Poor Produced 2019 SE's ?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by donbroco84, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Kdogg788

    Kdogg788 New Member

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    Jesus. You really have no idea what I was trying to say. PRS SE Custom and Paul’s are not cheap guitars. They are around the $1000 dollar mark and it’s not too much to ask that they are held accountable to quality standards for like priced guitars. They are not $150 Squires or Chinese Lea Paul copies. True core level guitars are 3 to 6 times as much but only because there are people who can afford to spend that on what is essentially aesthetics. I’ve played some of them and they are nice guitars but is a core guitar with a ten or wood library top worth 8 times as much as my SE custom? Not to me it’s not but someone out there has the expendable income and that top and look is worth it to them.

    My main point is the majority of the blame has to go to the uneducated and impulsive buyers who find themselves with guitars with issues because they didn’t do their research into their vendor and or didn’t inspect the guitar at the time of purchase.

    -k
     
  2. Great Gazoo

    Great Gazoo New Member

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    Actually, you said, originally, "Clearly, no one watched ..."

    That was addressed to everyone, in particular, so don't play the innocent card now.

    But I think I've had quite enough.
     
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  3. Live2Jam

    Live2Jam New Member

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    I don't play innocent anything. You clearly cant comprehend. In particular isnt everyone. You didnt watch a damn thing if you think those 2 guitars inlays differ.
     
  4. alantig

    alantig SSBMA

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    $4,500.
     
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  5. Mozzi

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

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    And you are completely missing the point too. These are fully functional quality instruments in their price bracket. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with the way they function as an instrument, the way the sound, the way they play etc. This is still a $1k guitar because it still plays, functions etc as ALL the other $1k SE's. They may not be a 'Chinese' copy but they are an Asian copy made in the same factories as all the other imported guitars from brands like Chapman, Schecter, Ibanez, Sterling etc - Certainly a lot of Guitars that are in the same price bracket as PRS and not completely exempt from issues that some purchaser has deemed 'unacceptable' for the money they spent.

    Fundamentally there is nothing wrong with them as 'instruments'. They can be taken straight out of the box and be played without any issue which I assume is the primary reason they go to PRS to be checked to see if they are fully functional and playable instruments or not. As such, PRS has deemed that there is absolutely nothing wrong with them as 'instruments'. Its not as if the neck is twisted, the frets are not level or properly spaced so they cannot be properly intonated, not as if the Bridge doesn't function as a tremolo or the tuners keep slipping, the electrics all work as expected etc You can plug it in and play and it will play, function and sound as expected. as it was built to do, as every other $1k SE.

    Whilst I can understand the disappointment in buying an instrument at any price point and discovering a purely cosmetic 'issue' that you as a customer dislike. I have seen £2-3k guitars being sold with 'cosmetic' issues where stain has bled into the binding, those multi-layer binding not aligned properly when they meet, ugly glue ridge around the neck pocket where it was 'squeezed' out when the neck was glued in. I have even seen a gap in the neck pocket join, Side dots not aligned and centred properly (Something Henning Pauly often points out - a pet peeve of his), talking of HP42, tuner knobs not sanded so the mould edge is visible and can be felt too, Back plates not recessed (a pet peeve of mine - especially on guitars over £1k), screw missing on a scratch plate, tuners that are not fitted properly (they may work, but from the back they are not perfectly aligned - cosmetic issue), marks in the fretboard that must be where 'chips' have been repaired on a brand new guitar etc. I have seen issues that affect the function too - tone/volume knobs that don't function properly - get down to 3 or 4 and anything below that does nothing or just cuts out, switches that aren't fitted properly, nut slots not cut properly, cut evenly and even with 'sharp' edges that can cut people, loose tuners, something 'sharp' on the bridge that causes strings to break etc. I know if I was to buy a £3k guitar and I hadn't noticed one (or more) of these issues in store or in 'pictures' on the website (as Pictures can be misleading as well as not show everything clearly - especially areas that may contain an issue), I too would be disappointed. I know that for some $500 is a LOT of money to spend on a guitar let alone $1k and they want their guitar to look 'perfect' (in their eyes) whether its a Made in the US 'core' or an Asia made copy built cheaply to sell as an 'official licenced copy' as the SE line is.

    Any purchaser of an SE though is still getting one of the best instruments in its price point as far as playability and function. What one person thinks is a cosmetic flaw, another may consider it a cosmetic quirk, something that makes that different and more unique than any of the others that are the same model and colour. These people are still getting a $1k guitar that plays, sounds and functions perfectly like all other $1k guitar in the same model line.

    Point is that guitars make it to market that aren't '100%' cosmetically perfect, some that aren't 'perfect' to play either without spending time and effort to get them up to standard. Take the 'side-dots' as an example, should a guitar be scrapped because the side dots are not perfectly aligned with the 'middle' of the Fret, some also not perfectly aligned with the middle of the 'binding' or fretboard - some a but lower than others? That's the same principal as the 'birds' not being dead centre of the fret and the side dots is generally what the player sees and uses when they play. These are 'cosmetically' not 'perfect' either but do not affect the instrument as far as playability and function. Should a $1k (or more) Guitar be scrapped because someone drilled the hole for the side dot slightly out of perfect alignment - does that render the whole guitar as 'scrap' because its not 'perfect' cosmetically?

    Cosmetics is a very grey area as what someone considers not a major issue, may even like the fact its not 'perfect' because it shows some 'human' error compared to machine like perfection. The whole 10-top too is some persons personal opinion on what makes one bit of maple cosmetically better than some others. I personally don't like a lot of the '10-top' guitars as much as the regular core versions - my Custom 24 or example to me is one of the best tops I have seen - mostly because of the 'Chevron' style book matching. I don't really like the flame maple tops that look very even and look almost like a ruler has been used to draw lines across the body as quite a few 10tops do. I much prefer the tops that has more irregular lines, different lengths, thicknesses etc as well as being able to see the natural grain quite easily as I think these more irregular looking tops have more character, more unique qualities.

    Again getting a bit off topic but does illustrate that cosmetics are a grey area - what one deems worthy of a 10top, another may not. What PRS deem 'acceptable' for their SE line cosmetically speaking, another may not - even if both agree that the guitar is a fully functioning, fully playable musical instrument. Both PRS and Customer may agree that the guitar plays, sounds and functions perfectly as anyone expected that guitar to play, sound and function! What we have here though is a 'difference' of opinion over the tolerance limit for cosmetics - what PRS has deemed as acceptable, within tolerance, the permissible limit or limits of variation in the cosmetic finish, another has disagreed.

    Paul himself will talk about PRS tolerances for their 'US' made guitar line, something that makes all US built PRS guitars amazingly consistent. PRS have much stricter tolerances with QC checks along the way so that 'any' US built PRS that is not up to standard at any point will either be fixed before it progresses or scrapped so no more time, money and effort is wasted on it. These are 'not' PRS guitars in the sense that they were built and assembled by PRS staff with all the same QC checks along the way but basically a licensed Asian 'copy' contracted by and built for PRS cheaply so they can offer a 'PRS' guitar to the $1k and under guitar purchasers. These guitars that have been built abroad have been deemed good enough to send to PRS by the Indonesian (I assume) manufacturer. Obviously, the fact it has PRS on the headstock, PRS want to check each instrument to see if it comes up to a certain standard, that it is at least 'fit for purpose'. As far as I can tell, every one of these guitars have been 'fit for purpose' on that they play, sound and function like every other $1k SE in the same model line.

    As far as hitting the criteria of a fully functioning and playable instrument, that criteria appears to have been met. The tolerance limit PRS uses to asses them 'cosmetically' though haven't met the customers expectation. So again I state, at what point does a 'cosmetic only' issue fall outside the tolerance for an instrument built by another company for PRS? It doesn't matter that the customer should have been more vigilant because that guitar was still on the market and could still have been bought. Assuming it was checked by PRS, that guitar must have passed the cosmetic tolerance limit but again I also ask, at what point does PRS deem a guitar's cosmetic issue to significant enough, it has to be scrapped even if it meets all the criteria for a fully functioning instrument? There are still a LOT of people that could make full use of it because its a fully working and playable instrument - Kids, schools, veterans etc - it's still a $1k guitar as far as playability, parts and functionality. If PRS were to give these guitars away, that cost would have to be met by customers and therefore push prices up.

    I think I have made my point that no doubt you will still completely miss. The fact that some SE's may hit the $1k mark - certainly not all - is irrelevant, the guitar is still a fully functioning guitar that plays, sounds and works the same as all other $1k SE's in the same model line. It still works, plays and sounds like all the other $1k SE's, they are still getting all the features, the hardware, the electronics etc that all other $1k SE's have. It doesn't have a repaired broken Headstock or a big dent in it where it was dropped, the birds are still in the right frets so not 'confusing' to play so should this really be scrapped, should PRS write off a $1k guitar for something that doesn't actually effect its use and function?
     
  6. Kdogg788

    Kdogg788 New Member

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    I'm not telling you any of these guitars should be scrapped. In fact, in my opinion many of these issues are blown completely out of proportion. If the buyer didn't like the way the birds were inlaid they should have immediately gotten a return if that was the store's policy. Most of these people however either buy a guitar online without pictures or documentation like they're buying a cell phone case or grab one of the wall and run out the door with it without really checking the guitar. A great majority of the issues that I've seen posted on here are things that either don't affect the guitar in any way or are cosmetic defects that many times you wouldn't be able to see when playing (like the routing on the back). So you're more or less agreeing with me that while there may be small defects, basic QC is still the responsibility of PRS and their subcontractors, and the buyer has the final responsibility over what they purchase as well as being aware of the store policies at point of purchase.

    I've personally only handled about 20 individual PRS SEs and while that isn't a representative sample of the SE guitars out in the wild now, in 90% I haven't seen anything wrong with them. The ones I did were super minor things like the back cavity having some irregular routing around the cover (not that you can see it when it's pressed against you playing it). Enough of these comments have been made that I am more careful when looking at the Indonesian made guitars. That's not to say that they are bad, I mean the Zebrawood Indonesians that I've played in particular have all been great guitars, but I put a little extra time inspecting them over.

    -k
     
  7. Mozzi

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

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    Maybe we are in agreement and that the 'purchaser' should be the final QC check of an instrument - what they decide doesn't meet their expectation, their tolerance limits. If, at the end of the day, the guitar doesn't meet their own expectation, then they either don't buy or 'return' if bought online sight unseen.

    The question though still arises as to what tolerance limits PRS employ for purely cosmetic issues and whether people's expectation for SE's are 'unreasonable' for what they are getting. Both you and I appear to agree that it is ridiculous to scrap a $1k guitar for a purely minor cosmetic issue that does not affect the functionality or playability of the instrument. Its still a fully functioning instrument that is performing the same as any other $1k PRS SE in the same model line, still plays the same, sounds the same and has the same materials, hardware and time spent creating it as any other. So what does those that find minor cosmetic issues think PRS should have done?

    Anything other than passing it as 'acceptable', within their tolerance limit, is likely to incur a cost. Whether that is to rip the fretboard off and replace it with another one, sand the guitar down to its bare wood and refinish, order or make a custom Back Plate to fit 'perfectly' into a recess (when other Manufacturers don't even offer recessed back plates on $3k guitars) etc just to 'correct' any minor flaw that has no impact on it as a fully functioning and playable instrument like every other $1k SE's, scrap it entirely themselves, send it back to the factory to 'correct/repair/scrap' or do whatever PRS do with the instruments that 'fail' their QC check for more major issues (like twisted/warped necks for example - if these occur). These still incurred costs that would need to be met by the customers.

    If the cost of making and shipping these guitars, then QC'ing and scrapping any that don't meet the criteria becomes too expensive, that PRS cannot sell for under $1k without incurring losses - they have the option to seek an alternative factory that can make the guitars more consistently, raise the prices of SE's OR drop the SE line altogether so the 'entry' point to PRS is the S2. They will not sell SE's at a loss. The price customers pay includes the materials and labour costs, the shipping to PRS, the staff bill for QC'ing, the distribution costs, retailer profits but also any additional costs to cover the cost of the guitars that didn't make it to market, the ones that were still built, shipped and 'scrapped' for not meeting the standards. If 10 out of every 100 that come into PRS fail QC, those 10 would still need to be paid for in the price of the other 90 that make it to market.

    In a 'perfect' world, ALL the guitars PRS receive from Indonesia/Korea should come in with nothing more needed than a quick check and set-up before sending out. Every guitar is 'perfect' within the margin of tolerance. As I have said numerous times now, that we as customers do not know what the tolerance level for SE's is. For all we know, that one with bird alignment being slightly out, could have been the best sounding and playing guitar in that whole batch. It maybe the equivalent of buying a $1k 4k HDR TV and complaining that there is a dead pixel in the top corner (within the tolerance limits by that manufacturer and only noticeable from 1" away and when a 'light' colour is being displayed), making such a fuss about it, complaining on the forums and then the replacement has much more noticeable DSE when watching sport, colour banding and light bleed that makes the blacks look dark grey in certain scenes - still all within the tolerance levels but overall a 'worse' viewing experience. Instead of that TV, the replacement guitar may have the birds perfectly aligned but doesn't play as well, doesn't sound quite as good, doesn't resonate quite as nicely - still within 'tolerance' of course...

    By the time it reaches the Customer though, it must surely have passed numerous Quality Checks - the one in the factory that would of been done before packing it to send to PRS, the check that PRS carried out, the store who received it and should have checked it either before it was put out on display for customers to buy or before they sent it out to a customer who purchased online. The 'final' check has to be done by the customer themselves. At the end of the day, they have to accept responsibility if purchasing in store and exercise their rights to send a guitar back within the allotted time if purchased online. Its their responsibility to do that final check. That's different though to their warranty if something 'breaks' due to a manufacturing fault and not a user fault of course.

    I doubt we will actually here what the tolerance limits are for SE guitars where the issues are purely cosmetic. TV manufacturers for example may have a stricter tolerance for dead pixels in the centre of a TV and less strict around the outer portion like PRS may have stricter tolerances on playability and functionality than they do for cosmetic issues. We don't know what percentage of guitars don't make it to retailers either. For all we know, the move to Indonesia has reduced the percentage of guitars, that overall the quality is better because a higher number of the guitars are being passed as 'acceptable'. Those that do make it to retailers are still (generally) getting a $1k guitar that plays, sounds and feels like all the other $1k guitar of the same brand and model.
     
  8. Live2Jam

    Live2Jam New Member

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    FWIW....This may be a thing. Another vid was posted last night and the inlays are the same as the OP's and other vids. Thats 4 real world fiddles.




    Edit.....They are some now available that arent under the wire.
     
    #88 Live2Jam, Apr 23, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  9. Ovibos

    Ovibos Unsure why all necks aren't rosewood

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    I think I mostly agree with @Mozzi (altho I'll be honest that I can't read that much text at once and need a TL;DR sometimes).

    However, I'd be pretty sad if I got headless birds.

    I also would think of it as a bit of a 'brown M&M' situation. Van Halen didn't put that famous tour rider in b/c they were capricious jerks. They had a complicated stage setup that needed to be done right, or it would be unsafe. When they walked into a venue and there was a bowl of M&Ms with brown ones not removed, it was a signal that they needed to assume the venue hadn't read the rider carefully at all and they should be extra careful. (I didn't understand this until John Flansburgh of 'They Might Be Giants' explained it)

    So I might look at headless birds as brown M&Ms. If they got that wrong, what else did they miss?
     
  10. Kdogg788

    Kdogg788 New Member

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    I've seen other videos were they inlays are not trapped beneath the fret wire. Also, I've been looking through the websites of online retailers who have pictures of the guitars posted and have yet to find any that have the inlays as they were in the OP and couple videos on Youtube. I'd be surprised to see this being a mass issue with all Paul's SEs.

    -k
     
  11. alantig

    alantig SSBMA

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    One advantage to headless birds is I don't have to see their looks of disapproval when I'm playing.
     
  12. Live2Jam

    Live2Jam New Member

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    Yea, I just seen a couple that arent under the wire. Maybe it was just a small batch or something.
     
  13. Acnestes

    Acnestes "If I can do it, it's not art." - Red Green

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    Has it occured to anyone else that upside down, the owl on the 24th fret looks like a penguin?
     
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  14. Kdogg788

    Kdogg788 New Member

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    What if it is a penguin? Maybe if I had loads of disposable income I could do up a private stock with penguin inlays...

    -k
     
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  15. alantig

    alantig SSBMA

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    I keep my penguin on the telly.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Acnestes

    Acnestes "If I can do it, it's not art." - Red Green

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    Nothing of significance. It's just a seeing faces in the clouds thing. I wondered if anyone else saw it.
    The marker on the 21st upside down looks like a cat climbing up the fret.
     
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  17. Great Gazoo

    Great Gazoo New Member

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    As the owner of a(n) (eclectus) parrot, I can think of another means by which a bird can express its displeasure with one's playing! :eek:
     
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  18. drot9

    drot9 New Member

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    I’m not quite getting the whole thing about it being okay for the guitar to have cosmetic defects when brand new as long as it is fully functioning and playable.

    If you want to use the car analogy, if you bought a brand new Honda Civic/Fit/Toyota Corolla, etc. and it functioned and ran and drove perfectly but the clear coat is peeling and there are giant weld globs and the logo on the hood was put on upside down, that doesn’t make it okay because it’s a 15-20k car versus a 50k Lexus which shouldn’t have any of those issues. The difference should be in the quality of parts and performance parts.

    Same with a guitar. There’s no complaining that an SE has “S” pick ups, veneered/laminate top versus solid pieces on the Core, a cheaper, plastic nut, cheaper, imported electronics, etc but if, in the example of my experience, there are globs of glue on the sides of the frets, peeling top coat/paint along the side of the frets also, I don’t think it can be just said “oh it’s an SE that’s fine.”

    The difference should be in the materials and parts, not come looking used/lazily built. Especially with PRS’ which start price wise basically above all other “starter” guitars.

    Again, I love PRS, will continue drooling over all PRS’ and fairly confident the guitar I receive will be perfect when it arrives.

    Seems to be more of a factory switching issue rather than anything else and will probably be sorted out eventually since I have full confidence in PRS.


    Still hoping whenever mine comes in, I’ll be able to show that the issues are outliers and not the norm.
     
  19. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    I think that the point is, what constitutes a cosmetic "defect" can be quite subjective. Some people don't see them as "defects", and some other people are fine with them, even if they are considered "defects" by others.

    The function/fit/feel/sound may well be the major determining factors as to whether or not a guitar passes QC. We have no idea what the factors are.

    So who decides about the cosmetic aspect of the guitar? Maybe initially QC makes a judgement call in some cases, based on extensive experience in this area, and then, ultimately, the customer decides whether or not they like the looks. I'm sure that a few unacceptable "defects" might get past QC, it happens with any mass produced product. It's not rocket science, if you don't like it, don't buy it. If you get one that you consider a lemon, return it and get another.

    Also, another point is that the sky is not falling, despite the numerous Chicken Little threads, apparently attempting to show otherwise. ;)
     
    #99 shimmilou, Apr 24, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
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  20. jxe

    jxe babe en der wood

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    dots under fretwire tho, it’s putting me off new se models, in spite of my cheapness. all part of paul’s divine plan, to be sure.
     
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