Pre-purchase questions. PRS or Parker guitar?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by andretoscano, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. andretoscano

    andretoscano New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok.
    So I know I'm asking for it, but bear with me for a second, please...
    Put yourself in my shoes. You're not rich, you've been saving, and you live in a small european country where it's difficult to try good quality guitars.
    That forces me to spend more time online, reading these forums, studying websites, learning with others experience's, watching (a lot!) of YouTube videos, etc. etc.

    And I've narrowed down my choice to two guitars, in the hope they don't disappoint me when I finally get my hands on them.

    It's either going to be a PRS S2 Custom 24 (30th Anniv.), or a Parker Nitefly Ghost (RF522).

    I know people in this forum will be partial to the PRS choice (no sh*t?), but here are my appreciations so far for both models.
    Hopefully, you can help me decide why I should get the PRS over the Parker.


    PRS S2 Custom 24 (30th anniv.)

    - it's beautiful!
    - from what I've heard over the web, it sounds full and organic, great for rock/hard-rock/metal (stuff that I play 70% of the time)
    - saw some videos detailing the production methods, and enjoyed the great care they put into the manufacturing process
    - the price seems fair


    Parker Nitefly RF522 Ghost

    - somewhat more excentric and cool design factor (very light)
    - has the piezo pickup for acoustic sounds, which I'll probably use every once in a while (and it's always nice to know it's there on tap)
    - seems like the ability to maintain tunning is one of its biggest strengths
    - from what I've heard, sounds like it's a great guitar for clean/jazzy/bluesy sounds, very transparent and articulate, although I'm not sure if it's a good guitar for rock/hard/metal stuff
    - it's a tad on the expensive side

    Again, I know you people will be partial to the PRS, and that's why I'm here.

    If you were in my shoes, what would make you choose the PRS over the Parker?

    Thanks!


    Best regards.
    André
     
    #1 andretoscano, Mar 6, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  2. prs1979

    prs1979 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello André,

    I'm considering the S2 Custom 24 myself. Can't help you on the choice but I guess with PRS USA you cannot go wrong.
     
  3. WEDGE

    WEDGE Zombie five, DFZ

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    3,973
    Likes Received:
    3,974
    Why not look at a P22 or P24 that have the built in piezo and have the best of both worlds?
     
  4. andretoscano

    andretoscano New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I didn't even go there, because the P22/24 are more than double the price of the Custom 24.
    And I'm not sure if I'm up to another year of savings just to get that, with the Parker option (with the piezo already built-in) being 40% cheaper than the P24...

    But anyway, it's not like I'm in a terrible need of the acoustic sounds.
    I like the idea of having that option, but it's not a deal breaker as it's something that can always be retrofitted.

    Just wanted to hear some arguments as to what made current PRS owners decide over other similarly priced options (like the Parkers).
    That will help me form a more informed opinion.

    Thanks!
     
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,122
    Likes Received:
    30,739
    The two guitars are so different, it's difficult to compare them! So I'll explain why I play PRS guitars.

    I love the tone and personality of a PRS. The sound of the woods used to make the guitar and all the little details of the tone really come through. I like the pickups. The guitars are capable of all of the traditional electric guitar sounds, and then some. The quality is remarkable. The playability is excellent.

    I've played a few Parkers, and they were interesting, professional instruments, too. But for me, a certain richness of tone was missing.

    There's also the whole issue of looks/personality of the instrument. I find the PRS much more inspiring to play. In a way, the Parker struck me as a really great guitar appliance, in the way a modeling amp is a really great amplifier appliance. You can get good things out of both, but I needed something more than the Parker offers.
     
    #5 LSchefman, Mar 6, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  6. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,913
    Likes Received:
    2,726
    Comparing PRS to Parker is like comparing a pickup to a sports car. Both are useful tools, but they are suited to very different tasks.

    You simply have to play the two choices side by side (hopefully through a reasonable example of your own signal chain of cables, pedals and amp). Only by getting them in your hands can you make the comparisons that are critical for you.

    The members her will be happy to list what they like about their guitars and even what they would change, but you will still have to try these choices to see if they work for you.

    Good luck in your search.
     
  7. mojo1fan

    mojo1fan New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    235
    I owned a Parker NiteFly way back when. I recall it had a very flat fingerboard radius. Are they still making them that way? Other than that it was a pretty cool guitar. I played in country/western swing bands, and it was definitely a conversation starter.
     
  8. django49

    django49 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    935
    I played out a fair amount (back when) using a Parker. Interestingly, I rotated that with a couple other guitars, including a PRS Swamp Ash Special. I tended to use a bit of the piezo blended in to the magnetic pickup sound, largely when playing cleaner (as in behind a singer doing less than loud rock). It gave me sounds that other guitar players commented on positively. I did not use the piezo a lot on its own.

    From your music likes, I would assume you will tend to play with both volume and gain. If so, the piezo would be of less interest, most likely. That being the case, the PRS is probably more optimal.

    BTW, I went through several Parkers, finally ending up with a Mojo Fly. I like the layout of controls and the Duncan pickups better than the originals, which had DiMarzios.

    The shape of the Fly is not so hard to get used to. And they play wonderfully. For me it works better standing than sitting, where the upper horn can be irritating.
     
    #8 django49, Mar 6, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  9. RavensDave

    RavensDave New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    1
    So are you here because you want us to talk you into the PRS? Because if that's the case.......we can talk you into the PRS. :biggrin:
     
  10. Raven17

    Raven17 Joey Tatts

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    Messages:
    962
    Likes Received:
    25
    I have a parker in my collection now and it's a really neat, interesting, fast playing guitar. It has many tone possibilities with its H-S-S+piezo pups. But for me it suffers from a terminal case of dead. It's really empty and lifeless compared to any of my PRSi. I really can't even come up with a good reason why I still own it other than its a curiosity. Go for the PRS, you'll never regret it.
     
  11. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    4,704
    Likes Received:
    5,430
    Since you live in a "small European country", is it possible to hop across a border or two to get to one of the other European countries that do have PRSi available to sample, maybe make a weekend holiday out of it? Here in the US, if we don't have guitars nearby to try that we really want to sample in person, we'll drive to a neighboring state - maybe a 4 or 5 hour drive, and make a weekend trip out of it. Or do like my buddy, who stayed in Florida for his weekend trip, but drove a few hours to try out a couple of axes, one a PRSi (he ended up buying both guitars he was interested in!).

    That being said, the two manufacturers you mentioned are very different in execution, even though both are guitars that play well. As rugerpc said, it's kind of like you are comparing a pickup truck or utility van to a sports car. They are both suitable for certain needs, and sometimes you want a bit of sexiness in your ride, so a sports car with a big trunk might be preferred.

    Personally, I really like PRSi. I lusted after one for so many years, and when I finally got one I realized I wanted more. They really do feel that good in my hands, compared to other instruments, and I really like their aesthetics.

    But you may feel the exact same way about the Parker. Horses for courses, and all that.
     
  12. Drew

    Drew New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    758
    Having owned a Parker, I can say that the design philosophies are different between Parker and PRS. Parker was always and to a certain extent still is designed as a gigging musicians axe. If you only wanted to lug one guitar to a gig that could reasonably replicate everything in your arsenal, the Parker was/is it. The extreme light weight on most models plays into that too as do the stainless frets. Its almost ergonomic perfection. 3 Hours with a Fly or Nite Fly strapped to you wasn't any chore. That being said, Parkers generally have no voice of their own. They can be very sterile. Thus, I never hear of anyone ever writing music on them. But, people who perform regularly swear by them as performance instruments. It all depends on how you intend to use it. A hobbyist who doesn't want a large collection but just wants one thing that can do many styles might gravitate to a Parker. Pure tone hounds will go the PRS route.
     
  13. Kazz

    Kazz Kaptain Kazz of the Triple Sickle Alliance

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    77
    If you can't try the actual guitars you want to buy, you might want to at least check out their measurements and other specs and see what similar things you could check out.

    Of course you can't completely judge one guitar by playing another, but you can get some ideas of what you like and dislike.

    For example, I tried for a while to play my brother's Squire and the narrow neck drove me crazy. I have an acoustic I'm much more comfortable with, and fortunately the PRS wide necks feel a lot more similar (and therefor more comfortable and playable) to me. That's one of the many reasons I went with PRS. :)
     
  14. Jon van derlim

    Jon van derlim New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    2
    Don't know if the Parker you are considering is made the same as this one but this would certainly sway my decision

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMD39WKOuKo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TZAXIzihmM

    I only have an SE C24 and I absolutely love it, I would consider nothing else in its price range and quite a bit further above, in fact I went to the UK Guitar show last weekend and tried lots of Guitars in the £700-£999.00 price range from many different makers and I would say my trusty SE was easily as good and as playable.

    I did try a couple of S2's and they really where exceptional instruments in comparison with there piers such as USA Fenders etc.

    just my 2p :)
     
  15. andretoscano

    andretoscano New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks!
    That "guitar appliance" was a very nice metaphor. I think I understand what you're saying, that nearly-there-but-not-exactly-there-kind-of-thing.
     
  16. andretoscano

    andretoscano New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did play with one PRS SE line a couple of months back (the Paul Allender model...) and I can't say I've had a positive experience.
    The guitar guy in that shop told me there is no difference in neck radius between that specific Paull Allender model and the more expensive Custom 22/24's.
    I found that guitar to have a bulky neck, definitely bulkier than the guitar I've been using for the past 20 years (an 1990 Ibanez PGM100 original Paul Gilbert model, with a very thin neck).

    Soundwise it also wasn't that much of an experience, although the blame should be shared with the crappy Roland Cube amp the guy set me up with, and the fact that the strings were dirty and sticky.
    All the demos I've heard online of the Custom 24 sound way more amazing than what I've tested, so I'm assuming that there really are tangible differences between the SE and the S2 Custom 24 line (hence the difference in price).

    Can someone confirm (or disprove) that even the Custom 24's have a bulky neck?
     
  17. andretoscano

    andretoscano New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks.
    I get what you're saying. The piezo thing would be a nice addition, but honestly I think I can live without it (as even the clean sounds I use are not that clean).
     
  18. andretoscano

    andretoscano New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I wouldn't expect less from you guys... especially given that I've already posted exactly the same question at the Parker forum! :flute:
    Just wanted to hear both sides of the story.

    But from what I'm reading though, my motivations seem to be more aligned with the PRS users. People seem to use words like "organic" and "human" when referring to PRS, and words like "clean" and "precise" when referring to the Parker.
    So I guess that talking about rock/hard/metal/bluesy stuff, PRS is the way to go.

    Anyway, I'll be playing the lottery this weekend, so maybe I'll get them both, who knows?
     
  19. prs1979

    prs1979 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Now that you mentioned that, I recall I tried a SE Custom Semi Hollow (exactly like the one below) and was rather underwhelmed with the guitar. Action was kinda high and the pickups sounded so-so. Playability was not very good. BUT I always take into consideration, sometimes, music stores are not the ideal place to properly try gear. Other people's playing, chatting and the sometimes crappy amps at disposal are things to consider into the equation.

    Ever since I never played another PRS but I always had that "itch" for one. I was thinking following the SE route (a C24) but I'm trying to gather some more to buy an S2. Let's see. And good luck with your choice ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Chiliphil1

    Chiliphil1 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    2
    Go with the PRS, you will not regret it. I have an s2 cu24 and I will tell you that hard rock/metal is what this thing is made to do! The pickups in this guitar are just thick, beefy, powerful, that combined with the woods make a guitar that sounds absolutely brutal through the right amp. However the beauty of PRS is that if you want to play something like classic rock it will do that perfectly as well. The neck is excellent, by far my favorite neck on any guitar I have played, the right amount of thickness and width. The body is excellent, extremely light, comfortable, never in the way, and it looks amazing. Fit and finish are perfect, the frets are spot on, there is not a single thing to complain about with the workmanship. The final thing to mention is the coil tapping, by pulling the tone knob up you can play in single coil mode on both pickups and this adds a whole new level of versatility to the guitar, now you can do jazz, blues, anything you want and everything the Parker can do and more.. The only thing I would recommend over the s2 would be a used core cu24 if you can find one but even then there is something nice about having a brand new guitar.

    You cannot go wrong with a PRS, period.

    As far as "bulky" necks, yes it is a thicker neck than you are used to. I have always been a thin neck guy, I played Ibanez and Jackson so I mean really thin necks. The first impression of this neck for me was not very good, I really wished it was thinner but after playing it for a few days I started to like it a lot. Now it is my all time favorite neck, the Jacksons and Ibanezes feel too thin to me now, it's not just the thickness but the profile, this neck is shaped to your hand very well and as a result I can play it for hours on end without my hand getting tired whereas the Ibanez neck makes my hand cramp after about 30 minutes or so.. So, yes it is a thick neck but it's shape makes it awesome, it doesn't feel like a baseball bat, it's got sort of a "v" to it that just works perfectly. I don't think you will have an issue with the neck at all. If you have ever played a Gibson or Epiphone guitar it will be sort of like that but a little thinner with a much better profile.
     
    #20 Chiliphil1, Mar 6, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice