Old vs New

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Charcoal24, Jul 9, 2021.

  1. Charcoal24

    Charcoal24 New Member

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    When I bought my 1st PRS I believe they were originally phasing out the CE models. I never owned an older CE for this comparison.

    Looking at my older McCarty, I am trying to find the differences This is what I came up with.
    Can someone tell me if I am correct. (Anyone own an older CE “ Bolt on”).

    1. The Birds on this are white plastic I believe the older CE’s had abalone?
    2. The back trem and Electronics plates used to be routed to be flush with body. The new plates just sit on top the guitar?
    3. Though American made, the CE uses a Korean Trem and Tuners? (Believe I saw this ona YouTube video).
    4. Not sure about the total body bevel but the Vol/Tone bevels are not as deep as my 2010 McCarty?
    5. Older CE’s came with a case?
    6. New CE don’t grade their wood. Older CE’s would have a “10” if it was a ten top?
     
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  2. Bill SAS 513

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

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    Yes...to keep the production costs down, and in turn, cheaper to the consumer.
    However, the majority of those things are cosmetic, only...

    Effectively, a new CE is around 2K.
    Compared to other 2K guitars...still a pretty damned good deal. (IMHO)
     
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  3. Em7

    Em7 deus ex machina

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    Older CEs were basically a bolt-on Custom by the time that the model was discontinued. I can handle the scarf-joined neck (my number one from 1992 until 2019 had a scarf-joined neck). The shallower carve on the body and the S2 machine heads are not a problem, but the crappy imported trem seriously detracts from the build. If PRS does not want to include a core trem, then they should partner with John Mann and offer the 2040 bridge as an option. That is what I put on my 2019 CE24. A $200.00 increase in price is not going to dent sales and the price delta between the molded trem and a quality trem like the 2040 is not $200.00
     
  4. dogrocketp

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

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    My old 03 CE is a tone monster at 9 pounds. My 2018 S2 is a 7 lb tone monster as well, with the ”crappy imported tremolo” helping to give it slightly more bite than my other 24’s with various trems. I say buy for sound, and a trem change will alter the sound. That’s why the S2 is bone stock.
     
  5. Xtcclassic

    Xtcclassic New Member

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    I have a 1994 CE22 that has mother of pearl (not abalone) birds, they switched to abalone shortly thereafter. It came with the standard PRS case, and yes, you used to be able to order a 10-top CE although I have to imagine there aren’t very many of them out there, as even back then people thought the CE was a “cheaper” guitar and therefore not the same quality. Joke’s on them, the old CE’s are the best core model they ever made imho.
     
  6. Em7

    Em7 deus ex machina

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    I say if PRS is going to call the guitar a CE, it should sound, play, and not have the ball ends stick in the trem like a real CE. They should have renamed the post-2016 CE. It is nothing like the original model. It is basically a little more upscale S2. I am a native Marylander. I have always taken pride in the fact that PRS was a Maryland company, but I am not an apologist. I am going to call PRS out when they make a mistake and the modern CE is one of those mistakes.
     
    #6 Em7, Jul 10, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2021
  7. Drew

    Drew New Member

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    Agree 100%. They came up with the price point first and then jammed the guitar into that price point in any way they could. It's really the first time I can recall PRS making decisions purely based on bean counting.
     
  8. Em7

    Em7 deus ex machina

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    PRS moved the Mira and Starla to the S2 line during the first round of production cost reduction before taking the models to the SE line. There is a significant difference between a core Mira and S2 Mira in build quality, let alone the difference between a core Mira and an SE Mira when it comes to build quality. In my humble opinion, PRS should have taken the same approach with the CE. PRS could have also kept the original design in the core line and offered the present CE as the S2 CE because that is what the guitar is in reality. The choice that was made is leading to confusion and disappointment when new to PRS owners who purchased a post-2016 CE as their first PRS discover the difference between pre and post-2016 CEs. The pre-2016 CEs had one-piece quartersawn maple necks in addition to thicker top caps with deeper carves and all core hardware. There is a huge difference in stability between a one-piece quartersawn maple neck and a 3-piece flatsawn maple neck. Quartersawn wood is preferred to flatsawn wood because it is much more resistant to movement under changing environmental conditions.
     
    #8 Em7, Jul 10, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2021
  9. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    If you take a look, you'll notice the "New CE" is in the Bolt-On line, which is not Core. They are differentiating them.
     
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  10. Em7

    Em7 deus ex machina

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    In my humble opinion, even that classification is misleading. The CE has always been a bolt-on guitar. Moving the guitar from "core" to "bolt-on" is not enough. The new CE should be moved down into the S2 line because that is what it is compared to an original CE; namely, a budget version. The only thing that differentiates a post-2016 CE from an S2 guitar is the electronics. The guitar is an S2 from a build point of view.
     
  11. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

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    In my opinion, the 'New' CE fits in between the S2 and Core line much better now. The 'old' CE's were much closer in price to the core. In fact, I have found a PRS Price List from 2008, a CE22/24 with Maple top had a list price of $3060 compared to the Custom 22/24's list price of $3450 - a difference of about 10% to have a 'set neck' over a 'Bolt-on'.

    The 'new' CE's fill that 'price' gap between the 'S2's and Core. There are other differences to reduce the 'cost' and put it in a different price bracket. Putting it in a different price bracket also keeps it from competing with the 'core' line. There is a 'Custom 24' in every range for every budget. If they kept the CE as it was, when it wasn't selling that well competing with the Core (hence it 'disappeared' for a number of years), it would be competing directly with the set neck. If the pricing is 'consistent', if a Core Cu24 is $4k, you'd be looking at $3.6k for a 'bolt-on' version.

    To me it made sense to bring the CE back and target that $2-$3k price bracket. The bridge maybe moulded instead of milled, but its still a fantastic bridge and works just as well - where its made isn't important, its functionality, feel etc is. You are getting US made Pups instead of the 'S' versions like the S2 range and you know the build, and therefore the structure of the guitar is going to be of high quality. The CE24 is now a 'different' instrument to a Custom 24 - its got more snap/attack and zing to it and quite a lot of people prefer that 'carve' as they find it more comfortable. Its different to the 'bevelling' they do for S2 too.

    So yes, the old CE's were more like 'bolt-on' cores and had a 'price point' to match which put them in direct competition with the set-necks. Years later, there is a big gap in the market for PRS to reintroduce the CE at a 'cheaper' more competitive price and not in direct competition with the other cores. If you have $4k to spend on a guitar and the CE is $3.6k and a Cu24 is $4k - they are both competing for your money. At $2.5k,, a CE is not competing with a $4k Core.
     
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  12. Broseph

    Broseph PRS 22 Fret Fren

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    My biggest gripe would only be the bridge and the plastic birds. Otherwise I get the compromises to keep the guitar price down in terms of finishes/carves.

    Why does the SE line have better inlays than S2 and CE? Seems like a very odd choice to me. I like the mother of pearls or abalone inlays found in the SE range.

    Clearly the demand for a bolt on at a core price wasn’t there, hence the CE disappearing for a while and coming back in 2016 at a cheaper price point similar to S2’s. Honestly, the bolt on line is being carried by the Silver Sky. But even that received a better bridge. I would love to see a better bridge in the CE, priced at silver sky level.

    Clear and simple delineation with electronics, bridge, and carve from the SE or cheaper S2. But that’s my thoughts. I ain’t gonna scream it from the mountain tops. PRS is selling like hot cakes currently so they must know what they are doing
     
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  13. RC Mike

    RC Mike New Member

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    To focus on one model, without considering the entire product line changes, is not seeing the forest for the trees.

    To my way of seeing things, PRS has adopted a “step-up” product line, in the same way that the auto industry uses or Apple uses. Get the consumer to begin looking at a lower line, then see the differences that can be had for a relatively small increase in price to the next model up.

    When the original CEs were discontinued, that sort of product differentiation didn’t exist for PRS. It was a big leap from the SEs to any American-made PRS. When the CE came back, it created the missing step between the S2 and the Core lines.

    I don’t understand getting upset about such changes. Want an older CE? The used market is still plentiful.

    PRS has a pretty good line up at the moment. Great choices at most every price point. If they’re doing anything wrong, it’s in not making the differences between the lines more readily available to consumers. A person new to the brand has to do a fair bit of work to actually understand the differences. The SE line continues to slowly upscale itself, which creates some confusion with the S2s. The S2s actually appear to be “de-contented” compared to some of the more recent SEs.
     
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  14. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob New Member

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    Agree with that. The range is a bit confusing when it comes to some of the details.

    Why does the ‘entry level’ SE have a recessed control cover and better birds than a model that’s four times the price? These things seem more arbitrary than cost related, to me.

    I played a new CE24 last week and I found it to be really underwhelming. I did find it comfortable, and the carve is really nice, but that was it. There’s no way I’d pay £2400 for one when an SE CU24 is £800 and pretty much as good (and with better birds). The SE gig bags are excellent, too. So what if they are brown? It’s a gig bag ffs.
     
  15. bodia

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

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    Well said
     
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  16. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

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    I own three 1997 CEs. I love them. That is all.
     
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  17. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    The original CE went through multiple changes as well. Alder to Alder/Maple top, then Mahogany/Maple top, T&B or Vintage pickups to HFS/Vintage, neck size changes, small heel/large heel, 3 way switch to 5 way rotary. Each of these could have been looked at as game changers. When they did introduce the new version in 2016 there was no question it was not the same guitar, but they didn't advertise it as the same guitar. It was a bolt on version of a PRS. Since there was one previously, it got the same name. Fair in my book.

    I have a gen 1 CE24 (Alder). I prefer it over the generations that came after, by a lot. So to me the Mahogany/Maple CE's aren't really the same guitar, but I don't think they should have changed the name over it.
     
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