REVIEW: PRS SE Silver Sky

In March 2018 PRS announced the Silver Sky, a collaboration with John Mayer, refining the S-type guitar on their own terms. It was no surprise that an SE Silver Sky version would be on the way, bringing that same vibe and feel at an affordable price, while maintaining the quality PRS is known for.

Overall construction, fit and finish are top notch. The guitar arrived with excellent fretwork and came out of the gig bag with no need for adjustments. The body is made of poplar, and our test guitar had an Evergreen finish, which is a nice modern departure from traditional colors that S-style guitars usually come in. The maple neck with its 8.5” radius has a nice C shaped profile, a rosewood fingerboard sporting 22 frets along the 25.5” scale length and is adorned with the PRS small birds fret markers. The headstock’s design is a mirror-like shape in comparison to other PRS guitars, and the non-locking vintage style tuners have classy gray satin buttons. At the other end, the neck joint is super ergonomic, with a rounded heel area that is a simple yet effective refinement on the traditional design. There’s no problem with the heel getting in the way of upper fret fun.

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The three 635JMS single coils are voiced the same, meaning where they sit under the strings define their EQ response. They’re not overly hot but have plenty of volume. The neck pickup is warm and buttery while maintaining definition for chord work and soloing. Bridge pickups on S-types can tend to get harsh and shrill. Thankfully here, there is plenty of cut and clarity with gobs of fullness. The big surprise though is the middle pickup. which often gets overlooked in S-type guitars. Guitarists traditionally may not get enough quack out of positions 2 and 4 on the five-way selector, and in many cases find it to be “meh” on its own. THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH THE SE SILVER SKY!

This pickup on its own shines with a perfect balance of clarity and fullness, especially with clean tones. With a five-way selector, each position just changed the tone, not the character of the instrument. Start at the neck, and working upwards, the tone just gets brighter but maintains its presence and focus. As for controls, a master volume knob runs the show, along with a tone control for the neck and middle pickups, while the bottom tone control is dedicated to the bridge pickup. This is a setup that players have been doing on their own for years, and to have it done right out of the box is perfect.

Playing-wise, this is pure joy; it’s super comfortable. This isn’t the kind of instrument that fights the player in any way, with excellent feel and response across the board. Grab the neck and dig in, because the more that gets thrown at it, the more it gives back to the player.

Running the Silver Sky into a variety of amps, plug-ins, and amp sims allowed the guitar’s character come through with no issues; a perfect S-style, refined and redefined for modern players.

PROS:

well-made, modern S-type, excellent pickups, excellent value to the player

CONS:

none.

STREET PRICE

$849

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