Your Feelings: Core or Imported?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CandidPicker, Mar 19, 2021.

  1. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,123
    Likes Received:
    30,757
    PRS guitars are made in the PRS factory in Maryland, by Paul-trained employees, from lumber dried in PRS' drying rooms, sporting Paul's latest brainstorm developments, using the-highest quality everything. The finished instruments have few peers in the world. They have inspired dozens of luthiers to improve their standards of guitar-making. There are lots of reasons why the instruments are highly desirable. The greatness is in the details.

    Not everyone finds that level of guitar necessary, but I do.

    SEs are a different thing, made by a company that isn't PRS, to a price point, under license. There's nothing in the world wrong with that, it just isn't ever going to be my choice.

    "Les, you're an elitist snob."

    "Sure. So?"
     
    strat63, Tony M., Warmart and 12 others like this.
  2. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    685
    Likes Received:
    1,754
    Correct. This was to serve as a juxtaposition. Even though there's more labor, it's still cheaper because, like you said, the materials cost is lower.

    And if I'm not mistaken, I'm pretty sure most core models use khaya because it's more readily available. And I've seen some other brands using sapele passing it off as figured mahogany.
     
    dogrocketp likes this.
  3. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,123
    Likes Received:
    30,757
    Performance isn't a question of what you can get away with sonically in front of an audience. The only question that matters is: Was the performance inspired?

    The artist's inspiration is precisely what the audience participates in, and went to see the performance for, or bought the record to hear. What inspires you when you perform? That's the biggest gear question that needs answering in any performance situation.


    The audience didn't come to hear a guitar. They didn't come to hear something mechanical. They came to hear an inspired performance. If a great guitar adds to your inspiration, win. If not, and something else does that helps you achieve a great performance, win.

    There's no right or wrong to what inspires the individual artist. If the sight of folks throwing their underwear on stage is the main thing, fine and dandy!

    But there's right and wrong between playing with inspiration, and playing without it, because playing without inspiration will never, ever inspire an audience.

    I don't believe that classical artists take mortgages out on 300 year old instruments because they cut through the rest of the orchestra and the audience can hear it. I think they do it because they need that inspiration night after night, and are bummed if they don't have it.

    EDIT: It occurred to me that when I watch a football game, I really don't care whether it's played with a leather football or a rubber football. I want to see a great game. I want to see a game where the players "leave everything on the field."

    One thing that has really inspired my orchestral writing over the past year has been finally putting together a library of great orchestral sounds. Total inspiration! I put everything I have into it, though friends in the biz have called me to ask, "What libraries are you using to get those sounds?"

    I can't tell you how many times a great instrument has inspired my work over the years.

    Just more examples...
     
    #43 LSchefman, Mar 21, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  4. aphantomvaper

    aphantomvaper New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2020
    Messages:
    1,245
    Likes Received:
    2,425
    I agree totally.

    I'm not brand dropping here...just giving some relation to my statement.

    I've purchased a 12k Alembic Further back in 2006. It was what I wanted. I've used that guitar on hundreds of gigs and it has the road wear to prove it.

    I simply wanted the best tool. I didn't care about the money because I knew what human effort went into it, and what may come out of it if I do it right.

    I want an ME V for the same reason and won't worry about the money. It will also be about 4 lb lighter ;)

    "I'm with you Les!"

    "No you're not, we're posting on an internet forum"

    "I agree with you Les!"

    "Yes you do."

    I hope that communicates humor, that last part, as that is the intention.
     
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,123
    Likes Received:
    30,757
    I love you, man. ;)
     
  6. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2018
    Messages:
    3,010
    Likes Received:
    7,923
    Sapele, Korina, Black/White Limba etc are all similar woods and Mahogany 'like'. Khaya is African Mahogany and generally accepted as close enough to the South American Mahoganies - like Honduran. I don't know the 'relative' costs between these species but again, PRS would buy trees that are big enough to make 1 piece bodies and ship them to the US. Generally they also tend to be a bit more open too - hence you have WL guitars with Black Limba, Sapele, Korina (which is also known as Limba) etc. Cheaper guitars may just say 'Mahogany' or 'Maple' but use a genus that's not on CITEs so very cheap to procure. They could just use a white hardwood and call it 'maple' as its covered with a figured maple veneer and most of the time, the 'mahogany' back is painted over too.

    I can appreciate that it may not be possible to be specific if you are making 1000's of instruments a year and relying on several species to make that many instruments. Maybe some have Honduran Mahogany, some with Cuban and some with African (Khaya) - All species considered true or generally accepted as close enough just because of quantity of instruments vs supply of Materials. But I see that as different to not being specific with woods that are tenuously called Mahogany and because you are using multiple planks to make a back, you could have very different species - like Philippine, Indian and Swamp Mahogany in the same guitar.

    That's just the back bone of the instrument - everything else too can be areas to save money - Fret Wire, Tuners, Truss Rods, nut, inlay material, Pickups and materials used to make them, switches, pots, wiring, bridge etc etc can all be made cheaper too - its not just the things you can essentially upgrade yourself but the entire spine of the guitar - as well as the savings on Labour and Overheads by building guitars overseas.

    Like I said though, if you compare an SE to other guitars in its price point, you will find they are very competitive and regarded as one of the best instruments you can buy at that price. Of course its not going to hold up as well when compared to a Core that is built from the best materials possible with no compromise but it can be 'good enough' for anyone to write, record and gig with. You don't expect a Dacia to compete with a BMW but it can still be 'good enough' to get you where you need to be...
     
    Alnus Rubra and Broseph like this.
  7. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,123
    Likes Received:
    30,757
    African ribbon mahogany is actually highly desirable, often light weight, sounds amazing, looks good. I don't care what it costs to buy.

    I believe I have it on all of my PS and WL guitars, and (if so) vastly prefer it to the S. American variety. I've had any number of WL guitars with BRW fretboards, but my PS models (except the acoustic) are made with Madagascar RW fretboards. It's warm and cocoa-ey sounding. I love it. the BRW is great for its spicy sound.

    There are lots of desirable wood materials. Wood species are hardly the point. The question is what you do with them.
     
    #47 LSchefman, Mar 21, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  8. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    685
    Likes Received:
    1,754
    I completely agree with this. I own strats but never gigged them "successfully" because I just can't get inspired the same way as with a Tele or a PRS.

    I also know the feeling of bringing an inspiring guitar and have it fail mid-set and not have a decent backup and it's a mood-killer.

    My intention was to provide a good sound and a good performance consistently. The biggest challenge was a degrading "leader" who always preferred everything to be incredibly loud over well-balanced. He also was of the impression you HAD to have guitar X or amp Y or it just wasn't right.
     
    Sybo, dogrocketp, Alnus Rubra and 3 others like this.
  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,123
    Likes Received:
    30,757
    No doubt!

    I don't disagree at all.
     
    Sybo and dogrocketp like this.
  10. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    5,188
    Likes Received:
    4,811
    I'd probably go for core BUT if a guitar sounds and plays well it's a contender.
     
  11. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2019
    Messages:
    3,540
    Likes Received:
    10,207
    I’ve never owned a non-core besides the Silver Sky, which is technically in the “bolt-on” series. I played an SE, and it was impressive in that limited time of testing. But I’m a “get the one you want” guy, so all of my PRS guitars besides the SS are core models. I’ve never regretted that, so it’s the advice I’d give anyone asking.

    I’d second the “buy used” comments above, because you can often get two (or at least one and an SE or S2) for the price of a new core. That said though, I doubt you’d ever regret a new core model.
     
  12. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc “Evil” Sergio. You can tell by the goatee

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    23,331
    Likes Received:
    43,173
    Oh yeah? Which one?
     
    dogrocketp likes this.
  13. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2021
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    266
    This subject usually brings out a number of wildly inaccurate and misguided opinions, and this thread did not disappoint.

    1) The notion that made in America is better. Well, let’s consider Apple. An American company with products designed by a British guy and made in China. Yep, China. Does that make it an inferior product? No. Does it make Apple not American? Would iPhones be better quality if they were made in the US? Doubtful. In fact, they would be made the same way in all likelihood (just as imported guitars are).

    Don’t get me wrong though. Are core guitars a beautiful and great quality instrument? Heck yeah they are! Let’s not forget though that SE guitars are only built in the far east because manufacturing costs in America are too expensive. The notion that more expensive is automatically better is horribly misguided.

    2) Paul Smith is responsible for everything at PRS guitars. Sorry, not anymore. I’m not taking anything away from the man who started the company, built the guitars, achieved greatness, however he’s really a figurehead these days.
     
    aphantomvaper likes this.
  14. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2021
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    266
    Absolutely this. A lot of what makes a core model ‘better’ is purely in perception only. Something is only worth what somebody is willing to pay, therefore since people are willing to pay 4x or 5x the price of an SE for a core then it makes them worth it. But that’s really it. They aren’t 4x or 5x better, and your playing will not be 4x 5x 6x better by using one.
     
    Nice F Holes and aphantomvaper like this.
  15. Broseph

    Broseph PRS 22 Fret Fren

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2021
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    666
    Apple makes phones for different price points as well. Hell they have an SE phone. Its cheaper for a reason. Much like SE guitars are. They are not intended to compete with the higher range. Rather they aim to punch above their price point, which I think I they do well. I think expectations should be realistic for price points. That's the key.
     
    dogrocketp and jxe like this.
  16. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2021
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    266
    Except that the lower price point phones have a tangible performance difference, or they are physically smaller, which is why they are cheaper, not because they are made using lower quality components or to a lower standard, or in a different country.
     
  17. Broseph

    Broseph PRS 22 Fret Fren

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2021
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    666
    they use older chips, cameras, screens...how are these not lower quality components? They are intentionally lower standards with the goal of making a product that would still be superior to cheaper androids that flood the markets. Much like an SE is designed to be a good introductory guitar point and way above the Squiers, Epiphones, MIM/MIJ Strats out there.
     
    SinSir, jxe and Aahzz like this.
  18. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2021
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    266
    Don’t confuse age with quality! They aren’t lower quality! And, this isn’t what PRS are doing with the SE range. Not in the slightest. As I said a few posts ago, there are some opinions that are horribly misguided.
     
  19. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Plugged In...On Standby Only

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Messages:
    4,468
    Likes Received:
    4,473
    There is some truth to this, but it may be a perceptive truth for the individual. How a guitar sounds and feels to the individual person may cause the same person to not desire anything more expensive, simply because what they may appreciate what may not cost as much.

    While it may seem counter-intuitive, I like this mindset, because my Dad used to say, "Manners don't cost anything, but they're worth a lot."

    And to you, lower quality parts may not have the same sound or feel as more expensive ones. What may be worth more in sales value and quality to you may not be worth more in tone, sound and feel to someone else.
     
  20. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Plugged In...On Standby Only

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Messages:
    4,468
    Likes Received:
    4,473
    Allow me to add that better quality materials and workmanship will add to your appreciate for nice things. While it may not make you a better player, only putting in time and energy into practice is the key to success.

    Several years ago, I used to own several PRS PS...but I couldn't justify owning them because my skill level and performance ability wasn't on par with better players. These guitars were eventually sold and less expensive but still high quality guitars replaced them. It's only recently where some of PRS products have made an impression on me (viewing YT videos with better players). Still, when I would hold a PRS guitar in my hands there was something that appealed to me more than others guitars.

    While it may not matter that much that core guitars sound and feel better to my ears than an import, I can't judge, since I've never held an imported PRS, only an S2. And to my ears, the core line still sounds and feels "better" than the S2. It all may depend on the model, but given certain form, function and configuration, the core line (and the SE HBII) is good enough in my instance.
     
    dogrocketp likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice