Paul Reed Smith DGT

Paul Reed Smith DGT

Paul Reed Smith DGT

I’ve been using this model guitar since its release back in 2008. I believe I’ve owned about 12 DGT guitars over those years. Yeah, that’s crazy. I’ve been using various models of PRS since I purchased my first one back in 1991. That first one was a CE in electric blue. I’m not going to go on a PRS rant here but I’ve had the chance to own and play almost every model.

PRS DGT

For some reason, PRS seems to be the most hated guitar I’ve come across amongst the guitar player community. I get it and understand some of the reasoning behind this attitude towards them. I’ve had my opinion change from time to time but realize it was changed mostly due to giving into the guitar community around me telling me how much they don’t like them. The more you hear it the more you start to believe it, right? When I purchased my first PRS I was on a hunt to find a guitar that I can call my guitar and for some reason taking that guitar off the wall and playing it for the first time resonated with me. I was coming out of the 80’s guitar craze where every guitar had to have a Floyd Rose on it and I was getting tired of that. The PRS trem definitely took some time getting adjusted to but I liked it. Anyway, PRS released a model called the McCarty model and that suddenly became my favorite guitar. The McCarty model came with no trem and after playing that model for a while I realized that I wanted a trem on my guitar. I asked PRS if they would put one on for me but they said it would only be available in Private Stock. $$$$… Can’t do it. Now I knew of David Grissom back then from the John Mellencamp record called Whenever We Wanted. That first chord on Love And Happiness just smoked me..haha… Well, David has been working with and using PRS guitars for a long time and I kept my ears and eyes on what he was doing. Then it happened, The PRS DGT was released, I believe it was 2008. It was essentially a McCarty model (I really think Dave designed it first) with a trem. BINGO! I had to have one. 

So, what’s the big deal.

Out of all the PRS guitars that I’ve owned over the years the DGT is just in another zone. It’s like the bully in the playground but is very friendly when you get to know him. I always hear that the DGT is a Les Paul killer well, not exactly. I have two Les Pauls and compare them all the time so I have some experience on that statement. My opinion is that nothing kills a Les Paul, nothing. The same goes with a Fender Strat. These guitars are icons for a reason and just out of respect I can’t go there. Nothing sounds or plays like them. Ok, let’s get back to the DGT.

The DGT has so much character to it and sometimes I forget how versatile this guitar can be. I do believe it has a lot of Les Paul tonal properties to it but it also dips into the Tele sounds just as much as the LP sounds. The notes are very big and chords have this clarity to them that the LP doesn’t have. The LP definitely feels slinkier looser in the strings and I would say it’s due to the 24 3/4 scale length where the DGT has a 25 Scale. The scale has its own effect on the feel and sound. The DGT has so much sustain to the single notes that I feel lacks in the LP. The DGT has a darker sound maybe more low mids and to some can be muddy but when you roll back the volume it gets brighter and a more tele like character comes out of it. The split sounds are really nice but I like rolling back the volume in the full humbucker mode and that seems to do the trick for me. I would prefer just one volume knob, especially on gigs. I like setting the action up with a straight neck and balancing it between 1/16 and 3/64 at the 12th fret. I do prefer having the birds on the fretboard and seems to be a PRS trademark that I grew to love. My latest DGT has an ebony fretboard instead of the standard rosewood.

Let’s talk about the nut. Like I said earlier I’ve owned a lot of DGT guitars and just a few years ago PRS decided (with David's approval I do believe) to change the nut on this guitar and other PRS models. They used to have a black nut and the new nut is white I believe made out of bone. Back in 2020, I purchased a DGT with this new nut and it was a nightmare to keep in tune. The PING sound that Gibson is famous for was happening all over the place. It seemed that all 6 strings were going out of tune and would PING in harmony. I tried everything and even took it to my local PRS dealer where after 2 hours just couldn’t get it 100%. Now, this was even replacing the nut with a brand new one. I called PRS and they gladly took the guitar back in to fix it. They replaced the nut (now nut #3) and I thought it was going to be all good. I received the guitar back and put the trem arm in, gave it a dive, and guess what? PING. I contacted PRS and sent a video, they took it back immediately. I got that back and again it was going PING. I sold it. It took me 3 more DGT guitars to find one that didn’t PING and go drastically out of tune. The last one started to do it after a few weeks of playing and I got so frustrated to the point that I just replaced the new bone nut with the old black nut. Hey... BINGO! not one problem with the trem-nut-tuning since I replaced the new nut with the old style nut.

This turned out to be longer than I was expecting.

The PRS DGT is one of my favorite guitars that I own and hope to be able to keep one for good. It’s just a great all-around guitar to have and I just keep going back to it. I got over all the negative things that have been said about these guitars and just enjoy it for what it is. It’s very inspiring to play and now I have that McCarty with trem.

Thank you to David Grissom for all the inspiration.

John Price

Go check out some pictures of the PRS-DGT guitars that I’ve owned over the years in the guitar photo section. 

You can also hear me playing the DGT on my new album called Somebody on tracks Remembering, Bear, and Over Mountains.

Original

It's also used on the track Vomit Face from the album Ambience In Guitar Sounds

Check it out in the Practice Room where I do some interesting jams with it.

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