The Swiss army knife is how some players refer to the PRS 513 – It possesses the ability to easily move from a clean funky Strat voice, to the overdriven Texas Blues Strat voice of SRV, to the melodic humbucker classic rock voice of Santana, finishing of with the hi-gain virtuoso rock voice of Van Halen – One guitar might not do it all, but the PRS 513 certainly offers a wide tonal vocabulary, which can be so useful for live work – Hence the Swiss army knife phrase – The serial number indicates a 2014 date of birth – The figured maple top is loaded with character and looks mighty appetizing with a black gold burst finish – Note ‘wrap over’ finish, so you don’t see the normal ‘maple edge binding’ with this 513 – Condition wise, and as an overview I would describe it as on the cleaner side of good – Browse the top and you’ll find a couple of minor pin prick size nicks to the top surface of the finish – More subtle than nasty – Look on the rear of the body and you’ll find a couple of small nicks, plus light ‘compression belt buckle’ marks to the top surface of the gloss finish – Again nothing nasty, and nothing that has broken through the finish to show the wood – So light signs of wear – At least you can play it without giving it the kids glove treatment Certainly no fret issues, so along with a new set of 10’s and a check-up/set-up, I can report that it performs and plays exactly as it should with a slinky action that will respond to a light touch – The deluxe PRS case is included within the price
Additional info :-
- The original ‘posh’ PRS 513 came with a hefty price tag, thanks in part to a solid Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard + neck – In part, due to CITES restrictions, this version was only available for a few years, from around 2004 – Essentially the heart of the 513 still remains with the versatile pick-up switching system – But now a more conventional mahogany neck + rosewood fingerboard is the order of the day
- Whole guitar weighs 7lbs and 12oz
- 25.25″ scale length (so in between a Strat and the conventional 25″ PRS scale length)
- One piece mahogany body
- Figured maple top – Black gold burst gloss finish
- One piece mahogany neck ‘513’ neck profile – based on the PRS Pattern Regular profile, which in turn has somewhat of a ‘vintage Strat’ vibe to it – hence – 42.5″ nut width – .838″ depth around the top nut end and .918″ around the 12th fret – Comfortable depth without ever feeling chunky
- 22 fret rosewood fingerboard
- 513 bird inlays
- Headstock features a ‘513’ engraved truss rod cover as well as the gold PRS signature logo
- Nickel hardware throughout including a set of PRS 14:1 ratio locking tuners
- PRS patented modern fulcrum tremelo system, incorporating a set of 6 machined solid brass bridge saddles + solid brass trem block
- Easy to use integrated electronics package delivers 13 modern + vintage tones via the 5 proprietary pickups – The 5 way switch is a regular pick-up selector, whilst the 3 way ‘mode’ switch allows you to select between single coil, clear /vintage humbucking and modern heavy humbucking modes
- More on the tonal performance below but for now click here to check out a YouTube video clips of the 513 in action, then Click here to read an informative review of the PRS 513, courtesy of the Vintage Guitar Magazine
Tonal character :- The guitar is worth its asking price alone, based on the flexible tonal options that it offers – The single coil tones that the 513 delivers are amazingly Strat-like, more akin to the warm/lush tones found on a rosewood fingerboard 60’s Strat, with crystal clear sparkling highs – Are they exact DNA replicas of a Fender Strat tone? – Yes and no – There is a definitive characteristic of a Strat tone, yet the finer nuances of the tone differs on some many different Strat models that have been released over the years – Think Stevie Ray Vaughan and/or Dave Gilmour and your getting pretty close – Move the 3 way ‘mode’ switch to the middle position and the 2 sets of single coil pick-ups that are perched in the neck and bridge positions now unite to become a pair of vintage flavoured humbuckers (PRS refer to this as the clear humbucker) – The ‘clean humbucker’ tone perhaps leans more towards the vibe of a semi acoustic 335 style as they possess more clarity, with less moody mids than you’ll find on many Les Paul’s – Rich and warm in the neck position with a tad more bite and sustain in the bridge position, yet still with excellent articulation – Even playing chords around or above the 12 fret area, you’ll notice excellent string separation, coupled with a piano like chime – Remember that even with the ‘mode’ switch set in position 2 or 3, to deliver the humbucking tones, by changing the 5 way pick-up selector switch, to position 2 or 4, you’ll still be able to obtain the classic ‘out of phase’ Strat flavoured tones – Finally when you move the 3 way ‘mode’ switch to position 3, the humbuckers now become hotter with additional windings (PRS refer to this as ‘heavy humbucker’ ) – This is the screaming modern humbucking option, often favoured by contemporary or modern guitarist – Whilst you can use this tone on clean amp settings, it can sound a touch hard, yet add the overdrive on your amp or pedal and screaming lead tones, full of rich harmonics become apparent – This is not a jack of all trades, master of none, it is a very flexible professional tool which should give any guitarists years of pleasure – On either of the tonal positions that you select on the mode switch, you’ll find the volume and tone pots very effective and linear, in that if you back off on the volume pot the tone will stay nice and clear and not go all mushy on you – This is very useful on overdriven amp settings, giving you different levels of expression as it allows an overdriven amp setting to clean up – All controlled via you and the guitar – Endless options, limited only by your imagination
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