Custom 22 review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (94 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: Custom 22

Price paid: $ 1700

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 9
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.

Overall Impression — 10
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.

Reliability & Durability — 10
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.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
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!

Features — 10
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.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Price Paid: $2,200 Purchased From: Local Musician I recently purchased a 10 top 2006 20th anniversary Custom 22 from a local musician who wanted to upgrade his guitar. He wasn't too happy with the sound coming from the Dragon II pickups and stated that it was time for a change. His loss my gain. I purchased the PRS without hearing it through an amp which was a risk with the purchase being a spur of the moment thing. When I got the PRS home and plugged it into my old 1964 Goldentone {Australian} amp I was pleasantly surprised with the PRS exceeding my expectations as far as player comfort, low action and quality sound is concerned. I love the sound of the Dragon II pickups and the 5 way switch gives a variety of sound options. I am very happy with the strat type lead solo sounds that I can get out of the PRS is something that I have been missing out on over the years as my normal guitar is a 1974 Gibson Custom. The finish on the PRS CU22 20th anniversary is second to non with the sweeping doves on the fretboard enhancing the beauty of the guitar. I have owned my Gibson and Goldentone amp along with an acoustic guitar since 1974 {yes I hang on to good things} and envisage that I will keep this PRS until I pass away.
    So beautiful, versatile and great sounding guitar. Personally I swapped the dragon 2s for 5909 pickups since I found the dragons a little boxy and harsh for my taste (but not by all means bad). This guitar does the heavy stuff, rock and cleans beautifully. It's such a joy to play. As Paul says "a very musical sounding instrument".