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Right out of the case it’s got a classy hot rod like appearance, as the smoky metallic grey top finish (although Prestige calls this Metallic Black) and the chrome of the hardware really make this pop in appearance.
Its double cutaway body has a carved maple top and a mahogany back, which is finished in a clear coat that shows off the natural grain. A very classy binding acts as a dividing line between the painted top and natural finish look of the back. It has a bit of heft to it, however it does balance nicely with no neck droop. Speaking of necks, it has an ebony fingerboard with offset MOP dots, along with some excellently done binding that sits on a mahogany neck. The Profile is a C shape that has some girth while not being clumsy feeling. The fret work is very well done, with no buzzing and a very smooth feel. The open back tuners are very classy, and seem to do the trick with no fiddylyness, and a positive connected tuning feel. A TUSQ nut finishes things off.
Pickup wise, its sporting a TV Jones Filtertron Classic in the neck and a Classic Plus in bridge position, with two volume controls (one for each pickup) and a master tone. A metal three-way toggle sits nicely on the upper bout.
Nothing sounds or feels like a Bigsby, and this B5 version is a great complement to the pickups and overall design. Going a step further the Tone Pros bridge itself has roller saddles, meaning no getting the strings bound up or any string friction. It’s a subtle tremolo, where less is more. There’s less wiggle room than say a Strat, but it stays in the area of actual musical use.
Strapping this on it doesn’t feel like some rock and roll relic. It feels modern, and a 24.75” scale is still familiar. Plugging it into a variety of amps, the TV Jones pickups really have some nice sparkle on the top end, without getting shrill or pointy. The bridge pickup has plenty of bark to it, while the neck pickup has classic warmth that doesn’t get woofy or muddled.
Together they’re glorious, especially in a clean setting. Balance between pickups in a guitar is a big deal, and these give the best version of their respective positions. Nothing sounds like a Filtertron style of pickup, it’s got a little single coil twang, some Humbucker depth, some P90 gulpy ness. It’s like a spicy sonic gumbo. Using it with dirty sounds is fantastic. It can get into some really heavy situations, though feedback issues are expected, so again it’s a situation where less is more; volume and punch beat out saturation and gain, and gives a bigger, richer overall tone. Think of how little distortion AC/DC actually uses, and how big their sound is.
Lead-wise it has twang and some slinky ness, and the Bigsby is set for the right amount of shimmer. Rhythm-wise it’s tight, with a ring and resonance that really doesn’t come from any other kind of pickup. Layering with another guitar player that was using humbuckers, it held its own sonic space, but added an overall richness to the mix. Layering any track with this style pickup, along with a track with traditional pickup really brings in some unique tones. Across the board, it’s great for any rootsy, Americana, bluesy, early rock and roll organic type of approach, without any of the issues of an old styled instrument.
Prestige really knocked it out of the park on this one, with excellent components, a great design, great feel and overall fantastic build quality. There’s no downside to one of these.
Great vintage vibe, excellent construction, modern feel.