Our Top Pick
1. PRS John Mayer Silver Sky
A few years ago, it would have been unthinkable that John Mayer would leave Fender. John and his vintage '64 Strat were inseparable. I guess that if any company could get Mayer to leave, it would be PRS.
The Silver Sky model brings the things that people love about old S-Type guitars into the present day. The body looks and feels familiar, and the bottom horn's extra-sleek shape lets you know you're playing a PRS guitar. The reversed headstock not only looks great, but it also helps "keep a consistent length of string behind the nut," which makes the tuning more stable.
The new 635JM pickups are a dream for people who like single-coil pickups. Even when the bridge is up, they are full, warm, and never too bright. Since it came out in 2018, the Silver Sky has had some great finish options come out. The new Roxy Pink version is our favorite.
- It's easy to play.
- Day after day
- Epic is the new Roxy Pink finish.
- There is no hard case included by default.
2. PRS CE24
The CE24 goes one step further than the original Custom 24, which blurs the lines between Fender and Gibson. This version of the famous Custom 24 has a maple neck that is bolted on. This makes the guitar feel and sound very different.
Classic Electric is what CE stands for, and we have to say that it lives up to its name. The neck is both comfortable and interesting. The satin finish is very smooth, and the Pattern Thin profile means that it will fit in the hands of any player.
So, if you like the classic look of PRS guitars but want something a little different, you should check out the CE24.
- Sometimes, a bolt-on maple neck is all you need.
- The same quality as the options with a set-neck
- Some players will like the traditional PRS build.
3. PRS SE Mark Tremonti
Mark Tremonti and his PRS guitar go together like peanut butter and jelly. Most people know Tremonti as the guitarist for the popular band Alter Bridge, the controversial band Creed, and his own successful solo work. In fact, Tremonti was the second musician after Carlos Santana to become a PRS signature artist.
Since 2000, many different versions of his signature axe have come out, so we had to put one on this list. We chose the SE Tremonti because we think it gives you the most for your money and, well, it rocks!
The body is made of mahogany and has a single cutaway. It has a beautiful flame maple veneer that is finished in a simple Charcoal Burst. The Wide Thin maple neck is perfect for shredders, and the more aggressive Tremonti S pickups will bring down the house.
- This thing is really awesome.
- Meaty pickups
- Those who don't like Tremonti might want to look somewhere else.
4. PRS Fiore Mark Lettieri
Mark Lettieri isn't a very well-known musician, but that hasn't stopped PRS from giving him a very nice signature guitar. This guitar is quite a sight to see. It is based on the super-strat guitars of the 1980s and combines them with PRS's artistic style in a seamless way.
This guitar is very different from what you'd expect from Paul Reed Smith based on its specs. The first and biggest change is that the body is now made of swamp ash. Lettieri has said that swamp ash is "just kind of my sound," so he needed to include it in the design of his signature guitar. This beautiful body has a maple neck with bird inlays that are outlined and a custom flower truss rod cover.
The HSS pickup configuration is a key part of the sound of the Fiore. These pickups were made just for this guitar, with a focus on dynamics and getting the most out of it. The single coils are very responsive and clear, while the humbucker in the bridge is wound for power and punch. The Fiore comes in three different district finishes, but the white one, or "Sugar Moon" as PRS calls it, is our favorite.
- Swamp ash body
- HSS set up
- Not everyone likes the style.
5. PRS S2 Vela Semi-Hollow
The PRS S2 Vela Semi-Hollow is a semi-hollow offset guitar with lots of personality, and the first from the S2 line to be covered in this book. For those unfamiliar, the S2 series is a collection of guitars with a simpler, back-to-the-basics design.
The Vela is a little less sophisticated than, say, the Custom 24. Although the colorful flamed maple top, unique bird inlays, and complicated tremolo mechanism are removed, this eccentric guitar retains a significant amount of Paul Reed Smith's defining characteristics.
The smooth contours and effortless playing of this guitar make it clearly a PRS, but the brass saddle T-type bridge and Type-D Singlecoil pickup offer something fresh to the table.
- The Type-D Single-coil pickup is magnificent.
- Highly portable and resonant
- We'd like a case at this pricing.
6. PRS SE Custom 24
The PRS SE collection has its own loyal following, which is due in no little part to the incredible attention to detail seen in these budget-friendly solutions. Custom 24 is perhaps the most popular SE model, similar to the USA series.
The SE Custom 24 has a mahogany body like its more expensive sibling, but the beveled maple top is now veneered with flame maple. The exquisitely crafted maple neck features a Wide Thin profile with bird inlays, but this was not always the case.
PRS describes the SE Custom 24 as a "workhorse," and it's difficult to disagree. This gorgeous guitar is equally as flexible as its more costly version, plus it won't cost you a second mortgage. What, therefore, is not to like?
- The PRS attributes you adore at a lower cost.
- Includes a really beautiful, cushioned gig bag.
- Fewer color possibilities than the American line.
Last update on 2023-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
Obviously, if you've landed on this page, you've already determined that you'll be purchasing a PRS guitar.
And whether you've seen any of the guitars on our list that you like the appearance of or you still need to do your own research, it's worth your time to learn about the primary distinctions between PRS guitar types and what to anticipate from some of their most popular ranges.
Put Quality in Place
When compared to many other well-known guitar manufacturers, the overall build quality of a PRS instrument is significantly more impressive. Let's have a look at the things that set it apart from the rest:
The bird inlays have become synonymous with the PRS brand, and they are most frequently found on the top models of their guitars.
As you've seen from our top options, the flamed maple top is a pretty frequent finish on both the SE and premium custom ranges that are available.
When it comes to the quality of the materials used in construction, PRS does not cut corners. Maple and mahogany are the two most common types of wood used throughout. Although it is not inexpensive, PRS is able to charge what they do for even their SE models for a reason: the quality of their guitars is indeed that high.
The SE lines are often made in Korea and/or other countries outside of the USA, which means that they can normally be purchased at a reduced cost (in the same way that most popular manufacturers offer discounted ranges from outside of the USA manufacturing).
The humbuckers on the PRS ranges are often made up of two single coins twisted together, which provides a great responsiveness. This is especially true when combined with the coil tap capability that is included in many of the SE and custom ranges.
Replicas of the Stratocaster
PRS began actively competing with Fender not too long ago by releasing an instrument that is obviously modeled after Fender's Stratocaster.
You should now have a solid idea of what PRS guitars are and how to discover your desired instrument from their large choices. There are several alternatives available when selecting your first or next guitar!
Important is that you pick what is appropriate for you. Because PRS has such a vast selection of guitars, the best PRS guitars are mostly subjective. Nonetheless, we've selected some of the best ones per category / application.