SE Mike Mushok Baritone Review

manufacturer: Paul Reed Smith date: 04/21/2014 category: Electric Guitars
Paul Reed Smith: SE Mike Mushok Baritone
Obviously baritones aren't exactly for the "happy" sounding poppy tunes, and this guitar is no exception. Dark when clean, and p-ssed off when distorted. This is definitely a guitar for my tastes: A straight forward, hard hitting guitar that sounds best when turned up to 11.
 Features: 9
 Sound: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Overall rating:
 8.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.7 
 Users rating:
 8.3 
 Votes:
 12 
reviews (2) pictures (2) 13 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.8
SE Mike Mushok Baritone Reviewed by: glytch5, on april 21, 2014
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Guitar Center Used

Features: From the Korean PRS factory, this is a signature Mike Mushok guitar. It comes in a few colors, I have the wood burst model. This guitar has 2 humbucking passive pick ups, a 3 way toggle and a shared tone + volume. The pick ups are moderately high output, not hugely hot. They are just factory PRS pick ups that go on their SE series guitars. 22 frets, mahogany body with set mahogany neck, Ebony fingerboard. Some nice cream binding. PRS tuning machines. 27.5 inch scale length. I rate this an 8 because for a guitar this price, you get a real nice ebony fingerboard... and I LOVE ebony! // 8

Sound: This is a medium-long scale baritone. The guitar is pretty much just a standard PRS SE series. I believe it sells new for around 650. The sound is relatively neutral, the pickups are not all out high output metal, nor are they jazzy pearly gates clean either. I think PRS went for a more dynamic pick up option. The guitar has a nice fat tone, and is pretty clear. I did notice with a distorted amp big chords do not ring out on all the strings as well as my other guitars. It does have a nice ballsy sound to it though. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar has very good okay work. I did not get this one brand new so I can not say how well it came set up out of the factory, but I am rather impressed with the build quality for the price of this guitar. No flaws in the ax, no flackey knobs nothing. Very solid. The upper frets are real easy to access. This has a rather thick neck to it. Ebony finger board is GREAT! The binding on the neck on this one is quite well done. Not messy at all. I have seen some expensive ESP guitars with really lousy binding work along the fretboard. The frets are nice and beveled, they do not try and cut you. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The strap buttons are very well balanced, the guitar naturally hangs in a perfect playing position when you let go of it. Some strap holders on guitars are not well thought out, this one was. Seems reliable enough. The more I look at the finish the more I like it. I cannot say how durable it is, I have not gigged it, or moved it around much. I guess I will not really know if it lives up to the PRS name, I have only had it about a month. // 8

Overall Impression: I bought this guitar to do the heavy metal stuff, or just for fun drop tunings, and it does it well enough. Like I said before the pickups are not the best for high gain, but they do ring out well enough, and have some harmonic depth. I am really enjoying this guitar and am very pleased with the craftsmanship. If you are thinking of trying a baritone I think this is a great place to start. The scale length is a little longer than some baritones, and about 1/2 and inch shorter than the Ibanez baritones. I am currently playing this thing in drop A tuning, but I imagine it could go down quite a bit lower. The guitar intonates nicely. Really nothing wrong with this guitar... it looks nice enough, the bridge is solid, it stays in tune. If this guitar came with some sort of high end SD bridge pick up or something of that nature, it would be an absolute steal. I do get a fair amount of string buzz with a less than low action... but most guitars do, especially in this price range. // 8

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overall: 9.6
SE Mike Mushok Baritone Reviewed by: T-Unit33, on october 12, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 650

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I bought this guitar in May 2012, and it was straight from the factory when I got it. The model I ordered was the Silver burst version, it also comes in Brown burst. With it being a SE model, it was manufactured in Korea. To give a rundown of the specs: - 22 Frets w/a 10" Radius on a 27.7" length neck - Ebony Fret board - Maple Neck - Bound Mahogany Body with white binding - The Neck shape is called "Mike Mushok" on the site, but I would definitely say that it is a Thick C Shape. More like a LP style than other PRS's that I have played, and much thicker than the Wide Fat neck I have on my SE Custom 22. - String through nickel stop tail - 3 way blade pick-up selector - Non-locking PRS tuners (but very sturdy nonetheless) - Standard SE Treble and Bass Pickups - 1 Volume and Tone Control - Came tuned to B Standard with D'Adario XL157 14-68 Strings My guitar came with a gig bag and some small tools and accessories. // 10

Sound: I personally play a heavier style of music, and this guitar fits me perfectly. Admittedly, I am no virtuoso, so I lean more towards riffing, and this guitar seems like it was built for exactly that. Obviously baritones aren't exactly for the "happy" sounding poppy tunes, and this guitar is no exception. Dark when clean, and p-ssed off when distorted. When I got this guitar I also purchased a Vox Valvetronix 120+ to go with it. The effects I am currently running would be through the amp settings and foot-switch, so basically a little reverb and chorus here and there, but mostly just distortion. The clean could admittedly be better, but it may just be because the Vox has so many clean settings that I haven't one I liked yet. I am not a big fan of the Neck pickup on any guitar, but this guitar actually does have me using it more and more on the clean channels because it doesn't break up as much. The bridge on the other hand was built for overdrive. I have the gain on 3/4 of what I play my other guitars through, but it still is the most pissed off sounding guitar I own. I also have to admit, even though PRS is using their run of the mill pickups on this guitar, they sound awesome. I have no intentions of switching them out, because they do their job just fine. If you like to play heavy music, this is definitely something to look to, especially if you play in drop tunings. I wouldn't necessarily call it the "Jack of All Trades", variety wise, but I would definitely call it the "Work Horse". It doesn't claim to be the guitar that can do everything, but what it can do, it does very well. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I don't know if it is a quality across the board with PRS, but every one that I have ever owned or played has had fairly low action, and this one is no different. I thought the set up was pretty good, I haven't had any intonation issues and everything feels very nice play-ability wise. The finish work was pristine, and the silverburst actually may have a hint of brown in it too, making it a three tone burst if you look at it right. Everything else was done very well, and I have no complaints about any part of the guitar as far as tuners/frets/controls are concerned. Also, on a side note, the strings that they put on out of the box are awesome. I am a fan of D'Adarios, but they just felt perfect for this guitar, and sound great. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is zombie apocalypse durable. It is a very solid, heavy piece of wood. Not sure about the finish, because I am not actively trying to beat up my new guitar for the moment, but all the parts work awesome and are holding up very well. PRS has a reputation for quality, and they have begun to bring that reputation to their SE line as well. This guitar is no different. I would feel confident with no backup to this guitar, and have no doubt that they could stand up to the road. (Mike Mushok uses these guitars pretty much stock with his live rig, and if anyone has seen him play, you would understand how durable this guitar would need to be). // 9

Overall Impression: This is definitely a guitar for my tastes: A straight forward, hard hitting guitar that sounds best when turned up to 11. I have been a huge fan of the PRS company since I got my SE Custom 22 in 2007, and they haven't let me down yet. I would make no hesitation to get another if this was lost for any reason, because it fits what I want out of a guitar perfectly. I wish the neck was a little easier to play for a more small handed person, but I understand the needs for tension control on a baritone, so I can live with it. Like I said before, this isn't really a guitar built on frills or special features, it just gets the job done. Its effectiveness, along with the fact that it is WELL under $1000 makes it well worth the while. Plug one in and turn up the gain, and you will see what I mean. // 10

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