Opinions wanted: I can't find a new guitar


Apr 26, 2012
I’m at a weird juncture in my mythical Tone Quest where I can’t, for the life of me, come up with anything I need. And I must have matured over the winter because I’m struggling to find anything I want (i know, first world problems).

Feel free to point out what is missing from my tonal palette (aside from a set of 85/15’s). I’m just a humbucking loving, rhythm rock player who dabbles in the blues.

Thank you in advance.

Current Toolset

· McCarty Dallas Shootout – (57/08’s, MannMade Bridge) – this will be pried out of cold, dead, hand because of its resonance and versatility. It excels in that vintage vibe, that vintage grit when dirty; yet it has clean humbucking warmth and wicked tapped jangle and quack

· DGT – (slightly under-wound Grissoms) - this will be pried out of my other cold, dead, hand due to its resonance and versatility. I has such great, modern dirt without being over compressed. Clean it has huge warmth, as well as quack and jangle all day long

· 513 MT – if I had a third cold, dead, hand, it would hold this. It’s the most versatile guitar I’ve ever played, and I use it as my primary gigging guitar. It has great, modern dirt and fair grit. Clean, it goes from warm to jangle and sparkle. The hog/maple sustain really rounds out single-coil leads much more than ash and alder-bodied guitars

· HBII - (Miras, tap toggle) – The Mira pickups give this one a slutty, red-light district, mid-century grit that makes it perfect for the blues. Clean, it is warm and inviting, and surprisingly, it has really nice jangle and spark. The coil-tap toggle was a great addition for the sake of versatility. It does lack a certain depth of sustain which I attribute to it being hollow

· Wood Library Ted DC 245 – (59/09’s) – I love the short scale on this, and the resonance is fairly decent. Although it has excellent modern dirt and decent cleans, I am just not a fan of the 59/09’s (sorry, Pete and Eric). A set of 85/15’s are destined for this guitar

· Mira Korina (Miras) – it’s angry and gritty through a dirty amp, while fairly warm clean, with some decent jangle, but not a lot of quack. It only weighs 6 pounds though, and since it looks like furniture, it’s allowed to stay next to my living room TV-watching chair. I tolerate the regular carve neck because the guitar is so light

· DC22 – (59/09’s) – this is an anomaly to me. Some days I really like it but other days, not so much. It cuts through the mix well, but I am not a fan of the volume knob placement (sorry, Markie). The wide-fat neck is awesome though

· 408 Standard – to me, it’s two-trick pony: great modern humbucking dirt, and warm humbucking cleans. I don’t find the split positions very useful, but it is nice to have an all-hog guitar

· Custom 22 Rosewood – (57/08’s) – the 57/08 pickups and rosewood go together so, so well. It’s a great feeling guitar to play, but it’s dark and doesn’t cut through the mix with the way I play. It has really good gritty dirt and clean jangle, as well as decent warm cleans

· McCarty Korina - (McCarty’s) – Great dirty grit and warm cleans with good jangle and quack. Sonically it’s pretty much a redundant guitar, but I keep it in my office to play while on conference calls

· Santana – (\m/’s) – sonically, it’s a project guitar. I’m still looking for the set of pickups that make this one stand out. The \m/’s are very modern yet somewhat compressed for me. I do like the short-scale trem, the 2013 placement of the controls, and I *think* that I can adapt to the D-shaped neck carve

· SC 245 – (245’s) – sonically, it’s another project guitar. I snagged this one because of its monstrous sustain but I do not like the 245 pickups. Would like to try 85/15’s in this one for sure

Retired soldiers:

· Swamp Ash Special – was a favorite for a while, but the sustain of the 513 won out

· McSoapy/McNarrowfield/SAS Narrowfield – had them all, but I’m just not a soapbar guy

· Custom 24 – do not like regular carve necks, but I did enjoy the HFS and VB

· SC and SCT – I’m not really comfortable as singlecut player so they’re gone

· Modern Eagle/McRosie – my playing was different, which was neat, but rosewood is just not my thing. I know it’s weird

· Signature Limited – I regret selling this because it had such a killer feel to it but I rarely played it for some reason

· P22 – I’ve had two of them but couldn’t get them to do what I wanted

· Brent Mason – I really enjoyed this sonically, but the satin finish on the neck was not for me. If there was a poly or V12 version out there I would most certainly snag it

· DGT Standard – I had one and enjoyed how it was sonically distinct from the maple-capped version, but mine was 9 pounds and it was quite uncomfortable

· Custom 22 Hollowbody – great guitar but it was somewhat sonically redundant

· Killer Quilt – never bonded with it sonically
The 20th Private Stock Anniversary model is like nothing you have.

The tone palette is different from your other models, and it has those "in between pickup" tones similar to what were on your Brent Mason, but with a gloss set neck. It also will do a lot of what your Sig Ltd did, except the coil splits are obviously different, but you don't use them on your 408s anyway, so you won't miss them.

The added body depth of the mahogany gives it a lot of "oomph," the thing literally sustains forever. The Gen III trem is awesome, best I've used yet. The scale length is the 594 (yes, it affects how the guitar sounds).

It's easily - easily - the most interesting and gorgeous sounding PRS I've ever played or owned. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Edit: Oops, I forgot the obligatory pic:

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Ouch, what a list to come along with.
Have you ever played a Paul's Guitar? I only have a few minutes experience on Paul's former backup, but the new owner stated - in comparision to a 408 - it has a little more passion in the tone. The SC sound is really snappy.
I was a bit disappointed by the SC245 I bought with #7's. I put Bare Knuckle The Mule/Riff Raff combo in it and and oh wow has it become my favorite!
I don't see a studio on that list. Also, I would like to hear 85/15 in a sc245. The current 58/15 did not win me over.
Vela, that's about it. Maybe find an old 3 pickup non-semi-hollow ZM. They're pretty heavy, though. To me, that translates as "solid", for which I like them.

Maybe dabble in the archtops, SC-J, or one of the two Neal Schon models?

But you know, there's nothing wrong with maintainin'. You have quite the selection.
I think you've got mighty fine guitars now.
I recommend enjoying the not needing/wanting anything for a while.
Then you won't feel guilty or frivolous when you pounce on some fantastic new bit of kit when it shows its face.

I didn't suffer a bit when I went close to 10 years feeling like I had everything covered and didn't buy a thing.
Since you no longer have the P22's, how about a nice acoustic? Seems like that might be a hole in your, rather impressive, arsenal.
To the OP,
Please, no offense, but with the list you have provided, what else could you possibly desire?!

I do understand where you are at. I started down sizing my gear, and when I desired a new guitar, until I decided to try a PRS, there was nothing that I was interested in, that I didn't already have several times from many manufacturers.

Have you considered going through your present guitars, finding the points about each one that you really love and having a private stock guitar built incorporating all those points?
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Ya know, I didn't see a CE anywhere on that list of current or previous........
I'm reporting all of you to the FBI. You guys must rob banks for a living based on the size of these collections! Good for you!

Bodia also stole my thunder with the CE. :) Lots of really great old ones out there for a steal and the new ones are very nice and from what I hear are selling at a brisk pace. They are priced so right and are really nice guitars.

I am at the same crossroads and my short list is a 90's Swamp Ash Special or a McCarty hard tail. I think either will be so different than what I have, it will be fun to experiment.
How about a P245 semi-hollow? Would expand on your experimentation with the P22, but in a slightly shorter scale, semi-hollow, and different pickups (58/15s). (I presume your P22s did not have those...).
Buy an acoustic.

Hey, I just realized looking at this thread once again, that I don't have the hots to buy anything at the moment. I'm pretty darn satisfied!

It's kind of a relief, actually...:)
You are missing an SE One. I know...you don't like soapbars blah blah blah :p. For what they can be had for, why NOT give one a try? Responds very well to using the lone volume control to control grit, and frankly, look really cool!
As your fellow PRS forum brother, I strongly recommend you hook yourself up to a pulse oximeter. Brother's keeper and all! Just sayin!