Custom 22 Review

manufacturer: Paul Reed Smith date: 08/23/2010 category: Electric Guitars
Paul Reed Smith: Custom 22
22 Frets, 5 Way Pickup Selector, 3 Way Toggle With Coil Tap, 10 Top Quilt Finish Whale Blue, Dragon II Pickups.
 Sound: 9.9
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 9.6
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.9
 Features: 9.6
 Overall rating:
 9.7 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.8 
 Users rating:
 9.6 
 Votes:
 91 
reviews (10) 24 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
Custom 22 Reviewed by: UG Team, on july 16, 2003
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2050

Purchased from: Richmond Music Center

Features: I have a 2002 PRS Custom 22 and it is the greatest guitar I have ever played. I have had it for almost a year and it doesn't more than I had ever hoped for. It was made in the U.S.A and has 22 frets. It's a solid top with a 5-way rotary pickup selector. It has H/H pickups with and they are nickel plated.The neck is a Rosewood fretboard with the abalone bird inlays. It also has a stoptail. // 10

Sound: I play Incubus/Sum 41 type music,and also blues and jazz as well. It was the best tonal diversity I have ever heard. It gives me that high gain for punk rock or metal and the low bassy tone for the blues. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The perfect guitar. Excellent paint job and the action was perfect. I had to adjust my Strat several times to get the action this guitar had when i bought it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This is a great guitar that looks new even after playing gigs all the time. Only problem I had was with my strap fitting over the strap locks. However, I merely had to get a new strap for it. // 8

Overall Impression: This is a perfect guitar for anyone who wants to play every type of music. The diversity in tone is wonderful. I've been playing for 3 years and i own a Fender Fat Strat Texas Special. That is a wonderful guitar but it didn't give me the bassy tone i wanted at times. I play through a Fender Stage 160 and it takes a beating night after night but keeps on working. I have several stomp boxes and otehr assorted things. // 10

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overall: 10
Custom 22 Reviewed by: Pirate Captain, on february 21, 2005
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2789

Purchased from: Kelly's Music

Features: - 2004, USA - 22 frets rosewood fingerboard - Carved maple top - Mahogany body - Mahogany neck - Flamed top - Double cutaway - Wrap-around tailpiece - Passive electronics - 1 volume, 1 tone, 5 way pickup selector - Locking tuners PRS - Hardshell case - Truss rod ajusing tool. // 10

Sound: I play hard rock, classive rock, heavy rock, a little heavy metal(Ozzy), hair metal, and some punk. Suited 'em all just fine, with perticular deffinition on hard rock. I play through a big ole 350watt Marshal Mode Four, driving one 4X12" cabinet. I use reverb and chourus and gain, if you call that an effect. One of the questions says "is it noisy." If you mean bad noise that you get frome those chep little piece of shit guitars, absolutly not. If you mean loud, yes! You can get both rich, warm sounds and brite sounds on different pickup settings. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action on this guitar came so low that if you look at it, it looks like the strings are touching the frets, but then you play it and there is no buzz of any kind. Actually I am not going to bother answering the rest of the qeustions here, every thing came absolutly perfect, no flaws of any kind. I will say the finish is the most beautiful I've seen in 7 years. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would withstand being shot off stage through a cannon into the crowd to be passed around on its back. Not that I would (wouldn't get it back). Everything seems solid and like it will last for a lifetime. The strap buttons are solid and actually kind of big, so that it takes a little work to get a strap on. But once it is on it is not comming off unless you take it off. It is the most dependable guitar I know of and I actually do play gigs with it without a backup. The finish has got like three coats of clear, I don't think its comming off anytime soon. // 10

Overall Impression: I play hard rock - it is a perfect match. I have played for seven years. If this guitar was stolen I would buy another one then track down the son of a b--ch that stole it and get my f--ing guitar back! As far as featurs I love the tuners (hate tuning). The only thing I else it had is a whammy bar. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Custom 22 Reviewed by: Artemis Entreri, on march 24, 2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 900

Purchased from: Local Musician

Features: This is a 92 or a 94 Custom 22, I'm not exactly sure although I know it's early 90's. It's got 22 easily accessible frets on a rosewood fretboard. The neck is so fast, as I noticed when I upgraded from a Strat. I've played many high end gibsons and fenders, including a Vintage Paul and nothing's played as smooth as this PRS. The finish is a really really nice flamed yellow. I think the actual color is Vintage yellow or tv yellow or something along the lines of that. The basic body shape is like a Strat with one full cut and another half cut with a carved maple top. My only complain is about the electronics. The pickups are ungodly, but in my opinion, there is a little too much difference between the neck and bridge pickups. The original stock pick ups are Dragon I's although the new Custom 22 comes with Dragon II's. The neck pick up is very thick and blusey, almost like an Alnico hot 10. And the bridge is well, hot and fat, great for soloing. It has one volume nob, which I love, one tone, which I'm not so wild about, and one rotary Switch for the pick ups. I don't like the rotary switch. It's too hard to change in the middle of a song, although it can be done if two guitars are playing. I would have perfered a 5 way Switch. Mine has locking tuners, which are absolutely amazing, although the G occasionaly drops tuning. It came with the original case. The case is very protective and very nice, although it is akward and heavy to carry around. // 9

Sound: I play generally everything, and the one thing I miss is coil tapping. If the guitar came Standard with coil tapping, then I would have the one guitar to last a life time. The bridge pick up is perfect for metal, and if you crank the amp's gain, and lower the volume on the guitar, you get perfect crunch for punk, and grunge, and any of those other types of music. I use the middle selection to play most classic rock, and clean because it's got a combonation of the thick neck, and hot bridge to get a warm, bright sound. And the neck pick up. It's perfect for doubling a bass, and it's amazing for blues and jazz. It's got the perfect ammount of twang with thick airy. I'm not sure how to describe it. It's stunning. I rarely use the coil phasing, because I don't like the sound of the coils, they sound to nasaly to me. But that's no problem, because I get by just fine with the three settings. I used a Peavey Valveking 212 by the way. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got the guitar, it was set up like a god. I instantly felt the proessional set up, and hand crafted custom made neck. The action was very very low, almost touching the frets, but I could still poull off a double bend, and easily hit pinch harmonics. The guitar was in perfect condition, as it was previously owned, but as I could see, it came perfect from the factory too. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is very reliable, and for the most part durable. I wouldn't be surprised if the hardware lasted longer than me. I had to reset one of my strap locks, but that was my fault as I dropped the guitar on them. Proving once again it's durability, as I dropped it on cement, and there's not a scratch or dent. I play it with out a backup and I've never had a problem, except breaking a 2 month old string. My one complaint is the finish. It's too thin. I know I could dent it with my finger nail if I tried. I figure it will begin to wear off as the years roll on. But I like the look of used guitars, so I wouldn't mind it losing it's finish. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar is amazing for my style of music, which basically includes music. I've been playing for about a year, but I'm already recording in a band as lead guitarist. I own a Peavey Valveking 212 and a super modified Squier Strat, although only the name is still Squier. If this guitar was stolen, I'd never have the money to replace it, but if I did, I'd isntantly buy another one, although I might upgrade to the 24. I love the versatility of this guitar most. With my amp, and guitar, I can get any sound at all with out using a pedal. I don't like that damn rotary switch, although I'm growing used to it. I was planning on buying a Standard SG, and I chose this because of it's reputation, and because I liked the over all feel of it. As well as the bird enlays as fret markers. I just wish it had bloody coil tapping, and a 5-way blade switch instead of a rotary switch. // 10

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overall: 9.8
Custom 22 Reviewed by: Aziraphale, on july 13, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: The locking tuners are heaven for someone (like me) who's got a Strat that's thrown out of tune whenever anything comes in contact with the tremolo, and an Ibanez with a Floyd that won't get in tune at all. These tuners are great, they're locking and steady but you can still tune on the fly without need for wrenches. The bridge has a tremolo bar, but it's very stiff and doesn't allow for divebombs. Although that can be adjusted by tooling with the springs in the back of the guitar. The two Humbuckers (Dragons) are probably the best stock pickups I've ever tried. You can roll the tone knob all the way back on the neck pickup and still be able to do these fast, Petrucci-altpicking stuff very cleanly. The finishes of PRS are always amazingly beautiful, just like the bird inlays. The only problem I see is the rotary pickup switch. The good thing about it is that it's a 5-way switch for two humbuckers, which is very nice to have. The bad thing is that you can't really do any rapid pickup changes. I made this a little easier by switching places between the selector and the volume knob. But it's still not quite there. You could of course change the selector to a 3-way, Les Paul style switch, if you don't feel the need for a 5-way switch. // 9

Sound: I play all kinds of music, but mainly metal (the likes of John Petrucci, Yngwie, Children Of Bodom etc). The neck pickup is great, it keeps up no matter how fast you play, and it has a nice, warm sound. The bridge pickup (it's the same pickup only in bridge position), is fat and meaty but not a very metallish pickup. It's very unaggressive. It handles pinch harmonics pretty well but when you get to the lower strings for some Zakk Wylde-ish stuff it falls pretty short. But unless you play really heavy metal it's a very good pickup. The unplugged sound of the guitar is heavenly, and when played without distortion it sounds beautiful. Although it's a lot less wood than in a Les Paul, I don't see any loss of sustain or tone. This is a mahogany guitar as good as they come. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came with 0.009 strings and very low, shred-friendly action. Although it was bought used, it looks like it's barely been played on so I wouldn't be surprised if the idiot who sold this beauty hadn't adjusted it much. This is an expensive guitar, and PRS don't cheap out on the details. This is quality right through. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It was bought used and not a scratch on it. The strap buttons are extra big so your strap won't come off. It may take a little while to get the strap on though. It stays in tune extremely well, everything on it seems to be the best parts available so I would expect this to last a long time. If I'd forget a backup guitar, I would still feel pretty safe with this one. // 10

Overall Impression: The only bad things about this guitar are the pickup Switch (although it's not entirely bad, it's very versatile), and the fact that the bridge pickup is a little mellow for metal. Other than that, it is indeed the perfect guitar. Unless you'd want a Floyd Rose bridge of course. // 10

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overall: 10
Custom 22 Reviewed by: UG Team, on july 11, 2003
1 of 7 people found this review helpful

Features: 2002 Paul Reed Smith Custom 22/22 Frets/5 Way Pickup Selector/3 Way Toggle With Coil Tap/10 Top Quilt Finish Whale Blue/Dragon II Pickups/Abalone Bird Inlays All The Works. // 10

Sound: Its a PRS Custom 22 It Sounds Beautiful! The Best Sounding Guitar I Have Ever Heard! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Not A Flaw Custom Ordered From PRS. The Action Is Smooth And Fast! // 10

Reliability & Durability: Best Quality Out There! It Will Last Forever! // 10

Overall Impression: Been Playing For Over 13 Years And This Is By Far The Best Guitar I Have Ever Picked Up! // 10

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overall: 10
Custom 22 Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 01, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: This jewel is a Custom 22 with wide thin neck carve, abalone bird inlays, 14:1 low mass locking tuners, Dragon II pickups, flamed maple top, cherry sunburst finish, floating tremelo, and 5-way rotary switching system. The top is flamed maple, as I said, and the back is mahogany with a mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard. Paul was very accurate when he christened these instruments "Custom." There are so many options and different combinations to order to your specifications. // 10

Sound: This guitar is by far the most versitle guitar I have ever played. The five-way rotary brings so many tonal options to your fingertips its almost unbelievable. This instrument must be played to understand the versitility. Note: the pickups sound best to my ears with the guitar volume at about 9.5 with 8 sounding very Strat like and 10 very Les Paul, only creamier. I play this through my mode four half stack. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was set up to play itself. The maple top was a beautiful bookmatch top, and the intonation and playability of this guitar came out of the box to amaze. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is built to be the one to play for a lifetime not corners cut anywhere. I have used it before without a backup and have never had a problem. Finish appears to be of the finest quality. // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing for quite some time and have yet to have a guitar that approaches par with this one. I also own a '76 Les Paul Custom that I use as my Custom 22's backup. If it were lost or stolen, I would hunt the bastard down and get it back with interest. Lost? Not enough alcohol in this hemisphere for me to be out of my mind enough to lose it. I was a bit edgey at first on account of the price but soon discovered that the guitar was a steal. // 10

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overall: 9.8
Custom 22 Reviewed by: Gibsonmac1981, on january 08, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 3800

Features: I got the artist package, it's Orange. this is the greatest guitar ever concieved. It is your basic cut but with wicked inlays, brazillian RW fretboard/headstock, gold hardware, and the damn coolest quilt ever. I went with the WF neck carve, and the stoptail (endless sustain). the only complaint I have is the rotary switch, but I had it switched to a 3-way toggle and a push/pull. Rating it a 9 cause of rotor thing and there so damn expensive, and for that much money the thing better be able to fly. // 9

Sound: Flippin' amazing, nothing can touch it. I've got a '80s Les Paul Standard, use to think it was untouchable tonewise. Blows that piece a shit out of the water. Thick, rich, and talk about sustain and articulation. tight all around. In a word, perfection. It's a PRS come on. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I've never seen a guitar with this level of craftsmenship, this thing was flawless right out of the box. I have never played anything like this in my entire life, I've got a pretty wide collection ranging from USA Jacksons, Gibsons, Ibanez, ESP, USA Strats, and none of them can touch this thing. It is my first prs, and it's all PRS for me from here on out. It's ridiculous. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Bullet proof, and that's it. Solid as it gets. Although I still gig with a backup, strings break and shit happens. It is perfect in every way, although you do have to be carefull with the nitro finish, it's a little more delecate than your Standard poly urethane. But the benefits of it are pure tone, which is amazing. // 10

Overall Impression: Great guitar, recommend it to anyone. I play rock/metal, it's solid for anything I want to play. I like to think I've spent a lot of time thinking about and developing my tone, and there is no amount of little magic boxes, or amps/speaker cabs that would have given me tone like this. no one could ever steal it from me because I would never take out of my sight. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Custom 22 Reviewed by: no_thing101, on november 19, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: Made in america in march. dragon II pickups with push pull tone knob and three way Switch. 22 fret wide thin neck. (new) bird inlays. black cherry finish. VERY glossy finish. glue on neck. prs tremolo. mahogany body and neck with a maple top and rosewood fretboard. couldnt get much better. // 9

Sound: I play everything from blues and jazz to rock, metal and shred. this guitar covers it all in both playability and sound. It can achieve just about any tone I want. Because of the split coil function it can sound almost like a Strat on some setting but still have that warmth to get a santana tone. it does classic rock well with the bridge pickup. the bridge pickup does well at shred on high gain but it does not have enough bass thump for some metalheads. (fine to me) // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I got the guitar more than half a year after it came out of the factory and it was mostly in tune and the inotation was perfect. The guitar is beautiful. the black cherry finish is amazing. it did not have any flaws but I put a ding on the side of the fretboard yesterday. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It seems very reliable but I wont know until I have had it for longer. The side of the fretboard is soft and easy to damage but that effects nothing but the cosmetics. The body itself looks flawless and very glossy which is surprising since it's been sitting in a shop for months. // 9

Overall Impression: Great guitar. Nearly perfect for me. It would be perfect if it had the same pickups but 24 frets. the other problem with this guitar is the price but for something like this it's worth every penny. I love that it is so versitile and I hate that it's amazing finish (inevitably) gets flaws over time. each custom is slightly different and it would be very sad if this guitar got lost or stolen because there would not be another one that is exactly the same. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Custom 22 Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 23, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1700

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: This is a USA made 2001 Custom 22 purple 10 top with tremolo and birds. This is a highly figured maple top with mahogany back and side and rosewood fretboard. This one has the 5-way selector Switch which gives five pickup configurations: 1) Neck pickup, 2) Outside coils - deep and clear - parallel, 3) Series single coils Warm version of the "in between the treble and middle pickups", 4)Parallel single coils Crisp version of the "in between the treble and middle pickups", 5) Bridge pickup. Also has the older winged tuners which are ok, but I also own a 2005 Custom 24 with the newer design which is MUCH better. Pickups are stock Dragon II's. // 10

Sound: I use a Bogner Ecstasy head with Bogner open back 2x12 oversized cabinet one Vintage 30 and one Greenback; also a 98 Fender Twin Amp, and '99 Marshall DSL 50. This guitar covers all ground easily from slow rock/country to heavy modern rock. I will say the Custom 24 covers more ground for me in the modern rock world but is not as versatile at the 22. The Dragon II's are a brighter than the Custom 24 HFS pickups. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Guitar is flawless and always in tune, perfect finish, and action stays true. Only negative to me is that the guitar case will easily scratch and show wear if you actually use the guitar live. I have two PRS' and just one case stacked on top of the other is enough for some light scratching when moving this in and out of a van/car. Other than that, the guitars are top notch! // 9

Reliability & Durability: Have two PRS and not one problem yet since 2001. Guitar was designed to play live and holds up nicely. Just keep a good wax on it and wipe it down after each use. I never understood "collectors" of PRS guitars; these babies are meant to be played! Peace. // 10

Overall Impression: PRS is expensive, but I would buy again in a heartbeat if stolen! Buy a 22 for covering a lot of ground; look at the 24 for music leaning more toward modern rock; look at the McCarty for good ground in between. I have also found the Mira to be a super guitar at a great price point although not my kind of look for a guitar. // 10

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overall: 10
Custom 22 Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 09, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: The PRS Custom 22/24 are the main selling prs guitars. At the Start of the week I was finally lucky enough to own one and imediatley I was blown away! Obviously made in USA, Emerald green finish quilted top. 5-way rotary switch and a tremelo bridge, has Dragon II pickups and the abalone bird inlays. Came with prs fitted hard case! // 10

Sound: Well as I play things like Lostprophets, story of the year this guitar straight away gave me the tone I wanted I have it tuned to Drop as of current hasent come out of tune yet! Even after playing for a gig the thing is still in tune! The 5-way rotary switch hasn't been a probelm since I only use two settings one for clean and one for distorted. The Guitar sounds great has to be the best sounding guitar I have owned/played (played for 6 years owened Strats, Ibanez RGs, Jacksons and played on many Gibson USA Les Pauls). I run it through a Marshall AVT Head. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Finish is awesome very stunning gets a lot of attention onstage and is awesome to look at. The guitar is mega thin which really apeals to me as I like thin and ligh guitars as apose to the les paul. The action is the best I have seen very low yet does not buzz against the pickups. The neck is very comfortable to play which makes a change for me as normally I am very picky with necks. The bird inlays look awesome just making the guitars appearance really nice. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Live this guitar is flawless doesnt't go out of tune, The hardware seems like it could last a lifetime (although for the price is should do). The strap buttons are solid don't appear like they would come loose. I would basicly gig with this guitar without a backup as I am pretty much certain I wouldn't have any problems. I think the finish as it stands I good but maybe aster a few years of regular gigging it may Start to get chipped but that's most likely down to wear and tear not the actual qulaity of the finish. // 10

Overall Impression: The guitar is perfect for the music I play far better than any other guitar I have owned and proberly ever will own (less I decide to get myself another Custom 22) If it were lost and stolen I would go out and buy another one straight away as these guitars are by far the best guitar I have played. The feature I love the most is the thiness of the guitar it makes it so comfortable to play. The neck is awesome! What more can I say the best guitar I have owned or played. I may get another one as a backup in a differnt color black cherry perhapes but for now I content with this beauty! // 10

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