Although I've heard that Hamer makes a comparable instrument, I really didn't see much competition out there for the PRS. Yes, I would definitely want to find another one if it were ever lost or stolen. This guitar could be better only if it were in the hands of a better player. My favorite aspect of this guitar is the way it feels to play it, and the ease with which I can achieve the tone I'm going for. The worst aspect, like any high quality instrument, is that I'm always bummed if it gets a little dent or scratch on it. I mean-- it's a big investment, and a beautiful guitar!
Price: $2400.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center, Roseville, MN
Made in the USA, this six string guitar is mahogany with a set maple 22-fret "wide-fat" neck (complete with the bird inlays). It has volume, tone, and 5-way pickup selector knobs (one of each). Pickups are both the top of the line standard factory humbuckers, with the option of separating for use as single coils. The body is a double cutaway flame-maple "10" top in an orange/red sunburst color. I particularly love the stop-tail bridge, which I believe contributes to the sustain of the instrument significantly. The guitar also has the patented PRS locking tuners, which are extremely slick.
This guitar is probably the most playable and in tune instrument I've ever played. Setting down my old Strat and picking up the PRS was like moving from an upright Yamaha piano to a Steinway concert grand piano. This guitar's tone, sustain, intonation, and playability are all superior to any other solid body electric I've picked up. I cannot name a single flaw. I can play it all night onstage, (I am a string breaker) and it will rarely go out of tune.
I play my PRS through a 1966 Fender Super Reverb amp for live shows. My effects include 2 Fulltone Fulldrive pedals, a Q-tron, an old MXR Phaser, a Boss Octaver, a Colorsound Wah, and a Colorsound volume pedal. I play in an alt-pop band with horns called Bobby Llama out of Minneapolis, and I think the guitar compliments our sound well. Its smoky, dark, heavily sustained tone from the neck pickup makes it very palatable to jazz, while the snarly, searing bridge pickup sound can easily take it into bluegrass/"almost pedal steel" realm. I would compare its sound most closely to that of a Les Paul, although the pickup options allow for some nice single coil tones similar to a nice Strat. While it is a guitar with a hotter signal than most, it doesn't seem to have any noise issues. All in all, it is a great stage instrument, and occasionally a great studio instrument. I say "occasionally", because I think the studio is a place to seek out the most unique guitar sounds you can find, which usually calls for vintage and odd-ball guitars more than it might call for something as sleek and refined as a PRS. Depends on the situation...
As mentioned earlier, this is a great guitar for live shows. It stays in tune remarkably well, sustains incredibly, and stands up to hard playing. Adjustments have not been much of an issue yet. All hardware is holding up just fine. As far as climate changes, I've probably played this instrument in anywhere from 95 down to 30 degree conditions, and I have been very impressed by its intonation in all situations.