What first prs to buy?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by steely_dan, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. steely_dan

    steely_dan New Member

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    I'd like to stay around 1500, but would be willing to stretch to 2k for something I loved. I'm having problems because there aren't any prs's in this range for me to try out, even within a 200 mi driving distance. The other problem is that I want a blade pickup switch, and I don't like the sound of the custom 24's on the neck pickup in any of the clips I've heard. I also didn't fall in love with any of the ce clips I've heard for whatever reason, which really sucks because a hard-tail ce seems amazing on paper.

    My two fav guitars to play are my epi lp, and my american tele. I have way too many other guitars that I've gotten decent deals on and are good for the money, but only in hindsight I realize it's better to have something really nice. Now I'm craving for a prs.

    I played a used custom 22 the other day. I fell in love with the neck. It felt amazing and the entire guitar was so balanced. But, the guitar didn't resonate well at all. The high e-string wasn't lined up correctly from the nut to the bridge. It was at too much of an angle at the 5-7 fret so that when I bent a note up and when it came back down the string would tend to jump off the fretboard. I noticed this in the first minute and it was an instant deal killer.

    I've been looking at the core mira because it's so cheap, but I'm leary of buying a guitar without playing it first. I keep bouncing back and forth between a satin s2, mira core, or custom 22.

    There's actually a pre-2013 custom 24 a few miles away from me for a decent price, but it has a rotary switch. I know I could replace it, but I figure I should just wait for a CU22 with blade switch. I debate just buying it anyway just because it will hold its resale value, but I feel like I should wait longer for something I like if I spend that much.

    I'm hoping to get some advice from other people, especially lp and tele people. I'm pretty frustrated because there's hardly any prs's to try here, even from the s2 line.
     
  2. shimmilou

    shimmilou New Member

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    Seems like you might want a Custom 22. Although an S2 Studio might be more versatile as far as having humbucker and single coil sounds. You can get the Studio new, for less than your price range, or wait awhile to get a deal on a good used Custom 22.

    This seems very odd for a PRS Custom 22:
     
  3. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

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    You sound very picky. That is a good thing. I recommend you stick with your attitude of not buying a guitar you haven't played first.

    But patience, grasshopper. The right guitar deal will come along eventually. Keep all your feelers open as you have been.

    It's too bad about the used Custom 22. The high E-string sounds like a setup problem that could have been fixed maybe, but yeah, if it didn't resonate, then you were wise not to proceed.
     
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  4. merciful-evans

    merciful-evans New Member

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    I agree with Dusty Chalk. You need to play them. Also, patience will pay off.
    I became almost fixated on a Custom24 on a shop web page. After 6 months I got to play it and I was disappointed. It was also v expensive. I did buy a PRS that day, just not that one.
     
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  5. Mozzi

    Mozzi Make sure its Fire Red Burst...

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    Have you tried a McCarty 594? It has a shorter scale length and vintage neck carve. It also has the the LT pick-ups which gives it a vintage Les Paul feel and tone. For Les Paul fans, it has the pots and switches in the familiar places too and they also do a single cut version as well - maybe out of your price range though - not sure of the prices in your area. Its a bit more versatile thanks to the Coil Splits and it should at least have a familiar arrangement to your LP. As a LP player myself, the 594 is the closest PRS to that layout.

    I find the 509 to be PRS's 'SuperStrat' in that it has the H-S-H arrangement and the two humbuckers can be split too giving the guitar a LOT of versatility. You could say its like 2 or 3 guitars in one. Again not cheap but could be worth the looking at for your first because of its versatility. Since PRS aren't making the 513 anymore, this is possibly the closest to a Strat/tele.

    Its a shame you can't get to a retailer to at least try them out. That way you will get to know which one feels right for you - inc which neck profile you prefer. Even if you don't get to buy there and then, you may have a better idea of which model you want to go for - whether its worth pushing your budget up or maybe even looking at the SE range.
     
  6. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    The Custom 22 you played sounds like it had a bad nut. I bet the owner did something "intelligent" to it. Could that have affected the resonance? I would only know if I played it personally. And yes, do wait. I had a core mira, but the previous owner had trashed it so badly I couln't get it right. I'm thinking about another one, but I've been suffering from whammy madness, and it may be terminal.
     
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  7. steely_dan

    steely_dan New Member

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    After sleeping on it, you're right. Especially since I have quite a lot of guitars right now, I don't want to do the same thing and buy something like an s2 or used custom just because it's a good deal. I want to go for something I really like next.

    I've only seen customs so far, but the mccarty 594 is what I was leaning towards at first because it has the closest lp sound to my ears on youtube clips.

    I briefly looked at the nut to see if it looked like it was replaced or anything. I even looked at bridge, serial number, and the neck joint to see if they replaced anything else. Everything looked ok to me, but I didn't look long as I wasn't going to buy the guitar. It was a solid color at not a great price, so it would have had to play amazing right from the start for me to buy it. The high e string went from the nut to the 7th fret like \, but then it slanted back the other way as it went to the bridge. The neck was straight and action was good, so you're prob right about the nut. That's the only thing I could think of as well.

    After spending hours looking at the used market online and not being able to find a lot of used prs's in one place I could even drive 3-4 hours to and try out, I'm warming up to the idea of buying a new one. The new models better than the old ones spec wise, but more importantly, I could play them first. Most of my favorite guitars I've bought without the intention of buying anything.
     
  8. Callan

    Callan New Member

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    I love my cu22 and would highly recommend it as a first PRS. It's maybe my most versatile guitar, very comfortable to play for hours and good range of sounds from the 58/15 pickups
    And no problems with the high E string (or any other string) ever.
     
  9. Mozzi

    Mozzi Make sure its Fire Red Burst...

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    It is the closest to the LP - more of a vintage LP too and has the same scale length which, according to PRS was the scale length of the OLD Les Pauls. The LT Pick-ups give that vintage sound too and, if you are familiar with LP's, the pots and switches are in just the right place as well as having the independent tone/volume control for each. Both can be Coil Split individually too. The Vintage neck carve feels great - its asymmetric so unlike any of the others.

    Its a fantastic guitar!!!
     
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  10. FirstFiveEighth

    FirstFiveEighth New PRS Aposlte

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    Not sure if this will help but I was in the same position as you up until recently. I just bought my first PRS; a mint CU24 10 top that I got for an absolute steal (given what it is). There weren't any custom 24s around me so I instead went to a few local PRS dealers and played a few CE24s and McCartys, which all played phenomenally (take a look at the CE24 as well since its your price range). I knew I was looking for a custom 24, but playing the CE's gave me a very good idea of the neck shape, fretwork, pickups, and overall playability of a typical 24 fret PRS. Sufficed to say, I was sold on PRS and waited until I could find a CU24 with a Satin Neck and a body color that I liked. When my guitar popped up, I jumped on it and when it arrived it played exactly as I predicted (based on playing multiple other PRS guitars and averaging out the experiences). After I ran it through my own personal setup, it plays exactly how I imagined it would (that bar is set VERY high).

    Take my opinion with a grain of salt though, because I am not a firm trying out guitars to find "the one" tonally or physically kind of guy; I believe the majority of what we interpret as "feel" and "tone" has to do with how a guitar is set up relative to our own playing styles. If you give me a solid guitar as a platform, I will set it up to play exactly how I want it to and therefore will interpret it as "the one" (A PRS is a very solid platform). I generally agree with trying a guitar out before buying, I am just saying that I personally wasn't able to but was able to make an educated guess and fine tune the final product and ended up with probably the best guitar I have ever owned.
     
    #10 FirstFiveEighth, Jun 2, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
  11. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    CU22 are KILLER they can be had in MANY configs, and nice ones can be had below 2K.
    also look into a DGT ( it would be a well loved one below 2K ) but they are special.
    The core Mira is great also BUT a different vibe that a CU22 think 24 fret SG only better.
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    With a used guitar, you don’t really know what causes a tone problem or a playability problem; it’s a guess. Folks do things to guitars sometimes that are simply head-scratchers. Then there is the matter of how live or dead the strings are when you’re playing it, etc.

    A guitar with a bad setup isn’t going to play well or sound right. As others have said, patience is a virtue. Most likely, you’ll find one that speaks to you, and if not, well, as you said, you have a lot of guitars. You won’t be any worse off.
     
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  13. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

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    I think we all pondered this same question when faced with our first PRS acquisition. My choice was for what I considered to be the quintessential PRS experience (of the time)...the Custom 24 10-top.
     
  14. gush

    gush New Member

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    You are in a great place. Once you buy one prs you will desire more of them AND you have a lot of guitars to sell off to help fund those purchases.............don't laugh, that's how it works.
     
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  15. merciful-evans

    merciful-evans New Member

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    Taking FistFiveEight's comment into consideration. I will admit to chancing my arm and buying online (unseen & unplayed).

    I dont advocate it, because even with thorough research, until you handle & play it, you dont know if it'll suit you.

    If you do buy unseen, consider the worst case scenario. That the guitar is entirely wrong and you dont want it.
    When I looked for a Ric 650, there was no shop within easy distance to try one out.

    I considered mail order and checked out a couple of stores. I looked at their returns policy. I checked them out with independent customer reviews (TrustPilot etc). The shop I choose passed all the checks and also provided a returns service to collect the guitar (zero personal resposibility re: insurance etc). That service cost about £30 (about $40).

    It was worth it to me to spend that amount to try out the guitar.

    Even with all this, I had no opportunity to compare several other 650s and choose between them. That can be important too. I reckoned up the cost of travel + overnight accomodation to visit the store. Too expensive, and they only had a couple of 650s in stock.

    So I went mail order & was very lucky, the guitar was excellent. Could just as easily have gone the other way though.

    The converse of this was as mentioned before. Traveling to shops and trying out guitars that were completely unsuitable, or even finding that single fine one out of several (of the same model) that were unsuitable in some way. Had I trusted to mail order, chances are I would have been disappointed.
     
  16. Mozzi

    Mozzi Make sure its Fire Red Burst...

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    PRS though do try to make guitars that are incredibly consistent in quality/feel etc. Granted if you are going for a wood library guitar for example, the tones may vary more but the 'core' models shouldn't be a great deal different. Its possible that in a shop you may pick up one tat has a bit more life in it compared to another but you don't know if that's the strings - how old they are, how much playtime they have had etc but in general, the guitars are so similar. Chances are its the strings that are the biggest difference in terms of sound. I know they can vary in weight too which maybe down to slight variations in density but this is not likely to have a big impact (not saying no impact but not as big as strings). If they had different nut, different bridge etc, then these too would have more impact than the slight differences in wood density.

    Paul himself has stated many times that he is confident that you wouldn't need to order 4 or 5 guitars like you may order 4 or 5 pairs of jeans to find the pair that fits. If you order a McCarthy 594, you get a McCarthy 594 that's just like another 594. To reiterate, there maybe differences between them but these are tiny.

    Of course if you are unsure about whether or not a Custom 24 is the right guitar for you or don't know which neck profile you want, then it can be a bit more trial and error but if you know you want a Custom 24 with a Pattern Regular neck, then mail ordering that is likely to get you a guitar that delivers on expectation. Its not like say trying to find the perfect Les Paul Standard for example. PRS have probably the best quality control of any big guitar manufacturer and its that, combined with high quality parts that makes them one of the most consistent guitars you can buy.

    Its always worth doing your research on the retailer though if you do intend to buy online. Retailers, at least in the UK, have to provide a certain time-frame after purchase where you can return products and get your money back with online purchases. Its better than buying in store for that but obviously, buying in store does give you the opportunity to see and try before you buy.

    I would have more issue with the store I buy from than actually buying a PRS online. By that I mean I would happily buy a PRS (at least new) online BUT only from the 'right' store.
     
  17. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    For me, PRS looked like the right guitar on paper, but I played them for years and couldn't find one I actually liked. It was only when I picked one up as part of a trade that I found one that spoke to me. It didn't immediately click, I just started playing It while I had It up for sale. I wound up liking it after a while, and switched to gigging It as my main guitar. It became the gateway drug that got me playing prs. Don't rush it. My first PRS took two decades.

    OR, just buy one, get it set up to your liking, and play it until it feels right.
     
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  18. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    Also, other than that first one, most of my PRSi came set up poorly, with terrible mods and whatnot. I had to do work to get them playing properly. Note, this is for the ones I got used.
     
  19. JJJ

    JJJ asleep

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    One you have had your hands on a few and know what spec you like and the neck shapes you like PRS are the only brand around I would comfortably buy online and have shipped.

    In terms of your original question, have you looked at the S2 line?
     
  20. Em7

    Em7 deus ex machina

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    I would not turn my nose up to a core Mira. I have owned four PRSi, all of which were purchased new. I have parted with a 1995 Standard 24 and a 2011 one-off Custom 24. I still own a 2009 Mira Korina and 2011 McCarty 58. If I could only keep one guitar, it would be the Mira Korina. However, then again, it has been through the PRS Tech Center and is not stock.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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