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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CandidPicker, Mar 19, 2021.
don’t be persnickety, let him do it his way for a while.
I hate when the ball end of the string gets stuck in the block! Never an issue with MannMade or cores.
that is why I keep a supply of bamboo skewers in my guitar tool kit. One quick poke from the top side and that ball drops right out.
You say this is about having a preferance for something without tangible reason...
There are very tangible differences for SOME not ALL people. In a blind test I could get handed the SE guitar and know immediately from a core (True story, Blind test confirmed, fretboard feel so much flatter to me that i can tell immediately). Also I could play a certain 7 sec test riff and I'd also know because likely my pick will be hanging up slightly and I'd have to compensate. Then use the trem...and then I'd know again just by feel not factoring tuning stability. This is all before even plugging in. However not everyone is me....nor does everyone play in the same style or have the same demands.
So i guess my point is there are VERY Tangible differences for me, however not for everyone...AND it's harder to have tangible differences depending on the Player themselves (techniques/genre/ect.). I have a to put a noticeable amount more effort to play an SE as accurately as I demand..and that is before you even get to the tuning/pickup/ect. situations. I've owned many SEs and tried over and over to get them where i wanted...I really only found my luck with the old SE single cut. That probably has more to do with my playing style, my extensive use of hard 1.4mm Jazz3 style picks, and string busting strumming (which has never happened to me on a core PRS now that i think about it).
To make matters worse...there is a VERY tangible difference between my private stock guitar and the rest of my flock....totally effortless playing...total responsiveness...and all with the same pickups as my other PRS. How? Well its the sum of all the parts.
I know so many great players happy with their SE, I've set up a lot of their guitars and made them play better the best I could. I get excited when I get to work on SEs, and SE talk is usually something I'm very interested in...I like to pick them up and look for gems..when I find one I report it to other musicians I know (this was happening all the time pre-covid).
All in all if you for yourself do not find "Tangible Value" in the core model..I mean..really that should be a good thing! Why? That means you don't have our disease...and you could load up on SEs at the bargain prices they are!
What makes an SE a bargain?
If a guitar makes you so satisfied and you do not want for anything more....AND it's at an SE price....That my friend is a bargain!!
That is a syndrome of lower quality metals used in trems...that problem goes across all of the manufacturing landscape sadly.
Just to chime in this afternoon...
I think core and imported guitars are crafted differently. Same way a craft beer is different from a commercially produced beer. A crafted beer tastes different. Core instruments are the same. They're crafted differently, and as a result, will sound and feel differently than an imported guitar.
HOWEVER, each of our own palates prefer certain flavors and tangible feel, just as our ears prefer certain tones and sounds. This is the essence of what makes us humans, we each have our own likes and dislikes based on what we can tolerate or accept, prefer, like, or love.
When I use a mic, my voice's tone is shaped by the audio components used to project my voice. A guitar's components and qualities shape the tone and feel of the instrument.
No no, please don’t misunderstand, of course there are some things regarding the core models that are absolutely tangible, and as you rightly say, what those things are (apart from the obvious) will depend largely on the player.
I’ve seen people change components before even playing the guitar, such is their belief that either part of it is of low quality, or that there’s just something ‘better’ (and then go on to play the same crap in the same way lol).
And here is one area that is going to be personal.
You may not hear much (if any) difference swapping a tuner over but another person can. That is a Tangible difference - let alone any other potential benefits to the player it may offer (like quicker string changes). Other things may not be evident initially but over time, you notice a difference - like the amount of time your fret's last for example because Core uses a much harder fret wire or how much movement it has over a year due to environmental conditions.
Maybe you can't hear a difference between say multiple piece Philippine Mahogany over a solid Honduran Mahogany body or whether your multi-piece SE maple with scarf neck vs the core single piece Mahogany neck, but that doesn't mean they aren't tangible differences to 'somebody'. Whether it makes enough of a difference for that person to want to spend more on a core or not is still a personal choice.
The difference between an SE and Core is tangible in virtually every area. Its not because 1 happens to be made in Asia, its because one is built to a much smaller budget, using cheaper materials and parts as well as cheaper labour too. Granted a veneer over a maple cap itself may not make much difference, but the thickness of the maple certainly will and its a lot thicker in the middle.
I could go on and on listing the differences and even if each only makes a tiny difference, they all add up. I do acknowledge that the difference isn't as great as the Pricing seems to indicate, you are not getting 4x the guitar for 4x the cost, but you are getting a 'better' guitar and it would be 'better' regardless of whether it was made in the US, EU or any Asian country. For some people, that difference is worth it and for others, having 80% of the guitar for just 25% of the cost is good enough.
If the SE was made exactly the same in the US, it would cost a lot more but is still 'compromising' on the raw materials. Its not where its made, its the principal behind the build - these compromises are made so that the guitar can sell for $500-$1k. Thhose changes would affect the price wherever the guitar is made comparatively. Yes it would probably cost 2x as much if made in the US to the exact same specs so does give great value for money but its like a Dacia Sandero can be better value for money than a BMW equivalent, but the BMW equivalent is a much better vehicle with better materials used in its construction. That doesn't mean the Dacia can't get you from A to B and back again. For someone, the Dacia is more than adequate and does the 'same' job as the BMW - in that it transports them around but for another, the differences the BMW offer makes that journey more enjoyable for whatever reason.
No one here is saying the SE's are BAD just because some compromises had to be made to make a guitar for that price, in fact everyone I have seen say they are fantastic guitars for the money. What people are saying is that the core is better and in their eyes, it was worth paying the extra for. Its not like they didn't have the choice of 'other' US made options like the S2 or CE models. What they are saying is those 'tangible' differences are worth paying the difference in their personal situation. Your situation is obviously different and in your case, the SE is more than good enough for your needs. Its got nothing to do with where these instruments are made, its down to whether that difference is 'enough' for them to warrant the extra outlay.
This is a separate thing to 'where' something is made. I'd probably buy a Core if PRS relocated to China over an SE made in the US too because the Core uses higher quality materials and is tangibly 'better' in my opinion - again, its all to do with the quality of materials and parts, the time and care taken, the QC etc and NOT where those materials and Parts are assembled.
It makes sense that a higher quality guitar will not make you a better player; it only might inspire you to practice more which would improve your playing ability. Changing parts might improve the quality of the guitar, but still will not make you a better player. Inspiration and motivation to practice will.
I don’t really care if you disagree with me mate, it’s a discussion forum not some kind of will-breaking contest!
But anyway, tuners not working properly is a reason to change them out on any guitar, even one made in America. But even when they do hold tune people still change them out. Do you see?
Well said. This thread was not questioning national origin or the people who make it. This thread was asking why one prefers core or imported. Price point aside, some overseas production and labor costs are cheaper. Perhaps it's because PRS originated in the States that we happily pay for core instruments. Had PRS originally been a foreign business, who knows what form of attention to detail might we have seen?
I must admit, that does bug me too. You do see it often with people buying SE's and even S2's, asking what pickups they ought to buy before they have even bought the guitar. I always think its better to try them first, tweak your amp/pedal settings and if its still not working for you after a period of time, look for pups that are more to your preference based on what you think the 'S' pups are not delivering. For example, if you find them a bit muddy, then maybe look for something with a bit more clarity, think they are not hot enough, look for something hotter - but you don't know until you have a baseline...
So I do agree that in some cases, people are too quick to dismiss something based on where its made.
If I can step in for a second, I think Les was saying that PRS has several separate kinds of tuners that they put on their instruments, at various price points. The "cheaper" tuners go on the entry level guitars. The locking tuners typically are designed to hold their tune better than the cheaper tuners.
What we each may prefer is a tuner that works properly, and one that doesn't work well might need swapping out. I think Les was saying that core or PS guitars that typically have higher quality components to HIM, sound and feel better.
We each may have our own levels of comfort, but truthfully, neither touting core nor imported is right or wrong. Some of us are just stating we prefer higher quality part and build quality.
I highly doubt that. It’d be like somebody saying they can tell (by the sound) whether the ferrules in the back of a tele are made of brass or steel.
Good post though.
This may be an exception to a rule, but Eric Johnson can purportedly hear the difference between batteries and external power. (Am not Eric Johnson, and have not A/Bed tuners or batteries.)
This is a large part of what I’m getting at.
I don’t dispute that at all. Again, I’m not saying that a core isn’t fundamentally better than an SE.
We do see this from other companies too - not just US made. Ibanez are a good example of different Asian countries making guitars to hit certain price points with Japan making their highest end models. It doesn't matter whether the cheapest is made in China, Indonesia or Korea for example - they are all still 'imports' to the US market but you get tangible 'upgrades' as you move from the 'entry' version all the way up to a J-Custom.
As they are ALL imports anyway, you still have to decide whether the 'next' model up is worth the extra to YOU or not. Like I said earlier in the thread, where I am at in my musical journey, the music I play and personal situation, I cannot justify spending 'core' money on a 7 -12 string guitar regardless of where its made but I could probably justify adding a Core 6 string if the right model came along.
Its not about where something is made in my case. I live in the UK and every guitar I own is imported even if they are all made in the US. If I wanted a back-up for example that's gonna sit in the rack and only come out if my 'main' guitar is having work done, then it may be difficult to justify core money. Every purchase decision is unique - I am in different situation each time - different budget, different needs/wants, different reason to buy, different 'gear' at home, different ability etc. When I bought my last PRS for example, I had 6 others, different budget, different gear at home, different skill level etc. Had that been for a 7-string, I wouldn't have spent that much at all even though the 'situation' was virtually the same because I really don't know if I would take to that extra string. So even in the same situation, for one instrument, I would pay 'core' money but would look for a much cheaper 'Asian' made alternative for the another.
In my mind, it makes much more sense to assess the situation at the time. I don't have a 'hard and fast' rule that I only buy Core PRS guitars - even though that's what I own now. If I was going out of my comfort zone, buying something that may only get used occasionally etc its much more difficult for me to justify spending $4k+ on a guitar - not to say that a few years down the line I wouldn't upgrade, but when that time came, I would reassess my situation and try to make the right one for me - not for anyone else or to score bragging rights. If an SE happens to be the right instrument at that time, so be it!
I'm gonna take a break for an hour or so and step away from the computer. Please feel free to ask what's cooking and we can pick up in a while.
It may be whatever fits someones' budget better that helps determine what works for them or not. Like I've said, it's not possible for me to judge between core and SE (I've simply never owned or handled an SE). But from past experience, like many of us, we can hear differences in pickups, saddles, woods, and build quality. From that viewpoint, that begins to delineate what our preferences are in core instruments, which is a separate can of Spaghettio's.
I think the problem is that we expect quality instruments to be more "precise and accurate." The truth is, sometimes we make the mistake that what "looks" good may not sound or feel good, and we can't know until we've held the instrument in our 2 hands and tried working with it through our amps to find the most appreciative tones and sounds.