SE Mike Mushok Baritone review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (14 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Mike Mushok Baritone

Price paid: $ 650

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
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.

Overall Impression — 10
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.

Reliability & Durability — 9
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).

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
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.

Features — 10
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.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Saw Steven Wilson playing one of these during "The Incident" tour... Really nice low distortion.