NF3 vs Swamp Ash Special NF

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by TFC, Oct 27, 2021.

  1. TFC

    TFC That guitar really tied the room together

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    I am a huge fan of my NF3 and have been looking around for another one, or something similar (Narrowfield pickups, bolt on regular neck). Only recently did the SASNF model appear on my radar. Can anyone with experience with both the NF3 and the SASNF tell me how those models feel and/or sound different? Is the neck Pattern or Pattern Regular on the SASNF? Thanks!
     
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  2. Going Modal

    Going Modal I should be practicing right now.

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    Been thinking dirty thoughts about a 3 x NF guitar lately, too. Would love to hear what people like...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. TFC

    TFC That guitar really tied the room together

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    I lucked out and found a SAS NF, so I'm going to answer my own questions for anyone else who is interested.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a summary of the differences in feel and sound I've found between the 2 guitars:

    Body: The Strat shape of the NF3 is the most comfortable for me. The SAS NF feels like the typical PRS Custom/CE shape, which is also really good. The SAS weighs exactly 7.0 lbs which is great for long gig nights. The ones I've seen for sale all seem to be on the lighter side, which is an advantage over my NF3.

    Neck: Both have the Pattern Regular neck shape and the feel of bare wood. From what I've found online, the 25th Anniversary SAS NF has a Pattern neck [EDIT - see below. possibly Standard/Regular/Pattern Regular], while the 2011 & 2012 models have the Regular shape. So, if you're a fan of the neck on the NF3, which is my favorite, you'll probably like the post-2010 SAS NF neck which is very, very similar. The SAS NF has the 25" scale length vs. the 25.25" scale of the NF3.

    Sound: Next to the feel of the body, this is where the biggest difference is. The SAS NF has a sharper attack and overall brighter sound than the NF3. It's more reminiscent of a Strat/Tele than the NF3. The NF3 has what I think of as a "round" attack, where the focus is on lower frequencies than the SAS. When the volume is at 10 on the NF3, it pumps out a lot of low end, yet when the volume is rolled down below 5 or so, you get a nice, full, sorta single coil like sound. The SAS NF on the other hand cuts really well at full volume without any "woof", while at lower volumes it lacks the fullness and sounds thinner than the NF3.

    They're both great guitars and will probably be my 1A and 1B for gigging in the foreseeable future.
     
    #3 TFC, Nov 7, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
  4. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    Thank you! I’m looking at getting a 25th anniversary SASNF. Your review tells me it should be right where I hoped it would be sonically. Of course, it’ll be blue.
     
  5. Going Modal

    Going Modal I should be practicing right now.

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    Excellent comparison--thanks TFC. I've been on the lookout for an SAS-NF and I'm targeting that 25th Anniversary year, which sounds great because I do like the Pattern necks. Now, if only I can find one with a RW fretboard (they do exist, but I've seen like 1 or maybe 2 of them, ever).
     
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  6. VHTStark

    VHTStark New Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to write out your comparison. I was wondering about this as well! I have an nf3, that I absolutely love: that immediate pick attack across all strings and clarity is just awesome!
     
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  7. Bowtiefanatc

    Bowtiefanatc Confirmed Bird Snob

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    The SASNF I’ve played is a snarky little beast. Such a great guitar! I haven’t spent much time with the NF3, I have one that I’m paying down at a local shop that I might keep.
     
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  8. tyfu20

    tyfu20 Fast Man....let me tell you my story

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    Nice score, that may be one one I was looking at on Reverb a couple of weeks ago. Congrats!
     
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  9. Hugo Agogo

    Hugo Agogo New Member

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    Thanks for a great post. The SAS you have is what put them on the radar for me.
    I got a 25th Anniversary after seeing one. The hang tag says the neck is STD, which I presume is pattern.
    I’ve put 9.5-44s on it and it’s effortless over the whole neck. Really clean and full tone.
    I can’t believe how much difference the volume & tone pots have on the sound.
    The NFs alone just never fail to amaze me !
     
  10. SinSir

    SinSir Mad Scientist

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    So the SAS NF has a Standard neck instead of W/F like the previous SAS?

    A clarification response I got on another thread about standard profile--- "Standard is Regular which is Pattern Regular. Pattern is the updated Wide Fat."

    https://forums.prsguitars.com/threads/s2-neck-question.50087/#post-679124
     
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  11. Hugo Agogo

    Hugo Agogo New Member

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    Many thanks buddy. I now know what I have. Pattern Regular.
    Or a standard, or a regular. I read your post about it and finally understand the neck dimensions.
    Great post
     
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  12. TFC

    TFC That guitar really tied the room together

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    Thanks for that. I've seen it listed as various things. Maybe they're all regular? I've updated my original review to include that possibility.
     
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  13. TFC

    TFC That guitar really tied the room together

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    I found some more info which suggests that all the SAS NFs have a "pattern regular" or "regular" neck carve. This page has links to the PRS Price Lists for several years, including 2010 (25th anniv.), 2011 & 2012, which are the years the SAS NF was produced. Each of those lists shows that the SAS had a "regular" or "pattern regular" neck carve and no other neck carve options were listed.

    So, the listings I've seen having a "pattern" neck carve were probably incorrect. "Wide/Thin" and "Wide/Fat" were so much more descriptive than "pattern", "regular" and "standard", none of which are descriptive at all. It's easy to see why people get confused.
     
  14. SinSir

    SinSir Mad Scientist

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    I think confusion is added for models like the SAS as it used to be W/F.
     
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  15. Hugo Agogo

    Hugo Agogo New Member

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    Yes. Makes sense.
    Wide string spacing but a slimmer or wider neck.
     
  16. Hugo Agogo

    Hugo Agogo New Member

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    And fretboard radius.
     
  17. DreamTheaterRules

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    This is the post of the week, and you may be my new best friend!

    Yes, 9.5s a perfect on them, and yes, the NF pickups are incredible. Congrats on some great guitars!!!
     
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  18. Hugo Agogo

    Hugo Agogo New Member

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    We
    Really great information you’ve found there. Thanks for your update.
     
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  19. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Wow, bro, that’s harsh. I get kicked to the curb over a post…..:p
     
  20. DreamTheaterRules

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    Of course not. He's new, was just trying to make him feel welcome. He doesn't know about us... :D
     
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