Studio Review

manufacturer: Paul Reed Smith date: 05/05/2015 category: Electric Guitars
Paul Reed Smith: Studio
The tones from this guitar are so rich, so deep and so... much more than anything I've ever played before that I truly am inspired by it. If you've been looking at one of these and have expendable cash, you'll be happy with it.
 Features: 10
 Sound: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Overall Impression: 9
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reviews (2) pictures (3) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
Studio Reviewed by: mrpalancarrr, on march 25, 2015
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2125

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Features: The guitar was made in Maryland, USA in 2011. Purchased "new" in 2015. 22 frets on a pattern thin neck (the neck has a fantastic feel!) Very dark colored rosewood finger-board. The body is mahogany as is the neck. This guitar is a "10-top" with a nice flame maple top with excellent booking. Similar in shape to the PRS Custom 24. The finish is something they're calling "V-12." It's very nice and may be adding to an awesome tone. Locking tuners, a bridge with a vibrato or whammy bar. The guitar comes with three pickups. There is a 57-08 HB in the bridge with ability to coil spilt on push/pull tone knob. Middle and neck p'ups are Narrowfield 57-08's. // 10

Sound: I'm mostly into blues, rock, reggae and a bit o' funk. This guitar suits all of these styles really well. I'm sure you could get some metal out of it with the HB, but there are probably better choices if you're into metal. I use the guitar mostly with a Yamaha 10w THR-C amp and the two together sound... amazing! Also used w/ Mustang II and Fender SC XD. This guitar has loads of different tones due to the 3 p'ups. The Narrowfields are HB's but in a narrow package so it's fairly easy to get strat sounds from this guitar. The strat "quack" comes through very well. The 57-08 bridge HB has lots of power and sounds just excellent! Not "tinny" sounding at all. The middle p'up is fairly bright with the neck deliver clear and darker tones. Much of the variation in tone can be found by increasing or rolling off on the volume knob. The very first thing I noticed when I jacked in was the pick attack and just how articulate this guitar is. PRS likes to claim the Narrowfields can produce single-coil, mini-HB and full HB tones. I would agree to a certain extent so all around this a very versatile guitar. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar arrived almost perfect and was pretty much ready to go right out of the PRS case that it came with. I did notice some very light scratches right under the middle & neck p'ups. I'm pretty sure these came from a tool from the factory and not a pick as the start right on the bottom edge of the pickup. They can only be seen in a certain light and PRS says they should be able to be buffed out with a white wheel. I did adjust all three pickups for height based on personal preference of sound. Other than that, she's about perfect which seems to be a trademark of PRS. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Yes, this guitar is built to last! I hope to hand it down to my son when it's time to "put my guns in the ground." Tuners are solid and rarely need adjustment even with light use on the whammy bar. Strap buttons are very solid. I'm supposing this finish is built to last, it sure looks great, but my knowledge of different guitar finishes is limited. Yes I would depend on this guitar, but a backup for gigging would always be a better idea. I would be hard pressed to take this guitar to a bar due to it's price. I think as it's name suggests, "studio" is a better application in my mind. // 10

Overall Impression: Blues, rock and reggae are my favorite genres. I've only been playing about 1.5 years. From that respect, I don't deserve this guitar it's way more than my skill level, but then again the years are flying by and one never knows when the "ultimate gig" is up. I work hard, so it was an easy justification. I also own a MIM strat' and few Squiers (Jagmaster & Jazzmaster) that I enjoy modding and playing around with. If it were lost or stolen, I'd be heartbroken because I doubt I could afford to replace it. I got onto the PRS line as I once owned a PRS Bernie Marsden. That guitar just oozed quality and it was from the SE line. I decided to part with it though as it was just too "butt-heavy." I knew this one would be even better quality and I'm not disappointed in tone or quality. My only negative on this guitar is the price. Advertised prices for new seem to range from $2,400 - $3,700 (which can purchase a pretty decent used road bike with way more moving parts!... And I thought about it!) It is after all... just a few pieces of wood, wire, magnets, simple gears, etc. 

However, the tones from this guitar are so rich, so deep and so... much more than anything I've ever played before that I truly am inspired by it. Since I've had it, I've been able to create some pretty cool and original pieces of music. So in that sense, I'm pretty happy with the purchase and look forward to growing my skills to catch up to the guitar's abilities! I chose this particular guitar due to the fact I like 3 p'ups on guitars, that I knew it would be PRS quality and for this righteous sapphire blue color! I first contemplated the PRS NF3, but the 57-08 HB won me over in the end. A good choice for me!

Bottom line, if you've been looking at one of these and have expendable cash, you'll be happy with it. If you're more "financially challenged" a good sale, clearance or used one would probably make just about anyone happy. I may be wrong here, but as far as I can tell in 2015, the only "new" Studios are the "artist package." Those go for north of the $3700. // 9

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overall: 9.4
Studio Reviewed by: Manodiver, on may 05, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2150

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Features: This was a "new" guitar. Made in 2011 and I bought it in 2015. Obviously the MSRP was too high and it took some price cuts to get it sold. The guitar is a double-cut shape and has 22 frets and a 25" scale length. It has the "pattern thin" neck which really is the most comfortable neck I've ever played. It has a mahogany body with a flame maple top. Mahogany neck with rosewood finger-board. The rosewood is so dark it could pass for ebony. It has a stop-tail bridge equipped with a tremolo. The pickups are passive and consist 57-08 HB in the bridge (with coil-split through the tone knob) and 2,57-08 Narrowfield HB's in the middle and neck position. It has 5-way switching with 1, volume and 1, tone knob. The tuners are PRS locking tuners. The guitar came with hard-case. // 10

Sound: I play blues and rock with some interest in reggae, funk country, folk, etc. I use this guitar mostly with a Yamaha 10-THR-C modeling amp and occasionally through Mustang II or Fender Super Champ XD. I prefer clean tones with some reverb. The guitar has no hum or other unwanted noise. With the 3 pickups, 5-way switching and use of the volume and tone pots, there is a wide variety of available tones through this guitar. In positions 2 & 4 you can get a very reasonable "strat' quack." The neck pickup alone sounds like syrup, the middle more like the neck from a single coil strat and the 5708 in the bridge is clear, pronounced and eats and loves gain when some dirt is added. The best part of the sound for me is the pick attack and just how articulate this guitar is. I give it a "9" here because there are no options for switching out the Narrowfield HB's in the middle or neck. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: From right out of the box the guitar was set up decently (especially since it probably lived in a warehouse for a few years). PRS strings were good. Intonation was perfect on 5 out of 6 strings and need only minor adjustment to get the 6th in. The pickups were set to exact PRS spec's, but I did slightly raise both middle and neck p'ups because it sounded better to my ears. Otherwise the fit and finish on this guitar is spectacular. It's one of PRS' "10-tops" so very few flaws and excellent booking on the flame maple top. The binding is great, but the bird inlays on the neck I think are plastic:( while the bird inlays I once had n a PRS Bernie Marsden were abalone. This makes no sense and the Bernie was 1/4th the price). But I do like the birds generally speaking. The only flaws were some slight and light scratches directly under the middle and neck p'ups. I think they are tool marks and PRS assures me they will buff out with a white-wheel. You have to really look to see them so I haven't gotten around to buffing just yet. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I believe this is a guitar built for the long-haul. I plan on passing it on to my son when my time is done. It's a quality, USA built guitar! The finish is called a V-12. It's supposed to be hardy and supposedly aids the harmonics. I'll take their word on it as I'm no expert here. Strap buttons are very god, but I keep having this thought about what would happen if the neck button gave out. I better get some locks so I never find out. I think a backup for your backup is a good idea, so I'd always have one. // 10

Overall Impression: I came to this guitar via a MIM Standard Strat, so it is a good match for what I like to play... and them some! I've been playing for just under 2 years, so I'm pretty much a "hack" but I try hard and really enjoy it! I researched the guitar well, so I had no questions before buying. I hate to even think about losing it as I doubt I could afford to replace it. If I could, then yes I would replace. The thing I love most on this guitar is the clear articulation. It just really inspires me to get creative with new sounds and new styles of play. The guitar is "sapphire blue" and it's beautiful! I love to look at it even when I'm not playing. I don't hate anything about it! I compared it to the 5-13 model before purchasing, but I couldn't find that one on sale.. So I "settled" for this one. I think the biggest drawback is the price. They try to get $3500 out of these new and that's just really too much (at least for my budget). I have to ask myself if this guitar is 3 times better than my MIM strat (with some excellent after-market p'ups) and the answer is probably no. However, it's for sure twice as nice so I think $1500 would be a great price. It is however made right here in the USA and the guitar is excellent quality with no scrimping on anything (except for the cheesy plastic bird inlays. She's a keeper for sure! // 9

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