PRS vs Schecter Guitars: Is One Really Better?

Whether you’re a beginner looking to pick up an affordable instrument or an experienced player who wants to make their next purchase stand apart from the rest, PRS and Schecter guitars will be appealing choices. 

Both companies offer great value for the money and have made a name for themselves by introducing their unique guitar models. 

Schecter is better for metal because of their slim necks, sleek bodies and high output pickups. PRS is more of a traditional guitar suited for a wider range of music styles, including rock, blues and even metal.

prs vs schecter guitars

Which comes out on top? How do they compare? This article will help you narrow down your search when it comes to finding out which is better between PRS vs Schecter guitars.

History of PRS and Schecter Guitars

PRS and Schecter have a long history of making metal guitars that have been synonymous with quality. 

PRS Guitars

prs custom 24

PRS was founded in 1985 by Paul Reed Smith, a master luthier. In the 70s and 80s, Paul Reed Smith sold guitars by taking them personally to live concerts backstage, so performers could try them. With this strategy, many well-known professional musicians began to know and endorse his guitars, including Ted Nugent, Peter Frampton, Al Di Meola, and Carlos Santana.

In 1994, Ted McCarty, former president of Gibson, got in touch with Smith and the two worked together to create the solid and hollow-body guitars that make up the current PRS brand. A wide variety of exotic materials, such as varied stones, intricately carved tonewoods, and exquisite shells for inlays, are used to create the Private Stock line of PRS guitars.

The company has since grown into one of the world’s largest manufacturers of guitars and basses. Its main goal is to produce unique and high-quality instruments while keeping prices affordable for all musicians.

PRS added their S2 Series in 2013. In February 2018, the company started making a Silver Sky model based around John Mayer’s favorite guitars from the ’60s. In 2019, PRS launched three SE signature models: the Santana Single cut Tremolo, Paul’s Guitar, and Schizoid.

Schecter Guitars

schecter hellraiser c-1

David Schecter opened Schecter Guitar Research in 1976 as a repair shop based in Van Nuys, California. The business mainly produced guitar parts only. However, Schecter’s work became so famous that many guitarists pushed him to produce instruments from scratch.

Schecter launched his first fully assembled guitar in 1979, heavily inspired by Fender designs. The first Schecter guitars were considered high-end and expensive, sold only by around twenty retailers across the country.

In 1983, a group of Texas investors purchased the company and began launching numerous guitars and basses the year after. The most famous model from this product line was a Telecaster-style guitar similar to the ones Pete Townshend used.

Since then, Schecter continues to be known as one of the best guitar companies in the world. Today, the company offers an extensive product line of guitars, acoustics, basses, and Custom Shop instruments worldwide. 

Many famous guitarists have used Schecter models, including Mark Knopfler, Chris Poland, Ritchie Blackmore, Richard Patrick, Synyster Gates, Shaun Morgan, Robin Zander, and more. 

Check out our Ibanez vs Schecter comparison here!

Differences Between PRS vs Schecter Guitars

What are the main differences between PRS and Schecter guitars? This section compares both brands regarding sound quality, build, looks, playability, and music style.

Sound Quality

Schecter’s humbucker pickups are usually made for metal and modern rock tones. These high-quality pickups include the Brimstone and Apocalypse sets. Their San Andreas pickup is also of good quality, providing the tone with a mid-range boost. 

Schecter also has EMG pickups on some of their guitars, such as the Hellraiser model. This guitar is designed specifically for saturated metal distortion. But regardless of the distortion, their pickups will always shine in terms of their unique tonal characteristics.

On the other hand, PRS core model guitars have their pickups hand-wound by a group of talented professionals in their Maryland plant. Paul Reed Smith also carefully selects each pickup part (e.g., wire and bobbin) since he demands nothing less than the best for his guitars.

PRS makes a wide variety of pickups, so musicians can find the tone they’re looking for. PRS guitars can offer a wide range of tones depending on the model and modifications. In that case, since so many of them sound different, it is challenging to identify the PRS signature tone.

Build Quality

With each new release, Schecter continuously raises the standard. Given the price point, the new models they are releasing are incredible. Additionally, they are using their custom shop pickups, which some players believe to be the best pickups that come in a huge range of tones and styles. 

Over the past few years, Schecter has significantly improved the quality of their hardware, electronics, and wood selection. In short, Schecter guitars are well-built.

Additionally, PRS guitar build quality is unquestionably good. With their highly specialized glues and materials and drying procedures, PRS does pour a little more passion into their models. Rarely will a PRS guitar require modifications to play it at its best right out of the box. This is due to PRS’s top-notch quality control. 

Check out our Fender vs PRS comparison before you go!

Looks and Aesthetics

For looks, you can’t go wrong with either PRS or Schecter. This category will pretty much come down to your preferences. As for Schecter, some players don’t like their flashy-looking guitar models. However, they do have the Sun Valley models that feature a more classic look.

As for PRS, they have their signature series that features a lot of wood inlays and other details that are not common on their other models. The SE line has a few options for those who want something different from their usual style but still want to stick with the company.

PRS has a more classic look to their guitars, which is probably what most people think of when it comes to the brand.

Feel

The feel of a guitar is important because it can greatly affect the player’s performance. If the guitar is uncomfortable to play, it might make it harder for the player to get into their groove and perform at their best.

In terms of playability, Schecter guitars can be much more comfortable to play because they have larger fret wires and thin necks. In addition, the scale length of most Schecter guitars, which is 25.5 inches, is also longer than PRS, measuring 25 inches. 

However, all of these details still depend on the player’s preferences. For example, if you prefer large fret wires and longer scales, you may want to go with a Schecter instead of a PRS model.

Which ever you choose, you will find that each brand makes very comfortable and easy to play guitars for all styles.

Music Style

Both companies provide a variety of models that can accommodate most musical styles. However, Schecter has found a market niche in the metal scene. This does not imply that their guitars can only play metal.

Schecter is simply focusing all of their marketing efforts in that way and designing their guitars to best match that musical genre. Schecters are essentially seen as metal guitars that shredders frequently choose.

Hard rock and blues sound amazing on PRS guitars. PRS is also better suited for the country genre because of its endorsees and their respective signature models. However, the PRS guitar is also incredibly versatile, so you could easily play metal and many other musical styles.

Price Range

Schecter guitars are just as good as PRS, but some Schecter models are more affordable. If you’re on a budget, PRS and Schecter offer incredible guitars for under $1,000.

If you’re looking for a guitar that’s both reliable and affordable, check out the PRS SE Standard 24 at $499. This model is suitable for beginners or intermediate players and offers a warm tone with excellent volume.

If you’re looking for something more versatile, consider the Schecter Omen Extreme 6 at $499. The Schecter Omen Extreme 6 is designed for more experienced players with experience with other guitars and who know what they want in terms of features and design. 

Here are a few other Schecter and PRS guitars and their prices that are worth considering.

Schecter Reaper 6 FR-S$1199.00
PRS Paul’s Guitar$1029.00
Schecter Solo-II$1299.00
PRS CE 24$2499.00

Conclusion

Ultimately, the choice will come down to preference. PRS and Schecter guitars can even be identical in terms of looks, though they have unique characteristics in terms of sound and feel. 

Between PRS and Schecter guitars, it’s likely that you can’t go wrong with either choice, as both brands produce stylish instruments that offer a lot of flexibility in terms of sound and playability.

The best approach is to visit a music store, test out a few models, and decide which one sounds and feels the way you want it to.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!