Returning to the fold... can someone explain Wood Library and Artist values?

Joesnewmatch

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I'm about to join the club again. It was love at first sight when I saw a Special 22 semi-hollowbody limpet edition over the Summer. I'm still thinking about it and about to pull the trigger. The question is which one or type to get?

I used to have a lot of PRS, but it seemed like the only choices back then were 10 top or not. Now I still see 10 Top but also Wood Library and Artist Package, etc.

I'm going to buy an existing model from a dealer, not spec'ing a model, since the SHH has been around for a while and now ending its cycle.

Is a Wood Library and Artist designation just a matter of taste and more unique aesthetics, or do those guitars actual retain their value any better or worse than regular core models as far as resale value?

From the old days, I remember new PRS models taking a huge hit after sale, with primo models selling for almost half their list price (I used to own a Cu22, McSoapy, DGT, and Sunburst 245). These days it seems like PRS are in high demand and commanding high prices new and used, which is great. (Perhaps the John Mayer factor?)

So I'm wondering if a regular limited edition SSH going to hold its value better than say a Wood Library or 10 Top or Artist?

And what are the differences there? Is an Artist or Wood Library always a 10 or 10 plus? Is it true that Wood Library are Private Stock grade wood?

Are these "upgrades" just a matter of personal taste or what?

Thanks in advance for any guidance on this!
 

elvis

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I don't think WL or artist hold their value any more than the others.

WL are usually mostly standard guitars, but with woods not available in the standard run. They may or may not look much different. For example they may have ash body and maple neck vs the standard mahogany. Some really stand out, with amazing quilt or one piece top.

Artist guitars have a higher grade top than the 10 top, usually a tighter curl. Cool if you like that, but too tight for my taste. They also offer a handful of additional options like hybrid hardware, fretboard wood and different pickups.
 

dogrocketp

I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!
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I’ve always had trouble with thinking of resale value. I guess it’s one of my weaknesses. I won’t sell any of my core instruments, and have a hard time selling my SE’s which have been modified up the wazoo. Personally, these are my tools and end up being an extension of me. It takes me years to learn the nuances of each instrument and then another 10 or so to understand how to work them. Just like my wonderful girl friend. My younger son knows his PRS will have some company when I pass away.
 
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LSchefman

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It takes me years to learn the nuances of each instrument and then another 10 or so to understand how to work them. Just like my wonderful girl friend. My younger son knows his PRS will have some company when I pass away.

I’m really tempted to make the “To hell with the guitars, can I have your wonderful girlfriend when you pass away” joke, but realizing how disrespectful that would be, since it implies that women are property, I can‘t make that joke in good conscience.

:(

I don’t really understand what people do for humor in this day and age.
 

Joesnewmatch

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In case you haven't seen this description of the wood library:

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

Thanks GNG. I saw that and it still left me confused about the distinctions. I see some WL with 10 designations and others without. I

I'm currently looking at one with a cool top and an ebony board that I love. It's also an Artist, but no 10 on the headstock. Started wondering if maybe there were different grades of WL and if some were just marked up while others have higher value because of the designations, etc. That was my general confusion.

I was also looking for some feedback on secondary market value. I never plan on selling a guitar when I buy one, but lord knows I've sold a ton anyway!
 

Sevenandaquarter

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I don't think WL or artist hold their value any more than the others.

WL are usually mostly standard guitars, but with woods not available in the standard run. They may or may not look much different. For example they may have ash body and maple neck vs the standard mahogany. Some really stand out, with amazing quilt or one piece top.

Artist guitars have a higher grade top than the 10 top, usually a tighter curl. Cool if you like that, but too tight for my taste. They also offer a handful of additional options like hybrid hardware, fretboard wood and different pickups.

Wow, thanks for this description. I didn't realize Artist grade tops were actually graded higher than 10-tops. I thought it was a 10-top that was also part of the bigger Artist package.

IMO, I do feel like the different packages are a little confusing. 10-top means a highly figured top, which could also be part of a Wood Library or Artist run, and both Wood Library and Artist runs can feature different body/neck/fretboard woods? And where do different style birds come in? Only Artist packages, right? As well as upgraded cases?

In my mind, I just equate Artist with "fancy schmancy" and Wood Library with "woods other than mahogany and rosewood." And Private Stock is just "true one-offs/best of everything/spec'ed from top to bottom."
 

Sevenandaquarter

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Thanks GNG. I saw that and it still left me confused about the distinctions. I see some WL with 10 designations and others without. I

I'm currently looking at one with a cool top and an ebony board that I love. It's also an Artist, but no 10 on the headstock. Started wondering if maybe there were different grades of WL and if some were just marked up while others have higher value because of the designations, etc. That was my general confusion.

I was also looking for some feedback on secondary market value. I never plan on selling a guitar when I buy one, but lord knows I've sold a ton anyway!

Feel the same way as you!
 

shinksma

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So a bit of clarity, I hope I can offer. Wow that was very Yoda-ish...

Anyway:

Artist package is considered better than 10-top in grading. It usually means there is no "10" on the back of the headstock. Which can confuse folks. But keep in mind there are non-10-tops that I think look better than some 10 tops. Grading, while having some quantitative elements, is still highly subjective.

Wood library means the dealer (perhaps guided by potential customers, perhaps not) gets to select the wood (from the "Wood Library"), usually opting for Artist Package level wood or better (my AP is considered almost PS level), but it doesn't have to be what PRS would classify as Artist Grade (or even 10 top), if the dealer thinks the wood is interesting enough for their vision.

Supply and demand (as is usual) determines how well the AP/WL guitars hold their value, both absolutely and relative to the 10-top and non-10 top versions of similar models. The thing for me is whether the AP/WL combo offers me anything different from a regular version of the model, like wood type (Swamp ash instead of hog back, flamed maple neck & FB, etc) or quality of the quilting. (I don't think I personally would ever go for a flame top as the only discriminating factor above a 10-top.)

So, as is usual with such things, YMMV, AFAIK, IMHO, etc. Troll Reverb for the types of guitars you like, you'll see a typical range of pricing and options. Right now, the SSH is very popular for WL runs.
 

LSchefman

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Wow, thanks for this description. I didn't realize Artist grade tops were actually graded higher than 10-tops. I thought it was a 10-top that was also part of the bigger Artist package.

IMO, I do feel like the different packages are a little confusing. 10-top means a highly figured top, which could also be part of a Wood Library or Artist run, and both Wood Library and Artist runs can feature different body/neck/fretboard woods? And where do different style birds come in? Only Artist packages, right? As well as upgraded cases?

In my mind, I just equate Artist with "fancy schmancy" and Wood Library with "woods other than mahogany and rosewood." And Private Stock is just "true one-offs/best of everything/spec'ed from top to bottom."

Wood Library is a limited dealer run; there can be WLs that also have the Artist Package. Or they can have 10 tops. Some have different woods than other Core models, and some don’t. One WL run I looked at was CU24s with McCarty thickness bodies. It’s really sort of a “dealer’s choice” situation.

Artist is an option package that isn’t run-based. Any model offering the Artist Package can be ordered with it as long as the option exists.

There are Private Stocks that aren’t one-offs; I have three that were limited Private Stock runs with the specs determined by PRS.

There are also limited Core runs, and most of those aren’t limited by number, they’re limited by the window in which dealers can place an order. I was lucky enough to get one of those, too!

“So basically, this is kind of like a knife fight. There are no rules.”

“Yes.”

 

Great Gazoo

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Here is the Venn Diagram representation of the interrelationships amongst various PRS grade levels:

modern-tech-spirograph-background-vector-21270340.jpg
 

LSchefman

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Here is the Venn Diagram representation of the interrelationships amongst various PRS grade levels:

modern-tech-spirograph-background-vector-21270340.jpg

One Day At The Fender Forum...

“Dude, I’m quitting the Fender Forum. I’m going to buy myself a PRS and hang out on their forum.”

“Wait...why? I mean, you love Fenders, you’ve been playing them for 30 years!”

“Listen, you come to the Fender forum, and sure people talk about fuzz boxes and tone and all that, but you go to the PRS forum, and they’re talking about Venn diagrams and schools of philosophical thought! It’s just a more educated class of people.”

“It’s just a guitar forum that has a snooty people problem.”

“Wrong! It’s a forum of snooty people who have a guitar problem!” :D
 

markd21

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To further clarify/confuse the distinction....

I have a WL CU22 that has a 10 top, an IRW neck with an Ebony fretboard. It has Artist birds and Hybrid hardware, along with 58/15LT pickups. It's "only" a 10 top, but it's a Quilted Maple top, finish in a Private Stock color!!! How's that for a crazy Venn Diagram of options!!!
 
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