This is probably very subjective, thoughts?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by vox801, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. vox801

    vox801 New Member

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    I recently took advantage of Sweetwater's 36 month no interest deal and picked out a Paul's Guitar. Now, this is not a negative or PRS bashing post. I own 2 Custom 24's, a McCarty Hollowbody and Korina, and a Stripped 58.... I love each of them. Build quality, sound, etc.... For some reason I can't seem to get attached to the Paul's Guitar... build is impeccable, plays well... but the sound is rather, I don't know, kind of flat to my ears. Maybe it's the 408 pickups? I guess i am wondering if anyone has any suggestions or feels the same. i realize every guitar isn't going to have the sound you hear in your head, but having read so may good things about the guitar i thought i'd give it a try. Sorry if this seems like a silly post and i'm not trying to offend PRS or anyone on this forum.
     
  2. FlameTop

    FlameTop New Member

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    Must admit I had the same experience. I had a pauls for about a year or so, but it was never characterful enough to save it from being p/x fodder for something else.

    One definite aspect I found lacking was the effect of the mini-toggles on the pickups. It was just too subtle for me. Every time I picked up a guitar with 'true' coil split, the pauls seemed restrictive.

    Its great that PRS does make a large range of models. The down side is that from time to time one is bound to miss the mark for your personal tastes.
     
  3. GTinSpanishFort

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    I tried a 408 and felt the same way. I don't know, it seemed like a great concept but, I just didn't like the sound of it. Also, I noticed that the one I had seemed to be noisy. I also Ordered from Sweetwater and sent it back for a refund. Then I wound up getting a 30th anniversary custom 24 and while not perfect it's a lot better to my ears.
     
  4. vox801

    vox801 New Member

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    Yes, the toggles are very subtle. I understand the concept behind them but I don't hear a real difference.
     
  5. darkmavis

    darkmavis New Member

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    sometimes things dont work out tonally, i get tha 100 percent. I once had a 75 les paul custom, man i wanted it so bad. It felt so good, played like a dream, sounded like a plank. Couldnt tell you why i didnt groove with it but i even changes pickups and it didnt give me what i wanted!
     
  6. Stephen Rudnick

    Stephen Rudnick New Member

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    I believe in our personal quest for gear, that this happens to all of us from time to time. In the last 18 months, I have ordered 9 different guitars, and returned every one of them almost immediately.

    I got no love from any of these guitars, including Fender ltd. production guitars, a Gibson 335 and 339, amongst the rest of them.

    This is why I am saving for a ps prs at this time. Remember that one person's great sounding guitar is due to how that man or woman hears it and this does not necessarily mean all of us will hear it as they do.

    Before getting to this point, I first got interested in a Brent Mason PRS, After listening to it on youtube for awhile, I started to think it might be better to hear other prs guitars before committing. I wound up going through almost every model of interest to me, and kept finding things that I felt might be a no-no for me.

    I still go through Reverb everyday...all 140+ pages of prs guitars, just in case I happen to see something, but I'm still committed to a private stock, so far.
     
  7. Birdwatcher

    Birdwatcher New Member

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    Hey Stephen,

    This is a little of topic so please let me know if this should go to a separate topic.

    You said you want to save your money for a private stock. But what if this personalized guitar then doesn't sound like you expect and it is more like the eg gibsons you sent back?
    It will better hold its value but still there is a huge risk, isn't it? This is maybe the main point why I haven't considered a private stock jet. Just sharing my thoughts and don't want to offend any private stock user or soon to be user nor PRS.
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    The problem with guitar shopping by remote control is that people buy something that in the store they'd strum a few times and put back on the rack. At a store, when you pass on a guitar, that's the end of that, you move on. When you have to buy the guitar to try it, and you're not happy, then you have a negative experience.

    This is what happens when one buys with the eyes and not the ears.

    There's nothing wrong with a guitar not being your style, not for you. To me, it sure makes more sense to try the model before buying.

    I loved my Sig Ltd and 408, and now have a 20th Anniversary of Private Stock model with the Paul's pickups. I love 'em. Different folks, different strokes.
     
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  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    If you know the model well, and order a PS version of that model, I think it would be very rare indeed to have it not turn out phenomenally well.

    But if you are taking a shot in the dark, and haven't played exactly the type of thing you're ordering, you're taking something of a risk, and you have to accept that you might not love the result. That's the case with any special order guitar, though.

    If that risk is unacceptable and you want a PS, it's much smarter to buy from dealer stock, and there are several dealers who regularly have PS guitars in stock.

    I've bought two PS guitars from dealer stock. I got the dealer to make clips of the guitars, and I got to hear what they sounded like through an amp, clean and dirty, and knew exactly what I was buying in terms of tone. I had also previously owned similar models, and knew what I was getting in terms of feel.

    I've special ordered one, my PS Tonare Grand, because I wanted something in maple, and I absolutely love it, but I had a Tonare in cocobolo beforehand, so I pretty much knew the model and what I was getting into.

    In the case of the 20th Anniversary PS, I'd already played a few Paul's Guitars, and had previously owned two other guitars with the 408 pickups. So the only unknown was the middle pickup, and I figured I'd like it. Which I do, the guitar is phenomenal.

    If one has unusual ideas that aren't like regular production models, unusual wood combinations, unusual pickup configurations, etc., then you simply have to accept the risk, and there's no way around that. You may not like your Savile Row custom made suit, but you're still going to have to pay the tailor.
     
  10. Stephen Rudnick

    Stephen Rudnick New Member

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    I've had a lot of custom built guitars done since 1963 when I ordered my first one, a Gibson Super 400 CES.
    I've been listening to a ton of youtube videos and explanations of different guitars by prs and hear differences between models. No, it isn't the same as playing them in person, but I have a pretty good idea of what I want.
    I won't complete an order until I have all the money together and get to communicate with Paul Miles directly on specifics so that he knows enough about me to offer constructive suggestions. If he told me that I would be better off just picking up a private stock pre-built and in a store, I would consider that, but there are two things I want on my guitar, the color of choice, and graphite truss rods.

    It wouldn't be cold feet that would be the reason I changed my mind, but even if I do, there are a number of really fine PRS guitars out there to choose from anyway.
     
  11. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I have the graphite truss rod on my Tonare Grand acoustic PS, and I absolutely love what it does for the guitar. The neck stays in perfect position year 'round, and I think the guitar actually sounds a little "woodier" than a guitar with metal truss rod.

    That said, I have metal rods in my electrics, and I love those guitars too, so I'm probably a little easier to please. However, one nice thing about the adjustable rod is that usually I like a bit of relief in the neck; however, with my hand problem, I had Jack Gretz adjust the new McCarty to accommodate the current situation with the hand, knowing I can dial it back to my usual setting down the road when the hand gets stronger.

    Not a bad thing!
     
  12. Stephen Rudnick

    Stephen Rudnick New Member

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    Les,
    I remember you mentioning that you had graphite truss rods put into you acoustic PRS.
    My Vigier has a carbon fiber truss rod and so do my XOX Audio Tools Handles. There is a definite difference to me, and I love it. Vigier has been using them for 30 years now, and mine has a flamed maple neck with a rosewood board. Nothing affects it.
     
  13. greiswig

    greiswig New Member

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    Other than some descriptions that are pretty open to interpretation, like "characterless," I'm not hearing a lot of description as to what is missing or too prevalent. AND I don't know the genealogy between the 408s you have and the 408 narrow that I have. But in this thread, I go into a little detail about what worked for me. To my ear, using mostly PAF-ish humbuckers, the 408n sounded relatively scooped in the mids, and the highs were too prominent. Also there was a sharpness to note attack on the bridge pickup that bothered me. Pickups are fairly easy to work on by a qualified tech, and tone caps are even easier.

    Then there's the issue of height adjustment: I have tinkered with two different recent PRS pickup designs (408n and 85/15), and both of these pickups seem to have much narrower sweet spots than I am used to dealing with. So literally 1/4 turn of your height screw can make a pretty audible difference.

    So if that's the kind of issue you are having, you might trying some fairly simple, reversible things. If it's just the way it plays or looks or rings, those are more fundamental to the guitar and can't be fixed easily.
     
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  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Yeah, I agree, the carbon fiber is great. I also had a carbon fiber rod in the first PRS acoustic I had, a Tonare with cocobolo. I loved not having to even think about adjusting it.

    The XOX neck reminds me of a Modulus Graphite bass neck I had for about ten years. Sounded good - not quite like wood, but not too shabby, either - and never, ever went out of whack. I did two seasons' worth of ad sessions in the US and Europe with it, got on and off airplanes in different climates with the bass in a gig bag, and never had to worry about the thing being unplayable or needing a tweak. So that was pretty cool.

    Ultimately I missed the tone of a nice, resonant chunk of wood, but I do think carbon fiber is an interesting and underrated material for necks especially. I've also had a carbon fiber acoustic in the past, but once I stopped needing it for travel, I decided to go back to wooden guitars. Not that the carbon fiber was bad - just that I found myself liking wood a bit more.
     
  15. vox801

    vox801 New Member

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    I totally agree with the different strokes.... And not bashing the guitar at all. I try before I buy 95% of the time.... (I did buy the stripped during Guitar Centers blowout and very happy with it). But I could never find a Paul's guitar to try and I was very interested in the 408 pickups. I certainly don't want to change them out. Not trying to be vague... I guess I might be looking for some advice such as: pick up adjustment... Type of amp it might work better on than others ( currently have a Mesa Reverb and 3 Monkeys)
     
  16. vox801

    vox801 New Member

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    I take full responsibility for buying before trying.... And, not ragging on the guitar at all. I can still send it back to Sweetwater.
     
  17. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenf├╝hrer

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    I have to admit, it took me months to acclimate to the Paul's Guitar, but now I am pretty sure I'm keeping mine.

    But yeah, if you're not warming up to it, return it.
     
  18. vox801

    vox801 New Member

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    yes... I probably will
     
  19. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    I had the chance to play a PG in the store. I had a similar experience. I wanted to love it because I love the Brush Stroke birds, but the tone didn't finish the deal for me. I didn't try to figure out why, I just got a different PRS.
     
  20. vox801

    vox801 New Member

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    Well... I was willing to give it a shot because I enjoy my other PRS so much, and I really was curious about those 408's... Very nice neck on it, plays beautifully!
     

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