I have recently acquired a used PRS Modern Eagle 11, with a lush yellow tiger finish – The 2008 serial number date also indicates that this is an early example of the Modern Eagle 11, as it was not released until the PRS Experience show during the late summer of 2008 – I know the full history of this ME 11 as I sold it brand new to a good customer of mine – It has been played, therefore it is not in that ‘as new/mint condition’ yet neither does it look as though it was worked hard on a world tour – No fret issues – Look carefully at the gloss finish, mainly to the rear of the mahogany body and you’ll find a few light surface grazes that are nothing more than skin deep – A couple of slight nicks, but nothing nasty – Look around the high E string area, between the two humbuckers and you’ll find a slight haze due to pick marks – The plus point is that you can buy it and play it, without having to give it the kids glove treatment – Complete with the deluxe floral oblong case + appropriate swing tag – I’ll pass on my info and evaluation notes below, but click here and check out a review of the PRS ME11, courtesy of Premier Guitar.com
The Modern Eagle is one of the finest guitars to have graced planet earth, with a playing performance and tonal character that more than measures up to its obvious aesthetic attributes – Due to trading restrictions, with regards to Brazilian rosewood, it looked like the demise of the Modern Eagle was just around the corner – Fortunately the guys at PRS would not lie down and be beaten, hence the release of the Modern Eagle 11 – The original Modern Eagle was synonymous with quality, perfection, plus expression – This policy continues with the ME11, hence you’ll find premium grade woods, selected both for tone and beauty, coupled with the finest level of craftsmanship that can be bestowed upon such an instrument, are all present and correct – The neck and fingerboard is an exotic South American black rosewood, that feels natural, hence that ‘played in’ silky smooth feel – The eagle inlay on the rosewood headstock facia, along with the bird inlays, utilise green abalone outlines, with iridescent paua heart centres, to add a certain level of class – This is further enhanced by the hybrid satin gold/nickel hardware
A first for the Modern Eagle 11 was the introduction of the PRS 57/08 pick-ups – PRS obtained exclusive rights to the original pick-up wire used by Gibson on the revered PAF humbuckers from the late 50’s (Hence 57 refers to the original birth date of the humbucker, whilst 08 refers to the date that PRS obtained this wire) – As such warm vintage flavoured tones pour out of the Modern Eagle’s jack socket – The neck pick-up measures 7.77K, whilst the bridge pick-up is a touch hotter at 7.94K – From a tone point of view the ME11 is loaded with emotion and expression, allowing classic rock tones, plus chilled out jazz/blues tones, to travel south, towards your amp – Fat, warm, rich, full bodied, smooth highs, clear lows, well balanced, along with incredible clarity are all adjectives that spring to mind – Whilst Lush might be the only word you need to know – The solid rosewood neck and fingerboard ensures a softer warm voice, that is musical and seductive – If Lindt Lindor ever stopped making chocolate and turned their attention to guitars, then I’m sure this is how it would sound – The taper on the volume pot ensures that on overdriven amp settings you can simply leave the amp alone, roll back the guitar’s volume pot to achieve a cleaner laid back voice, without losing any tonal quality, or any of the ME 11’s goodness in the process – Hence subtle tweaks on the volume pot delivers effective variations, that allows you to control the level of gain required at any time – Whilst the ‘partial’ coil tap option on the Modern Eagle will supply you with far more realistic single coil tones, as and when required – Granted they won’t turn a humbucker based guitar into that classic SRV Strat voice, but they are far more useful than the thin weedy voices that many humbuckers deliver on a ‘split’ setting – This ensures you have no shortage of expression, soul and emotion at your fingertips – The more you play the Modern Eagle the more you realise that the only limitation is yourself – As for sustain, never has an instrument had it so much in abundance
From a playing performance point of view, the Modern Eagle is built to such a high standard, to provide you with unimpeded fluidity – The phrase ‘wide/fat profile’ may well indicate a neck with generous amounts of girth, but in fact it sits a tad slimmer than many Les Paul necks, with a comfortable feel about it – Yes it has some meat on it, to aid the tone and sustain but fat it ain’t, whilst comfortable it is – Neck measures .890″ around the top nut end and gently fills out to .952″ around the 12th fret – The fingerboard possess 22 medium jumbo frets which are impeccably fitted, contoured and polished to perfection, all of which adds up to a very well balanced playing action, coupled with effortless string bending – If your a guitar player who can live in the outside lane of speed playing, then you will not be disappointed, but don’t feel this then deprives you of any soul or emotion as this is what the Modern Eagle is in fact all about
For any weight watchers the whole guitar comes in at a very credible 7lbs and 14oz – To go with all the pleasures associated with such an exotic instrument, the Modern Eagle is supplied with a scrumptious deluxe paisley style hard shell case, which is so nice it almost needs its own case to protect it
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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.