NF53 vs Vela 2024


New Member
Aug 22, 2019
Now that the Vela has birds and USA pickups, I thought I'd compare the price of it to the NF53, and I'm quite surprised that the NF53 is priced $800 more than the Vela. And if you opt for the satin Vela, the price difference is $1150... a difference of 65%!

What exactly do you get for that extra money?

They're made in the same facility. They have the same bridge, similar tuners, and USA pickups. The Vela, being set neck, has arguably a slightly more complicated manufacturing workflow. I don't get it.

Swamp ash is much more expensive than mahogany, right? Otherwise I agree. The vela has (and likely will) always be a bargain for an original design PRS. The 2024 iteration is the best. The NF53 price point has a lot to do with the CE line commanding more than S2. Even the regular CE custom 24 is now starting at 2.5k. The silver sky, Fiore, Myles, Dustie, and nf53 are even more.
People want lightweight swamp ash telecaster-like guitars more than they want unique mahogany offset double-cuts.
Shhhh before the marketing department gets wind and raises the prices of s2 once again! I don't get it either. The entire PRS bolt on line pricing is screwy if you ask me. Otherwise I'd probably already have a MK. Even the healthy discounts I've been offered didn't sway me. Almost but still don't agree the burden should fall solely on the dealers..
I think the NF53 is ridiculously expensive for what it is. If it were a 1-piece swamp ash body, I could see it maybe commanding a couple hundred more than the Vela, but for a flat-top 2-piece or 3-piece ash body? Even the Vela has a 1-piece mahogany body.
Yeah I don’t understand the CE vs S2 pricing now. Bolt ons should be cheaper to construct right? Make them the same carve of the CE. Keep the vela with offset asymmetrical carve. I couldn’t imagine the vela without that carve.
The only thing keeping me from buying an NF 53 is the price.

Edit: I called on a black dog hair model and was offered a pretty good discount. It’ll be here Tuesday.
I’m not sure if this makes me a hypocrite or a liar 🤥.
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