Should Looks Matter or just tone?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by 88prs, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. merciful-evans

    merciful-evans Portsmouth uk

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Messages:
    766
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    I have a large quantity of dictionaries available. I get 'em from baptists.
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  2. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,760
    Likes Received:
    15,205
    Do they omit all the fun words?
     
    ScottR and LSchefman like this.
  3. ViperDoc

    ViperDoc Plugged In.

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Messages:
    2,717
    Likes Received:
    2,238
    Eyes eat looks and ears eat tone. With PRS, they are a perfect match.
     
    ScottR, dogrocketp, bodia and 4 others like this.
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    24,075
    Likes Received:
    19,233
    If I find one that has what I consider unusually great tone, I’ll pick it over one that appeals more to my eyeballs. I did that in the case of my quilt top CU24 PS and 594 WL (I’m not a fan of quilt tops, but I bought them anyway, because damn, they bring the tone).

    If the guitars I’m considering sound equally great, naturally I’ll pick the one that’s easiest on the eyes.

    Truth is, though, that at the higher end of the PRS market, they all look and sound excellent, so these kinds of differences are subtle at best.
     
  5. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    2,152
    This says it all really. Not one of my guitars is a 10-top (or higher rated) yet I think all of my guitars look stunning. By the same token, they all sound great too. PRS is one company that I think you can literally look for the one that looks the best, in your favourite colour etc without feeling like you should keep searching in case you find the 'one' that really jumps out at you (if one actually exists).

    There is that thought that a 'unicorn' Les Paul for example is out there for you - the one that blows you away tonally that even some minor imperfections can easily be overlooked. That thought can affect your buying where you constantly keep checking all the new Gibsons coming in around your area, never sure whether you should commit to purchasing one because the next shop may be better or maybe the next batch will bring the one and you don't want to buy in case that 'unicorn' comes in and now can't afford it.

    With PRS, I think you could try shop after shop and they will all be in the same ball park area - obviously some slight differences as you would expect from a guitar made of natural materials but in general, those subtle nuances that each has are just 'different' and not necessarily better/worse. For me, I couldn't decide if one sounded significantly better than any of the others and that they all sounded great. The biggest difference coming from the aesthetics - the colour and grain pattern. For me, as my collection shows, the difference in the way guitars looked was far more important to me than the subtle nuances in tone that each may have.

    I certainly am not saying I compromised on tone - its more that the tone was equally as good to my ears that it didn't matter which PRS I bought so I picked the ones with the best top/colour to my eyes. I am also not saying that the tone was the same on each either but that the subtle differences didn't make one any better than the other to my ears and I would of been equally happy to by any based purely on their tone. Not one PRS was significantly better or worse on tone meaning that Tone, despite subtle differences, were all consistent enough that tone alone was not a parameter I used to determine which PRS I bought. Its like buying a Car - once you have decided on a specific model and know that the specs and how a car drives are similar enough regardless, the only decision is cosmetic - what colour to order it in.
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  6. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    5,174
    Likes Received:
    7,838
    Now that I look back, I realize that my guitar purchases have been primarily to fill a functional need.
    And I got freakin' lucky a couple of times!
     
    ScottR, LSchefman, Tim S and 2 others like this.
  7. veinbuster

    veinbuster Freeze zone

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    9,803
    Likes Received:
    10,808
    The thing about PRS is that you can have both.
    after completing the assembly of all I ever needed, I succumbed to scientific curiosity.
    I’m pleased with the results.
     
    ScottR, LSchefman, Boogie and 3 others like this.
  8. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    5,174
    Likes Received:
    7,838
    No doubt!
    I'm pleased with your results!
    And I should add desire/want to my "functional need" statement.
     
    LSchefman and Alnus Rubra like this.
  9. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Messages:
    1,615
    Likes Received:
    1,460
    Ask yourself: Are you fat, thin, or don't like they way you look to others? What did you do about your personal appearance?

    Diet, or exercise more? Adjust your wardrobe, or personal hygiene habits?

    Do you like yourself more now the way you look, or could you improve?

    Check back with me after the holidays, or when things that don't look good to you have undergone some improvement.
     
    dogrocketp likes this.
  10. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    2,152
    That was the driving force behind which model I was going for and why I don't have multiples of the same model. Each PRS I bought was to add something that none of my other guitars could offer. I am not looking at other 509's for example because mine already covers that functional need and none of the guitars I bought after, sit in the same tonal space this sits. The more guitars I have though, the more potential crossover there is. If I add the guitar I am most gassing for, the 594 HBii, it sits very close to both my HBii and solid 594 - perhaps too close and could perhaps replace the Solid 594. The HBii has the same Pups but with the Piezo, it adds something none of my others do - great if/when I want an Acoustic or add in some acoustic chime to my sound.

    Functional need is a bit open to interpretation because I don't necessarily need more than 1 guitar - does it matter if I play Hendrix on a Les Paul for example if no one is there to hear it but myself. Playing Guitar isn't my vocation and don't need guitars as back-ups or a vast array just in case an artist wants a specific sound. That being said, if I want a sound that my guitars don't offer, then there is a functional need or is it more of a want?
     
  11. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,760
    Likes Received:
    15,205
    Me, too. It makes me happy.
     
    LSchefman, dogrocketp, Micky! and 3 others like this.
  12. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    5,174
    Likes Received:
    7,838
    And you sir, should be happy indeed!:D:cool:
     
    LSchefman, dogrocketp and 11top like this.
  13. AZGiant

    AZGiant New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2019
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    93
    It really is how it plays and feels. We all want the guitar to look good, but I bought an GL 256 that I thought looked terrible, but it played and sounded amazing. Just personal preference though
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  14. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2017
    Messages:
    7,980
    Likes Received:
    12,590
    Paul and Jack know that we buy with our eyes!
     
    LSchefman, dogrocketp and Tonart like this.
  15. Bsic

    Bsic NaN

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2019
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    149
    Ive sold plenty of pretty ones that sounded so so. Tone is a must. Looks are *almost* a must. I won't buy a great sounding guitar if its fugly.
     
    LSchefman and dogrocketp like this.
  16. Bob Hundemer

    Bob Hundemer New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2019
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    37
    Males are pretty visually oriented creatures. I would submit that looks are indeed important. Not as important as tone but not to far from it.
     
  17. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    2,152
    And that is something that I certainly do. I know that if I walked into a guitar shop, the way a guitar looks is what will determine if I pick it up to try it or not. I couldn't care less if the ugly guitar in the corner is the best playing, best sounding guitar in the shop, I won't be picking it up to try it out. If I buy a guitar in that shop, I will be leaving happy and I won't be feeling that I missed out the best sounding and playing guitar - how can I feel that I missed out when I have absolutely no idea how well it played or sounded?

    So many are turning to online for their purchases - in the UK, 40% of all musical purchases are made online (a stat I heard about because of Fender's price fixing). For those that are happy too buy online, they certainly aren't buying the instrument based on how it sounds, feels and plays - not that exact instrument although they may have tried a different one elsewhere.

    I bet a LOT of people here would look for guitars online - buying the one that they liked the look of most. I often see NGD posts by people waiting for their new purchase to be dispatched and waiting anxiously for the courier to deliver. Sometimes a thread can be 2 or 3 pages long before the OP actually receives their new guitar. Whether their purchase is based purely on looks or based on the perceived tone I don't know but looks do seem to be playing some part in the decision making because its not based on the actual playability, feel and tone of that instrument. I know that PRS are incredibly consistent so arguably you don't necessarily have to worry about the feel, playability and even the tone isn't a worry as you know its going to be great regardless.

    I don't know many people that would be happy with a guitar they really don't like the look of - would they play a Hello Kitty (or other theme that they dislike or have issue with) in front of an audience even if its the best sounding instrument? Would they play a guitar with the colour scheme and badge of their biggest rivals sport team? I really do think that people who say looks don't matter wouldn't play a guitar with a certain theme as its aesthetic.
     
    LSchefman, 11top and Alnus Rubra like this.
  18. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2018
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    222
    Philadelphia Luthiers has black chrome covers...just sayin'.
     
    LSchefman and dogrocketp like this.
  19. markd21

    markd21 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1,430
    Likes Received:
    3,913
    Looks matter to me, a lot. Tone matters too - but I can usually make a pretty guitar that sounds "bad" into something "better" sounding. It's much harder to make something ugly look better - it gets very expensive!!!
     
  20. merciful-evans

    merciful-evans Portsmouth uk

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Messages:
    766
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    While I agree that PRS consistency for QC is best for USA brands, I still find a marked variation between the guitars and need to assess each one individually. There have been some that I would never consider owning.
     
    LSchefman and Tonart like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice