Sorry if this rambles. Next May, I will have owned a PRS for 20 years. I originally bought my CU24 to be a versatile guitar I could cover about anything from jazz standards through country, blues, and classic rock with. The CU24 (which I still have) never lived up to that - I now understand what the CU24 is and isn't. I've tried a few times over the years, and my attempts at a "Swiss Army Knife" guitar have turned out badly. As my wife keeps telling me "the only good multitool is the one in your pocket".
Earlier this year, I decided I wanted a superstrat again. I was thinking about an Anderson or a Suhr, but came across the Studio. I liked the concept, but was worried about buying into a proprietary pickup (like some friends did with EG's back in the day). But I decided I love the PRS trem so much, and my CU24 has come to mean enough to me that I wanted to give PRS another shot. So I bought this:
An Eriza Verde Studio with Pattern neck. It's not a 10 top, which I prefer. One piece back. This model was made in 2012, and came from Dave's. It was part of me buying two guitars in the same day, something I've never done before. I've now had this guitar for 6 months. And I can safely say that this is the guitar I wish I'd had 20 years ago.
I get it. I now understand this guitar very well. I have to believe that the Studio is the most versatile guitar for a player who covers a variety of styles short of metal. Over time, I've come to the conclusion that I hate full size neck humbuckers. I love soloing on neck singles - be they Strats, Teles, or P-90's. I like the neck minibucker on my Hot Rod tele. But I've yet to find a fill size neck hummer I get along with. However, neck singles don't work when I go off on my prog metal fancies, and strat neck pickups don't really work for jazz.
The Studio Narrowfields may be the best middle and neck pickups I've ever heard on a superstrat. It may be the best overall neck pickup I've ever used. It's responsive to the volume knob without becoming muddy, and can really go from strat-ish to close-to-bucker with the volume knob. But through it all, the pickups have an amazing amount of clarity - far more than most humbuckers. The notch positions still get a decent amount of quack.
The bridge humbucker may be the best PAF-type I've had the pleasure of using. The pickup gets you from blues to ZZ Top and AC/DC, but it does tend to get a bit "loose" under higher gain. The NF's seem to work over a wider variety of gain than the bridge 57/08. Even still, this is an amazing tool for a gigging musician (which unfortunately, I'm not anymore). The trem, as always, is superb. Build quality is great. No cosmetic issues I've been able to find.
The few issues I've had minor. One, I hate the truss rod cover. I'm shopping for a new one. Two, the coil tap is a bit hard to grab. I love the way the clear/black knobs look, but I wish there was a bit more grip to them. Three, I (like others) have some issues with my pick hitting the middle pickup. I can adjust, but the way the pickup is stepped seems to occasionally catch the pick. Four - and this is somewhat minor - I want black pickup rings. The aged white ones have grown on me a bit, but with black pickups I wish I had black rings.
Overall, I really, really like this guitar. It's the first one I'm reaching for these days. I like it enough that I'm thinking of adding TWO more PRS to the stable. One - a NF3. I think 3 of those pickups in a Korina body would be an absolute strat-slayer. Two - another Studio. I like this one as is, but I wish the bridge pickup was bit better for hard rock/metal. I intend to get another and swap in a \m/ pickup to see what that gets me.
Great guitar. Grab one if you get the chance.