At the end of last week, I received a new PRS P22 Artist Package, with 53/10 pickups, piezo system, mahogany back, quilted maple cap with a ďfaded blue jeanĒ finish, East Indian Rosewood neck and ebony headstock overlay and Mexican ebony fingerboard.
This is a special NGD because Iíve always wanted a PRS with these specs. Iíd even gotten a price quote for a Private Stock build (although obviously without the piezo system, which wasnít available on solid body PRSi until this year) but just couldn't afford it. Also, Iíve always been a fan of the piezo system.
After lowering the neck pickup and raising the pole pieces, Iím pleased to report that the neck pickup is balanced with a little P-90-esque punch and warm-ish, without being muddy or muffled sounding. I had to raise the bridge pick-up, because it sounded a little overwhelmed in comparison to the neck humbucker. The bridge pickup has a tight low end, an expanded, shimmery top end and a good upper midrange bite, without being honky. My favorite aspect of these pickups is probably the clarity and string-to-string definition.
The piezo sounds great, very authentic, just like the piezo on my HBII. The ebony fingerboard and rosewood make the guitar a real pleasure to play, and while I might just be hearing things, I think the rosewood neck opens-up the guitar and expands its tonal range a little.
The only negatives, for me at least, is that positions 2 and 4 of the 5-position blade, while useable, donít really replicate good single coil sounds. For what I do, I wouldíve preferred position 2 to be the outer coils of each pickup to hopefully simulate the middle position of a Tele and for position 4 to be the tapped neck humbucker. Secondly, as with all PRSi, I have trouble accessing the upper frets, not because of the heal which everyone makes a big deal about, but because my hand hits the body. Any tips on how to get a better tone in positions 2 and 4 of the five position blade or how to better access the upper frets?
Anyway, enough talk. Here are the pics . . .