Submitted March 28, 2020 by DALE D in MESA, AZ
"How are the new options for 2020? Incredible!"
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This guitar has been out long enough to endure many conversations good and bad, so I won’t dive into those tired details here- all I know is I’m glad I held out and purchased the Midnight Rose, rosewood version (I could’ve gotten the Nebula but I slept on it!). For context I own/play mostly telecaster-type guitars (G&L, Fender, etc), and never really owned Stratocaster type guitar before.Anyway…FINISH: I’m loving the 2020 Midnight Rose. I was hesitant to see many stock images make it look like a duller flat pink, but not so. Just like his other finishes, this one exudes more of a metallic character and changes depending on lighting/angle/etc. Sometimes it looks like a cold pastel pink, other times a warm berry vibe. For those familiar with Fender finishes, I would say it’s a slightly warmer Burgundy Mist. Additionally, I also want to add this finish doesn’t leave fingerprints easily at all, also in due to the lighter color- another smaller detail. NECK PROFILE: here’s where things get interesting from releases prior to 2020- the neck profile changed slightly. I remember jamming a 2018 Onyx version of the Silver Sky, and although I thought it was slightly thick in general, this new 2020 version is even moreso to me. For those who aren’t aware, PRS is keeping the original Silver Sky neck profile (635JM neck) on the maple fretboard versions, but updated the rosewood versions (oddly enough, the handwritten spec card that came with my guitar says it is a 64JM neck, maybe a new profile name for it?). As per the PRS website: “…the maple fretboard option comes with the original 635JM neck shape, while the rosewood fretboard option has been subtly modified in the shoulders to feel more “rounded” in your hand. Both neck shapes were designed by researching vintage instruments and Mayer test-driving guitars on stage to find what felt right. The fretboard radius on both options is 7.25”.” With that said, I’m used to smaller neck shapes (thin U like a ’52 tele, standard C’s, etc) as I have smaller hands so it did take me a day or so to adjust. Is it a deal breaker for me? No, but for those who have smaller hands and like thinner necks you might want to try one of these in store first before purchasing sight unseen.FRETBOARD RADIUS/FRETS: Another popular discussion- the 7.25” fretboard radius. Myself and many others can confirm; you will have no issues doing bends on this guitar. As long as the frets are high enough it shouldn’t be an issue. SETUP/STRINGS: Setup/intonation is superb out of the box. Only thing I decided to change immediately was the string gauge size; I would normally do 10’s for short scale length guitars but I enjoy my current 9’s on the 25.5” PRS. The stock 10’s made it feel a little stiff in my opinion, and vibratos didn’t come easy for me. FINAL THOUGHTS: Aside from those discussed above, I enjoy this guitar tremendously. Stays in tune, sounds sweet, is gorgeous to look at, and does everything I need it to do. Again if I had to nitpick anything it would be the thicker neck profile, but that’s more a preference thing. Plus John has really big hands so I would imagine he’d enjoy a bigger neck. Who is this guitar for? Obviously for fans of John and his new-era sound. It’s for those who like the stratocaster sound mixed with the trademark glassy tone and quality from PRS. I never found an S-type guitar I bonded with but this one did it for me. I would argue 80% of the reason I bought a Silver Sky was for the pickups - I would imagine this guitar wouldn’t have the same magic if it had run of the mill single coils in it. Is it worth the $2300 price tag? It’ll be up to you to decide, but I’d rather have one nice guitar of this caliber than five okay guitars. If you’re patient and don’t mind preowned, they can certainly be had for less. Don’t want to wait? Use the installment plan if you need to - it’s a fantastic beast.
Audio Engineer, John-Mayer fanatic. First time PRS owner
Mostly play chill indie rock/R&B/blues/jazz.
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