PRS Robben Ford model

LSchefman

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PRS has done some commendable stuff in regards to moving some things forward. But, on the whole, PRS is very much a retro themed guitar company now. I don't know what your definition of "forward thinking" is. To me, the Parker Fly was an example of that. The first Steinbergers another. The Music Man Majesty is a modern example of something forward thinking. Then you have what Kiesel is doing with headless, multiscale, finishes, etc that are all looking to the future.

I had a Steinberger in the 80s, 35 or so years ago.

The Parker Fly was first produced nearly 30 years ago. Multiscale guitars have been around for a long time, too.

So what makes you believe the future is in headless, multi scale guitars? That stuff is all from a previous generation, and very few players are into them. Of course, that doesn't mean they're bad ideas, it simply means they don't sell well. Have you bought a multi scale, headless guitar yourself?

What do people seem to want? Well, they respond extremely well to traditional guitars. Maybe there are reasons for that. My son and his friends, who are considerably younger than you, and play professionally, are into vintage stuff. Yet they're far from vintage style players. Maybe vintage stuff points the way to what serious players and amateur players actually want to play?

Electric guitar playing is a mature art form. Just as with orchestral instruments, piano, organ, and others, mature art forms tend to cleave to mature types of instruments because they produce a certain sound. While there's a tremendous amount of innovation in orchestral writing and performing, orchestral instruments that are hundreds of years old are still being used and reproduced because they fit the art form.

Traditional electric guitars fit the art form of most players, regardless of style. The only thing truly new about the Music Man Majesty is how it looks (if you like that kind of appearance, more power to ya), and there are a few little electronic tweaks that don't amount to a hill of beans.

You want innovation? How about Narrowfield pickups, 408 pickups, TCI pickups, tuning machines that have been reinvented in several generations, a Gen III bridge that's only a few years old, and of course one could go on and on about what PRS has brought to the electric guitar.

What is it you'd actually like to spend your hard-earned cash on that PRS isn't already making? Just curious.
 

Stephen J.

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Apr 19, 2020
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I have always questioned my memory on this, but since we are talking about “new” features that actually aren’t, help set my mind straight on this. I remember being in a store in the early ‘90s and they had a 7 string guitar. This is where I question my memory. I remember the guy at the store telling me that it had a high A string below the high E, and that it was an .008 gauge string. The guy told me it was to give extra high range when soloing. It was the only seven string I saw until a decade or so later when the lower tuned stuff started gaining traction. Does anyone else remember anything like that?
 

markd21

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I have always questioned my memory on this, but since we are talking about “new” features that actually aren’t, help set my mind straight on this. I remember being in a store in the early ‘90s and they had a 7 string guitar. This is where I question my memory. I remember the guy at the store telling me that it had a high A string below the high E, and that it was an .008 gauge string. The guy told me it was to give extra high range when soloing. It was the only seven string I saw until a decade or so later when the lower tuned stuff started gaining traction. Does anyone else remember anything like that?

Yes. George Van Eps invented the 7-string in 1930. His had a low B so he could do basslines under his chord voicings. I do remember there being a 7 with a high A, but I don't remember who played it.
 

Drew

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Apr 26, 2012
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I had a Steinberger in the 80s, 35 or so years ago.

The Parker Fly was first produced nearly 30 years ago. Multiscale guitars have been around for a long time, too.

So what makes you believe the future is in headless, multi scale guitars? That stuff is all from a previous generation, and very few players are into them. Of course, that doesn't mean they're bad ideas, it simply means they don't sell well. Have you bought a multi scale, headless guitar yourself?

What do people seem to want? Well, they respond extremely well to traditional guitars. Maybe there are reasons for that. My son and his friends, who are considerably younger than you, and play professionally, are into vintage stuff. Yet they're far from vintage style players. Maybe vintage stuff points the way to what serious players and amateur players actually want to play?

Electric guitar playing is a mature art form. Just as with orchestral instruments, piano, organ, and others, mature art forms tend to cleave to mature types of instruments because they produce a certain sound. While there's a tremendous amount of innovation in orchestral writing and performing, orchestral instruments that are hundreds of years old are still being used and reproduced because they fit the art form.

Traditional electric guitars fit the art form of most players, regardless of style. The only thing truly new about the Music Man Majesty is how it looks (if you like that kind of appearance, more power to ya), and there are a few little electronic tweaks that don't amount to a hill of beans.

You want innovation? How about Narrowfield pickups, 408 pickups, TCI pickups, tuning machines that have been reinvented in several generations, a Gen III bridge that's only a few years old, and of course one could go on and on about what PRS has brought to the electric guitar.

What is it you'd actually like to spend your hard-earned cash on that PRS isn't already making? Just curious.

1) I have no issue with traditional guitars. I have some myself. Love them. All I said was I thought PRS was too fixated on just that market.

2) I disagree on your Majesty take. Have you played one??? The shape itself is specifically crafted to be the most ergonomic guitar you might ever play. They are also engineered to be light. They even went with an aluminum trem block to keep the weight down. The control layout first introduced in his original signature model follows the sweep/arc of ones arm. Even the toggle switch is directioned to follow that path. Polished ebony board plus the stainless frets makes for a really effortlessly playing neck. It's neck thru so the upper fret access is amazing. You dismiss the electronics but at your disposal you have a push/push pot that gives you a transparent boost due to an onboard pre-amp. So, built in solo boost function right there without needing it on the amp. Just using push push pots in general makes the guitar a lot easier vs push pull pots. You may not think some of those things are really all that innovative but the entire package sure is. Do me a favor and play one if there ever is one at a store in your area.

3) Narrowfield and 408 pickups really didn't pan out. TCI is more of a process and I'll give PRS for that. The bridge is still more or less a basic 6 screw vintage unit with some tweaks. Very nice, but nothing revolutionary.

4) The first generation of headless guitars were way ahead of their time. Multi scale as well. I remember discovering Conklin and thinking how weird they were. Seeing Kiesels current build times now will tell you that they are picking up steam. Strandberg has also been gaining more traction. There is 100% a legit market for those now as opposed to being more a fad thing years ago. I do not currently own a headless multiscale but I've been quite tempted by Strandbergs.

5) What do I want from PRS that they aren't already making? I'd like a proper 25.5" 24 fret shredder that evolves the custom 24 and Floyd versions. As good as the CU24 is, it still has issues. The lip in the forearm area, the clunky placement of pickup selector switches, the short scale, nickel vs stainless frets. Stainless does make a difference to me personally and to others. So much easier to play. These hands are still fast but age is something I am feeling and every little bit counts.
 

Henry2

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Jul 30, 2020
Messages
59
I have always questioned my memory on this, but since we are talking about “new” features that actually aren’t, help set my mind straight on this. I remember being in a store in the early ‘90s and they had a 7 string guitar. This is where I question my memory. I remember the guy at the store telling me that it had a high A string below the high E, and that it was an .008 gauge string. The guy told me it was to give extra high range when soloing. It was the only seven string I saw until a decade or so later when the lower tuned stuff started gaining traction. Does anyone else remember anything like that?
Also from memory, I do think the first 7 string Ibanez made for Vai had that higher 7th string.
 

Drew

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Apr 26, 2012
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832
Also from memory, I do think the first 7 string Ibanez made for Vai had that higher 7th string.

Vai always had the low B as the 7th string.

You are probably thinking of the infamous Maestro Alex Gregory. His Fender 7's had the high A.
 

jak3af3r

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Nashville, TN
I believe Van Eps tuned his 7th string down to A instead of B as did Bucky Pizzarelli. This allows for easier fretting of drop 2 voicings using an octave lower than the fretted a string note used on a 6 string.
 

LSchefman

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3) Narrowfield and 408 pickups really didn't pan out.

Drew, I appreciate your taking the time to answer!

Actually, they did pan out just fine. The Narrowfield is still being used in the SSH and studio, and the 408 (based on the narrower neck pickup) is being used in the Paul's Guitar. I have a 20th Anniversary of Private Stock model with both pickups (Paul's treble and bass, NF in the middle) and it's the best sounding guitar I've ever owned (that's including about 35 PRSes).

Funny thing was I recently had my son's band mate and biz partner in the studio for a visit, and his partner (formerly guitarist for Portugal The Man) flipped over it. He's usually a vintage guitar buyer, however, so maybe that's why.

Hard for me to agree that the above pickups didn't pan out. They sound wonderful.

I have nothing negative to say about the Majesty, except that it isn't for me, and as for advances, there have been other guitars with onboard preamps for a very long time - Alembic made them starting back in the '70s. So the idea is probably older than you. Again, old tricks recycled and updated. Not that big a deal.

The Majesty is a fine guitar, but for me, not the ideal guitar. That's not because of its looks, etc. I don't love the tone of neck-throughs for some reason. However, it's well suited to a particular style of music, and for that, more power to MM!

We're all different, and we should celebrate our differences, not argue about what we prefer to play. If there are companies making guitars you like besides PRS, nothing wrong with buying them, too.

Note: I'm not biased against Music Man stuff, I have one of their fairly recent Sledge basses and I love it.
 
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SinSir

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Sep 7, 2020
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2,340
5) What do I want from PRS that they aren't already making? I'd like a proper 25.5" 24 fret shredder that evolves the custom 24 and Floyd versions. As good as the CU24 is, it still has issues. The lip in the forearm area, the clunky placement of pickup selector switches, the short scale, nickel vs stainless frets. Stainless does make a difference to me personally and to others. So much easier to play. These hands are still fast but age is something I am feeling and every little bit counts.

Check out the PRS Torero from about 2010-2015. No Stainless but 25.5", 14" radius, ebony board, neck through, forearm contour, EMG, and a Floyd.
 
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