PRS + Westone

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PRS + Westone

Post by Bluesman on Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:20 am

Alright, Im new to the forum, been playing guitar long before Westones appeared on the market. My first gigging guitar was an amazing Thunder 1A back in the mid 80's, the point is I also own a PRS CU24 worth about three grand and their aint a lot of difference between the two guitars, construction wise, sound wise and playability. One guitar I bought out off pocket money, the other guitar forced me to take out a second mortgage!!! Any best wishes to you all, we'll speak soon.

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:27 am

Hi Bluesman and Welcome.

Do you still own any Westone guitars? Given the choice, what would you prefer to have, an old Westone or a PRS, or both? Rolling Eyes

Pauline :flower:

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by thunduak-1 on Sun May 11, 2008 3:54 pm

Hi Polly - MEGA CONGRATS on granny x 5 (soon to be 6!!!) Sorry I haven't been here much recently - just too busy trying to get a new contract.........

Hey - you know I've been trying to convince one of my guitarists in the band to switch to a Westone - well the reason he (Stewart) won't is that his axe is a custom made PRS, worth almost 5 figures! AND it sounds really thin compared to Martin's Spectrum LX, or Alex's Thunder 1a!!!!!! hey - THREE guitarists, as well as me on bass - how's that for wall of sound!

Anyhow, I've just rediscovered my ricky 4001 - not as meaty as my spectrum ST bass when picking, but can handle Lemmyish chords much better than the Spectrum. so I use both in rehearsals!

Very best to you and your expanding family!

Guy

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by Guest on Sun May 11, 2008 9:03 pm

Hey there Guy,

Good to see you again mate, and thanks for the Congrats!
Smile

I'll stick with my Westones, they don't cost anywhere near the PRS's, but I value them just as much - (if not more!)

You should talk to Zube, he's into the Ricks too, if memory serves me correctly! All this granny business takes its toll eventually and the old grey matter ain't what it used to be!
lol!

Good luck with the contracts, hope to see you here again soon!

Pauline
:flower: :queen:

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by Sfalj on Mon May 12, 2008 12:14 pm

thunduak-1 wrote:Anyhow, I've just rediscovered my ricky 4001 - not as meaty as my spectrum ST bass when picking, but can handle Lemmyish chords much better than the Spectrum. so I use both in rehearsals!

Yeah, the Rickenbacker 4000 line are without a doubt the coolest looking basses on he planet. Don't get rid of it. What color is yours?

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OK - 7 month delayed reply1

Post by thunduak-1 on Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:40 pm

The Ricky is cream, with black scratchplate. when built in 1975, it probably was white, but now well faded!

Guy

PS - sorry for the HUGE deley in replying!

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by prestigious on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:49 pm

I'll be honest here. I "almost" hate to speak of these things because I still remember the days before the Internet and I get this notion that every time this sort of thing get reiterated that I am shooting my own foot.... See I am an absolute freak about my prestiges. I don't want them all mind you....just the really good ones Very Happy So I am convinced the more websites there are and the more crazy talk like this that occurs the less I will be able to afford them as people become more aware of what these guitars can be about. I gasped when I found all these westone sites....I had it fixed in my mind when i was forced to sell my baby that getting another would be a walk in the park and that I'd be able to find them cheap and plentiful....not really the case....I come to find they are collectible ....agghhhh!!! Stupid smart people...
So anyway let me go on the record and say....No way man! A PRS is way better guitar than some junky old Japanese clunkers like these old Westones. Westones are boat anchors and in no way could be as good or even better than a PRS.....maybe westone wanted to best them with the PReStige but come on be real....those PRS are worth five times as much.....they MUST be better!!!
BTW I have dozens of boats....I lost a 40 footer last weekend....I am short on anchors....So if you a prestige let's talk...
Serioulsy not only the PRS but look at the early bakers like the one Robben Ford used to play. I have read articles about the bakers and he says in the 80's there were all these import guitars he was working and learning on...... See where I am going with this? The scale is also the same which I guess is common but none the less I have seen bakers that ares strikingly similar to the prestige line. I truly think they may have inspired the man in some ways, subconsciously perhaps??
All I can say for sure is I might love the right prs.....but I would love even more the several prestiges I could have for the same loot....well so long as people don't get hip.....damn it all.... Very Happy

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by corsair on Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:01 pm

Ha! You got caught by the guitar playing public catching on that the 80's Japanese instruments were, by and large, very good indeed! To reply to your points, just because a guitar costs 5 times as much as another doesn't make it 5 times better by any stretch of the (fevered) imagination - you only have to look to the rubbish Fender and Gibson were selling in the late 70's and 80's for big dosh! And in the early days Gretsch were paying their workers by piecework which is NOT the best way to ensure consistently good quality, eh - now go and see what a 50's White Falcon will cost ya to buy! (I've played one and hated it!)
Admittedly, these days quality of the average instrument is a given, pretty much, but the fit, finish and sound quality on any of my Matts - Vantage, Westone, Electra and APII - would certainly give pause to broad sweeping judgements on PRS, or anyone, being "better"! Horses for courses, really - would you feel confidant taking your 3K PRS, LP et al to a series of pub gigs? Laughing

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by prestigious on Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:55 pm

To reply to your points, just because a guitar costs 5 times as much as
another doesn't make it 5 times better by any stretch of the (fevered) imagination -

Shhhh.... dang it all.....



THESE AREN'T THE GUITARS YOUR LOOKING FOR.... (jedi mind trick)

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by corsair on Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:20 am

Laughing



...and it's not working, anyway!!!

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by Hyperion on Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:06 pm

Hi,

I play guitar since 20 years, and I've played on nearly 50 different guitars, ranging from Gibson, Fender, Ibanez, PRS, Godin, Vigier, Westone...
I also repair guitars , and I know a little bit about guitar construction.

Today I play mainly on 2 Westone Thunder III, and they are in the top 5, along with my Ibanez Joe Pass (sold 10 years ago), my Godin A6, my Gibson LP special, and my Vigier Arpege.

Not all Westone guitars can be compared with PRS. Only the high end models can, because PRS are high end instruments.

If you take a Westone Thunder III or a Westone Prestige, then you can compare construction, woods, durability, finish, and you'll notice that they are at least equivalent in terms of quality.

Talking about sound : it's a matter of taste, but I can tell you that the drummer of my group, who came with me to try a PRS Mira lately, told me that my Westone is way more credible than this $2000 PRS.

Talking about finish : no way Smile PRS uses cheap polyester where my Westones are finished with high end polyurethan, with no flaws (where I've found several PRS to have badly finished frets with file scratches).

Talking about materials : the Thunder III offers good density ebony fingerboard, solid ash body, brass nut, highly reliable bridge, great high output microphones and mother of pearl inlays (never seen ebony on PRS under $5000).

Talking about construction : please tell me of a neck-through PRS if you can find one Smile

So , even if I can afford several PRS if I wish, I won't buy one again until I find a model at least 10x better than the Thunders... not for tomorrow.

For the moment I'm searching for an Ibanez Joe-Pass or Georges-Benson Jazz-box, or maybe a Westone Rainbow or Session. These are to be compared with Gibson Jazz-boxes, ... and for the same kind of reasons, are way better guitars.

I play guitar, I'm not playing marketting ! I'm not going to spend $3000 in a guitar just because Chuck Norris has the same one lol!


Cheers
JP


Last edited by Hyperion on Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:40 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by colt933 on Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:57 pm

This is a great topic. I've followed it for a while without chiming in.

I agree with other members here that the high-end Westones are fabulous guitars and as such deserve comparison with other high-end guitars like PRS, old Bakers, etc. But you can't really compare the cheaper Westone models with premium models and brands.

I believe it is impossible to state that the PRS or similar is 5 times better than the Westone based on price alone. The quality of the instrument is subjective to the individual player.

I nearly purchased a like new PRS SC245 a couple of months ago. This is PRS' antique Gibson fighter - 24.5" scale (not 24.75" like modern Gibsons). 24.5" is a GREAT scale. It was about $18-1900US and was used, but in new condition in the case with all case candy. Compared with a 'new' one, it was a steal at this price. I had the money. It was beautiful, light weight, played like a high-end custom instrument should, had tone to die for, and in my opinion blew the doors off the Prestige 150, Thunder IIA, and Spectrum FXs that I used to own. For that matter, I liked it better than any Gibson I have ever played - prettier, played better, and sounded better.

But you know what the PRS did not play better than? Any of the Pantera X-390s that I have owned over the years. That neck profile, also on the Pantera X-300 in bolt-on form, is just about perfect. If I could just get the Pantera to sound like it was made of mahogany.... scratch Or if I could get a mahogany guitar with that neck profile... Suspect

If you like the $200 Ebay Westone and it satisfies you, then GREAT.

If you find a really expensive guitar that speaks to you or lets you express yourself like no other, and you can afford the price, then GREAT.

It's all about what YOU want.



I'd like to say this also:

If you're interested in buying a new guitar and have $400, then I recommend a Mexican Strat or Tele - hard to beat the quality at this price. Later on, you might consider upgrading the pickups or maybe the tuners if you'd like to throw more money at it.

If you have $600 then you should check out the PRS SE Singlecut - again hard to beat at this price. These are made in Korea. Again, you might want to upgrade the pickups or the tuners after you've had it for a while - and maybe a new bridge with intonation adjustment as well. But they are good-to-go in original configuration and are a great low cost alternative for a working/gigging musician. The necks, frets, and finish are all great!

If you have $1000 then you should buy one of the new Charvel SoCal or San Dimas models in the custom/limited colors. They have the most unbelievable paint you have ever seen (way better in person and under lights), the necks are JUST LIKE old San Dimas Charvels - quartersawn maple, gigantic frets, compound radius, no finish, hand-rolled edges, leveled, rolled, and polished frets - TOTALLY CUSTOM. Plus you get either Seymour Duncan or Dimarzio pickups and a REAL Floyd Rose. The only upgrade that I would consider for these is a D-Tuna (you'll need to block the Floyd so it won't pull up). They are TRULY a steal! ($175 worth of pickups, $180 bridge, $150 custom work on a $300 neck, insane paint colors - how do they make these in USA and sell them for only $1000? - with a gig bag!)

Did I mention that I really like the new Charvels?

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by corsair on Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:19 pm

Nahh... really!!? Laughing It's an interesting thread, for sure and my only comment pretty much echoes Colts - horses for courses! We tend to forget that the majority of the Matt guitars were mid-range instruments but with a build quality that pretty much shaded the 'biggies' of the time in a major fashion and thereby made the big 2 get their act together (I'm old enough to remember just how appalling the build quality of Fender and Gibson main stream models was in the late 70's/early 80's!), and that to compare a 1980's Westone to a 2008 PRS or Charvel is fraught with difficulty; apples and oranges, eh!
As much as I'd like to think that my beloved Matts are at least the equal of 30+ years of advancements, the cold, hard reality is that for the most part, they aren't. My VA900 has taken on and most times at least equalled, and often surpassed, the performance of most other high-priced instruments and I'll state categorically that my NZ$200 Spectrum ST wa-ay surpasses in build and sound quality what passes for entry and mid range guitars today which are Chinese or Indonesian built, at least here in NZ....
That said, at gig volumes with all the pedalboards and other outboard gear, I defy anyone but the most anally-retentive anorak to pick the difference between a Pantera and a Charvel at full throttle...! Laughing

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by Hyperion on Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:43 pm

and that to compare a 1980's Westone to a 2008 PRS or Charvel is fraught with difficulty; apples and oranges, eh!

Woods, construction, finish and sound can be compared, no matter the age or the origin. Cost and brand aren't important ... it's just musical instruments, built for musicians.

At least it's my point of view, and I must tell you that I'm very regarding concerning the quality and condition of guitars. Anyway I must admit that PRS are part of the very best guitars still built in USA today.

JP

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by logicaljohn on Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:17 am

And to think I was in California this spring, Robben Ford was playing at a venue about 20 miles from where I was staying and for some reason or other... I didn't go ..... sob !!

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by Guest on Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:25 am

Well chaps, the PRS is here but it is too pretty and too damn expensive that I'm frightened to even touch it! affraid The boss wouldn't let me anyhow! No

Sorry Stephen, just kidding!... I'm the boss!
lol! lol! :heart:

My contribution to this discussion is that I have to agree that it is a beautiful instrument, aesthetically and for sound quality but I have to argue one point: How can these companies justify the amount of money that they charge for these instruments when at the end of the day, they are all made from the same thing - wood and metal?
confused Ultimately they serve the same purpose, albeit some better than others.

Yes, they use the best of everything in the manufacture of them and everything is perfect down to the last detail, I agree. What I can't get my head around is how a Westone, which in comparison, is at the lower end of the price range, can still compare so favourably to a much better quality built and higher priced guitar! Did those little Japanese peeps back in the '80's know something that we don't?
scratch


Pauline
:flower: :queen:

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by logicaljohn on Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:50 am

Well, Westone went out of business and as far as I'm aware, PRS haven't. !!

Sometimes in this crazy world the cost/price/worth equation is a bit out of kilter, but I would have though labour and overhead costs would be a major factor plus there is also the value of brand.

I'm sounding like a barrack room economist here,plus teaching grannies to suck eggs (no offence pauline..) .... so I'll shut up now.. Smile

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by corsair on Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:09 pm

Matsumoku may be dead, but one or two of their brand names live on, albeit now made in Korea/China (Aria Pro, Vantage) and Germany(?) {Westone}.

Perception of brand value is the phrase I'd use, though; it's only the really, really bespoke guitars which may be demonstrably better than the mid-price range new guitars these days - and I can well remember the barracking I got for buying a Jap guitar new in 1980 ... and still do at some gigs! Laughing
And at stage volume in some manky club/pub, it'd be really, really hard to tell the diff between a NZ$3000 Stratocaster and my NZ$200 Westone Spectrum/Clipper/Genesis, eh!! Very Happy

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by Bunyip on Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:21 pm

My sister drives a Mercedes whilst I have a little Toyota. When our mum was alive her nose would rise higher in the air when in my sister's car, because she knew all about brand value. I have a Samick 335 copy, it looks very similar to one of those "G" guitars from a distance, and sounds OK to me, but I get a laugh when other guitarists walk up to check it out and then immediately walk away when they see the brand name on the headstock. Similar with my Ibanez Roadstar and my Westones, people seem to have a pecking order according to brand name and can be dismissive of those that are not "G" or "F" brands. Having said that, my NZ guitar teacher in the 1980s would often comment that my Roadstar compared very favourably with Fender Strats of the day.

I once played in church with a semi-professional guitarist who had a PRS insurance replacement for his stolen Gibson Les Paul. He said the PRS was a nice guitar with great timber and tone, but it was nowhere near as good as his Gibson. But then these days the guitar forums are full of people who claim that their Chinese, Japanese and Korean copies all sound and play better that the brand name guitars, for a fraction of the price. So who is right? And who cares? I just enjoy playing my little collection and don't give a rats about whether or not I am in vogue.

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by Hyperion on Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:09 am

So who is right? And who cares?

Who's right ? ... me of course geek
Who cares ? everybody on this forum. This forum is just "about" people who want to talk about collecting vintage Westone guitars. They are very proud to be part of the very few illuminated people who know the real value of those instruments. This is just the place where truth about 80's Westone craftmenship quality can show up.

**My** opinions on the mainstream brands are :

- *Most* new Gibsons are worst than Indonesian mid-range guitars. You're likely to find a good Gibson over $4000, with some patience. Their pickups are still great, as well as their marketting team.
- Fender keeps a good level of quality on most models, specially Japan and US
- Musicman are the greatest Strat-like guitars
- PRS is the top of the top for a set-in neck guitar today
- Ibanez makes money in China, but keeps a good level of quality in Japan
- Yamaha provides a high level of quality on any product ranging from helicopters, motorcycles, boat engines, pianos, hifi amplifiers, and guitars, wherever they are made. Yamaha rocks !
- ESP are great guitars for heroes , a pity that their vintage line is not imported in France.
- Godin's quality seems to decrease these days. Their semi-acoustic guitars are still incredibly good instruments.

My ultimate dream is an Alembic Further ($9000). Or any Alembic guitar that some dumb fool would sell me under $3000.



I'm not telling that vintage high-end Westones are better than everything else , really. I just think that you can find a Thunder III, an Ibanez musician, Ibanez Artist, Peavey Odissey, Yamaha SG2000, ... on the market today for less than $1000, and which are absolutely comparable with high-end PRS in terms of quality, woods, finish, sound, and ***spirit*** !!!!! even if , like me, you have enough money to buy several PRS, that's not worth.

Think different :alien:

Cheers
JP


Last edited by Hyperion on Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:59 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by Hyperion on Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:11 am

Another Alembic :



Last edited by Hyperion on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by Hyperion on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:10 am

One of my 2 Thunder III (mk1) Smile




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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by corsair on Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:12 pm

Hyperion wrote: I just think that you can find a Thunder III, VANTAGE VA900 an Ibanez musician, Ibanez Artist, Peavey Odissey, Yamaha SG2000, ... on the market today for less than $1000, and which are absolutely comparable with high-end PRS in terms of quality, woods, finish, sound, and spirit


... and that, kiddies, is pretty much all you need to know!! Laughing And bear in mind that even when I started picking up Uncle Matts, they were cheap as chips; certainly sub US$500 and now for one of the neck-thrus, you'll pay very good money indeed so the world IS catching on!! Crying or Very sad

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PRS + WESTONE

Post by Bluesman on Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:36 am

Hello people, I thought this topic may raise a wee bit interest and I'm pleased to see some of you can relate to the subject matter. I firmly believe Mr PRS was strongly influenced by the early 80s Westone design, compare the Thunders and Prestiges to the general shape and design to the PRS. Only difference being, Westone employed better quality woods and created a more durable guitar, that is why so many are still around in good, playable condition. If I was Mr Westone, I'd seriously think about suing Mr PRS!!!

My PRS is a bit of furniture, an eye catching waste of money that I would not use on stage because it lacks that certain density that is needed to create natural tonal quality. Now you probably think I dont know what I'm talking about, but I own both species of guitar and I've playing over 3 decades, I've owned 3 Gibson LPS, 5 Fender Strats +Teles, 2 Yamaha SGs, 2 Jackson Soloists + 2 other Jacksons, 2 Burns Flytes and of course Westone Thunders, Its not that I cant make up my mind! I have a curious nature and like to find out what these very different guitars have to offer.

At the moment, I use a Gibson LP standard for live work, another guitar that has has gone dramatically downhill since 2002, early Gibson LPS up to 1960 and late 80s to 2001 are great guitars, the others are living of the name, Westone has the same problem,, those guitars not built in Japan in the 80s are poor quality. The reason behind Westones demise was purely economic, they could not afford to manufacture high quality guitars and sell them as mid range guitars. Plus the 80s saw a rise in keyboard based music while the only guitars selling were Jackson type models with floyd rose bridges, fast necks and high out pick ups. Most guitar companies suffered during the 80s, many did not survive.

To John, I'll write soon mate, sorry Ive been stupidly busy

To my wife, the moderator, I'm the boss? unless you want to spend a night in the dog house you,de better watch your step!!!

See you all soon

Best wishes Bluesman

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my 2 cents

Post by pit on Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:18 am

Nice discussion ! ...and i'm the proud owner of a Custom 24th and a Spectrum LX so this topic is the kind of fun i like to read.

You know, the more i try different guitars the more i learn one thing : it's just pieces of wood, with basic electric stuff inside. So you can compare a piece of wood with another piece of wood. You can compare one brand's craftmen skills with others. But you can't compare the price.

I love my Cu24, and i love my LX. The Lx is just insane for the price if you compare it to today's standarts... but :
- you can't compre 80's $s and 2008 $s without taking account of inflation
- as most of materials, wood raw is probably way expansive now than ever
- as the guitar market is also way bigger now than ever, and as we're killing the planet faster and faster, i'm pretty sure that quality wood raw is rarest now than in the 80's, so this makes it even more expansive.
- human skills cost a lot more in the US today than in Japan in the 80's, this also is impossible to compare.

...all these reasons explain for me the price of a US PRS (and you can be happy not to have to add european/french taxes after that, plus the importer insane part!!)

Another point there : some said most of good guitars are supposed to sound better years after years. All the Westone we're talking about have 25 years. Do you think it's true ? I don't have enough experience to confirm this.

And my last point is : you can't compare the price of a new guitar and a used one.

I think the definition 'a good guitar' is all about our different personnal tastes, and the music we play with it. I don't think there's more rules that that. You got a piece of wood you love to play with, then this is good, and this is what matters.

If you want to compare PRS new guitars to something, take a look at Gibson latest babies :albino:

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Re: PRS + Westone

Post by Hyperion on Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:17 pm

I think the definition 'a good guitar' is all about our different personal tastes

imho, part of it Smile

Quality of materials (not just woods, metal parts, wiring, electronic, ....), as well as assembly are "always" important whoever plays the guitar. It's not just a matter of taste.

Today's PRS production is probably more automated (less hand-made) than Matsumoku's were ... and you can find very cheap rosewood on some PRS fretboards, sometimes...

The real problem comes from marketing : you will always find a buyer for a PRS, Gibson or Fender guitar no matter the quality of the instrument ! Quality of instruments is not "the main point" anymore for these companies. Their trademark is enough to sell. I think that "at least" half of the people playing a Gibson Les Paul or a Fender Stratocaster are just trying to mimic some guitar-hero...

It's true that inflation count : if Westone guitars were still being built in Japan today, the cost of a Rainbow model would probably be between 2500$ and 3500$ (like most today's quality Japanese archtops : Ibanez-Prestige, Gretsh, D'angelico...).

JP

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Re: PRS + Westone

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