Friday, January 18, 2008

A Whole Slew Of New From PRS
It's NAMM Guitar show time and the brilliant luthiers at Paul Reed Smith have brought forth a good dozen new models. Of course a lot of the "new" is working up existing models in new configurations and woods. F'rinstance, there is the SE Custom SemiHollow with "soapbar" pickups (please don't ask me to explain the nuances of different pickups - I have an idea of what's behind a pickup but can't tell you what effect the differences make). If I were adding to the collection, I'd probably get an SE Custom SH - the SE line is less expensive and as a light guitar to carry around, the Custom SH is a fine looking gitbox. I find the arc-shaped sound hole to be way cool.
On the other hand, I've never been much of a fan of the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece - big, clunky, heavy and not very pretty. But the PRS style trem will only work on a solid piece of wood making his hollowbodied guitars, up to now, trem-less. The new model is the SCJ Thinline which has a Bigsby. The name. I'm sure, comes from the Single Cut configuration with the J probably as a "jazz" designation - I could compeltely see George Benson playing one of these. And it has the Bigsby which, given that a PRS trem couldn't be mounted on it, is OK by me. In fact, I'd buy one of these were I pooping cash (only 300 are in production which will put a price premium on these like nobody's business!)
I won't go into agonizing detail on all of these beauties since my rhapsodizing would grow more than a little boring. Yet a couple of things are worth noting. First, there's a new style of birds fret-board inlay. Click on one of the PRS links above and select the Santana MD ("Multi Dimensional") from the list. It's a bit hard to see but the birds are outlines in gold. Looks gorgeous. Oh, and this represents the return of a Santana-named model to the non-SE lineup (note the rounded "belly" of the guitar's body, the midline inlay, the fairly symmetrical "horns" and the non-standard shape of the headstock).
Secondly (well, thirdly I guess), a korina wood model of the McCarty line. Damn fine looking in natural methinks. My understanding is that korina is a superior tonewood and is reasonably light as well. I'll be reading the "Birds and Moons" forum for tone reports on that one.
If you have a few minutes and appreciate guitarfleisch, click on one of the links above and look over the additions to the lineup. A thing of beauty is a yadda, yadda. Take a look, eh?

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