In many ways it is fair to say the PRS P22 is the popular Custom 22, with the addition of the active acoustic/piezo system – There are a few subtle variations compared to the Custom 22, but I’ll touch upon these shortly – The LR Baggs designed piezo system was first introduced on the Hollowbody models, a number of years ago – I can praise the attributes of this model as I’ve owned mine for over 15 years now – Many players wanted to know as to why the piezo system was not yet available on the solid body models – It initially became available with the wrapover stoptail format first , but around 2012 the trem model became available – Today I can offer for sale a used example from 2013, with a striking jade gloss finish, that sits on a figured maple top that shows plenty of character – Complete with the deluxe PRS case as well as the appropriate swing tag
Before I go into my evaluation and product details, then I suggest you click on the following links – PRS demo video clip – Dave Burrluck Guitarist magazine review – Musicplayers review (this has an in depth article regarding the tonal character and variations – Vintage Guitar magazine review – So much info there, that it probably makes any comments from me no longer required – However I’ll still add my 10 penneth – The whole guitar weighs exactly 8lbs – The mahogany body on the P22 is slightly deeper than that of the Custom 22, so more akin to that of the McCarty models – Normally you’d find the two neck profile options on the Custom 22 are Pattern (wide fat) and Pattern Thin (wide thin ) – Whilst the Custom 24 offered the popular Pattern Regular neck profile – It is the Pattern Regular profile that is offered on the P22 – The Pattern Regular profile still possesses the same depth as per the Pattern (wide fat) profile – But with a slightly narrower top nut width – So instead of the regular 1 11/16″ Gibson esq nut width, you’ll experience the 1 5/8″ Fender-esq top nut width – As with any PRS Guitar, the playing experience is a joy to behold, with a slick and easy action that responds to a light touch – With rolled finger board edges such a neck always feels very comfortable to play – The one piece mahogany neck measures .839″ around the top nut end and fattens out to .924″ around the 12th fret ( so on par with the measurements you’ll find on a Fender Custom Shop Large C or 65C neck profile) – I believe that the first run of P22 models, from 2012 were initially spec’d with PRS wound 53/10 pick-ups – But later they were changed to a ‘P22 pick-up’ which is effectively the popular 57/08 pick-up – Neck measures 8.15K, whilst the bridge measures 8.80K
Condition wise and this P22 is essentially clean – Certainly no nasty issues – Look carefully at the gloss finish and any graze or blemish that you’ll find is fairly subtle – Any compression mark, or graze is skin deep, so only a mark to the top surface and no graze that is deep/shows the wood – In short it is not in that as new/mint condition, but equally no negative issues – It does not look 8/9 years old – Re-strung with a set of 10-46 gauge strings and set-up with an easy action
Tonal character :- If you just wish to use the regular humbuckers, then the P22 is as per many PRS Guitars you have played in the past – The 5 way Strat style blade switch allows you to select the 3 humbucker option (neck, bridge or both) – Whilst position 2 + 4 gives you the chance to check out two Fender Strat esq single coil flavoured voices that are Chic style funky – Maybe they don’t capture the true character of a classic old Strat, but they are certainly superior to many coil tap options you’ll hear on many other guitars, that are often thin and weedy – It certainly makes such a guitar far more versatile, especially if you quickly wish to switch from humbucker mode to single coil – So now on to the LR Baggs active piezo system – First off all this is an active package, as such it requires a 9v battery (note this is only for the piezo option and not required for the humbucker option) – Quick and easy access for this battery change, via a plate, that is near the two jack sockets on the rim of the body – I think it is fair to say that for many players, such an ‘electro acoustic’ style package on a solid body guitar may well not be at the top of a shopping lists – Yet once you’ve tried it out and hear the benefits then I’m sure many players will utilise such an option on a regular basis – Like the Yamaha APX style guitars, Takamine etc etc, then it won’t suddenly turn the electro/amplified option into a vintage early Martin D28 – But it is a package that offers so much versatility for live, recording or home use
You can still choose one amp and one guitar lead – Whilst this option works, it does not offer you access to all the tonal options – To get the best out of the package you’ll need to run the humbuckers, through one lead into a suitable amp, recording package, effects, simulator etc – Then run the piezo, through a separate lead to a suitable acoustic amp, pa system, recording package etc – This will now allow you to mix say a distorted humbucker voice with a clean acoustic voice layered on top – Think The Who and the likes of Substitute or Pinball Wizard and think how big overdriven power chords can sound with an acoustic voice on top – Then think along the lines of an acoustic style intro, Hotel California, Stairway to Heaven etc spring to mind – Then without changing the guitar, you can instantly move to the regular electric voice as required – As such you can blend both options or select either option as required – Those artists that blend an acoustic with electric, Bob Dylan, Crowded House, Fleetwood Mac, Sting/Dominic Miller etc etc and you’ll find such a guitar very useful – It also does a pretty job at giving you access to some Hot Club of France/Django/Gypsy Jazz style tones – It is not a gimmick – Maybe if you have two guitar players in the band you might prefer to stick to the format of one plays electric and one plays acoustic on many songs – But for recording and life work whereby you want to quickly switch from acoustic to electric, or blend, then the P22 is a great tool – Add to that, for many electric guitar players, they’ll enjoy the ease and playability that the P22 offers, so you can obtain acoustic voices played on an electric – The mini toggle switch allows you to select humbucker only, piezo only or in the middle both – With both selected the ‘blend’ control now allows you to dial in a mix of humbucker and piezo as required – Subtle variations can be so effective giving you the sound of 2 different guitars at the same time
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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.