Older Custom vs Newer

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by king tone, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. king tone

    king tone New Member

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    Hi folks. Questions and commentary for you. I have a 99 custom 22 that I just bought...again. I am the second and fourth owner. I know, I might be insane. Anyhow...I keep running the thought in my head about whether to keep it, and upgrade it, or move on to something closer to "right" for me. I am afraid that the money it will take to get it maxed out in a way that I hope, I could have possibly gotten another PRS that is more dialed in. Of course when I got this one I did not have the money to buy a way more expensive one. Also to do the upgrades, the money can be done bit by bit. Is there any reason why an older custom like this would be preferred over a newer fancier/more expensive/newer one? I am pretty sure it's a one piece body (maybe they all are?) and it does ring out and sustain nicely with no dead spots that I have found. Mine is a wraparound bridge version.

    Here are the kind of upgrades that possibly would happen.

    Pickups: this has dragon II pickups...eh, not super thrilled with these. Maybe a 57/08 set (which I know sound good) or possibly for less money Suhr ssv, SD, Fralin,etc

    Refret: plek with stainless jumbos would really set this one off on playability. The frets are a tiny bit low(more for me than maybe other players)

    Wing style keys: yuck, I have some schallers that can replace them

    Rewire: I can do this myself, the rotary is not a great option for live use

    The fret and pickup part, plus what I paid for it (cheap for 2021) still makes this a decently bigger investment for the old one.

    I guess the idea is if I just had about $3500-up I could just get a DGT (big frets, great pickups, and I do like the tremelo) a really nice custom (five way with Trem and wide fat or regular neck...HATE the wide thin!) or McCarty of some sort and add 57/08 set to one of these, or something similar.To tweak out the old one it will not cost as much as the others but maybe more trouble than it's worth and possibly still not as good as a newer one. I have owned a handful and played a zillion PRS' over the years and they were almost always good. What say ye forum folks? What would you do? Should I not tweak the old one, play it for a minute as-is and then move to a bigger money one, or really dial in the old one? Thank you.
     
  2. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    Modding can be a tricky business. I’ve made good guitars better, and also made them no better at all, just more expensive. It’s one of those things you don’t know until it’s done. It sounds like the one you have is good, just not great.

    If I were in that position, and a great guitar was available, I’d save and get the great one and gig the one you’ve got until that happens. Then you can use it as a spare, or sell if you need to recoup funds. The caveat here it that this is just me. I’ve developed the “compromise is more expensive in the end, so buy once and move on” philosophy, and it’s worked for me. The proverbial YMMV applies. :)
     
  3. king tone

    king tone New Member

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    Thanks for your reply. My opinion is often pretty close to yours on this subject. I may have to move it and move on. It is really number 3 in the lineup at this point so it really is not too big a deal, I suppose, if it just leaves but I have been on the fence about it.
     
    RickP likes this.
  4. SinSir

    SinSir Mad Scientist

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    I'm a tweaker. I say have at it if you like the guitar. Guessing so since you bought it twice. If not move on.

    The Fret part is the biggest deal that may be hard to recoup. You can always keep and swap the stock parts back later or sell the stock to balance out the cash. You'd get more selling it stock unless your mods work for the buyer, maybe. The fret job could work in your favor too. Bunch of guys have it set they need SS and plek seems to be creeping up on that wish list for some too.

    Personally, if I liked the guitar and reading your post I'd swap pups, tuners, and rewire. If you like it better, think it's a keeper, and still want the refret.. go for it. Heck of a lot cheaper than $3500.

    Now if you want a trem, then it's a no brainer. Sell it and get the DGT.
     
  5. chicagoslim

    chicagoslim New Member

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    When I started playing PRS guitars, I had problems with the winged tuners, Schaller tuners and the rotary 5-way switch (didn't like it for stage use). I don't think that I've ever had a bad tuner since the modern locking design. I'm a big fan of the 5-way, slide switching, on the newer Custom 22's. The humbucker bridge, with the split neck pickup, in parallel, has become my go to sound. It's full, without getting as bassy as the normal middle position. I even wired an S2 Custom 22, for this (only in series). Plus, I've recently been able to pickup a couple NOS, Custom 22's, at a discount. YMMV!
     
    #5 chicagoslim, Oct 17, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
    dogrocketp likes this.
  6. Malloc

    Malloc New Member

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    I spent most of my life approaching hobbies with that “cheapest house in the best neighborhood” attitude. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that approach (heck I’m currently doing it with my avatar P22), but it almost always takes more money and time in the long run than to adopt an attitude of, “buy once cry once”. For me that’s meant starting a dedicated private stock fund as a goal to work towards instead of it always being some abstract future “someday”.
     

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