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What can you tell me about Alex Lifeson's black CE 24?

I think he might have 2 different red CE24s. The one with the piezo seems to have very little figuring on the top, while the other has more, though I suppose it could just be the light/photography:

AlexLifesonPRS.jpg
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Watched Rush in Rio tonight where he used the red one with piezo.All his CEs in that Concert sounds great.
 
One small correction. You can't say that the natural binding means a maple cap. Here is a first year (88) Alder CE24 with natural binding and no maple cap. In fact it is very much like Lifeson's except for his black headstock instead of my natural. I'd say his is probably 100% alder.

Rats. I was hoping the faux binding was an indicator. We know the Tobacco Sunburst with the Evans single-coil in the bridge is solid Alder, and the red one he toured with for Roll The Bones, Counterparts, and Test For Echo had a maple top.

I think he might have 2 different red CE24s. The one with the piezo seems to have very little figuring on the top, while the other has more, though I suppose it could just be the light/photography:

Hard to tell. It looks like it has the metal switch, which would make it an old one. And the piezo is clearly aftermarket. The original red CE-24 looks like a black cherry finish, but the one in Rush In Rio looks almost scarlet red. That might be because the colors are so saturated on the DVD, though. I would think it's probably the same guitar.

That's the red one he played for most of the Counterparts and Test For Echo tours. Probably stock as well, and because it would have been acquired after 1991 I'm pretty sure it's got HFS/VB pickups in it.

My mistake: It was probably acquired in October of 1991. He's playing it here:


You can get a good look at the color during the handoff at the end. I thought he got it after November 1991 because this interview clearly states he only had two PRS guitars and it was dated November 1991. But I forgot that guitar mags are always published a month in advance (October 2013 issues are on the stands right now) and the interview was likely done even before that.

The only reason this is relevant is because that opens the possibility that it may have T&B pickups in it, since the PRS model history page cites November 1991 as being the cutoff date. We know that HFS/VB pickups were used before then, but probably not consistently. I still think Alex's CE-24 had HFS/VB pickups in them just because he's a high gain player, but I was a little more sure when I thought he had acquired at least some of them after the production change to HFS/VB had been finalized.

On the Rio DVD he also played a Whale Blue CE24 tuned to F for The Big Money.

Yeah, he's had that one at least since T4E. I'd be willing to bet he got it at the same time as the red one. Interesting that he's got some covered pickups in that one, I don't think that was always the case.
 
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Alex Lifeson is one of the reasons I love PRS as well.

I had this poster on my wall growing up

rushRTBtour.jpg


It definately had birds on the fretboard though
 
^ Me too, before then I've always associated PRS with numetal. I love his tone on Different Stages Live, and the piezo sounded great too.
 
I heard back from his tech, Scott Appleton. Here's what he said about the black CE24:

The pickups are the standard HFS/VB 's in that guitar. The only parts that have been changed on that guitar are the original winged tuners were switched out for the Phase II's at some point.

So there you have it. Good luck, Sage, on your quest to find your CE24.
 
I heard back from his tech, Scott Appleton. Here's what he said about the black CE24:



So there you have it. Good luck, Sage, on your quest to find your CE24.

You rock SO HARD. Thank you!!! And tell Mr. Appleton I said thank you as well, this is huge for me. :)
 
I thanked Scott and sent him a link to this thread.

Here is a gratuitous shot of my 1997 CE24. Ironically, when I got it, I didn't know Alex Lifeson had one that was very similar. I knew he played PRS, but never bothered researching much further than that because I never thought I'd be able to afford one. I saw this one for sale for a really good price and bought it. It was a few months later that I saw a photo of Alex with essentially the same guitar. Mine doesn't have the 3-way toggle, but I did replace the winged tuners with Phase II.

I recently replaced the HFS/VB pickups with DGTs. I plan to hold onto the HFS & VB in case I decide to sell the guitar and keep the DGTs. But if you find a black CE24 and it doesn't have HFS/VB pickups in it, feel free to get in touch. Maybe at that time I'll be willing to part with them. They're normal-shaped (not squabbins). And again, good luck - CE24s rock!

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NIce! I just love CE24's.
Thanks to TFC for asking Scott.

Since were posting pics, Here's a 94 Alder/Maple CE24 in Black Cherry I used to have. I wish I could have it back...
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This is my current #1 when it was wearing it's Lifeson disguise (black pup rings).
It's a 95 Mahogany/maple but it was close enough for my old Rush tribute band. It has Graph Tech piezo system also.

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What? You said you wanted more gratuitous shots of CE24s? Well, awright, if you insist...

1990 CE24 Alder/Maple Top, Vintage Burst HFS/VB, MilCom (this is the most amazingly angry, brazen one I have):

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1991 CE24 Alder, Black Sunburst, HFS/VB, MilCom (the mellowest of the lot but still lively, been playing this one alot lately):

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1992 CE24 Alder/Maple Top, Scarlet Red, HFS/VB, MilCom (almost as angry as the '90, great top on this one):

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and last but not least 1997 CE24 Hog/3pc Maple Top, started out life Royal Blue, HFS/VB, standard neck carve (also pretty angry, and a lot heavier than the others):

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I love them...I love them all...
 
1992 CE24 Alder/Maple Top, Scarlet Red, HFS/VB, MilCom (almost as angry as the '90, great top on this one):

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I love them...I love them all...


I think I love this one of yours the most.

Never was a Rush fan but I do recall obsessing over the PRS ad with him holding the Maple top CE when I was a kid, I wanted that guitar so bad I bought one just like it.



93, Milcom, alder body maple top, HFS/VB and totally Bangin'. It's actually the last electric guitar I have bought brand new.
 
I realize that this forum is 5 years old, but I can't contain my excitement. After years of patiently waiting, I have finally purchased a black 1991 CE24. In fact, I have a black CE24 that is just 30 something serial numbers away from Alex's. I corresponded a fair bit with PRS before my purchase to be sure, but by all measure, this should be an exact clone/sister to Alex's preferred PRS. I have 6 other guitars that I enjoy for individual purposes, but this is without a doubt the purchase about which I am most excited!!!!! Had to share, haha.
 
Regarding TFC's post at the top of this page: the first guitar is Tortoise Shell, not Scarlet Red.

I know the current owner. :)
 
Most under-rated guitarist on the planet. Oh he is what made me a PRS fan to begin with! I always wondered why he went with Gibson. Any thoughts?
 

Sorry to double dip but notice the date of the show. My favorite Rush song by the way.
 
I haven't got the faintest idea why he switched after staying with PRS for so long. A buddy of mine is a guitar dealer to a bunch of celebs, and his opinion is that because Rush play with such heavy effects that it doesn't really matter what he plays, and that therefore his decisions might largely depend on sponsorship dollars. I choose not to believe any of that to be true...

I'm not allowed to post links yet, but you can google an interview Alex gave to Woodytone in 2009 where he says it was just a move to a more classic sound, though as of 2009 he still used PRS in the studio and did most of his writing on a '59 Tele reissue
 
Since Gibsons were mostly what he played from his teens all the way through Moving Pictures, I suppose it's no big surprise that he went back to them eventually. He's clearly still fond of PRS, and has the signature acoustic model.

P.S. CantankerousCarl, I love that Scarlet CE! :)
 
Ye gods, I would have given up long ago, you're much more persistent than I am.
 
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