A praiseworthy additional to the trad PRS line.
Flamey top, fat neck, flighty birds, a floating bridge: we’re back on familiar ground, with a set of passive PRS-designed pickups with a HRS Treble and a Vintage Bass.
The body itself is a simplified version of the classic PRS, with an uncarved top. This time the maple cap over the mahogany is the real deal, and it’s about 5mm thick. You can add a further 1mm for the crazy quilt veneer, and the headstock is made to match.
In comparison to the other two there’s something almost delicate and highly strung about this guitar that demands a more refined touch.
It weights less, and the PRS-designed trem is feather-light. It’s a cracking design, with the smooth-topped saddles sitting in a recess for hand comfort and a swingability-setting grub screw for the skinny whammy bar.
The low E string will dive a full nine steps and pull up three, so that’s an octave range from G to G. It stays in tune almost as well as the Floyd Rose, but a light touch is needed on the arm otherwise your vibrato can sound a bit neurotic.
The neck is slightly less chunky than the one on their Catanese guitar, but it’s still a nice, grippy handful. The open-pored rosewood fingerboard has 24 fairly small and skinny frets, and the diecast tuners are PRS’s precise regulation spec.
It’s all good except for those wretched bird inlays – they’ve opted for a mucky opaque plastic that looks implausibly cheap and nasty.
Though this is one of the only SE’s made with ‘old school birds’ we wish they’d stuck with the pearl and abalone moons: this is the only feature on any of these guitars that betrays their ‘budget’ status.
Given the vibratos it’s probably fairest to compare the Classic’s acoustic sound with the PRS Torero’s. The Classic is lighter, brighter and it resonates more freely. It’s got the easiest action of all three as well.
With conventional passive humbuckers, the Classic is well-named because its sound is warmer and darker.
It’s also very clear and there’s plenty of variation between the two pickups. Like any decent set-neck double-humbucker PRS it excels at hard rock, blues, and fusion, with impressive responsiveness to playing dynamics and control manipulation.
You’ll soon settle into playing this guitar with a lighter, more careful touch, especially where the trem is concerned. A slight sense of friction from the rosewood board is the only detraction, but we would expect that to play out quite quickly.
The 25th Custom 24 SE, save for those cheapo birds, is a praiseworthy additional to the trad PRS line. All in all, a very playable, well-built and fine-sounding guitar.