Hi, I just bought a new Studio, wide thin (Pattern thin) in faded blue burst with the tremolo arm.
I thought I'd post some views in case there are any other prospective buyers like I was, researching options. I am already a proud and very happy owner of an Ibanez JEM77FP2. As gorgeous as this guitar is to look at and play, I was looking for a second guitar with 'different' sounds. Don't get me wrong, I love the JEM and it makes awesome sounds. But I do recording (amateur) and wanted to be able to dial into a wider range of tones and was in the market for a second high-quality instrument. I really don't like Fenders or Gibsons, simply as I prefer something more individualistic, which I guess is a reason lots of other folks buy PRSs?
I am not particularly comfortable 'jamming' in guitar shops, so I did a lot of research online, listening to demos on YouTube and reading reviews. My initial tendency was towards a 513 as it promised a wide range of tones. I eventually tried out a 513 at a friendly shop who put me in a demo room that I could try out at my leisure. The 513 on display had a 'Pattern' neck, and frankly, I hated it. Trouble is that my JEM is so extreme the other way, I had trouble transitioning from one to the other. Since I wanted to try out what a PRS 'Pattern Thin' neck felt like, I was handed a Studio. The neck felt much better to my Ibanez accustomed hands (I have Ibanez acoustics as well). First impressions are interesting: the 513 certainly delivered a wide range of sounds but I was surprised by the Studio - there wasn't the physically-switched wide range that the 513 had, but the Studio sounded much warmer and made the 513 sound a little 'thin' and artificial. Also, very personal too, but I really didn't like the look of the 513 pickups - they are so big, I thought they looked ugly on an otherwise beautiful guitar. So, I left feeling slightly puzzled and disappointed as I had set my heart on a PRS (looks are very important to me, as well as sound).
So, I turned my 'research' attention to the Studio, which I hadn't really considered much. I listened to every demo I could find on the internet, and read as many reviews as possible. Eventually, I took the plunge and ordered a Studio in Faded Blue Burst finish with Pattern Thin neck. I love it. The look and feel of the thing was amazing. It oozes quality. The range of sounds is fantastic, and as most reviewers have said, the Narrowfield pickups are really this guitar's attraction and asset. I had never previously understood reviews that talked about tone varying simply by backing off the volume control on the guitar. I now understand. And the 57/08 humbucker is pretty awesome if you want a harder-rock sound. Played clean with more 'natural' amp sounds (mine are electronic as I play through Line6 Pod directly into GarageBand) it has a beautiful depth and range of sounds. Played with a little overdrive, it sounds different again, and is incredibly responsive to the amount of attack from the pick that it can clean up with a lighter touch only. It really is a very expressive instrument. The neck is admittedly deeper than the JEM, but I still get on with it, the different (shorter) scale length on the Studio throws me a little when switching instruments but I soon settle into it.
So, if you are after a nice range of high quality sounds - and the Narrowfields really are the 'hybrids' that everyone writes about - ranging from single-coil sounds, to slightly 'quacky' with pairs of p/ups selected, to fat and dirty, or an incredibly warm smooth sound; the Studio does it. I am so pleased with my purchase. I would note that if you want to do wilder antics with the tremolo, whilst it is quite able and stays in tune pretty well, it can't touch the capability of the 'Edge' system on the JEM. But since I have both, no problem :-)
Hope this is of interest to someone out there interested in Studios. David