NAMM 2018 - PRS Guitars
This is the place to be for all of the latest developments from PRS at NAMM 2018!
A few years ago PRS started making acoustic guitars in their private stock department. These weren’t just the same dreadnought and jumbo models that every electric guitar company eventually makes however. They have instead taken a look at the history of the acoustic guitar from classic Torres models through to the major players in the world today, some of which have been making guitars for around 100 years.
Since then they have made acoustic guitars as part of their SE line. This is the first time however that the quality and technology in the private stock series has made it to this more budget friendly range.
Mark Tremonti Signature Gear
Mark Tremonti has a long and colourful history of working with PRS; with numerous signature models over the years, he's becoming something of an informal brand ambassador. Now they've taken their working relationship to the next level with the release of the MT15 - an incredible lunchbox amp that combines the aggression, articulation and precision of Tremonti's sound in spectacular fashion!
The MT15 was designed to satisfy the darkest desires of hard rock and metal players, with a gain channel that that delivers a sizeable, punchy sound while retaining perfect definition. This is Tremonti's first signature amp, so both him and PRS have made sure that it'll make your chugging rhythms smack and your leads soar like never before.
Despite this, the clean channel has been carefully tweaked to have a bright bell-like resonance, ideal for plucking, strumming and ambient playing alike. Regardless of the tone you choose, the MT15 will remain balanced and responsive - uncompromising! You've also got power attenuation (15W to 7W), bias adjustment and an FX loop at your disposal, so you've got all the legroom you'll need to make this formidable amp your own!
- 15W 2-channel valve lunchbox head
- Separate EQ for both channels
- FX loop
- 6L6 & 12AX7 valves
- Footswitch included
- Rugged, lightweight enclosure
This reissue of the PRS Mark Tremonti Standard delivers a full sound that's suited to metal riffage and sparkling cleans in equal measure. Designed to bring the versatility and precision of Tremonti's instruments to a more affordable price point, it's a performance guitar through-and-through!
A mahogany body combined with a maple neck provides a full-bodied, warm tone with plenty of snappy clarity to boot, and the Tremonti signature S pickups are designed to squeeze every bit of resonance out of the wood combination.
Additional appointments include the same singlecut design, a rosewood fretboard with PRS bird inlays, as well as a trem-up route, and individual volume and tone controls for both pickups, making the SE Mark Tremonti Standard fast, fun, and hard to put down!
- Mahogany body
- Maple neck with rosewood fretboard
- PRS bird inlays
- 25" scale length, 22 frets
- Nickel hardware
- PRS Patented Molded Tremolo with Trem-Up Route
- Tremonti headstock logo
- Black speed knobs
There are 6 new guitars as part of the SE Acoustic range. 2 different body shapes and 3 different back and sides materials.
The PRS Angelus is making its return to the SE range this year with the Tonare making its debut. They are both very similar in terms of size but the Angelus has a cutaway while the Tonare does not.
At the end of the day this is a real personal preference depending on how you want the guitar to feel. If you prefer more traditional style acoustics the Tonare may be better suited compared to more modern looking Angelus.
Now we know the body shapes, lets break down what models are available for both of them.
Both the Angelus and Tonare come in X20E, 40E and 50E variations. Each of these have different back and side materials as well as some differences to the bracing.
AX20E and TX20E
These models are the most traditional guitars in the SE Acoustic range. Mahogany back and sides with a Sitka Spruce top and traditional X bracing this is just a solid, classic acoustic guitar.
You may not find a whole new sound with this guitar but for traditionalists that want a great new guitar for their collection you can’t go wrong with this.
A40E and T40E
While Ovangkol isn’t the rarest wood you will find on an acoustic it certainly is one of the most interesting ones. This wood is the African cousin to Rosewood but is not currently under any international restrictions like Rosewood.
Sound wise it is similar to its cousin but with a fuller midrange and top end that helps you cut through a bit more than a typical Rosewood guitar.
Combined with a Sitka Spruce top and put together with PRS’ X/Classical bracing hybrid this thing really sings.
A50E and T50E
The third and final option for now is this stunning figured maple back and sides model. Maple is known to have a bright, snappy and clear sound meaning it is mainly used on larger bodied guitars.
Don’t let that put you off though because when combined with PRS’ X/Classical bracing for the top you end up with a versatile, full sounding instrument with incredible note definition that makes it just as good for single note lines as it does complicated chords.
PRS SE acoustics feature a Fishman GT1 electronics system, featuring an undersaddle pickup and soundhole mounted preamp with easy-to-access volume and tone controls. This system delivers dynamic, organic tone that allows players to go from rehearsal to the stage with ease.
We have made a big point about the bracing in these guitars and that is because it makes a big difference. The way the top responds with this new X/Classical bracing is a completely different beast to the more traditional X bracing pattern.
Traditional “X” bracing allows the top to vibrate while providing a stability that gives these instruments their signature punch. PRS Hybrid bracing features the traditional “X” at the soundhole with classical fan bracing across the belly. This allows the top to vibrate more freely for a rounder, more projecting tone. The back bracing on both body shapes is designed to “lock down” the back and sides to promote the instrument’s projection through the top, giving the instruments a unique tonal quality.
New PRS Electric Guitars
PRS have announced the brand new S2 Studio to add to their lineup. This guitar is based on the S2 Standard with it’s Mahogany body, 22 frets and body shape but features an interesting pickup configuration.
The pickup config is HSS which is a popular tried and tested formula but the S2 Studio has the Starla bridge pickup which has a TV Jones-esque mid-range. It sounds great under a bit of gain and retains plenty of clarity but isn’t what you’d call a ‘powerful’ humbucker metal pickup. Though it definitely has a bit of a kick when you crank the volume up!
You’ve then got a Type-D Singlecoil pickup in the middle and neck position. These pickups were used in the PRS Vela and proved to be an absolute hit. They’ve got the chime and brightness of a singlecoil with bass response in spades. Perfect for rhythm players or anyone after that S-type sound.
Lastly, you’ve got a PRS classic tremolo to give you an incredibly versatile instrument that truly can handle any style of music thrown at it. With the 5-way selector and all of those pickup sounds at your fingertips, this could easily be your ‘desert island’ guitar.
Dustie Waring Signature Model
Dustie Waring is the guitar player for prog metallers Between The Buried And Me and has now got another Signature PRS – the DWCE24. The Bolt-On neck on the CE models is a favoured design for adding a touch more ‘snap’ to your tone and the Maple board adds a tighter response than a Rosewood board would. This is perfect for players that use a lot of gain.
It’s got a Floyd Rose bridge for you to get all of those divebombs and wild trem screeches and Warings signature Mojotone DW Tomahawk pickups. The pickups are a blend of Ceramic and Alnico magnets that have been designed for a big bottom end whilst remaining clear and articulate.
"I've always thought CE's were really great guitars, and I couldn't be happier with this signature model. It can get pretty much any sound you want it to, it's super comfortable to play, and it's just cool to see a CE with a maple board and a Floyd. I hope everyone loves it as much as I do." - Dustie Waring / Between the Buried and Me