PRS CE22 Maple Top Classic – Emerald Green – used/2002 – New Low Price – £1299
To call a PRS CE22 Maple Top Classic a poor man’s Custom 22 would be most unfair – Granted you don’t get all the fancy bells and whistles that come with the Custom 22 models, but the build quality, the attention to detail, as well as the legendary PRS playing experience, are all present and correct – Remove the colour coded bumpers and wing mirrors, the leather seats, the built in entertainment centre, complete with sat nav, as well as the sun roof and you are still left with the same GTi, with all the relative performance that goes with it – So with no bird inlays and no 10 top options, this is effectively were we stand when you compare a Custom 22 and a CE Maple Top 22 – Actually thanks to the bolt on maple neck approach of the CE22, you’ll experience more snap and clarity, coupled with a quicker response, which certain players prefer – So not fair to compare directly the tonal character of both guitars, as certain players will prefer one over the other – Yes, without all the bells and whistles, the CE22’s offers a more affordable package, compared to the Custom 22 models
The CE Maple Top has now been re-introduced into the PRS line up (albeit in a 24 fret format only), but with a price tag that is well in excess of £2000 – As such, £1299 for a 2002 model represents outstanding value for the level of performance that it delivers – Furthermore, when you look at the price of the current PRS S2 models, complete with far eastern hardware and pick-ups, along with various ‘cost cutting woods’ as well as a host of features that produce a far quicker production time, then again the original 2002 CE22 offers significant advantages regarding the playing performance and tonal character
Additional info regarding this 2002 PRS CE22 Maple Top :-
- Figured maple top with a cool emerald green gloss finish, that still shows the natural maple edged body binding
- Bolt on maple neck with a dark, smooth and even grained Indian rosewood that is simply embellished with abalone dot inlays
- Wide/fat neck profile – measures .870″ around the top nut end and fills out to .944″ around the 12th fret
- The medium jumbo frets have been polished and dressed, so along with a new set of 10’s and a check-up/set-up it is already to go with a slick playing action
- Whole guitar weighs 8lbs and 6oz
- Same hardware as the most expensive Custom 24 model, including the PRS tremelo system, that incorporates a solid/milled brass trem block, plus solid /milled brass bridge saddles (nickel plated) + a set of PRS locking tuners
- Includes the deluxe PRS case
Condition wise – Taking into account it is now around 17 years old, then the condition is more than acceptable – You’ll only find light surface grazes to the gloss finish – Most are almost superficial and certainly no nasty nicks or dings – Frets are clean – You’ll find the usual tarnish to the nickel hardware – No tag but all the relevant info can be found under the bridge humbucker, if required, via the unique PRS ModCat code
Tonal character :- Over the years I have sold quite a few Classic Maple Top models to discerning guitars players, in preference to a Custom 22 – This is down to the lively crisp tone that the Classic Maple Top delivers, thanks to the nature of a bolt on maple neck – I suppose you can look at it as either a lively Strat tone, that is far fuller in depth and body, thanks to a pair of humbuckers – Or a Les Paul tone that is far more snappy with shimmering crystal clear highs – So don’t think of it as a poor mans PRS, yet it certainly won’t damage your bank balance quite as much – Just play it and enjoy it – Fitted with a pair of PRS Dragon 11 humbuckers – The neck is vintage flavoured with a 7.56K output – The bridge is hotter at 12.56K – You’ll find a treble bleed cap on the volume pot if you want to have a look inside the control cavity – So as you roll back the volume pot, it will still preserve those crisp highs
Fitted with a 5 way rotary switch, that offers 3 humbucker voices, plus 2 excellent single coil flavoured tones, that are ideal for those funky rhythm chops – The Dragon 11 pick-ups have excellent articulation, so they don’t sound mushy on hi-gain amp settings, especially when you are playing those fancy cascading licks or power chord riffs – Yet played on a clean amp setting, those cool jazz/blues flavoured tones are lush and chilled, which ensures a CE22 is anything but a one trick pony – The volume and tone pot have an excellent taper on them, so you can fully use them across the whole 1-10 range – On an overdriven amp setting, this approach allows you and the guitar to control the amp, to supply you with more soul and expression – Try it with the volume pot around the 7 mark and set this up as base camp – Hence less gain, so wind it back towards 10 as you require more gain, sustain and a hint of attitude – Hence a flexible package
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