guitars are stock and I love the pickups in both.... I play mostly low-ish gain through a Kemper so I can cover a lot of ground between these two guitars. They can't do 'Strat neck' or 'Tele twang' but, when I pick up a strat or tele, they just don't feel as nice to play - strats and teles are fantastic in their own way but, for playing pleasure, I just personally prefer the PRS and Tokai neck feel I suppose :)

    I've been considering getting a Vela since they came out but have never done so - they seem to be very well loved and it's getting to the point where one might come home with me. They're pretty rare in the UK right now so I cannot play one easily. From what I can see, it's got the same neck profile as my much loved Stripped '58 (can anyone confirm?) but a 25" scale as opposed to 24.5".

    So my question is 'what will it do for me that the Stripped '58 and the P90'd Gold top won't?'. I am hoping for something that feels more like my current PRS and less like a Fender (scale length on the Vela is is halfway between the stripped and a typical Strat or Tele). I'm also hoping that it can sound sufficiently different to my two main guitars to justify it! If it can do a decent impression of a strat neck and a tele bridge too that'd be great but, of course, I'm probably asking too much. It's just the idea of something that can go in those directions that 'feels right' in my hands is attractive :)

    Any thoughts gratefully received :)

    Gary
     
    g.wizz and dogrocketp like this.
  2. Whitecat

    Whitecat Goes home to Starla

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,228
    Likes Received:
    307
    Your Stripper will have a Pattern profile, the Vela has Pattern Regular which is narrower at the nut, but the same depth. The shoulders will feel different as a result too.

    The Vela is not the worst sub in the world for a Telecaster or a Gretsch-type sound. It's got more cut and more sparkle than the traditional humbucker guitars. P90s are a little fuller still but a different sound and still complementary.

    Really nice guitars though, still to me the most interesting guitar PRS is currently making.
     
    Gary_W likes this.
  3. pauloqs

    pauloqs PRS McCarty

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    716
    ^ The Pattern profile on the Stripped 58' is slightly thicker than the Pattern Regular that is on the Vela. The depth at the nut on the Pattern and Pattern Regular are respectively 28/32" and 27/32". With that said, PRS necks have something to them that makes is easy to go back and forth comfortably across neck carves. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that all S2s have Pattern Regular necks. The core Custom 24s have the option between a Pattern Thin or a Pattern Regular. If you can't find a Vela, you could potentially find a different S2 model or a Custom 24 with a Pattern Regular neck to feel the carve for yourself. One thing that I'd like to add is that the body shape of the Vela is extremely comfortable.

    Edit: And, Welcome to the forum.
     
    Gary_W and bodia like this.
  4. dcm_guitar

    dcm_guitar New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    657
    FWIW, I have a Vela and a Tele (American Deluxe), and play them back to back all the time. The Vela is VERY Telecaster like. The stamped bridge and brass saddles on the Vela give it a spank and "immediacy" that sounds a lot like my Tele; a lot. Despite the different woods, those two guitars are definitely in the same tone family. The neck pickups are tremendously similar. Overall, I like the PRS D-stye single coil better than the Fender Tele neck pickup. The D-style has more depth without muddiness to my ears, and it does that "edge of breakup" gain setting better than the Fender. Oddly enough I think the bridge pickups between my Tele and Vela are quite similar if I keep the Vela bridge as a double coil. With some gain, the Tele bridge and the Vela bridge (humbucker) are really, really similar. The Vela bridge split into single coil is only good (in my opinion) for the in-between setting with both bridge and neck together in a clean sound.

    I go back and forth, and from a tonal standpoint I could probably live with either guitar. I don't need them both, except I love Telecasters. I just want to have a Telecaster, and I like the Vela SO MUCH I need to keep them both.

    My big question is if I convert my Tele to a Nashville Tele, do I need a Strat?
     
  5. drdoom8793

    drdoom8793 THAT guy at Chick-fil-A

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    1,355
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    I've always really wanted to get a Vela and put a Lollar Novel T in the bridge position.
     
    Gary_W likes this.
  6. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Messages:
    1,947
    Likes Received:
    1,743
    Welcome to the forum, Gary,

    To echo what Whitecat has said, the Vela pickups are voiced more towards Gretsch or Tele tones; the sound is brighter and more high-mid presence than a balanced low to high midrange. Your best option is to listen to a Vela itself in-hand (a test drive wouldn't hurt) before considering a purchase.

    You might find that a Tele with humbucker neck /single coil bridge pickups might be more towards what you're striving for (more balanced bottom and top end).

    Just my 2¢. This is one of my current guitars and will be so for quite a while. Not to suggest not buying a PRS, though a Cabronita might an alternative and be close to what you're looking for.
     
    Gary_W likes this.
  7. grausch

    grausch New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2016
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    573
    [​IMG]


    Here’s a pic of mine. I always thought Pattern was the best neck shape for me, but after spending a lot of time playing Pattern Regular necks, I now prefer Pattern Regular. When I got my first PRS with Pattern Regular, I could definitely feel the small difference in string spacing - now I don’t.

    Can’t really comment on the sound vs a Tele as I never owned one, but even being a semi-hollow, it is still brighter that my S2 Singlecut and the Bernie. Sounds good when overdriven and I like the sound I get for 80s metal. Cleans are nice and it can compete with my Sig Ltd in that department.
     
    pac90, Gary_W, Alnus Rubra and 3 others like this.
  8. ieso

    ieso New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    216
    I think mine comes in at 6 lbs and has insane sustain and is very acoustically loud. I just love playing the thing -- perfect neck carve


     
    Gary_W and Alnus Rubra like this.
  9. pauloqs

    pauloqs PRS McCarty

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    716
    That's one of those limited edition with reclaimed Brazilian wood, isn't it? That is one sexy guitar you got there.
     
    pac90 and Bowtiefanatc like this.
  10. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2017
    Messages:
    9,495
    Likes Received:
    15,914
    Hi Gary, welcome.

    Have you tried a Silver Sky? I know they’re in a different price bracket (new), but you’ll get the single coil sound you refer to.

    There are probably more Silver Skys out there. Heck I even found two in Glasgow!

    Just a suggestion.
     
    Gary_W likes this.
  11. grausch

    grausch New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2016
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    573
    Yes it is! :p

    I was lucky and picked one up that was on auction on eBay a couple of months back. They do pop up used now and then.
     
  12. Gary_W

    Gary_W New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    34
    Thank you all for the replies - I really appreciate it :)

    I’ve just been to the PRS website and read the description of pattern vs pattern regular - this was really useful information for me. Also nice to hear a few comments along the lines of it generally being brighter than SC’s which was kind of what I expected but nice to have confirmation.

    It’s also good to have the confirmation that the bridge PU can go in a Tele direction - I’m not obsessing about its ability to sound ‘exactly like x, y or z’; it’s more that I’m wanting something that feels similar to my current PRS but sounds sufficiently different to either the Stripper or the Tokai to make me pick it up for a different flavour. I can get a different flavour with the other guitars I have but frankly the feel of my main two guitars means I often don’t bother. It would make sense to part with a couple that aren’t getting much love if this will cover similar ground but feel good (for my preferences).

    One further question for the sake of interest - are the pickups actually mounted on the pick guard ike a Strat or are they body mounted and the pick guard simply covers around them? This makes no difference to my buying decision - I’m just interested in the construction :)
     
  13. Bill SAS 513

    Bill SAS 513 Just another old guy in a T-shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    1,726
    Hey, Gary...pretty sure PUs top mounted to pickguard. Another option for those tones would be an S2 Studio ...these were a limited release but there are quite a few floating around. They have the exact same PUs as the Vela, plus another single coil in the middle, kinda like the Nashville Tele...might want to look into them, too. Same neck carve as Vela. Good Luck sir!
     
  14. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,268
    Likes Received:
    9,539
    The Vela does have the pickups mounted on the pick guard. FYI, the neck pickup cavity is routed for a humbucker, in case you decide to make a drastic modification without cutting wood.

    The Vela is one of my absolute favs! Right now, I don’t need the Vela to cover Tele territory since I have one of those, but out of the box, it is similar. The bridge is the quintessential Paul Smith innovation...flippin’ brilliant! That is part of the secret sauce and is vastly superior to the Tele. The neck carve is wonderful to me. Sooo easy to play all night long. Regardless of what you like, this neck carve won’t make you mad or uncomfortable.

    Mine is also a Reclaimed Limited semihollow Vela, which is a unique example of the model, but I wouldn’t hesitate to get another S2 Vela if I needed pickup variety! It’s simply a fantastic guitar.

    Go order one from your local dealer...you won’t be sad you waited.
     
    g.wizz and pac90 like this.
  15. jvin248

    jvin248 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    207
    .

    A Vela is on my short list too.

    You only need a Strat if you need a trem. A Tele hard tail is so good why complicate it with a trem? ;)
    Look up the 'Triple Tele' for an idea, it's a great guitar and it quacks just like a Strat plus does the Tele. Three pickups and a 5-way or go a blender route like Brent Mason.

    On that Tele, try a 4-way switch before Nashvilizing. You can also put a Strat neck pickup in it without routing (pickguard mod though to clear the pickguard hole for the Strat cover -- but you could go sans pickguard too and screw the strat pickup to the body depending on what you've got to work with. Or for something completely different -- put a Jaguar pickup with the teeth wrap in there. A Jaguar is in between a Strat and a Tele (bridge) output level.

    .
     
  16. dcm_guitar

    dcm_guitar New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    657
    I wired in a 4 way switch into my Tele this weekend. When I popped off the pick guard I saw that it is already routed for the middle pickup (2012 American Deluxe Telecaster). I thought about doing the Nashville Tele conversion immediately (3 pickup with 5 way switch), but didn't want to wait because I didn't have a 5 way switch or a middle pickup or the right pick guard on hand.

    Eventually I think I will add the third pickup to my Tele. I also have an American Elite Strat, but if my Tele satisfies my "quack" needs with the addition of the third pickup I may sell the Strat.
     
  17. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2017
    Messages:
    9,495
    Likes Received:
    15,914
    Tee hee ;)
     
    dcm_guitar likes this.
  18. Bowtiefanatc

    Bowtiefanatc Confirmed Bird Snob

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,700
    Likes Received:
    2,164
    This is the only Vela that I have tried and I can say it's a super awesome guitar! Incredibly light and resonant. I sadly cannot add any insight into the regular Velas.
     
  19. Gary_W

    Gary_W New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    34
    Thanks again for the further replies :)

    I’d certainly like one but in the U.K. right now there just seems to be a white, a black and a single S2 satin Ltd. in McCarty. All would be mail order and, as the S2 has a nitro finish and may have been hanging in a shop for quite some time then I’d need some serious reassurance as to its condition! I do love bursts but I probably go that direction too often....

    My wife thinks I should order either a frost blue or frost green so I keep looking at pictures of these. Anyone here got one for a real-world photo?
     
  20. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    4,589
    Likes Received:
    3,550
    Welcome to the forum.

    I find myself lusting for a vela.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice