Thoughts on Torero


New Member
Jun 5, 2013
Market Rasen

I'm pretty new to the forum so thought I'd firstly introduce myself and secondly mention a guitar that first attracted me to PRS yet I didn't buy it.

I was looking for a 24 fret guitar with an OFR trem and neck-thru design that wasn't screaming out 'METAL'. As you can imagine, such a beast isn't easy to come buy. It terms of looks, the Torero was ideal and it felt really nice to play but for me, it had a few crucial deal-breakers and I wondered if anyone else felt the same.

1) No inlays. I HATE this about the Torero. PRS have the coolest inlays on the market so other than penny pinching, what possible reason would there be to do without them? I don't want a guitar without fret markers anyway but I certainly don't want a PRS without fret markers. It doesn't even have to be birds if that's not seen as Metal enough. We've had bats on a PRS but there are other options. Dragons?

2) EMG pickups. Yes, I know they're currently the fashionable pickups for Metal but I just don't like them and would much rather have passives. I'd at least like a passive option instead of the EMG route. In an ideal world I'd just like them to install the HFS/VB option so I can rip them out and fit some Bare Knuckles. This saving could either make the guitar cheaper or allow money for other upgrades like fret markers.

3) Maple neck-thru. Virtually every neck-thru guitar out there that has a neck-thru design uses maple and the vast majority of them are more established in the Metal market than PRS so why just copy? Why not do something a bit different? Mahogany neck-thru for instance would be unusual and desirable.

4) Flame maple finish. Yes, I like it but I'd much rather have a quilt option and I see no reason why they can't easily provide that option as it's not like it's real quilted maple; it's only a veneer.

5) Colours. The black cherry was nice but generally speaking the colours on offer for this model have been pretty boring, which is a shame as PRS have some lovely finishes on some of their other guitars. If I go to the website today I see an option of white or red, neither of which holds any appeal at all.

Much as I liked the guitar to play, I eventually abandoned the idea and stuck with my Jackson instead. If I were to change the Jackson, I'd probably get a LTD instead. Having said that, I did eventually buy a PRS when I picked up a 25th Anniversary SE Custom 24 and I absolutely love it, especially once I'd put some Bare Knuckle pickups into it. Despite costing less than my Jackson, it's now probably my number 1 guitar. The only two things I don't like about it is the flat top and the positioning of the selector switch, which is awful but both of these things are fixed on the newer models. To be honest, if they just sold a Custom 24 with a Floyd I probably would have bought it. I'll probably keep the Jackson for another year or two now and then sell it to get a second SE Custom 24 loaded with some slightly more vintage Bare Knuckle pickups as I may be getting too old for guitars with Floyds but you never know. I'd still be tempted by a Custom 24 with a Floyd :evil:
1) "No inlays."

I love the clean ebony board with no inlays, personally. I've got plenty of birds, dots and other inlays...something about a board with no inlays is just so clean and classy to me. Plus, my Torero damned near plays itself.

2) "EMG pickups."

I sold the 81 and 85 and got better pickups. If the stock pickups in a guitar stopped me from buying my guitars...well, I'd only be buying expensive ass guitars. ;p

3) "Maple neck-thru."

Eh, it's an industry standard. Not just for "metal" guitars but in general. I don't think I've ever seen a neck-through that wasn't maple. I love maple necks anyway so I'm not complaining.

4) Flame maple finish.

I can agree with that. I love my Torero and love the flame, but I'm thinking of getting a second one and I could totally dig on a quilted maple veneer.

5) "Colours."

Yeah, mine is Royal Blue and beautiful...but I'm not sure I'm sold on the white or the red.

That being said, I have 11 guitars currently from Jackson, Kramer, Charvel, BC Rich, Washburn and PRS (all imports, I'm not rich I just buy good quality imports and tweak the hell out of them)...and my Torero is easily my favorite. Granted, I've done a lot to it, but even out of the box it was amazing. Everything I've done has only compounded that awesomeness. And honestly, while geared towards "metal" guitarists, I find it's extremely versatile. And it's also the guitar most people compliment the most. So... ;)
I normally change pups anyway to Bare Knuckle, hence my preference for an HFS/VB combo to be fitted as standard but with actives I would have had to change the electrics as well. At the time I didn't fancy that but as it turns out, I've changed the pots and caps in both my Jackson and PRS to Bare Knuckle items anyway. TBH, I could have lived with most of my gripes at the time but I couldn't get past the lack of fret markers. That was the one that really put me off and made me go in a different direction, which was a shame because in many ways it was just what I wanted.

You're right that a maple neck-thru is a bit of an industry standard but there are mahogany options out there. One of the American Jackson Soloists can be had with a mahogany neck-thru. My problem with maple neck-thru is not that the neck is made from maple, it's that the pickups have to therefore be mounted onto maple instead of the body wood. That makes little difference with EMG but with passives it has a huge impact on your tone. In my experience with maple, it's hard for a pickup to really cut through. My Jackson came with a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge as standard and it was terrible to the extent that I ordered Bare Knuckle replacements virtually the next day (the Hotrails in the neck and middle were even worse!). The JB sounded fine when I put it in a Pacifica but in the Jackson it really was poor. LTD get around this by having the 'set-thru' neck joint so it looks and feels like a neck-thru but the pickups are still mounted on the mahogany body wood while you still have a maple neck. Very clever. Either of those two options would be great on the Torero but in actual fact, the upper fret access is so good on my Custom 24 that I'd have been perfectly happy with a Custom 24 fitted with an OFR and it seems to me that there must be a market for this as a model. I notice that when Orianthi needed a guitar with an OFR, she didn't start using a Torero; instead she had an OFR fitted into a Custom 24.

I certainly agree about PRS being awesome. My Jackson cost me about £850 new while the Custom 24 cost me £350 a year old and in mint condition. Both guitars now have Bare Knuckle electronics and pickups and the PRS is my favoured instrument unless I'm playing slightly more aggressive Metal as the pickups in the Jackson are more geared towards that. I can't see me selling my PRS but I know I will be selling the Jackson in the next year or so, at which point I'll buy a second Custom 24 of some description.