Since 1985 PRS USA has established itself as a high end brand offering guitars with “an elegant, modern, vintage-inspired design – the kind of guitar one might have expected Fenders and Gibsons to evolve into”.
In fact one of Paul Reed Smith’s earliest inspirations was to create a guitar that combined the best features of a classic Strat and a vintage Les Paul – a challenge well realised.
As many working guitarists can attest, Paul Reed Smith is no stranger to the quest for versatility, and PRS guitars are known for being some of the most sonically versatile instruments built in the past few decades. In the modern live band scenario it is not uncommon that one song might call for a crisp Strat-like rhythm tone, while a raunchier song might demand a creamy solo delivered by a fat-toned humbucker.
One of PRS’s more recent models, the Studio, is specifically targeted to players who need to cover a lot of musical ground without sacrificing the satisfying signature tones that PRS is known for.
Astute gearheads might notice that this new Studio model looks very similar to the rare Studio model PRS offered in the late ’80s. Both share the same triple-pickup layout, but the new Studio model has some additional tricks up its sleeve.
First and foremost, the new Studio sports a pickup configuration of PRS’ excellent 57/08 bridge humbucker, along with a pair of the company’s newer Narrowfield 57/08 pickups. The Narrowfield design came about as result of PRS wanting to create a hum-cancelling pickup that combined aspects of a P-90, mini-humbucker, full-size humbucker, and single-coil. Though they have smaller front-to-back dimensions, Narrowfields are, in fact, humbucking pickups that use the same coil wire as their full-size 57/08 cousins.
The 5-way pickup selector switches between bridge humbucker, middle and bridge, middle, middle and neck, and neck pickups. No surprises here. However, hidden inside the Studio’s Tone control is a coil-tap switch for the bridge 57/08, and this expands the possibilities to seven switchable settings.
The Studio comes with PRS’ new V12 finish – a clear, thin finish that’s both durable and resonant. PRS claims that they’ve been able to reduce the thickness of the finish to half that of a human hair. While it’s hard to verify that claim, this PRS Studio is extremely resonant when played unplugged. The finish feels like glass, with none of the friction or stickiness you commonly associate with polyurethane or nitrocellulose, particularly in humid conditions.
The Studio’s neck carve should please discerning players – especially vintage PRS aficionados. Dubbed the Pattern Thin, the profile is a return to a late-’70s and early-’80s shape that Smith made for Carlos Santana and Heart’s Howard Leese. The Pattern Thin profile still retains the wider nature of PRS necks, but feels like it has a little more girth running down the middle. The guitar’s deep-shaded rosewood fretboard is adorned with classic PRS bird inlays. .
One of this guitar’s most sonically arresting features is its 57/08 humbuckers. In the Studio, the 57/08 rings beautifully thick and rich. Playing through a Fender Twin Reverb, I it is easy to coax plenty of bite from this bridge pickup without it getting shrill. Pulling up the tone knob to tap the bridge pickup’s coils, it is remarkable that this didn’t cut the tone’s punch. The sound stayed solid with smooth highs, an attenuated midrange, and tight, percussive lows.
The 57/08 was designed with vintage tones in mind, but it’s capable of handling modern rock tones too. Back in full-humbucker mode, the pickup’s thick midrange is impressive.
The Studio would be an excellent guitar with just the bridge pickup, but PRS’ Narrowfield pickups really solidify the instrument’s versatility across all genres. Through the Twin Reverb, both the neck and middle pickups exhibited an astonishingly immediate attack with plenty of cut, and a juicy, solid midrange.
The Narrowfields’ midrange response isn’t as sensitive to picking dynamics as the 57/08 humbucker, in which the mids sound more or less aggressive depending on how hard you dig into the strings.
Model: PRS Studio
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Place of Manufacture: Maryland, USA
Neck Profile: Pat Thin Neck Profile
Fret Condition: No Fret Wear
Weight: 8.2 lbs
Action: Professionally set-up, low action 9’s
Overall Condition: Excellent
Top Grade: Ten Top
Originality: 100% Original
PRS made their name by not only offering guitars with impeccable craftsmanship to the everyday player, but also by introducing newer ideas to an industry that so desperately needed them at the time. The Studio continues that tradition with a handful of improvements to a design that PRS established with the McCarty and Custom, and these tweaks really give the Studio a voice of its own.
This particular PRS Studio presents in absolutely new condition. It has no dings, dents, marks, fret wear, or any other issues. It looks like it’s come straight out of the box, which is pretty much the case with this guitar. All it needs is some serious playing to unleash a whole bunch of tonal options for the guitarist who wants a compendium of colours in the one package.
This PRS guitar features a “Ten Top” which the company’s highest grading for a particularly unique, striking and high grade maple top. This one qualifies nicely.
Comes with its original PRS hard case in new condition, with case candy including original tags.
Video Demo here – https://youtu.be/iTcmDSpOxsQ