Been a long time Gibson player but then started exploring PRS territory in the last couple of years: tried a Korina 24 (neck too slim), 25th SAS Narrowfield (shoulda kept it), SC250 (too heavy, tone wise), 25th Mira Soapbar (great tone, felt too light) and a McCarty Artist (uber-bling but too dark sounding) but none were quite right. Figured the Studio might be the model for me so dropped into my local store yesterday since they had a couple in. Unfortunately they didn't have the right combination of neck profile / colour for my liking.
So, whilst I was there, I decided to try the Frost Blue Metallic 408 they'd just got in - just for completeness, wasn't necessarily expecting too much, but it looked too cool not to try it out!
Didn't know much about this model but I clicked with it straight away:
- Thicker 'McCarty' style body which is a great weight (~7.5 lbs) and very comfortable
- Pattern neck which is supremely comfortable
- A slick action to absolutely die for
- Plus that gorgeous V12 finish!
But what really blew me away was the pickups. Turns out they're made using the same wire, magnets, etc as the 57/08s ... so that's a very good start.
The extra-wide bridge humbucker gives some huge chunky tones and the narrower bridge humbucker keeps the bass focused - no muddiness at all. And then you get to the coil taps: as well as splitting the coils, they also add in additional turns on the remaining coil to keep the output up. So, you go from a vintage output 8k humbucker to a equally vintage output 6k single-coil. And you can 'mix and match' since there's a separate mini-toggle for each humbucker.
I found leaving the bridge pickup full and splitting the neck allowed for a great Hendrix neck single-coil tone, a fat AC/DC bridge rhythm tone and a slight Strat-esque 'quack' in the middle position. That'll do me for 90% of the time!! Splitting the bridge alone gives an almost P90 tone due to the oversized coils and the combined position with both split is even more Strat-like. I was seriously impressed and will be able to cover everything my band plays without compromising the 'right' tone or changing guitars.
So, needless to say, I pulled the trigger. Still got my good ol' P90 Firebird - which I shall enjoy playing at home - but this baby is my new #1 gig-meister: