HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?
PRS states that this particular model is designed for heavier, more aggressive playing styles, but with a bit of extra versatility worked in. It has a mahogany body with a maple top. The neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard and 22 frets, with classic PRS bird inlays and the Wide Fat neck profile. The scale length is 27.7”, compared to typical PRS 25”, and the tuners are a PRS design. The electronics consist of a pair of Tone Furnace pickups, a master volume, a master tone with a coil split (which operates on both pickups) and a three-way pickup selector.
All in all it’s a pretty simple guitar but for the fact that it’s a bit bigger than usual and the frets are further apart, which can take some getting used to. You might also find you need to whack the strings a little harder than usual to get the same amount of bounce out of them. But these are all things you’ll adjust to.
DOWN AND DIRTY
Surprisingly for a guitar with a stated goal of sounding great for heavy material, I found the Tone Furnace pickups to sound best when running medium levels of gain; more ‘crunch’ than ‘kill.’ The bridge pickup has a warm but punchy character with tight low end and clear highs, making it great for palm-muted riffage or for ringing open chords. And the neck pickup has an almost SG-like quality to it, a little juicy, a little round, and with great note separation within dense chords. And the single coil sounds are great: clear and ringing, a little punch in the bridge pickup, a little grit in the neck pickup. Almost Strat-like, which is hard to achieve with this particular wood combination and construction method.
TO LOW-B OR NOT TO LOW-B
If you play really, really extreme metal, you might want to consider the SE 277 Baritone and a pickup swap. If you play broader styles of metal, rock, blues or alternative and you need something that gets low, real low, this is a really killer instrument.