Other Guitars

Belated NGD: PRS Baritone

1

Yes, it's a PRS. Please be kind.

This is a Mike Mushok 27.7" baritone just back from my guitar tech. The muddy stock humbuckers have been swapped out for a pair of Harmonic Design Z-90s and a new wiring harness has been installed. Set up with 13 to 56 in C. The neck and fretboard on this guitar are exceptional; reminds me a little of the neck on my departed 59 Gent. Thus far I'm pleased.

2

Congratulations, and enjoy!

How do those Z-90's compare to traditional P-90's?

3

Have you tried turning it to B - b? You get more of that low end rumble but you are not down as low as a six string bass. Plus, it is easier to transpose on the fly when it is in the B - b tuning.

5

"Have you tried tuning it B - b?"

Bob: a year of so back I was bought a Squier Bass VI. I liked it a lot but had no opportunity to use it live -- our front man didn't want to sing Wichita Lineman! So I've just restrung it B - b with a set of long scale baritone strings. I'm now examining closely our set list -- there must be a few opportunities for some low end twang somewhere.

Caliban335: I don't think I've ever said this before -- nice PRS!

6

There's no questioning the fact that PRS makes fine-quality guitars. Their proprietary body shape is handsome as all-git-out, and materials and workmanship are top-shelf.

My irrelevant personal problem with them has been the neither-here-nor-there 25" scale, their flat and uninspiring clean tone, and the rather generic applications in which I usually hear the guitars deployed. I think I've called them great control surfaces for high-gain amps.

That said, and despite the PRS-bashing in which I gleefully indulge every time the brand comes up here (and my Pavlovian response here is expected), I myself have long had an excellent Korean clonealike of the McCarty f-hole model, 25" scale and all. It's a nice guitar, and I do see the attraction of a tone midway between Fender and Gibson. Sometimes, for some things, it's just right.

In any case, this Baritone does an end-run around all my PRS objections with its 27.7" scale and replacement pickups. The characteristic "balanced" PRS tone (meaning easy on the lows and light on the sparkle) is perfectly suited to the baritone range.

I'm sure it's a dandy, and may you enjoy it with my unreserved blessings.

8

Nice Baritone! I've never had a chance to play one, but I think I'd like to. I can see how a Bb tuning would be useful, and also give it a bit more growl. I like PSR guitars and play music with a fellow who uses a bound top PSR Strat a lot. It's custom painted in baby blue and sounds great.

9

Congratulations, and enjoy!

How do those Z-90's compare to traditional P-90's?

– crowbone

Despite the Z-90 name, I don't think these pickups sound like a P-90 at all. They are their own thing.

10

Have you tried turning it to B - b? You get more of that low end rumble but you are not down as low as a six string bass. Plus, it is easier to transpose on the fly when it is in the B - b tuning.

– Ric12string

I'm new to this. Why is it easier to transpose in B tuning?

11

I'm new to this. Why is it easier to transpose in B tuning?

– Caliban335

It's like the lower 5 strings of a standard-tuned guitar with a low B on the bottom.

12

I've long wanted to love PRS guitars but my experiences have led me to agree with Proteus' perception. I do love the feel of their models with the chunkier neck profiles but the stock pickups leave wondering if they are trying to be a Gibson with PAFs or an American Strat.

Now Caliban posts this beauty with changes that would make Gibson and Fender jealous in my opinion. I love it!!!

Congrats Caliban and I am both green with envy and extremely happy for you to own what I think is a dream guitar. I love the Z-90s and your honeymoon with this beauty is sure to be a long and happy one...Well done and have fun!!!!

13

Thanks for all the positive comments and/or forbearance. Glad I wasn't banned from the site for posting PRS product.

I realize I didn't mention that this is a Korean made "SE" model with a slab body. It's built by "World Musical Instruments Co. Ltd" under license by PRS. Here's a photo of the baseplate of one the stock humbuckers. I've never heard of G&B Pickups before.

14

That is a nice one. I know cause I just had one, only mine was the semihollow PRS baritone with P-90s. It had much higher quality than I expected. A very nice instrument. Unfortunately, the 27.7" scale is not ideal for the A - a tuning I much prefer. So I traded it for a slightly longer scale Eastwood Sidejack baritone.

If my preference were B - b, the SE 277 would have been perfect.

15

The muddy stock humbuckers have been swapped out for a pair of Harmonic Design Z-90s...

Good call. Gibsonesque 'buckers seem totally out of place on a baritone.

16

That is a nice one. I know cause I just had one, only mine was the semihollow PRS baritone with P-90s. It had much higher quality than I expected. A very nice instrument. Unfortunately, the 27.7" scale is not ideal for the A - a tuning I much prefer. So I traded it for a slightly longer scale Eastwood Sidejack baritone.

If my preference were B - b, the SE 277 would have been perfect.

– mad dog

The Eastwood has 28" Can you imagine that the gauge of strings used may also offset that tiny difference in length?
13-14 and 68-70-72...there are a few variations possible that might just make up for the scale difference

17

The Eastwood has 28" Can you imagine that the gauge of strings used may also offset that tiny difference in length?
13-14 and 68-70-72...there are a few variations possible that might just make up for the scale difference

– Doublefrench

Double:

The PRS came stock with the D'Addario bari strings I had used for years on a Jerry Jones 2 pickup baritone (.014 to .068). The original strings were still on it. The low A string was thuddy in A to A tuning, lacked body. While the treble strings did not intonate well on the higher frets. I tried slightly higher strings on the top two. Helped, but not enough.

My longtime standard of reference for baritone is that 28" scale Jerry Jones, which played so easily and intonated very well in A to a. I figured the slightly longer scale was a big factor in the lower tuning. Went and played the PRS next to a Sidejack baritone this guitar tech had for trade. Both guitars tuned A to A. And it was as I had remembered. The 28" scale just felt better.

Scale length seems like a big deal. Another example: My 25" scale Silvertone archtop 1427 is only 1/4" longer than the scale on other archtops here, but it feels noticeably different. The notes ring out a touch more clearly also. Is it the scale? Guessing yes. I'm not A/B testing, make no claims to scientific precision. Just how I feel and hear things.


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