There has been more talk, praise, questions and queries about the PRS JM Silver Sky, than any other PRS Guitar – I believe the PRS web site actually crashed the day the guitar was first launched, due to the high number of visitors to their site – Numerous video clips of the guitar in action can be found if you tour YouTube – And a great review, courtesy of Dave Burrluck and Guitarist Magazine, that you can read, if you click here – Today I can offer for sale a used example, from 2017, with a Horizon Red finish – Overall it would be fair to say this is a clean guitar and first impressions would reflect this – So a more detailed tour of the gloss finish will be required to find a slight nick, on the belly, near the jack socket – It has not broke the actual finish, so more of a compression blemish – Likewise, tour the finish on the rear of the body and near the trem cavity, you’ll be able to see a couple of minor compression grazes to the top surface – Certainly, nothing untoward at all – Some pick marks to the scratchplate, but surely you’d expect that – No fret wear – Complete with the deluxe PRS padded gig bag, but missing the appropriate tag – It has spent time on my bench for a re-string with 10-46 gauge strings, plus a check-up and set-up, so that slick action awaits any potential buyer
A few key details :-
- Whole guitar only weighs 7lbs and 5oz, so in the ‘Strat’ world then certainly on the light side
- Dark slab early 60’s style rosewood fingerboard
- Maple neck with a thin nitro finish – More ‘played in’ satin then gloss
- Neck measures .855″ around the top nut end and .969″ around the 12th fret – More of a chunky Strat based feel, then regular
- Traditional Strat 25.5″ scale length
- Vintage/tall frets so less meat than jumbo – But more meat than pure vintage
- 7.5″ fingerboard radius
- Custom wound and voiced JM single coil pick-ups – all 3 measure around 6.21K so more akin to 60’s vintage models
- 5 way switch
- Tone pots wired as neck+ middle and bridge
- PRS locking tuners but with vintage Kluson style backs
- Solid steel trem block + saddles
Playing performance :- You would not expect any PRS to be delivered with anything other than a slick easy action, that responds to a light touch – And the Silver Sky continues with that tradition – Granted a 25.5″ scale length will always ensure a slightly stiffer feel to a 25″ or 24.75″ scale length, but that goes with the territory – The neck some how feels a bit more meaty than many Strats I’ve played in the past – Some might say meaty C or less deep D, so which ever you choose – Either way it has some comfortable girth to it – Not to chunky – Not impossible to play – Somehow the more you play it the more you settle in with it – In many ways, the size and shape of the neck on its own, is rarely the deal braker, as the action and set-up come into play to determine if it is an easy guitar to handle – Overall this is a very playable guitar but might just need you to spend some time with it, getting to know it and settle in with it – Before you know it, it just feels as though you’ve known it for a while – What makes the playing experience more enjoyable is the slick and positive feel of the PRS trem – A mix of features and spec from a vintage Strat and Paul’s famous trem’s found on many PRS models – You’d have to give it some serious abuse to have any tuning issues with it – For many of us it is responsive, smooth and stable – Again old meets new when you look at the tuners – Look at the front face of the headstock and it looks modern with the usual locking features of a PRS Guitar – Look on the back and you’ll find the vintage character of a good old Strat with Kluson tuners – Somehow, the whole PRS build quality, perfectly polished and crowned frets, plus tweaks to the trem/saddles, leaves you with a guitar that is ‘more in tune’ regarding the intonation
Tonal character :- If I said it sounds like a Strat, then I’m sure most of you would expect and accept that – There is what I’d call a Strat voice – Yet the finer nuances within this format can change so much – A 50’s Strat doesn’t sound the same as an early 60’s Strat, which again sounds different to a late 60’s model – I could go on about noiseless, active , Lace Sensor and other pick-up options etc etc but I’m sure you get the drift – With John Mayer’s history of playing Strat based guitars, then hardly a surprise that such a guitar has that traditional Strat tonal character – I agree with the review (see above) that points out that there is not to much ‘scoop’ within the tonal character and that it somehow has more ‘girth’ about it – Almost more ‘positive’ and less ‘percussive’ – Yet always sounding like a Strat or should I say a versatile Strat – Always rich in tone and always musical – The big plus is how responsive the volume and tone pots are – This in my opinion is the heart of the guitars tone, certainly with regards to soul, expression and emotion – I never leave the volume pot on 10 – 6 or 7 is my base camp and whilst I require a slightly ‘softer’ output, I still want to preserve the guitars full goodness and expressive tonal character – 10 is then a place I can move towards when I require a little bit extra – A turbo boost – This format works well on a clean amp to allow for more emotion, but comes into its own when you add some gain on the amp – This approach now allows you to control the gain, directly from the guitar – So 6 or 7 for a cleaner ‘Little Wing’ voice to more of a full on approach that Rory Gallagher would adopt when required and the pot on 10
The more I explored the guitars tonal options, the more I wanted to carry on playing it – Occasionally I might tweak the tone pot to damp the highs – It sounds funky aka Chic, when required – The out of phase settings are instantly infectious with more quack/snap from the bridge/middle combination and more full on the neck/middle combination – Maybe the be all and end all doesn’t exist in one single Strat – As I mentioned earlier, there are many great Strats out there and 2 different Strats can both be great at the same time, yet slightly different – The Silver Sky is a great guitar that can compete with the best of them – It can easily sit in a collection amongst other Strats – It can easily sit in a collection as your only ‘Strat’ based guitar – It can easily be your only guitar ( not that many players/customers I know only have 1 guitar) – It can easily be Hank, Eric, Rory, Stevie, Buddy, Jimi, John or you as required
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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.