Your Feelings: Core or Imported?

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

  1. GuitarJammin

    GuitarJammin New Member

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    I echo this same sentiment as Les and it applies to the guitars I enjoy/own. I've played a lot of guitars, visiting very accommodating shops and having owned close to 140 guitars in the last 9 years (my wife has kept account lol..but before 9 years ago I wasn't counting). I do however still understand the awesome value of SE guitars and recommend them often.

    There is a place in this world for the import guitars. I grew up on cheap charvel and epiphone....as I grew as a musician I just bought was fit my needs and budget at the time. I remember the 90s when I thought my Epiphone was just as good as any Gibson I played next to it. I also remember the late 90s when I started to understand the difference as heavy practicing and gigging showed me that the most challenging parts of the set list were played significantly easier with the Gibson I had borrowed every now and then. I was in college at the time and I started saving, my college jobs were not jobs that afford Gibson price tags. 8 months of strict saving and taking extra side jobs I had a used 83 Gibby LP custom in my hands. It was worth the torture to me.

    All that said, I also own that unicorn Indonesian sunburst squire strat that plays/feels soooo good It makes you question everything. So with that said, Import guitars have an important role to play. They gotta be good to keep the inspiration alive for the players to write and have fun. I like that the SE guitars also bring a certain "wow" factor along with that inspiration.
     
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  2. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob New Member

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    Sure, but only if you perceive them to be better in the first place!

    How many blind tests have we seen on YouTube where somebody prefers a machine that is perceived to be of lower quality.

    The other thing that you touched on, regarding skill level, is a massive part of it IMO.

    I recall watching a video by a guy who said he always changes the pickups in all of his PRS guitars (Core models too, IIRC) because he said he didn’t like them. Ok. But when he played the guitar at the end of the video all he managed was cowboy chords...

    Now then, does that mean he shouldn’t own a $10,000 guitar? No of course not. Why shouldn’t he if that’s what he wants. I’m certainly not going to judge him for that. Point being, ‘better’ is often more subjective than tangible.
     
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  3. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Energized

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    Exactly. In one of Paul's videos, while he was on tour once doing a meet and greet series, Paul was going on about how his guitars could rival a vintage LP or similar. One guy in the audience stood up and said, "Yeah, most of us have never even held, never mind played a vintage LP!"

    To Paul, that was a turning point in his career. He could no longer espouse the comparison between a vintage LP and his guitars, so he had to base his builds from their own merit. THAT was the difficult part. Trying to encourage many who had never played a PRS to hear and feel a PRS, based on its own merit.

    And, it was the impetus for him to encourage building less expensive guitars that could rival the same price point other builders! Considering that aspect of Paul's business is what has made PRS a dominant force in the guitar-building business.

    For many long-time owners of PRS, it may not be what model you own that tells the tale of your success or not as a guitarist. If one puts their life and soul into making quality instruments, regardless of how much a guitar costs, that is what defines a successful businessman like Paul.
     
    #63 CandidPicker, Mar 21, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
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  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    That's actually not the case. Paul is responsible for lots of the stuff they do, to this day; a good example is the 594 that he developed and tweaks from time to time. He's no figurehead.

    I have nothing against overseas stuff. It's fine, it's just not for me.

    That's a matter of opinion, and you're certainly entitled to yours. I strongly disagree. And PS guitars are even more interesting to me than Core. Having both on hand to live with and play daily is instructive.

    Then again, I'm in this recording business 24/7. Maybe that gives me a different perspective. I generally don't imagine things when it comes to playability/tone. I listen to tracks over and over when mixing the ad music and other stuff I create.

    If the differences aren't perceptible to you, more power to ya! Enjoy and don't worry about it.

    But they're there.
     
    #64 LSchefman, Mar 21, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  5. helmi

    helmi single & satin

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    I have no problems with some Epiphones, some mim Fenders, and some great older Korean Dearmonds, but with PRS’s, it’s core all the way with me!
     
  6. DISTORT6

    DISTORT6 NJ Devil

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    All you need to do is watch the videos of the two factories.
    You do GET what you pay for.
     
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  7. Broseph

    Broseph PRS 22 Fret Fren

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    For some people the cheaper models are perfect. Nothing wrong with that. For some it will never do. It’s a matter of opinion. The foreign guitars are not looked down for being made overseas; it’s the knowledge that slightly inferior pickups, pots, wires, tuning pegs, woods, etc. are being used (dependent on brand clearly). Sure labor cost are lower. But that labor is hardly the only difference. If that’s the case than a SE and S2 would be the exact same. The point of an SE was a business decision to bring the PRS name to a market they never targeted prior to 2000. Not everybody can afford $1.5k guitars and up. But it was indeed a business decision to compete in a market that was already crowded. But in no way are they to take away from their more established lines. That’s like saying both Honda and a Acura cars will get you to from point A to point B and the only difference is perception since it’s the same maker. There’s a significant difference. Whether the buyer appreciates it and decides it’s worth the leap in price is ultimately up to them.
     
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  8. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

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    This.

    After I had audio classes in college and experimenting with guitars and tones in studio and on-stage, there are things you can't un-hear.
     
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  9. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Totally this. Having owned SE, Core, WL and PS, there is ABSOLUTELY a difference, as there should be.
     
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  10. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    I think I’m gonna need a frame of reference!;)
     
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  11. Broseph

    Broseph PRS 22 Fret Fren

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    I can’t imagine the fear of shipping a WL or PS guitar. Shipping a regular guitar gives me agita as it is! Hope you kept them gems!
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Easy as pie. I've had quite a number of them, maybe 35 or more. I've shipped them all or had them shipped to me in their factory cases and standard PRS boxes, with no special padding.

    Never any damage.

    Of course, now I've totally jinxed myself! o_O

    You bet. However, as with many other things in life, not everyone's perceptions are the same, and for those folks who find no difference, you and I appear to be completely delusional. I can live with that. If there's no difference as far as they're concerned, fine.

    There are things I can control, and things I can't. Can't control whether other people think I'm nuts. :)
     
    #72 LSchefman, Mar 21, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  13. Broseph

    Broseph PRS 22 Fret Fren

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    Dang. I never thought of the PRS cases as solid as the fender cases. Those fenders seem like they could fall off a cliff and be fine :p
     
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  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Being able to hear the details is one thing that makes you as excellent a player as you are!
     
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  15. Aahzz

    Aahzz Bluebeard Member

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    I'm reminded of the time I was shopping with my father for a jazz guitar for him. We were in East Coast Music Mall in Danbury, CT - which I only mention because Ed Roman was part owner at the time, and we didn't know about him or his reputation - heck, I bought my first PRS Custom 24 from him in 94 or 95 without knowing, and he screwed me over a wee bit. But I digress....

    Dad was playing a Gibson that sounded great, played great, and was a nice guitar. The salesman (not Ed) then brought over a Vantage that was 1/4 of the price. He said with great conviction that nobody could tell the difference between the 2, the Vantage was incredible and we should save the cash and buy it immediately because it was every bit as good of a guitar in tone and playability. I took it, plugged it in, played a couple chords and handed it back to him, and told him that if they couldn't tell the difference they deserved to be stuck with the Vantage, it wasn't in the same league in terms of tone or playability. He looked insulted - I think he honestly couldn't tell, but the tone just wasn't anywhere close to the tone of the Gibson. We ended up buying neither from him.
     
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  16. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Well, they're made of the same stuff: plywood and padding and covering.

    The case my PS acoustic came in was labeled Ameritage, and I'm pretty sure it could withstand a direct nuclear hit. But the standard cases are very strong cases. The PS and WL cases are often also French-fit, adding even more protection. Honestly, I don't worry about them. I've even shipped mine to PTS or Jack Gretz' shop out-of-state for setups, and then they get shipped back to me.

    I never worry about them in those cases.
     
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  17. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob New Member

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    Maybe “lots” is an overstatement. ‘Some’ is more likely. What was the model/version featured in the 2021 launch that he didn’t know anything about again?

    Having been a guitarist for 30 years I’m certainly not going to get into some kind of passive\aggressive ‘I work in the recording business so I’m right and you’re wrong’ BS with you. I’m disappointed that you went there tbh.

    Anyhow, yes the differences are there for sure, and I’ve never said they are the same instrument. Re-read what I’ve said without your PRS tinted glasses on and you might get it (or don’t, that’s absolutely fine too!).
     
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  18. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Exactly! I figure if people all had the exact same perception, everything would sound alike, so it's probably good that folks have different tastes.

    Then, too, knowing what to listen for helps educate the ear. And for many, a great many, people, small differences don't amount to a hill of beans. Hearing the details and small differences is a two-edged sword - it's fun, but expensive! ;)
     
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  19. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I gave my work background because it's relevant. We're talking about what we HEAR. It's usually considered good to share information like that.

    As to the rest, I don't care. Have fun!
     
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  20. GuitarJammin

    GuitarJammin New Member

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    For me its not the "made in USA" part...it's the build quality part. Imported guitars are NOT made the same way as the core guitars. Not even the S2 guitars are, neck construction is different as well with S2s.

    But...You know what? I love me some Nik Huber guitars...not made in USA...and I'm sure there are people here that would agree in the quality of Nik's builds. It's the sum of all the parts. A good guitar is a good guitar, and a not good enough guitar is a not good enough guitar. All of this is to be perceived and interpreted by the player and playing style requirements. I've met some really good players who just do not care about gear....my dad for instance is a smoking guitar player..I hand him a dusty ratty abandoned nylon or a 900 series Taylor and he happily strums away and sounds good. He does recognize the difference in playability and tone but likes the Yamaha acoustic i bought him years ago. The best part of that story is that my dad doesn't care what anybody else thinks, and is clueless to any type of negativity that may surround not having the "in" gear.

    There are so many factors when it comes to choosing the Import brand vs the "home factory" brand that the only thing that matters on where YOU should spend YOUR money is your opinion. No one can deny that SEs are great value for money.
     
    #80 GuitarJammin, Mar 22, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021

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