SE Mike Mushok Baritone review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.5 (14 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Mike Mushok Baritone

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Guitar Center Used

Features — 8
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!

Sound — 7
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.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
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.

Reliability & Durability — 8
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.

Overall Impression — 8
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.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Still nuting beats da BC rich warlock! #HailToTheKerryKing.
    Huh??? Too funny. Umm...pretty much EVERYTHING beats the BC Rich Warlock. ...unless you live in a trailer park, that is. In which case, it's the coolest and most interesting guitar which has ever existed. It's Hard-core, and fully expresses your unique individuality. LOL!
    I own this guitar, and I love the way it plays and feels. My only gripe is that the stock pickups fall a little flat, and am thinking about swapping them out for something a bit higher output. Looks beautiful, plays beautiful, feels lightweight and balanced for an extended scale guitar. Pickups just aren't what I would choose to put in this thing from scratch. 9/10 for me