Your Feelings: Core or Imported?

Uncle Bob

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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!

We’re NOT just talking about what we hear, well I’m not anyway! Can you hear the difference between an American made tuning key and an imported tuning key? No. So perhaps try to understand somebody else’s point of view, even if you don’t agree with it ;-)
 

Uncle Bob

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

Of course there are differences, but I’m talking about tangible ones vs intangible ones.

I guess I haven’t managed to explain myself very well since lots of people seem to be misunderstanding what I’m saying and getting all defensive (which I kinda expected to be fair).

This is not a question of whose opinion is right. This is about having a preference for something when there’s no tangible reason for it.

For instance, somebody mentioned tuning pegs, which is a great example. The trem is another. I suggest that most people wouldn’t be able to tell a US spec trem from a molded import trem in a blind test, however some people will insist on having a US version because the perception is that it’s ‘better’. That, is simply the power of suggestion. Also, a tuner pretty much works or it doesn’t, so what makes one ‘better’ or worth more money? Subjectively, looks, as the Korean ones look crap and the core ones look great, but functionally? There’s not a lot in it, if anything.

There are definite and obvious differences between US and core, but as for what’s better in real terms isn’t quite as definite.
 

LSchefman

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We’re NOT just talking about what we hear, well I’m not anyway! Can you hear the difference between an American made tuning key and an imported tuning key?

Look, for some reason you think I'm personally attacking you. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you don't like being disagreed with, that's not my concern.

If the tuners hold their tune better, obviously, you can hear the difference. This is why so many SE players retrofit other tuning machines.

Earlier, you mentioned something about Paul Smith being uninvolved in the guitar making process. I pointed out that you were incorrect. I know this from personal experience.

A little while back, completely out of the blue, I got a conference call from Paul Smith and the PTC team regarding one of my Core - not PS - guitars that had a very unusual problem. The guitar was sent in, and they were having a meeting about it to figure out a solution. I almost fell off my chair when I picked up the phone, and the guy on the other end was Paul Smith!

Understand, I'm just some dude to Paul Smith. I have no special pull. I never even made an issue or communicated with PRS about it. My dealer simply sent it to the factory to fix the problem. This was way beyond anything I'd ever experienced before.

You can verify this with Shawn, PRS' person here at the forum.

Don't tell me Paul Smith isn't involved in day to day operations at PRS. He's even involved with repair issues.
 
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68reissue

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It’s an interesting question. I guess, if I sold my two SE CU24s and my S2 Standard 24, I could come close to the price of a Core CU24 (and I still have my stimulus money!)

But I’m a value person by nature. I don’t think SEs can be beat when it comes to value, and when they get nicked or scratched, it’s not a huge deal. I have a little OCD, and I can’t imagine how obsessive I’d get over a $2500 guitar. I bought a new car a couple of years ago, and I went with a Honda Fit, because it’s reliable and a tremendous value. Just like my SEs.

Am I justifying NOT buying a Core? Probably. But my SEs come from Surabaya, Indonesia, and so does my beautiful wife. So I’m pretty happy with what that city can produce.
 

CrimesAgainstMusic

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If the tuners hold their tune better, obviously, you can hear the difference. This is why so many SE players retrofit other tuning machines.

Based on only an extremely small sample size (2) ... I changed my SE tuners, not because they failed to hold tune (they do hold tune about as well as any of the other brands I have Fender, Schaller, Gotoh) ...

It was /is simply the increased ease of changing strings, and they look waay cooler is why I changed them to SE locking tuners. , and will should I acquire another SE. Ease of string changes and cosmetics .
Do they sound better ? Heck there are too many other variables involved to be sure. But they certainly do not sound worse ...

Ease of installation also a critical point. The SE lockers are "drag & drop". Ease of string changes is a major point for wanting any locking tuner.. But if I had to drill new holes or ream out peg-head holes, Id leave them, and perfect my newly acquired "wrapping" skills. But failure to hold tune ... was not a compelling factor.in "upgrading" SE stock tuners.
 

LSchefman

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It’s an interesting question. I guess, if I sold my two SE CU24s and my S2 Standard 24, I could come close to the price of a Core CU24 (and I still have my stimulus money!)

But I’m a value person by nature. I don’t think SEs can be beat when it comes to value, and when they get nicked or scratched, it’s not a huge deal. I have a little OCD, and I can’t imagine how obsessive I’d get over a $2500 guitar. I bought a new car a couple of years ago, and I went with a Honda Fit, because it’s reliable and a tremendous value. Just like my SEs.

Am I justifying NOT buying a Core? Probably. But my SEs come from Surabaya, Indonesia, and so does my beautiful wife. So I’m pretty happy with what that city can produce.

There's nothing wrong with value. You have to do what works for you.

I've always said that buying an instrument is an emotional decision, as well as a rational one. We buy what inspires us in whatever way we want to be inspired. For me, that inspiration comes from the nth degree of tone, and due to the nature of my work, I can justify the investment in Core or up rationally as well.

On the flip side, I've made plenty of mistakes selling instruments that I regretted selling later. That was often about lust for something new, which was probably more irrational than rational.

I've never made a mistake buying a PRS, only selling them! :(
 

68reissue

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There's nothing wrong with value. You have to do what works for you.

I've always said that buying an instrument is an emotional decision, as well as a rational one. We buy what inspires us in whatever way we want to be inspired. For me, that inspiration comes from the nth degree of tone, and due to the nature of my work, I can justify the investment in Core or up rationally as well.

On the flip side, I've made plenty of mistakes selling instruments that I regretted selling later. That was often about lust for something new, which was probably more irrational than rational.

Very good points. I think if I were a professional, or even semi-professional, player I would have a Core. I’m a living room only player, basically a happy hobbyist with a little 5 watt tube amp, so the SE more than fills my needs. And in my case, what needs improvement is my technique, not my guitar’s tone.

That said, I’ve owned tons of sub-$1000 guitars over the years. Do I wish I had bought one or two really nice PRS guitars with that money? No question. But the hunt, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a lot of fun.
 

LSchefman

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VBut the hunt, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a lot of fun.

Shamefully, I'm a terrible shopper.

You're reasonable. You decide you want a new one, and then begin the hunt. That makes sense! You probably even give yourself a budget!

On the other hand, my decision making process is completely backwards. If I see something (for example, I hear about a new model) that I think will work, I'll have my dealer try a bunch, then do a video of a couple in his inventory he thinks I'll like, and buy the one that sounds best. He and I have done business for a couple of decades, and he knows my tastes.

Sometimes, I'll even skip the video - if he says the guitar sounds great, I'm in. I don't even look around. Instant decision. Boom, zoom, done! I guess that'd be called impulse buying?
 

LSchefman

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Those "little 5 watt amps" ... Can get plenty loud ! Especially for us bedroom/hobbyist player guys !
My current 5 Watt Fav ... a Victoria 5112 . Essentially a hand wired Fender Champ with the appropriate 12" driver .. :)

Fantastic amps. I'm a big fan of the Tweed stuff.
 

Rockula

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As in a lot of areas of life, I try to make my guitar choices based on the merits of individuals, rather than the group the individual represents. All other things being equal, I'd prefer to buy American-built guitars, if for no other reason than I'd like to see the industry here survive. But those other factors never are completely equal.

I have one core that I bought used, locally, from a guy who performed with it for years. Same guy now has my old Epiphone Les Paul, which I had bought new and then heavily modified. We've never met face to face; just bought and sold guitars in the same local shop from time to time. I'm told that for him, the Epiphone's thin neck makes it more useful at gigs, and he likes the tone it gets (which took me several years to achieve). I never came to terms with that neck, and much prefer the thicker PRS one with its smooth satin finish. Totally an individual guitar thing, since that's not a common PRS feature.

It's interesting that among the 15 or so electrics I have, I probably pick up my Santana SE the most often. I guess that's because it plays super well, and my mods have made it really versatile. A US-built one would probably be even better, but I've never thought I needed to spend that kind of money for that kind of guitar. Either way, no Santana will ever work as well for me for surf as my selection of Fenders. They're all individuals.

It's also interesting how some people seem to be sensitive to certain guitar quality characteristics while other's aren't. I used to be among those who thought really expensive guitars weren't worth the money. Then I played a couple high-end Les Pauls, a '58 VOS, and a Wildwood featherweight. It's hard to describe the differences. Especially with the Wildwood, you get a sense that really good guitars are just easier to get to play good music. By comparison, my own mid-range guitars of the Les Paul persuasion seem to fight back a little. It's almost as if a really good guitar feels like it's playing itself, though obviously that isn't the case. A good PRS SE gets some of that feel for me, in a way something like a Gibson Studio Les Paul does not. Cores have it too, even more so.

The Silver Sky is another case. They seem to have a really nice classic Strat feel and tone. All of the ones I've played: A really amazing consistency that you don't get even with expensive Fenders. I've played Suhr Strats that feel even better to me (probably the stainless frets and their fantastic finish work), but the Silver Sky has such a great tone. I'm really intrigued by the Silver Sky SE rumors.
 
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sergiodeblanc

Don’t you ever cry again for the rest of your life
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Of course there are differences, but I’m talking about tangible ones vs intangible ones.

I guess I haven’t managed to explain myself very well since lots of people seem to be misunderstanding what I’m saying and getting all defensive (which I kinda expected to be fair).

This is not a question of whose opinion is right. This is about having a preference for something when there’s no tangible reason for it.

For instance, somebody mentioned tuning pegs, which is a great example. The trem is another. I suggest that most people wouldn’t be able to tell a US spec trem from a molded import trem in a blind test, however some people will insist on having a US version because the perception is that it’s ‘better’. That, is simply the power of suggestion. Also, a tuner pretty much works or it doesn’t, so what makes one ‘better’ or worth more money? Subjectively, looks, as the Korean ones look crap and the core ones look great, but functionally? There’s not a lot in it, if anything.

There are definite and obvious differences between US and core, but as for what’s better in real terms isn’t quite as definite.

There is a functional difference in trems between the ones that come on SE’s/S2’s/new CE’s. While I agree I would probably (totally) fail a blind listening test, I would 100% pass a playing and string changing test, which ya know... are things guitar players do, and is part of the guitar playing experience.

Sorry, but I have a veritable pile of SE and Core guitars, and have slowly replaced the trems on all of the SE’s. It’s not subjective, the “Core” versions (and there have been many different manufacturers over the years) are better. The main culprits are the block and the knife-edges on the mounting screws, the string holes aren’t as big or as deep on the SE/S2 block, and the screws aren’t as precise.
 

jxe

babe en der wood
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There is a functional difference in trems between the ones that come on SE’s/S2’s/new CE’s. While I agree I would probably (totally) fail a blind listening test, I would 100% pass a playing and string changing test, which ya know... are things guitar players do, and is part of the guitar playing experience.

Sorry, but I have a veritable pile of SE and Core guitars, and have slowly replaced the trems on all of the SE’s. It’s not subjective, the “Core” versions (and there have been many different manufacturers over the years) are better. The main culprits are the block and the knife-edges on the mounting screws, the string holes aren’t as big or as deep on the SE/S2 block, and the screws aren’t as precise.

just get your tech to do string changes.
 

bodia

Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved
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He’s four, and not allowed to use string cutters.
Just have him do those big loops like they did back in the 80s! :D

Like this guy


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