PS Acoustic Thoughts

Discussion in 'Acoustic Guitars' started by DougUSMC, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. DougUSMC

    DougUSMC Perpetual Practicer

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    Having crazy thoughts in my head about commissioning a PS Acoustic. While on my Texas guitar store tour I had a chance to check out both a Tonare and Angelus, and have to say I found them enjoyable and beautiful guitars. I won't say that they were my favorite acoustic, a certain PA manufacturer holds that place in my heart. I definitely felt they were a great guitar and can't accept the fact that there isn't a lefty.

    To that end, I'm thinking about having an acoustic built, so I can get a lefty! (Something about flipping the bridge and nut doesn't sit well w/me. :) ) I was going to reach out to a dealer to ask, but I figured someone here might be able to help:

    We can see from this site, and I know from my own personal experience, how a PS electric price compares to a Core. IMO, within the various models, depending on options you can expect a PS to be 2-3x the price of the comparable Core model (ex: Custom 24 to PS Custom 24). Does anyone know if that holds true across the Acoustic lines?
     
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  2. mad monk

    mad monk Your father's Oldsmobile

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    About 10k to get into the PS acoustic, depending on your build design. I don't have personal experience, but it's what I've heard.
    And you really can't flip the bridge on an acoustic. The intonation will be 180 degrees out.
     
  3. veinbuster

    veinbuster Freeze zone

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    I don’t have a big sample size, but my experience is that PS acoustics run on the low end of the PS price spectrum, perhaps because they don’t tend to get blinged up as much.
     
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  4. DougUSMC

    DougUSMC Perpetual Practicer

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    Ok, a little homework on my part cleared up one major misunderstanding on my part:

    "Regular" PRS acoustics aren't made in MD, so multiplying them by 2-3x to guesstimate the price of a PS was a bad call. I suppose that the $10k number doesn't seem as far off, in that light...
     
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  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    At the time I ordered my PS acoustic, they did have a Maryland-made “core” and “artist package” acoustic. The guitars were essentially the PS versions, with perhaps a bit less bling - nitro finishes, fretboard wood options, etc. They came with either mahogany or cocobolo backs and sides, and a mahogany neck.

    I had an artist Tonare Grand that I loved, but it was cocobolo/Adirondack, and I had a hankering for maple, because it cuts through in a dense mix with a bit less EQ.

    If memory serves, my Artist was in the 5-6K range (but that may be off by a few hundred dollars).

    Having had several high end Martins, Taylors and Collings acoustics, my original Artist Tonare was a cannon; filled a room better than any of them, and I preferred the tone miked up (since recording my music is what I do for a living). So I was eager to order a maple PS and I did.

    When it came, my son (who recorded and produced tracks for 30 Seconds to Mars and other artists, and had his own band’s record released on Warner Brothers Records) came into the room when I was playing during one of his visits, and said, “That thing is like a piano! It’s huge!” Kinda confirmed my impression that the guitar really fills a room with sound.

    He’s already called dibs if I ever sell it or when I get too ancient to play guitar, which I hope isn’t any time soon. ;)

    The thing about these guitars is that when you live with them and get used to what they do, it kinda spoils you for the other stuff you previously thought was great. You might find that your favorite guitar make changes.
     
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  6. DougUSMC

    DougUSMC Perpetual Practicer

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    Oh
    Oh, I hear you, and I really think that PRS makes an amazing guitar.

    The problem is that I can't really try out 90% of what you're talking about w/o actually commissioning one. Unless someone already did, and puts it on Reverb, I'm not finding a lefty acoustic!
     
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  7. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Well maybe you could listen to someone else playing a righty version, and see what it sounds like from a listening perspective.

    Also...Tony McManus did a wonderful record with his signature Angelus called “Mysterious Boundaries” that is so well recorded that it TRULY captures the sound of a PRS acoustic. You might listen to it on Apple Music or iTunes and get an idea of how it sounds to a listener.
     
  8. DougUSMC

    DougUSMC Perpetual Practicer

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    Yeah, I dig it. It's just tough to stomach paying 2x for the "same" guitar, you know?

    I will check out that tune tho, if for nothing else other than a new album.
     
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  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Well, it’s a finer guitar than the SE version, and it’s hard to find a Core or Artist Acoustic, because they haven’t made them in several years. Plus, most (if not all) would be right handed versions.

    In any case, mine’s totally worth what I invested in it, but it paid for itself within the first couple of months of owning it because I used it on good-paying ad projects.

    If it makes you feel any better, the Collings SJ that I had, a guitar I think is the only non-stratospheric-priced sonic competitor to the Tonare I’ve lived with for a long time, with rosewood back and sides is still a very expensive guitar, though not quite priced like a PS. Still, with similar appointments, it’s not all that far off the mark.
     
  10. veinbuster

    veinbuster Freeze zone

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    It does present an interesting problem.
    If the same right handed person played some different acoustics, do you think you could judge what suited you tone wise? I realize much of playing an acoustic is feel, and you need your hands to judge that.
    While my PRS acoustics have some very appealing characteristics, I don’t think either would satisfy me as my only acoustic. I find their tone a bit specialized. They are very easy to play.
     
  11. DougUSMC

    DougUSMC Perpetual Practicer

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    I understand what you're saying, and think maybe I didn't explain clearly enough:
    I didn't mean to say that you over paid for your guitars, I apologize if it came across differently. I was trying to say that for me to buy the same Artist guitar that you paid 5-6k for, I'd have to pay $10k b/c it'd be PS just to get it lefty. Does that make more sense?

    TBH, I don't think that would help, or would be necessary, for a few different reasons:
    - I really am a fan of what PRSh is building, both his guitars and the core vibe of the company in general. For that reason alone, I want to have a small piece of that, in one of his acoustics.
    - I'm not really good enough for sound or feel to help me decide what the best tone was for me. :D

    I play all across the music spectrum, depending on the mood that suits me. I tend to pick the song and guitar I'll play based on any given vibe on a particular day. If I'm going for some ZBB, it'll be my Martin OM; anything w/some TX blues twang is the Tele I bought used, tore apart and rebuilt; beachy acoustic stuff is a Martin Buffet I had made; Beach Boys & surf rock is the Strat I bought in that "visiting TX thread" and tore apart to turn into a Dick Dale Beast clone. Pretty much anything NOT listed above is my CU24. I see guitars as both a way to express myself musically AND as individual works of art themselves.

    I'd play both to make sure my expectations of the models meet reality (Tonare = more power, less agility; Angelus = less power, more agility), and to see if one "felt better" to my ears, but I'd really just tend to use whichever I bought for mood. I can fake enough open cords as a righty to tell that. ;)
     
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  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Of course it makes sense! However, my current acoustic isn’t an Artist model. I sold that one and ordered a Private Stock. That was the only way I could get a maple body at the time.

    So I paid more for the PS than I did for the Artist. And I didn’t mind it a bit; I was more after a tone thing, and the money wasn’t important when I made that choice.

    Everyone has different priorities and I totally understand. On the other hand this thread’s about PS, so I figured I’d talk about the process I undertook.

    And just for grins, because this is, after all, the PRS Forum, here’s a pic of the guitar. I wanted a very clean, simple look, and no more bling than necessary, so that’s how I spec’d it. The back, neck and sides are maple, the top is Adirondack spruce, and the fretboard is ebony. It has a piezo but I don’t use it; it’s there just in case. There is no truss rod, I spec’d carbon fiber strength rods - as a result, no seasonal setups are ever necessary.

    The pic doesn’t show the flame on the maple very clearly, but it’s extremely nice (if that’s your thing).

    [​IMG]
     
    #12 LSchefman, Jul 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  13. BWV548

    BWV548 Custom Title

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    This is interesting to me. I’ll throw out an experience I had recently which codified for me that I’d never pay for a top quality acoustic without playing it first. And it has nothing to with concerns about quality. A couple of months back I was at a shop that had several Santa Cruz guitars. I played 5. All dreadnoughts. All of absolute impeccable quality. It terms of how they played from a fretting hand perspective, I don’t think that I could tell the difference. However, they all felt different, vibrationally, against my body and they all had differences in tone that were appreciable as a player and listener. One stood out as tops for me. Another potential customer in the store had a very different take. Even though the species of wood were the same, clearly the pieces had a big impact. Those guitars were all subPS prices. Confirmed for me that with acoustics the risks are too high, for me, to not have the ability to try one out. YMMV
     
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  14. DougUSMC

    DougUSMC Perpetual Practicer

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    That's a beautiful guitar Les, congrats. I'm a HUGE fan of simple and clean, and those j-birds really do it for me. That fretboard looks exactly like the one I spec'd.

    I think my main concerns are two-fold:
    - I don't disagree w/BWV on play testing, but as someone that already has one PS in the works I understand that's just the nature of things. It's tougher to accept on an acoustic tho, since as you pointed out wood choices are so vital.
    - I dig that you made the decision to buy the artist vs. a "standard" acoustic, then sold the Artist to buy a PS. I'd REALLY just like to have the opportunity to make the same choices. :D
     
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  15. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Obviously, this is the best way to buy an acoustic. I just did it the other way. It wasn’t the first time I’d special-ordered an acoustic guitar. I did it with my earlier artist version, and I’ve done it with guitars from Collings, Taylor and Martin.

    What can I say? I’m a risk-taker! :)
     
  16. BWV548

    BWV548 Custom Title

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    Oh indeed. And there isn’t a damn thing wrong with that. Just tossing out an experience and perspective into the dataset for integration and analysis
     
  17. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I figure it serves no purpose to consider options that aren’t available.

    Also, I’m not a guy who tries to push people to buy something I have. That’d make no sense - we’re all different! Beyond that, I don’t want that feeling of queasiness I’d get if someone were to buy on my advice, and then not like it.
     
  18. DougUSMC

    DougUSMC Perpetual Practicer

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    Yeah, I dig it. I realize that wishes can't change the world, but it still doesn't stop me from daydreaming about how nice it would be to be a righty guitar player. :D
     
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