Your Feelings: Core or Imported?

CandidPicker

Because Opportunity Seldom Knocks Twice
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
4,580
Location
NW Connecticut, USA
If it were possible that you already owned enough for a core model (say, the typical new MAP price for a 10-top model), would you happily purchase one core, or the equivalent of one or more imported PRS guitars?

The reason for my asking is that there a certain mindset about buying American-made guitars. Without creating an idealogical discussion, what are your feelings about core and imported guitars, and why would you pursue a certain course over others? What advantages might there be with one course compared to the other?
 

Nice F Holes

New Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
289
Location
Hononlulu, HI
If I had the money? Core, no question. An SE is a nice guitar. A Core is artwork.

I've watched plenty of videos about PRS guitars and the company, and I believe all the 'stuff' really goes into the guitar - the passion, the innovation, the pride, etc. It's more than just parts, but the parts are also better in the Maryland guitars. I can tell that 'stuff' is missing from my SE. There's no way my guitar would have ever left the factory in Maryland.

It's not about where it's made - if a foreign company put as much of all the above into making some of the best guitars in the world, I'd have no problem owning one.

I love my SE. Like dmatthews said above, I bought the tool that fit my budget and need at the time. But to my eye it's pretty obvious it wasn't made to the same standards as a Core guitar. I won't say that bothers me since I got the best that I could afford, which is a really nice guitar. But it doesn't satisfy my desire to own a real PRS Hollowbody II.
 
Last edited:

Broseph

PRS Fren
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
562
Location
'Merica
S2 and CEs are way overlooked in my mind. Absolutely no denying the increase in craftsmanship from an SE while usually 1/4 to 1/2 the price of a brand new core. A lot of people get SE and tweak them quite a bit. Which is cool if you got spare parts. But if you are paying outta pocket I would advise to think hard about S2 or CE instead.
 

Slowhands

New Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
130
Location
New Jersey
I don't have any experience with SE models. I do have a USA custom 24. I bought it because it came up for sale locally for cheap. I thought I could flip it, I was a Gibson guy and PRS wasn't my thing. When I met the guy I saw that it had a hairline crack across the back. No wonder it was cheap. But I figured I'd get it anyway. I didn't figure on falling in love with it, but I did. It has problems, the crack and it was kept in some humidity problem areas because the fingerboard and the inlays are not quite level anymore (inlays are just a hair recessed). And I don't care about any of that, the guitar just feels right in my hands, sounds great of course, and is gorgeous to boot. The SEs are gorgeous too but I just feel like if I were to get another I'd get a core model with the expectation that whatever secret sauce they used to build my current 'relic' would be in the new one too.
 

AP515

Mostly Normal
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
3,911
Location
NC
I've said it before and I suspect I'll say it again hereafter, get the best guitar you can afford. It will prevent the 2nd guessing.

But, as has been mentioned, you can really get both. A used core and a used SE will still leave you enough for a used S2. If you are careful looking, you will find them in case queen condition.
 

Maxime Bousquet

perfect reality sounds
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
202
Location
Canada
the advantages .., between the two, my personal opinion, everything is in the details, the reputation .. and its details are such that the price difference is quite substantial, the labor, the materials used, everything this is cheaper for imported ones, everyone knows that, however if my budget does not allow me a core and I would like a PRS I will be happy to be able to get an SE! they all have their place on the market, so why not, one day I went to buy an acoustic guitar and I had a good budget, I ended up buying one that was 3 times cheaper than expected, a love at first sight! so the advantage is that there is something for all budgets! a chance!!
 

CrimesAgainstMusic

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
384
Well... they are different products. The Core, is a "state of the art " effort, by a leading company, and the price reflects that. In that I already have more guitars than I know how to play, I'd go Core . But I was also one of those "Buy Amurrican" guys (in guitars at least ) as my cars are Toyota & Subaru . The leading guitar firms are American and reserve their best efforts for their domestic factories . So by design and intent. the US stuff is "better".

But also waay more expensive, and not necessarily as cost effective. I simply cannot afford Core. I'm not going to spend $4,000.00 on a guitar. Thankfully , PRS makes the "S2" line, which competes with domestic made models made by the rest of the market (Fender, G&L, Gibson and whoever else I'm missing ) So I can , within reason still buy an American PRS guitar (I did, an S2 Mc Carty).

But a far as bargains go ... the SE stuff is almost without peer. Phil Mc Knight shows that in one of his blogs, that one could buy 5 excellent SE and S2 guitars, for the price of one killer Core !

If I had no instruments, that is clearly the way I would go.. I for one, could probably never make a Core sound as good as it can. Or even a good SE. So the qualitative differences are meaningless as far as my ability to extract them from the superior instrument. I'm gonna sound bad, regardless of the instrument ! ;)

The only real reason I bought a $1500 S2 over a $1500 SE .was simply due to neck carve and scale length. Without having either instrument to fondle prior to the buy, I went S2 as it is shorter scale, and smaller neck carve.

In that I have the S2, and have "fondled" the Wide Fat SE... I'm copping the SE next (Hollowbody II). I do not regret my choice. I made the best decision I could at the time.

But it is clear, that the $1500 SE ... represents the better "value" ... because if it were MIM (Made In Maryland ) ... the sucker would cost more than twice as much ! :rolleyes:
 

aphantomvaper

Cogent Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
1,640
Location
Illinois
Its hard to say if my top PRSi, SE Paul's and S2 594, are better than the other. The finish is the main difference they both have their own distinct sound. That S2 McCarty sunburst is deep, like looking into amber. They both rock!

That being said if I had the money I would go for the best tool I could as that is the most value. That would be Core...prob a McCarty or...Modern Eagle V which happen to be made in USA. Used or new would not make a difference to me, cept I would probobly buy another S2 with the money saved if I bought a used Core.
 

CandidPicker

Because Opportunity Seldom Knocks Twice
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
4,580
Location
NW Connecticut, USA
I won’t hold a grudge against a guitar for where it happened to be made. I prefer to buy things that are high enough quality that I won’t feel compelled to buy a better one later.

There is a substantial difference between core and imported. I'd hazard to guess that handmade ones are the next level, whereas core production and imported fall below that.
 

CandidPicker

Because Opportunity Seldom Knocks Twice
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
4,580
Location
NW Connecticut, USA
Its hard to say if my top PRSi, SE Paul's and S2 594, are better than the other. The finish is the main difference they both have their own distinct sound. That S2 McCarty sunburst is deep, like looking into amber. They both rock!

That being said if I had the money I would go for the best tool I could as that is the most value. That would be Core...prob a McCarty or...Modern Eagle V which happen to be made in USA. Used or new would not make a difference to me, cept I would probobly buy another S2 with the money saved if I bought a used Core.

IMHO, it's mostly the construction materials and man-hours regards labor that set core apart from imported. If something of good quality can be put together with cheaper materials in a shorter amount of time, it's likely that that is an imported guitar. A core piece takes longer to build and uses higher quality materials, hence the associated price tag.
 
Last edited:

CandidPicker

Because Opportunity Seldom Knocks Twice
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
4,580
Location
NW Connecticut, USA

nDRhVHf.jpg
 
Top