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Talk me out of a PRS hollowbody, please

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by nosuch, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. goodguy

    goodguy TDPRI Member

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    You know, I thought the same thing with my recent purchase of a Casino Coupe (339 sized Epi hollow) .... was pleasantly surprised how it sounded almost identical to the larger Casino. I think if it's truly a Hollowbody construction (and not something like a Gibson Midtown), you will get that hollow woodsy tone which can be a great tonal option to add to your collection. Semi-hollows like a 335 are a great compromise, but don't really give you the full hollowbody experience (which is unique). Then again, hollows can feedback like crazy if you have to turn up live.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
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  2. musicroom

    musicroom TDPRI Member

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    I have two PRS SE that have been USA modified. MannMade bridges, nut, tuners, electronics and pickup mods. They are wonderful. Those and my teles are all I play for the most part. Great sounding and playing guitars. Here's one that was in the early stages of mods. Looks better now. But it still is a beautiful instrument.


    [​IMG]
     
  3. klaus

    klaus TDPRI Member

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    Definitely go for it! For long gigs and if you need a guitar that has humbuckers and piezos, imo there's nothing better. I'm singer/guitarist in our band and once our solo guitarist had problems with his back, I gave it to him for one gig. Now he's permanently asking me if I would sell it to him (and pretending he's having a bad back again...)!
    I've added a picture for you ;-)
    There were to things I've changed:
    1. For better gliding I've treated the neck with the finest grade steelwool - and of course very careful!
    2. I've changed the pickups to Tonerider Rocksongs and made switches for parallel/serial (fixed in the lower F-hole so that it could be built back without any signs).
    When it comes to tuning stability I've never had any issues. Hollow 07.jpg Hollow 04.jpg
     
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  4. mightysteve

    mightysteve TDPRI Member

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    Talk you out of it...? Well, if you can find one that you love as much as the one you remember, buy it! They're all different. I have never found a PRS I bonded with, but PRS early-adopter David Grissom sounds fantastic through his. And aesthetically, they're gorgeous guitars.

    As for the person who pointed out that John Mayer plays one, keep in mind that John Mayer can go to the factory and play as many as he wants until he finds one he likes. Which is exactly what Steve Cropper used to do when he needed a new Tele (per a Steve Cropper interview from some time back). PRS probably has better quality control than Fender did, but still, they're all made of wood, and every tree is different.

    I have a 1959 Les Paul Junior that sounds and plays like the best Junior you could imagine. But I've played a dozen Juniors from the same era that range from "meh" to "great!".

    Just my two cents...
     
  5. pblanton

    pblanton TDPRI Member

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    My experience with Harley Benton's is very good. I have two; a TE-52 Vintage natural, and a Fusion II HSH in Bengal Burst with the roasted maple neck. The TE-52 is bone stock, except for a set of compensated brass saddles that I installed because I had them. It didn't really need them. The Fusion II is still bone stock and came out of the box pretty perfect. I did need to adjust the trussrod a little (between 1/4 and 1/2 turn) but everything else was perfect. They are phenomenal guitars especially for the money.

    I currently own seventeen guitars, most of which are Fender Strats, but I also own three Gibson les Pauls and a PRS Santana. Can you tell the difference between a Harley Benton and a $5000 guitar? Of course you can. The minor differences though are mainly in feel and don't justify the radical difference in price. If you can get comfortable dressing and polishing frets, and adjusting trussrods, then you can get most of the way there for well under one tenth of the price.

    I am NOT against paying a lot of money for the right guitar, I'm just saying you should try a Harley Benton and see what you think. This one is close to what you are looking for.

    Harley Benton CST-24HB
    https://www.thomannmusic.com/harley_benton_cst_24hb_tortoise_flame.htm

    If you don't like it, then you can move it on Ebay or Reverb, sometimes even for more than what you paid for it. Often times Harley Benton guitars go on back-order and at those times, people are willing to spend more than retail for one of those models when they are available on Reverb.
     
  6. willsonline

    willsonline TDPRI Member

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    How many guitars do you currently own?
     
  7. Tweeker

    Tweeker TDPRI Member

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    I had this HBI for a few years. Not as nice as the violin finish in the video, but with a spruce top and moons (never cared for birds). Like you, it felt great in my hand, well balanced small body and acoustically resonant. But I had terrible issues with the proprietary piezo system - nobody else could touch it and it needed costly repairs from PRS. BUT the real deal breaker for me was when it was plugged in - one dimensional, flat, lifeless. I could have started mucking around with pickup swaps but I just sold it.

    You're talking about a PRS from 25 years ago. Those guitars went for went for maybe $2k. I don't think they even make a spruce top model anymore. And the HBII is $6 grand! What about the new cheaper PRS hollowbodies? You might find something like your dream for a lot less $.
     
  8. Bassmac

    Bassmac TDPRI Member

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    While I always thought a hollow body PRS is weird, that prototype! Man that is one good looking guitar. Like a violin. Wish I could play well enough (or have the spare cash :) to justify getting one myself..
     
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  9. Arfage

    Arfage TDPRI Member

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    Talk you out of it?.....Um...........I got nuthin'.....
     
  10. corbo

    corbo TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I had a PRS Hollowbody II -- bought in in 2004, sold it in 2010. It was a great guitar, and a beast in the studio...but I always felt a little too vulnerable playing gigs w it....I'd much rather deflect a beer being thrown at me with a Tele than a PRS! Also, as much as I liked the piezo/bucker blending options, I got down a bit of a rabbit hole -- sending each through different paths....two wireless systems, two sets of effects, a direct box...I think they call it "option paralysis". Nice to have a simple, tough guitar like a tele, put it through a few choice effects, to a great amp, and let the chips fall where they may! But PRS's can be fun. If you have the bread, go for it. :)
     
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  11. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    Easy for me to say "don't do it". I'm not a PRS fan. I had a "10 Top" years ago and never played it. IMO the most overhyped guitar line ever.
     
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  12. bigjohnbates

    bigjohnbates TDPRI Member

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    In the middle - to me they are guitars that will let you play but also that have little personality.
     
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  13. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Holic

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    Nope, I ain't gonna talk you out of a PRS...:)
     
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  14. Redraider66

    Redraider66 TDPRI Member

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    Have owned a lot of guitars and my 2017 PRS CE24 is by far the best I've ever owned. I know it's not semi or full hollow (have an Ibanez AS93FM 335 style for that that is excellent for its $600 price tag), but the PRS is just incredibly well made and the 85/15 pickups just sing. The neck is just perfect. Go play one if you can.

    Gibson quality is so hit or miss these days (just returned a P90 loaded SG and bought a Reverend Challenger 290 - WOW!). You are better off with PRS or NOVO or Collings these days. Sad
     
  15. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't do it.
     
  16. Redraider66

    Redraider66 TDPRI Member

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    That's how I feel about Gibson the last 10 years. I so want to like them, but they just can't make repeatable quality these days. I have found the alternative brands, especially in that $750-$1500 range offer so much more than Gibson or Fender.
     
  17. Old Plank

    Old Plank Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Ok ... Just don't do it. :D altho .... it sure is purty ....
     
  18. Yuro

    Yuro TDPRI Member

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    nosuch:

    I have a Hollowbody PRS in violin burst with piezo bridge pickup and 2 HB. Mine has birds but no neck binding or other fancy stuff.

    It's a sweet guitar and the violin burst makes it my most beautiful guitar but I like the Chena better...It's lighter, thinner, easier to play and just as resonant as the thicker bodied PRS.

    Yeah...you don't need a PRS hollowbody. You need a Knaggs Chena. They have gibson's string length instead of the PRS "in between" length also...they're amazing. Look for used on reverb. Sometimes you can luck out and find one at a decent price.

    I also have a Knaggs Sheyenne. They're nice too, but they're big guitars...335 size.

    Joe Knaggs was the department head of PRS Private Stock. He started his own place, also in Maryland, when his contract was up. His stuff is, IMHO, the best out there now. I'm sure he's giving PRS some fits.

    PRS guitars are always pretty but they don't all play well. I bought a beautiful Modern Eagle that turned out to be a real turkey. I took it back after a couple days of unsuccessfully trying to bond with it. The dealer gave me full credit. I used that to buy a Collings I35 LC (another fantastic semi-hollow). Took me all morning to pick this one out from a wall of them they had (Dave's Guitars in Lacrosse, WI). While I was there, Paul Reed Smith was giving a seminar and demo of his wares in the other room. I wandered in. Paul suggested that Dave pick his favorite single-coil guitar and his favorite HB. Paul had some sort of swiss army knife guitar that he though would smoke them both in a shoot-out. The old Tele that Dave brought down was a no-contest winner. I also preferred Dave's LP to the PRS.

    After playing Knaggs and Collings guitars, I don't seek out PRS anymore. I know they make some good ones, but like Fender and some Gibsons, you have to really play them before you buy because they're not consistently good sounding or even good playing in some cases. Mass produced guitars use whatever wood is on top of the stack. Theres not much selection going on...also, errors are covered up at times.

    The neat thing about semi-hollow is that they are great at controllable acoustic feedback. The good ones play as well as any solid body. These newer designs aren't so big, which is a nice thing too.

    No, you don't need a PRS hollowbody, but getting a good smaller semi-hollow is money well spent.
     
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  19. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Holic

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    But all in all my local shop carries a fair amount of different PRS, from the SE cheaper ones to cork sniffer boutique ones. There's something remote, standoffish, with everyone of them when I play them. All posh flamed tops and yada yada. And the volume knob is in the way of my strumming hand most of the time. Inadvertently turning it down while playing.Alas, strange thing, the vol knob on any strat isn't in the way, although many others finds that a nuisance. To each their own....

    They're sturdy builds, they look great, sounds great, plays in tune while whammying, all that. But yet. It's the same when I tried a new car the other day, a special brand. Just sat in it. Not anythng fell into place no matter how I reached, looked, tried to. Didn't take it for a drive. Many of the new cars are designed in - for me - awkward way. But that's just me, others laud them.

    It's the same when I play PRS guitars, no matter how good they are, not anything seems to fall into place with me. I have no objection when hearing others play it, even some of my favorite guitarists uses PRS. I don't know but, it seems that "it" tries to be something in between Fender and Gibson, or merge the advantages of both, and none of their drawbacks, due to it's scale that is in between, perhaps? Trying to get the best of both worlds but ends up in neither? No-mans land so to speak...

    I do have tried once way back ONE specific PRS that was decent. Just decent. It was in the beginning of the 90s when they just started out, a 24 fret one. When they only had a few models, but I can't remember which. It was, like, in the music store I worked in that "hey, it has come a new brand on the market...these ones". And it wasn't any Asian thing. I checked it out thoroughly, and rememer thinking, "not that bad". The next day it was sold. Not the cheapest one at that time either. I remember balking at the price...

    I do know a lot of people, and friends, who bought PRS back in the day, but after a decade or two, if they have got wind of a new guitar, to add to their collection, their PRS is the first one in line for being sold or traded in. They sort of get fatigued with it, or really, indifferent about it. No one regretted their split from it...
     
  20. SamIV

    SamIV Tele-Holic

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    I got mine off of Reverb for $230 shipped. It did have a chip on the headstock from shipping damage though. It needed a fret level and the nut needs addressing which I have not done yet. Waiting on nut files. The binding in the F holes was not done well. I took a file to that and leveled it out. Also died (Edit: God it’s dyed you dummy) the fretboard which was this odd red color. The finish on the guitar is pretty good. Compared to a PRS SE though, I feel it is a definite step down, but that is my opinion. I am happy with it now though. But they are not in the same price category as well.

    I actually prefer the neck on it compared to the SE hollow bodies I have compared it to. The SE semi hollows have the wide thin neck that I like though. Used to be able to get the Harley Benton around the $200 mark shipped. Closer to $300 now shipped to the states. Would I do it again? For what I got it for and how it plays after the work, it is a bargain. But I look quite often for a deal on a SE semi hollow if that answers your question.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
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