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Anyone on here own a PRS bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. D, May 12, 2005.

  1. Dr. D

    Dr. D Loaded For Bear

    Jan 13, 2005
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    and what do you thik about it. I bought a prs electric and have been playing seversl lately, was wondering about the Prs basses, I am not sure if they are still being produced or not. :bag:
  2. I do not own one, but the GC in Atlanta had one a long time ago and I was excited to play it. Sadly it didnt sound good to me. Like a Jazz bass but thin. Way too thin.
  3. WarwickFan


    Feb 7, 2005
    I haven't owned one of the newer ones which I think have also been discontinued this year. However I use to own one of the older models with the three pickups and a dummy coil in back. While I loved the sound I hated the neck. I tried to like it but my hand would cramp every time I played more than a half hour. Sold it in 1991 for a lot less :mad: than they are selling for now.
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars

    I own #244. It's my main playing bass. They've removed them from the website as of a few months ago, so I'm not sure they're in production any more...but ask away...I'll answer any questions you have.
  5. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I don't personally own one, but I know someone who does. While I was "in between basses," he let me use it for a small gig. The bass itself looked amazing (quilt red finish w/ matching headstock). It played alright, but the sound was (IMO) less than par. Then again, it could have been the amp I was using (which was also borrowed). THe amp was an Eden WT800 through a 410XLT. Don't get me wrong, I understand that there is a huge area for personal preferance. Myself, I wouldn't buy one for myself. Just my 2 cents.
  6. They've been out of production for years. The late models I've played were basically Jazz Basses and one-trick ponies sound-wise. They did, however, clear up some of the ergonomic issues the older models suffered from--neck profile, pickup placement and other errors guitar guys designing basses make.
    I've owned an 80s model since 1997 and will NEVER sell it. It's a beast to play, but most of the half-dozen or so distinct tones it's capable of are incredible.
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars

    There ya go.. I fixed it for you.
  8. MereImage


    May 12, 2005
    I have two PRS Electric Basses and I love them. In fact I don't even play my Ric 4003 or Fender Jazz anymore. I'm not in the majority though.

  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    OK, I'll get into it a bit.

    34 inch scale. Slightly narrower string spacing at bridge as compared to my Jazz basses, but not much wider at the nut. The neck is pretty comfortable...the OLD models had big necks. My PRS is lighter than both my Jazz basses, and the body is slightly smaller.

    For electronics, you have: 2 high impedance single coils (passive), and a regular 2 vol, 1 tone Jazz bass control layout. The 18v preamp is switchable, so you can play active or passive. The pre provides a bit of volume boost and also some definite tone color. It give a lot on the VERY bottom and also brightens up the top. If you like that modern rock scooped mid sound it's great. I find it completely STOOOOOOOOOOOPID that PRS built an active bass with only one tone control. I almost always use mine passive live and it does sound very similar to a Jazz bass. Read further for comments on the tone knob, because the sweep of the knob holds true wether passive or active. The preamp doesn't work for me live...I like the super lows, but I find it muddy in almost any setting except for outdoors.

    -The tone knob...When rolled all the way back, you lose all definition and it's an unusable tone. If you roll up *just-a bit*, like literally 1/16th of a turn, then there's this really nice sweet spot. Otherwise it's all super bright to me, and unusable.

    -Playability on MY bass (keep in mind I've heard horror stories about other PRS's) is simply amazing. It feels greater than great. I can play more and faster and with more dynamic than on any of my other basses. This is THE saving grace for this bass. It's the most fun I've had on any instrument.

    -The pickups can be noisy. I find I have to keep them balanced to not get hum...which if you use the preamp (with the high end boost it provides) is pretty loud. On occasional nights when I've played that rare club with good power and good grounding, it hasn't been a problem to mis-match the pickup volumes. Also, you're gonna have a hard time ever switching out the pickups on this bass if you wanted to...they're a custom build, size etc...you'd have to get a custom wound pickup or have some body mods done.

    -Fit n' Finish-The overall build is good. The finish on mine is a solid color, and is uniform and without flaw. BUT (see, there's always a but), it does suffer from finish shrinkage into the grain...if you look at it across the body from the edge, you can see it...not uncommon for ash bodied instruments, but it could have been avoided with more attention to grain sealer and prep. The neck is satin finished and smooth. No problem with fret edges or raised frets. The action is really low, but you can dig in without any clankity clank happening. I've had a few guitar players note that the action is better than on their guitars. Most bass players can't believe it when they feel it.

    -The preamp and it's set up, as I've said is junk. I've been toying with putting in an OBP-3 with stacked knobs for bass, treble mid and volumes and having a go like that. It's too bad, because it's not like they didn't put effort into it.

    -The bridge is super heavy and provides retardedly good sustain. I can hold notes for extended periods...when I first did this in my band the response was disbelief. The strings are not through body, and clip into the bridge really easy, making string changes fast (I can do a full set in less than 15 minutes).

    So there ya go...Mine listed for $2200 (I still have the original price tag). I paid $300 cash plus some trade credit...and my receipt sez $850. This was new, not used. I certainly wouldn't pay more than 1K for a new one, and there's NO WAY this is a 2K+ bass in reality. If you can find one thats NOS or used give it a try. Keep in mind you may love how it plays but need to work on some of these 'issues'.

    Hmmmm. Mixed review?

    I've just bought a Dingwall Afterburner I. It lists for the same price for the five string...and has a lot more going for it (even as a passive bass). List price was $2200 as well. Once it shows up, I'll have a better idea of what the same cash can buy.
  10. I owned a Bass IV from 1988 for a nmber of years. I loved the way it played and the way it felt - it was one of the nicest, fastest necks that I ever owned. Too bad it sounded like sh*t. Even PRS has commented that they should have spent more time researching the pickups and putting together basses that didn't sound so noisy & thin. They used 4 single-coil pickups (3 on the front and 1 on the back) but the pickup on the back did NOT work like it was designed to and certainly didn't cancel the single-coil hum. I found that it was my thinnest, noisiest bass and I sold it after a couple of years because everything else I had sounded so much better.

    I was thrilled when PRS said that they were going to reintroduce the bass line because, supposedly they had addressed all of the problems with the electronics. Unfortunately, I hated the new body design because it looked like a bad Jazz bass rip-off, didn't like the bolt-on neck (I wanted neck-through or a set neck) and the sound wasn't that good either.

    Even after all of those bad experiences (then & now)... Based upon the play and feel of the 1988 that I owned, I'd be the first one in line if they came out with another bass version that used the "old" body shape and workmanship with better pickups, electronics and tone controls.
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Here's a pic of a PRS bass I took at the PRS booth at Winter NAMM 2003. This is the bass I was imagining when they first announced they were bringing them back out. Obviously, they didn't ever produce these, but I'd probably own one if they sounded any good (and existed in the first place).

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