PRS vs Strat appearance

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by pgj, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. pgj

    pgj New Member

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    I've owned a Strat for about a year and a half (my first guitar, a 2006 MIM) and just got my first PRS a couple of weeks ago. One thing that I have noticed about these brands is that virtually every PRS I have seen looks absolutely pristine...even ones that are decades old. Strats, on the other hand, really show their wear (paint/finish worn off, neck looks like it's been sandpapered...). In fact, Strat owners kind of take pride in their "weathered" look. You can even buy them new with a "relecked", beat-up look. Is this just a culture difference between brand enthusiasts or are Strats more susceptible to wear and tear?
     
  2. Tony M.

    Tony M. New Member

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    Disclaimer:
    That which I post below is my opinion that there exists a widely held perception in the guitar playing world.
    I do not hold this perception nor do I agree with it. My PRS guitars are treated carefully but they work hard.
    That being said...

    I believe it's a perceptual difference.

    A beat up Stratocaster has "mojo".
    It's a workhorse of a guitar.
    A beat up PRS has been treated badly.
    It's a show horse. No "guts".

    Go figure...

    I also think that generally speaking, PRS guitars are treated far more
    carefully by their owners than Stratocasters if for no other reason
    than the large price difference between these 2 types of guitar.
     
  3. pgj

    pgj New Member

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    What's weird is that I haven't even seen a beat-up PRS. I belong to this forum and the main Strat forum, as well as the PRS and Strat owners Facebook pages. Seen tons of pictures from both brands. Probably at least 1/2 to 1/3 of Strat pictures people post the guitar shows majors signs of wear. On the PRS sites, it's like every PRS is perfect.
     
  4. jxe

    jxe babe en der wood

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    i think seeing buckle rash through to the wood on old gibsons of every shape is why people take better care of their guitars nowadays.

    then again fender made this:

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Bob Hundemer

    Bob Hundemer New Member

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    I have a strat that's about 20 years old and it looks pretty dang good. But I take care of my instruments. I'm not a relic looking person.
     
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  6. Tony M.

    Tony M. New Member

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    I have worn my belt buckle on the left side of my pants since 1963.
    My guitars never come anywhere near it.
     
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  7. Tone-y

    Tone-y New Member

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    You've got to remember that Strats have been around a lot longer than PRS. The main difference is that those vintage Strats had a far less hard wearing finish - thin nitro cracks, checks, wears etc quite easily. And these guitars did their time in an era when most people could only afford one guitar, if that. So all the milage of a guitarist playing was racking up on the one instrument. That's why it's common to see vintage Strats looking very worn and why their modern counterparts want to copy them.
    By the time PRS came along polyurethane finished were available. This is much tougher and harder wearing than nitro and if looked after can pretty much look like new all its life. So there isn't really a history of old PRSs looking worn and beaten up for the newer owners to want to emulate.

    Having said that, my PRS has a thin nitro finish and there are already signs that in places it will wear through. The finish is picking up dinks and wear patterns in different places. There's no chance that mine will still look like a new guitar when it's 30 years old!
     
  8. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    I've seen a handful of really well worn PRS, but you are right most of them look much better than a Strat of similar age.

    I think a bit of that is related to the fact that the price point is different enough that people tend to be a bit more careful with their PRS. I treat all of my guitars pretty much the same. My 80s Tele hasn't worn any more than my PRS, but I stopped playing it very much when I got other electrics. My 80s Les Paul aged much faster than my PRS.
     
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  9. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    If you pay attention to my photos you’ll find plenty of “ouchies” and “booboos”. Only a couple of my guitars are flawless and it’s because I haven’t played them as much as the others. My war wounds make many here cringe and that’s totally ok because I like looking at their perfect specimens.
     
  10. Tucson Thump

    Tucson Thump Mint Heavy Relic

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    I remember those. Are they still making them??
     
  11. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    Allow me to introduce you to...Casper.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not mine, but the inimitable Frankie Clarke's. I miss seeing that dude in here.

     
  12. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    My guitars all have nicks, because I don't own anything I won't bring on stage. Maybe, if PRSh ever decides to gift me a doubleneck Dragon, that might change. Ok, no it won't... I just won't walk away and leave it on a stand unattended during breaks.

    Relic guitars (making a guitar look beat up on purpose, as opposed to natural wear and tear) became a thing in the very late 80s or early 90s. My best guess is it was in response to two players known for playing beat looking instruments: Stevie Ray Vaughn and Keith Richards. Richards actually asked Fender to beat up some instruments for him around 1990, for what that's worth. To me, it's a fake vibe that just doesn't resonate at all. When I came up, you'd occasionally see guitars with worn paint or fingerboards and know it was a well-loved and played instrument. Now? Might just be creative sandpaper. I'd feel like a real poser slinging such a thing over my shoulder.

    In the end, I suppose it's about what kind of look speaks to you. Real wear is memories to me, although I try hard to take care of my gear. If they called relic'ing what it is, no one would like it. It's fake, and brings back no memories of hard-won wear. If there is a plus side, I suppose it's not going to bother you much the first time it gets scuffed. :)

    I wouldn't buy a pre-rusted, pre-dented car with worn out seats to look cool. To each his/her own though... I'm not paying for your guitars!
     
  13. Guitpicky

    Guitpicky New Member

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    Chips and scuffs in brightly colored paint usually show up more and look worse than in clear finished highly figured wood... and most Strats out there are painted in car colors. Not saying it’s the reason, just one possible perception altering factor :)
     
    #13 Guitpicky, Apr 2, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  14. RaySachs

    RaySachs New Member

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    So the obvious question is what will the average Silver Sky look like in 15-20 years? It's a strat. NO, it's a PRS! NO, it's a strat! How will it resolve this riddle?

    Any guitar that's regularly rode hard and put away wet is gonna show signs of wear. Any guitar that's treated like a princess will still be pristine 50 years later. I had a strat and a Martin D-28, both bought well used in about 1978-79 and I had them both for 25+ years - they were my only guitars. I was playing out a lot for the first 10-12 of those 25 years and both of those guitars had some well earned scars by the time I sold them. I just got back into playing a little over 3 years ago. I have a strat I've had for a couple years, a Silver Sky I've had for a couple months. On the acoustic side I have a carbon fiber Emerald I've had for a couple of years and an all-hog Martin I've had for almost a year. All of these guitars are absolutely pristine. Any of them I still have when I die - hopefully a good 25-30 years off but who knows in the current environment, could be next week - will no doubt still be pristine. Because I don't play out - I'm a home player, nobody else plays my gear. I travel with a couple of them twice a year, in my car - no planes or trains or ubers or city busses anymore. I've just sold the carbon fiber Emerald - I don't think you can hurt those without trying really hard. I'm gonna replace it with another Martin, which I could hurt, but probably won't.

    If I had somehow come to own a Silver Sky in 1979, it no doubt would have been pretty beat up by the time I finished with it 25 years later. But I'm from the tail end of the boomer generation - the baby boom and the guitar boom. By the time PRS was around and getting known, I was over my youthful insanity - I was launching a family and career at about the same time Paul was launching PRS. Older boomers were well into their peak earning years. And a PRS, at least an American made PRS, which is all there was early on, was NEVER an instrument for an economically challenged kid to go beat up. You've always been able to buy a decent tele or strat from anywhere from a little to a whole eff of a lot, so you see a lot of beat up ones running around out there. Some of it earned, some of it from the "pre-worn jeans" school of guitar design. I had a roadworn tele for about a year - I liked having one guitar that looked like it had lived a bit of a life, even though it hadn't. But, alas, I'm not a tele guy, and it had to move along.

    So it's not like there are NO beat up PRS's out there and no old pristine strats. But there's a solid demographic reason why they're the exception rather than the rule.

    -Ray
     
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  15. GADonis

    GADonis New Member

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    My 2007 Tele looks fairly beat up. It's a Hwy One with a thin nitro coat. Worn away finish, scratches, dings (one or two on the fretboard). And I love that about it. I have no problem setting that guitar down just about anywhere. One of the bars I play has a brick floor and no stage room at all. So I don't bring a stand and the guitar goes against the amp right on the brick floor. I think Teles look better with some wear and tear (naturally and organically accrued not cosmetically applied).

    My PRS I will not do that with. I've gotten beyond the case queen stage but I do take more care with them than with any of my other guitars. At that particular bar if I play my PRS it is usually just the last set and so it goes right back in the very nice soft case I have for gigging when things are done.
     
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  16. pgj

    pgj New Member

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    That thing is cool!
     
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  17. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    I've got a Mira that's been through the ringer.......


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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  18. grausch

    grausch New Member

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    I stopped wearing belts..:oops:
     
  19. Guitpicky

    Guitpicky New Member

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    I stopped wearing underwear. Now I use it to polish my guitars :)
     
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  20. grausch

    grausch New Member

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    Whatever you do, never take off your tremolo cover!!!
     
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