Private stock discussion (ordering cheap PS, ordering custom builds, and etc....)

PRSfanboy46

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Hey y'all, I just wanted to chat with y'all who either own a PS (off the shelf or custom made), have played one or just enjoy them. I have only gotten to touch one because I was too scared to play it.
My first topic I want to talk about is ordering the cheapest PS you can. Like some how, some way, you could probably order one for about 5000 or 7000 dollars. I mean yes, the wood in the vault is very expensive but you could find something that is decent and get yourself a PS. Heck I've seen PS that had tiny chips go for 5000 because those tiny chips. It was a Santana and it was 5 or 6000 from 2006. Like if anything, you could get something specific to your vision but something cheap. Go for something weird like a camphor burl, I've seen book matches go for 75 bucks for those.
If anyone has had experiences with ordering PS, what was it like? Is it really worth spending half a car on it?

Those who have had the joy of building a custom PS, did you find that you needed something that you've always wanted?
 

veinbuster

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Ordering is going to take more money than you have in mind.
If your financial situation is such that you are thinking of the cost as half a car, it isn’t your time yet.
A Private Stock makes sense when you have the discretionary funds and know what you want in a guitar well enough to spec a build that will keep you happy for a long time.
It’s a great experience when it’s your time.
 

PRSfanboy46

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Ordering is going to take more money than you have in mind.
If your financial situation is such that you are thinking of the cost as half a car, it isn’t your time yet.
A Private Stock makes sense when you have the discretionary funds and know what you want in a guitar well enough to spec a build that will keep you happy for a long time.
It’s a great experience when it’s your time.
It's just lumber at that point. I get the time and effort and the small team that take such high care with PS but there are some things that seem like hey, I could probably order a really cheap PS. Maybe if you went thinner on the cap, instead of a quarter inch thick, why not go an 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch thick for that cap? Why not do a multiple piece neck? Why not choose a really out there and odd wood like camphor burl or buckeye burl for the finger board? I get it, PS's are one offs, but if you did something like that, couldnt your price point be dramastically reduced?
 

bodia

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It's just lumber at that point. I get the time and effort and the small team that take such high care with PS but there are some things that seem like hey, I could probably order a really cheap PS. Maybe if you went thinner on the cap, instead of a quarter inch thick, why not go an 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch thick for that cap? Why not do a multiple piece neck? Why not choose a really out there and odd wood like camphor burl or buckeye burl for the finger board? I get it, PS's are one offs, but if you did something like that, couldnt your price point be dramastically reduced?
You can’t do things like that. You’d be better off looking for a Wood Library run. I have a 509 that we never thought would see the light of day outside of PS. One member got in touch with a dealer, the went to PRS to see if it would fly. It did.
 

SinSir

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If you just want a private stock, dont have a specific build in mind, and are ok with a blemish but price is the deciding factor... Why not watch the used market? If it was me and price was the decision maker I wouldnt consider myself a private stock customer ready for the factory yet.
 

PRSfanboy46

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You can’t do things like that. You’d be better off looking for a Wood Library run. I have a 509 that we never thought would see the light of day outside of PS. One member got in touch with a dealer, the went to PRS to see if it would fly. It did.
Whats with the wood library? Is it one below PS? Somewhere around artist grade where you can customize things?
 

PRSfanboy46

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Skilled labor is expensive. All the time and effort that small team puts in really adds up.
Ok, I could ask them to make me a guitar out of ply wood from home depot, could they do that? I could probably pay maybe 2000 for that. I know it's sacrilige to do that but Paul has said he would want to do the home depot guitar challenge, where he takes all he can find in HD and makes a guitar out of it. I could take my idea to PRS and ask them for it.
 
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Mozzi

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It's just lumber at that point. I get the time and effort and the small team that take such high care with PS but there are some things that seem like hey, I could probably order a really cheap PS. Maybe if you went thinner on the cap, instead of a quarter inch thick, why not go an 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch thick for that cap? Why not do a multiple piece neck? Why not choose a really out there and odd wood like camphor burl or buckeye burl for the finger board? I get it, PS's are one offs, but if you did something like that, couldnt your price point be dramastically reduced?

Regardless of the 'thickness' of the 'finished' guitar, it will still start off as a blank of wood. The thinner the 'finished' guitar, the more that will need to be cut away and essentially wasted. That can cost more too because its not a 'standard' measurement and may need some special settings to ensure that the cavities are the right depth. Also may require some custom hardware to fit inside a thinner profile. You are paying for the time spent on all the fine details by the experienced Private Stock team, the time taken to hand sand perfectly in preparation for finish. Paying for the 'option' to spec your own PRS, pick the woods, pick the finish, pick the hardware etc.

A Wood Library is 'similar' - with more limitations on the options but a Store has to order a run of at least 10 (I believe) - not one offs and that is the type of price point you are talking about. Private stock is for individual one offs. If that is beyond your means, you are probably better off talking to a dealer about any plans they may have for a Wood Library run and maybe purchasing one of their runs - if their spec at least aligns with yours. Alternatively, look for a used PS or WL that may also be what you are looking for.

Its not 'just' lumber, but the most beautiful, most uniquely figured woods - the woods that if you wanted to buy from a wood yard would cost more because they can charge more - even if it comes from the same tree that less figured wood is selling cheaper. Figuring doesn't run through the whole tree or evenly so the more figured pieces command a premium. Certain wood types are also very expensive as they are not allowed to harvest from living trees so rely on finding dead/fallen trees. You also have importing and transportation costs, paperwork to show its been 'ethically' sourced etc.

Flame in maple is not 'normal' growth and you can't plant maple trees that will guarantee a flame or quilt figuring. You have to 'find' a tree that during its life, circumstances has caused that figuring. Burl, birdseye, Spalting etc are all things that happen to a tree during its life and/or death so these are not common or the 'normal' but when you find a tree with these, they create the more figured, beautiful woods we see and because its not the 'normal', they are more rare and more expensive.

A Private Stock guitar isn't just built out of 'generic' Mahogany or Maple, but out of the finest examples of specific woods that have been put to one side because of their unique figuring or scarcity. Built and finished by a team of experienced guitar makers to exacting specifications chosen by you - a personal guitar and as such, costs more - regardless! You can keep costs down by keeping it 'simple' but unless its a PS built in a Run, like the Graveyard series so not 1 off's, you can expect to pay significantly more than a wood library!
 

PRSfanboy46

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If you just want a private stock, dont have a specific build in mind, and are ok with a blemish but price is the deciding factor... Why not watch the used market? If it was me and price was the decision maker I wouldnt consider myself a private stock customer ready for the factory yet.
Well I think that Santana I mentioned was a steal. But PS are either you play them or you don't/
 

PRSfanboy46

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Regardless of the 'thickness' of the 'finished' guitar, it will still start off as a blank of wood. The thinner the 'finished' guitar, the more that will need to be cut away and essentially wasted. That can cost more too because its not a 'standard' measurement and may need some special settings to ensure that the cavities are the right depth. Also may require some custom hardware to fit inside a thinner profile. You are paying for the time spent on all the fine details by the experienced Private Stock team, the time taken to hand sand perfectly in preparation for finish. Paying for the 'option' to spec your own PRS, pick the woods, pick the finish, pick the hardware etc.

A Wood Library is 'similar' - with more limitations on the options but a Store has to order a run of at least 10 (I believe) - not one offs and that is the type of price point you are talking about. Private stock is for individual one offs. If that is beyond your means, you are probably better off talking to a dealer about any plans they may have for a Wood Library run and maybe purchasing one of their runs - if their spec at least aligns with yours. Alternatively, look for a used PS or WL that may also be what you are looking for.

Its not 'just' lumber, but the most beautiful, most uniquely figured woods - the woods that if you wanted to buy from a wood yard would cost more because they can charge more - even if it comes from the same tree that less figured wood is selling cheaper. Figuring doesn't run through the whole tree or evenly so the more figured pieces command a premium. Certain wood types are also very expensive as they are not allowed to harvest from living trees so rely on finding dead/fallen trees. You also have importing and transportation costs, paperwork to show its been 'ethically' sourced etc.

Flame in maple is not 'normal' growth and you can't plant maple trees that will guarantee a flame or quilt figuring. You have to 'find' a tree that during its life, circumstances has caused that figuring. Burl, birdseye, Spalting etc are all things that happen to a tree during its life and/or death so these are not common or the 'normal' but when you find a tree with these, they create the more figured, beautiful woods we see and because its not the 'normal', they are more rare and more expensive.

A Private Stock guitar isn't just built out of 'generic' Mahogany or Maple, but out of the finest examples of specific woods that have been put to one side because of their unique figuring or scarcity. Built and finished by a team of experienced guitar makers to exacting specifications chosen by you - a personal guitar and as such, costs more - regardless! You can keep costs down by keeping it 'simple' but unless its a PS built in a Run, like the Graveyard series so not 1 off's, you can expect to pay significantly more than a wood library!
Well I do know that the figuring is really rare and special, but then why would they turn maybe a 100 dollar piece of wood into a guitar and charge 5000-10000 dollars?
 

bodia

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Well I do know that the figuring is really rare and special, but then why would they turn maybe a 100 dollar piece of wood into a guitar and charge 5000-10000 dollars?
You’re not paying for the wood. You’re paying for the artisan workmanship that goes into making it.
 

bodia

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Whats with the wood library? Is it one below PS? Somewhere around artist grade where you can customize things?
Wood Library is a build that a dealer can do with woods and accessories that are outside of the Core offerings. The dealer has to place an order for a minimum of 10 of these guitars. For example, the 509 I mentioned was 5 Artist grade quilts, and 5 Artist grade flame tops. Neck is maple, fretboard is maple, body is swamp ash with a maple cap. All hardware is smoked chrome. That’s not something you could get in a Core model. Artist packs no longer are in the current product offering.

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/blog/post/the_wood_library_what_is_it

Check out the Authorized Dealer section of the forum to see some of the WL runs that Brian’s Guitars, Eddies Guitars, Jack Gretz (Northeast Music) have done.
 

markd21

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I spec'd a "cheap" PS, though that wasn't the goal. By cheap I still mean significantly more than my WL, Artist, or my Modern Eagle V....

I wanted some Gretsch-like, because at the time I was loving Duo Jets, and was playing them A LOT.

I wanted a single it, 245 scale, standard wood - no exotic mahogany, a plain maple top, wide-fat neck, standard radius and frets. No inlay on top, Indian Rosewood fretboard, neck binding.

I wanted the aluminum wrap-around bridge, and the Vela electronics. I wanted all nickel hardware. There would be clear/black lampshades.

The headstock would have had the gold signature logo, and be finished in black. It would have the standard locking tuners.

The top, back, and neck would be finished in Gretsch Orange. There would be natural binding.

Fairly basic, pretty plain looking....you'd think, based on your concept of wood, that this guitar would be cheap....

PRS gave my dealer a quote, and it wasn't terribly expensive, comparetivly, but I was still looking at upper nines.

There are deals to be had if you are ready. Wood Library guitars are sweet. I had a great CU22 with a quilted 10top finished in a PS color, with an ebony fingerboard, hybrid hardware, 85/15LT pickups. Hot it brand new in a blow out sale because it was a year old.

PS is pricey. They create amazing instruments. I have never played a PS that smoked a Core. There are differences - and you can immediately tell the differences in the unique builds...when there are minor tweaks to the Core formula - but as a player I have found that build-wise I am happy with a Core.

The only reason I'd ever do s PS is to combine my favorite model features into one guitar.

Get a Core, or many, and see what you dig before figuring out ways to sneak around the price of a PS.
 

PRSfanboy46

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I spec'd a "cheap" PS, though that wasn't the goal. By cheap I still mean significantly more than my WL, Artist, or my Modern Eagle V....

I wanted some Gretsch-like, because at the time I was loving Duo Jets, and was playing them A LOT.

I wanted a single it, 245 scale, standard wood - no exotic mahogany, a plain maple top, wide-fat neck, standard radius and frets. No inlay on top, Indian Rosewood fretboard, neck binding.

I wanted the aluminum wrap-around bridge, and the Vela electronics. I wanted all nickel hardware. There would be clear/black lampshades.

The headstock would have had the gold signature logo, and be finished in black. It would have the standard locking tuners.

The top, back, and neck would be finished in Gretsch Orange. There would be natural binding.

Fairly basic, pretty plain looking....you'd think, based on your concept of wood, that this guitar would be cheap....

PRS gave my dealer a quote, and it wasn't terribly expensive, comparetivly, but I was still looking at upper nines.

There are deals to be had if you are ready. Wood Library guitars are sweet. I had a great CU22 with a quilted 10top finished in a PS color, with an ebony fingerboard, hybrid hardware, 85/15LT pickups. Hot it brand new in a blow out sale because it was a year old.

PS is pricey. They create amazing instruments. I have never played a PS that smoked a Core. There are differences - and you can immediately tell the differences in the unique builds...when there are minor tweaks to the Core formula - but as a player I have found that build-wise I am happy with a Core.

The only reason I'd ever do s PS is to combine my favorite model features into one guitar.

Get a Core, or many, and see what you dig before figuring out ways to sneak around the price of a PS.
I would consider getting a core first, because when I've played an CE, I loved it, and if thats just below core, then I have good expectations.
 

veinbuster

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Ok, I could ask them to make me a guitar out of ply wood from home depot, could they do that? I could probably pay maybe 2000 for that. I know it's sacrilige to do that but Paul has said he would want to do the home depot guitar challenge, where he takes all he can find in HD and makes a guitar out of it. I could take my idea to PRS and ask them for it.
No, they will not build your Private Stock from plywood, or any random chunk of wood you find on the street.
Yes, Paul could build a guitar from Home Depot...but he wouldn’t do it for you. He would do it for science.
 

DougUSMC

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I think it's important to understand that (IMO) PRS intentionally sets up their lines with capabilities and appropriate price points:
- SE: Entry level student guitars, priced at or below $900?
- CE: Next level up, higher quality, high quantity, FOREIGN MADE guitars, priced around $2000
- Core: Higher quality, lower quantity, US MADE guitars, priced ~ $4-5k
- PS: Highest quality, single build, US MADE with a dedicated team of builders ~ $9k+

You'll notice (and I admit I rounded a bit to make my point) that the prices approximately double at each point. I think that's intentional, and shows a smart understanding of their market. It's a combination of the materials used and who/where builds the guitars.

I can tell you from my own experience w/the PS build process, that it's the time and attention to detail that brings the price up to what you see. There's a HUGE difference with building a guitar a day (PS), vs. building 20 a day (Core) or building 200 a day (CE), and that's the big cost driver. It's not the wood that's the cost driver, it's the people/time/labor that does. What you're asking for is a PS priced at a Core point, I don't see it happening.

Here's my family photo, from left to right: SE, Core, PS
zNuHdH8.jpg


I'll admit the picture doesn't do it justice. In person, and playability, you can absolutely tell.
 
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