Opinions on the Mira?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by andy474x, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Hey all,

    Just wondering what you guys have to say about the Mira... been thinking about picking one up for a while, and I think my next PRS will either be a Mira, or SE245 and grab a set of 57/08's to drop in. I really dig the W/T neck profile and shorter neck joint (small hands) of the 24 fret models like the Mira, and it seems to have a very nice "SG" type tone, but a bit thicker (at least that's what I hear). I've also heard a lot of great sounds from the McCarty 58's and SC58's, but budget is keeping me in the sub $2K category... grad school isn't really a big money maker! Anyways, let me know what you think of the Mira, thanks in advance!
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    The Mira is phenomenal. The tones are much more versatile than any SG I've ever played (and I've had one since 1966, so...).

    The electronics are also great - you may not want to bother swapping pickups once you see how good the stock ones sound.
     
  3. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd New Member

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    This is a thread I started on the Gear Page, but I realized it applies equally well in PRS-ville so I shared it on Vintage Rocker/Birds and Moons. Since the OP asked about the Mira, I'll reprint it here.

    For the sake of context, my other PRSi include a couple of Collection guitars and a Private Stock that's based on a DGT, as well as an early Modern Eagle and an '86 Custom. And I have a lot of other very nice guitars too.

    n.b., for those not on TGP, the "ultimist" thread concerned those who are constantly searching for (or bragging about) having THE BEST guitar, the best example of Guitar X, you know the disease, right?

    Here's what I posted:

    I've avoided the "ultimist" thread thus far, mainly for two reasons:

    1. Looking in the mirror is painful sometimes.
    2. My guitars are better than y'all's, and I know it, so why get into a discussion about it?

    Anyway, alongside all those bitchen guitars that populate my music room sits a sea foam green PRS Mira. Nothing special about it, just a basic guitar that my pal Brian, formerly of Chuck Levin's WMC, sent me one day. Its sound is a little raw and unrefined, with a high end that many people might find annoying. It's not even cool in the low-budget sense, like an Airline or Reverend or vintage Danelectro or Supro.

    I've had this Mira for about four years now. During that time a whole lot of higher-end PRSi have come and gone, to say nothing of Historic Les Pauls and (the Ultimate Ultimist Guitar) Gustavsson Bluesmasters.

    Hmmm... Why is that?

    Well, I just spent an hour with the Mira. I played all kinds of crazy stuff that it would normally never occur to me to play. I wasn't the least bit concerned about TONE or CHOPS or TIME or any of the normal "ultimist" stuff. Instead, it was intuitive, fluid, and surprisingly fluent MUSIC. Pure, unadulterated, unaffected (if sometimes heavily effected) MUSIC. Stuff came out that I had no idea was inside of me.

    (of course there was no "tape" running. #&^$%(@!!!!)

    That seems to happen more often than not when I play the Mira. Which happens much less than it probably oughta happen, I guess 'cos I have so many sexier guitars that want for my attention.

    Two conclusions:
    1. The Mira is a hugely underrated guitar. (I've known this for a long time)
    2. When it comes to music, I spend a lot of time worrying about/thinking about the wrong stuff.

    That's all. Felt like sharing.
     
    grausch likes this.
  4. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Thanks to both of you guys for your thoughts. I think I was a little ambiguous, I wouldn't change out the Mira pickups for 57/08's, only the 245's. I think the stock Mira pu's sound great already... different from the 57/08's for sure, but I think they're a perfect match to the Mira. And in regards to the Mira and "ultimist" guitar search, I know what you mean. Well, at least as much as a guy with 2 SE's hanging on the wall can know what you mean ;) As it is right now, if I really saved my pennies for a long time, I could probably squeak out a nice 10 top PRS of some kind (don't even get me started on which model), but then it would just sit home and only be played in the safest of conditions, etc., and I would spend half my time drooling over it instead of just playing it. Not that it would be nearly as nice as a PS, but it would be top of the line for me. The Mira I'm sure I would baby to a certain extent, but it has a much more "meant to be played" attitude. Yeah, they look pretty cool, but it's a workhorse guitar and if I take it out and it gets a scratch or ding... that's ok. As much as I love the art in the looks of the figured tops and birds, my priority is an axe that sounds and feels great, and gets to see the light of day. Or maybe I should say the dim lights of some bar, and gets beer splashed on it. Anyways, thanks again for sharing!
     
  5. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd New Member

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    Just so you know, the stock Mira pickups ARE 245s. At least they were when I bought mine, which was right after the Mira was released.
     
  6. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    I've heard such praise for the Mira before and I can believe it, but that has not been my experience. I have only had the opprotunity to play one. I was A/B'n it against a Studio with NF's through a Dallas at GC. It wasn't even close. Now I have to say that it wasn't a standard issue Mira. It was the 25th Anni with P90's. I am a big fan of P90's but they didn't have the magic in this guitar. It was light and thin and so was the sound. Compared to the Studio it couldn't even make a case for the lower price. I am holding out hope that I will have a different opinion when I try a regular model.
     
  7. stonevibe

    stonevibe New Member

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    Every Mira I have played has been really bland to be honest. I really wanted to like them, but have yet to find a good one... I tried a few Starlas as well and got a similar impression. I love the whole idea of both guitars, but just need to find a better selection of them perhaps.
     
  8. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    I play in a cover band and the versatility is amazing. It covers alot of ground. It's light and comfortable. I love it.
     
  9. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd New Member

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    Hmm... one thing I would never accuse any Mira I've played (which isn't that many, to be honest) is being "bland."

    I will say that one of the Mira's primary gifts is how good it sounds in a band setting. The first time I ever heard one was at the 2007 (inaugural) PRS Experience. Mike Ault played one throughout the big Friday night concert -- he was kinda the "house guitarist" while all the other hot-shot guitarists did their thing. Throughout that evening the Mira cut through the mix like nobody's business. Clear as a bell, friendly in the mix, and just... ...great. I was standing with Frankie Clarke (FrankiePRS around these parts) and we kept looking at each other and going, "Damn... ...that Mira is just KILLING it!" Okay, yeah, part of it is the fact that Mike Ault is a truly fine player, but still.
     
  10. stonevibe

    stonevibe New Member

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    I was gutted when I first tried one out as I was expecting more than it delivered. Subsequently I have yet to find one that I thought sounded good. I have had the opportunity to play them through some great amps and in band scenarios by borrowing them, yet I have still to find one I liked.

    On paper they sound perfect, yet I haven't found one that I like yet...
     
  11. ]-[@n$0Ma☩!©

    ]-[@n$0Ma☩!© Der Hans der kann's

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    After watching the amp videos that Paul posts (using a Mira), this perspective is surprising to say the least. I can see someone not liking the Mira due to personal preferences in tone but to call them bland? I don't get that at all. I'm not knocking your opinion, just surprised.
     
    #11 ]-[@n$0Ma☩!©, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  12. Michael B

    Michael B New Member

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    I just got a Mira recently and loved how it played...but the bridge was thin sounding. Had a Tremonti treble installed in the bridge pup and the guitar is amazing now!!! and the Tremonti sounds great in single coil!!
     
  13. stonevibe

    stonevibe New Member

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    I'd still like to find a good one, as I think they could be great guitars. But alas I am still looking.
     
  14. CantankerousCarl

    CantankerousCarl Occasionally Onery Member

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    I have an 08 maple top that I stumbled upon as NOS, and I have been impressed with it. It's my "go-to" American PRS, but I'm not sure if it's the sound, or if it's because it's my easiest to replace should something stupid happen to it. But she gets alot of play time.

    I kept hearing how "bright" the guitar was supposed to be...split it's not as bright as my STD24, but I think mine is very bright for an all-mahogany one. So at first, I wasn't overly impressed.

    The Mira is, however, kinda like the girl next door...you might not pick her out of a lineup of supermodels, but she's familiar, comfortable, not a real expensive date...and the more time you spend with her, the more you like her. It takes some time to warm up to her, but pretty soon, you go out a few times, you have a few beers, and wham! Babies!

    Silly analogies aside, I would describe the tone as raw, but musical and fun. I really like the neck pup split, middle bucker and bridge bucker (but bridge split is next to useless for my taste, too thin). You will hear little things in your playing that you might not notice on other guitars, and I find she records really well.

    I have toyed with the idea of getting rid of most of my SEs and getting a used one as "the one I take out" because I think mine's a little too pretty, and the finish a little too thin, to really pound on:

    [​IMG]

    I'll shut up now...
     
  15. ]-[@n$0Ma☩!©

    ]-[@n$0Ma☩!© Der Hans der kann's

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    Jump to 6:55. Turn it up.

    Then jump to 9:45. Turn it up louder.

    This video wasn't even about the Mira. It's the guitar Paul uses to check amps.

     
    #15 ]-[@n$0Ma☩!©, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2015
    brain21 likes this.
  16. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Tastes differ. Playing styles differ. Musical styles differ.

    I've always thought maybe there should be a way to reference our favorite tones, and other musical preferences, but for so many players, that'd be a heck of a long list! Nonetheless, I was wondering what kind of stuff you like to play?

    We're all so different, it'd be an interesting reference.

    No reason anyone has to like something someone else likes.
     
  17. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    This is a good clip of the Mira in action. To be honest, I don't really dig the stock speakers that PRS uses, seems to be a lot of V30's and similar, which are too nasally for me. But even in spite of that the guitar still sounds nice in this clip. Just seems to have a less piercing high end to my ear, even with these speakers. I'm more into Greenbacks and G12H30's and so on, which I think will pump out a fat, sweet lead tone with one of these.
     
    #17 andy474x, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2015
  18. iounothing

    iounothing New Member

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    I did some A/B'ing of a Mira vs. a '61 RI SG (with '57 Classic Humbuckers) over the weekend.

    Clean, the Mira excelled in every regard with a much wider range of tones. Distorted, the SG is quite a bit thicker/angrier although less articulate than the Mira. It certainly nails an Angus Young tone much better, for obvious reasons. An advantage to the SG is the ability to blend pickups a la DGT; advantage to the Mira is the split tones.

    But for me, where the Mira really excels in how it FEELS. I've always disliked how top heavy SGs are with such a large headstock on a light body. The Mira is nearly perfectly balanced, feels better in your hands, and I found my self spending much more time noodling on the Mira than on the SG. Put that with a much more reasonable price point and between the two, I'd pick the Mira hands down.

    As always, YMMV.
     
  19. alantig

    alantig SSBMA

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    Kingsley's thread on VR convinced me to pull out the Mira to monkey around with a bit. I'd forgotten what a cool guitar it is. But again, as others have said, different needs, different tastes.

    Meaningless trivia - if I recall correctly, it was Kingsley who handed me the Mira at Experience the year it was introduced and put the bug in my mind. I should have forwarded the bill!

    One last thing - it's definitely worth playing with things to make sure you're getting it right when you test drive. The first time I played a Mira at my local pusher, I was hugely disappointed - I couldn't get anything good out of it playing through a Mark IV, which was my #1 amp at the time. I went back a few days later, but with my amp settings written down, and it was a completely different world.
     
  20. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd New Member

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    Yeah! As it happens, last fall I got it in my head that I wanted a vintage-type SG myself. Matt Artinger was going to clone Steve Kimock's '65 SG (which is actually a Special, i.e., with P-90s) for me. While that project was in the "I'll get to it when I can" stage with Matt, I happened to spend a couple of days in Nashville. Went to Gruhn's and played about 10 vintage SGs. I couldn't stand any of them! A few sounded OK-to-kinda-good but the feel and balance just plain sucked IMO. I called Matt as soon as I got home and said, "I hope you haven't started my SG yet..." He hadn't.

    That project (for which I'd sent a deposit) morphed into a Weissenborn-type acoustic lap steel. Way more cool.

    I do think some SGs, in the right hands, sound REALLY GOOD. Eric Johnson's is one, also Mark Karan's, and Pete Townshend's Live at Leeds guitar is one of my all-time sonic benchmarks. But, funny enough, the closest I've ever got to that Live at Leeds sound is with my Mira and my Carol-Ann OD2 amp.
     
    #20 kingsleyd, Aug 1, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012

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