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PRS Bass content.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Musician78, May 16, 2011.


  1. Musician78

    Musician78

    Jun 5, 2010
    I recently acquired this. It is pretty sweet, but after playing it a few times, I realized it wasn't really what I wanted. The weird thing is, I can't put my finger on why. It sounds awesome, and plays even better.

    Anyone else have PRS bass and/or had one and felt the same?

    2011-05-09_12-28-37_405.

    2011-05-09_12-28-44_757.
     
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Its a great feeling and playing instrument, unfortunately the onboard preamp pretty much blows.
     
  3. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I played one of the original ones the first time they were at NAMM. I apparently annoyed Paul Reed Smith after he asked what I thought. I told him it was a wonderful execution of a very nice looking guitar, but it didn't sons like it had much utility as a bass. It had lots of sounds and about one that would work in a band. Among other epithets he tossed my way was "... mindless Fender thumper".

    Seems the market felt the same way because they disappeared pretty quickly, except for Robbie Shakespeare. They reintroduced it many years later with equal success, and shortly after that reintroduction they added the preamp. The advertising when the pre was added said something to the effect of them asking a famous, yet unnamed engineer, what EQ he'd use on a bass and built the preamp to mimic that. This third version died.an even faster death on the market.

    John
     
  4. It's probably just not for you. It can happen with any instrument. Time to move on to another one.
     
  5. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    Sounds more like "PRS Bass dis-content"
     
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I played one passive model several years ago at AL&M / Norfolk. Nice looking but it was a "lot of nuthin" in the tone dept. IIRC, it never sold in-store and was eventually E-bayed for $700-800.

    Riis
     
  7. SlingBass4

    SlingBass4

    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    There are those times when something like a different bridge will push over the acceptability of a bass. I have a feeling (mentioned by others) the combination of pups and guts are the culprits in it's demise ;)
     
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    The pickups are fairly decent, albeit oddly shaped. In passive mode it's a pretty good Jazz bass, with a really killer neck and super low action. It kind of bothered me that PRS chose their own shape, so you have to get custom wound pickups if you want to replace them.

    Here's mine:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I do play it occasionally, but mostly around the house and when I'm sitting on the couch. I believe TBer MikeBass plays one as his main bass these days.

    The preamp is nonsensical. It boosts the output signal significantly and has a pre-programmed tone baked in. From what I hear it's heavily boosted lows in the 40hz and below range, plus some very high air on the treble...and scooped mids. It makes it the 'loudest bass you'll never hear on stage'.

    Also, somewhat bizarrely, the pre has no tone control...all you have to work with is the single passive roll off.
     
  9. Rebop

    Rebop

    Jul 9, 2008
    La Honda, CA
    A shop I used to work in had one of the early ones. It was a fretless and had some sort of weird hum cancelling "dummy-pickup" on the back. Felt great but sounded kinda hollow and weak. Not sure why Paul even pursued making basses after playing this one. It was just kind of a dud.
     
  10. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    dscn0005d.

    This is my 1st generation PRS. I this this is a totally decent bass. Not super versatile in tone, but it has an excellent bottom end. It's made extremely well, and plays great. I think the real downfall of this bass was the price. That and PRS didn't have a brand identity with basses.
     
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    My bass had a sticker price of $2200. For that it was a dot marker, solid black finish, nothing special type of instrument. No carved top like PRS guitars, or any other standout features.

    I purchased mine 'new' and shopworn from a dealer in 2005, where it had hung on the wall since 2001. I ended up paying about $700. For that price it was a worthwhile purchase. For the 2200 bucks, you can get a LOT more bass. For instance, my Dingwall Afterburner 1 bass was purchased in 2005, and cost $1700 new.

    I sort of feel like PRS put in half an effort on the basses. Like they were an afterthought.
     
  12. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    $700 was a great price for that bass.

    I remember recoiling when I found out what the prices were on those 2nd generation basses. I don't think they realized how much competition there was out there. It seemed to me like PRS thought their name alone would have people flocking to buy them.
     
  13. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I liked the 3-pickup versions a lot. The newer ones, pretty much I agree w/ the OP in that they just didn't "feel right" for whatever reason, which is sad b/c their guitars are pretty much the only things I like to play.

    I'd like to try one of the old ones out again if I ran across it to see if it was worth buying.
     
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Out of all the basses in my flock, at the time, the PRS sadly was the best playing, yet remained my gigging bass for the shortest amount of time (less than a year).
     
  15. Justice

    Justice

    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    several years ago I played one that looked just like the OPs bass at GC.

    It played good, sounded good and looked good, but was remarkably unremarkable.

    IIRC, they were asking $1600 for it, I don't remember if it was new or used.
     
  16. gitlvr

    gitlvr

    Nov 13, 2009
    No. Va., USA
    I don't know about the basses, but their guitars IMHO sound good. The only problem is, they have their own sound. They sound like nothing but a PRS. It's a good, versatile sound that fits well in pretty much any kind of music, but it doesn't stand out as distinctive, in the way a Les Paul or Strat does( might be that I'm just so used to those tones because they've been around for so long). To me, kind or a generic tone, and not one I'd want to hear night after night. I would get bored with it really quick, no matter what type of amp/effects I was running it through. You might be picking that up in the tone of the bass as well. Of course, you understand, this is just my personal opinion.
     
  17. Musician78

    Musician78

    Jun 5, 2010
    I agree. I love their guitars. I am thinking about selling this to help fund another guitar. I am just not sure yet. Maybe I will learn to love it, lol.
     
  18. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    In 30+ years of gigging with a lot of good guitarists, I've only really noticed the SOUND of one guitar. My last band's guitarist had a lot of instruments (I quit counting when he got to 30- as he said "I'm not married, no kids, and I don't play golf"). BTW, I hated his two Les Paul's (an early '90s Custom and an early '80s/late '70s? Artisian) and much preferred his Telecaster. But one night while he was tuning up/setting his amp, I noticed the sound was just so much better- more defined, richer, fuller, focused, clear, and warm. I asked if he'd changed tubes in his amp, and he turned around and showed me his new PRS McCarty. That quickly became my favorite solid body for that band. He later got a Fender Robben Ford from the Custom Shop that barely supplanted the McCarty.

    He and I were in a side project with another guitarist (I was the third guitarist- go figure) who had another wonderful sounding instrument. Brad's was a PRS something or other with a chambered mahogany body. The two PRS' together was the only time I've heard two guitarists with 'buckers who sounded good together (outside of Duane & Dickie in the original ABB or Andy & Ted in Wishbone Ash).

    Love the guitars, but the bass was obviously designed by a guitar player, not a bassist. We once joked about playing a PRS bass through a Bass Rockman for that truly awful "guitarist who thinks they know bass" experience....

    John
     
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    You had to mention Telecasters. ;)

    Actually I find Les Pauls of the later variety to be sort of bland and nondescript. My roommate has a PRS hollowbody (full hollow, spruce top of an older vintage) and it's fairly unique sounding.

    But in recording last summer, I had our guitarist who has a lot of 'hand tone' and plays a strat normally that sound traditionally 'strat-like' pick up my Telecaster (a custom wolf-in-sheep's clothing Tele, swamp ash/Brazilian RW/Maple neck/Nitro finish), and he laid down some takes that just had breathtakingly beautiful tone. By far richer and more complex and just achingly sweet. I've never heard that out of a PRS or nearly any other instrument.
     
  20. kjpollo

    kjpollo

    Mar 17, 2008
    CT
    Tiran Porter of the Doobie Bros used one back in the day=the 3 pickup model I think.
    I remember Bass Player magazine did an interview with him and it must've been around one of the times PRS was stopping production of the basses because he was saying in the interview that they should keep on making them.

    Its too bad they didnt put more effort into the electronics because you dont hear people knocking the build quality at all.
     

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