Despite it having a 2011 serial number, then I dare say that it will be hard to equate that this PRS Hollowbody 11 10 Top, with a lush fire red gloss finish, has never previously been sold – Some may recall that for many years Guitars 4You was a major stockist for new PRS Guitars – For a variety of reasons I decided to withdraw my dealership around 4/5 years ago, but I still have a very good relationship with the UK team – Every so often, following a stock check and/or spring clean, the UK team come across a few new guitars that have sat in one of the European/world warehouses – I’m offered the chance to pick up the odd suitable model from time to time – Some are ex-display, having been used for various trade or public shows – Some are ex magazine review models – Some are new but even after a final factory QC check a finish blemish might have been discovered – Either way, I acquire a few tasty pieces from time to time, at a more preferential price – As I mentioned a few sentences ago this Hollowbody 11 has never previously been sold – An initial quick tour of the gloss finish will reveal little, if any, signs of this Hollowbody 11 having ever left its case – So a closer examination will be required to reveal just a couple of very subtle blemishes – Complete with the deluxe PRS case, plus the factory swing tag and appropriate manual – Re-strung with a new set of 10-52 gauge strings and set up with a slick action that responds to a light touch
Check out the spec of this Hollowbody 11 and you’ll quickly realise that it is fully loaded with every just about option that you’ll find on the PRS price list – ‘Double 10′ carved flamed maple top and back, bird inlays, 57/08 humbuckers along with the custom spec’d LR Baggs piezo acoustic system, all of which provides you with a new retail price that is currently well in excess of £5000 – The body is constructed with a solid carved maple ’10’ top and back with just a centre support block under the bridge/tailpiece, to give you a ‘true’ semi acoustic instrument – Incidentally the maple top and back are both carved on the front and underside in the true traditional manner – Weight watchers will adore the fact that this HB11 comes in at an incredible 5lbs and 7oz – The mahogany neck is topped of with a bound dark chocolate rosewood fingerboard and impeccably graced with a set of bird inlays, along with 22 highly polished and correctly profiled jumbo frets – Fitted with a complete set of nickel hardware, including a set of PRS locking tuners – The wrapover bridge/tailpiece is fitted with 6 adjustable bridge saddles, which also incorporate the LR Baggs piezo system (more on that later)
As with any PRS Guitar the playing performance is outstanding with a fluid easy playing action throughout the length of the fingerboard – To any guitarist familiar with a traditional Gibson style jazz box, such as an L5 or ES175, you’ll find the Hollowbody a pure pleasure to play thanks to the legendary PRS fluid playing action and the feel/shape of the mahogany neck – To a guitarist who has spent years playing classic solid bodied electric guitars, but now wishes to stick a toe into the chilled out blues/jazz arena, then you’ll discover that the Hollowbody 11 performs and feels more familiar to you – Certainly far more slick and easy to handle when compared to a traditional arch top jazz box – Whilst the Hollowbody 11 will have an attraction to any jazz/blues or fusion based guitarist, or indeed any virtuoso’s style solo guitarist, it will more than hold its own for any gigging musician in a function band or top 40 covers/pub outfit – Yet maybe somewhat surprisingly, it will deliver a great warm tone with bags of sustain in a rock overdriven situation, but granted it is not a die hard bombastic rock machine – On a scale of 1 to 10 whereby Joe Pass and Wes Montomgomery are 1 and Santana sits at 10, then the Hollowbody performs well from 1 to 5, 6 or even 7 , with 5, 6 or 7 being very much the land of Robben Ford, Larry Carlton and Steely Dan
With the Hollowbody 11 having both a pair of PRS 57/08 humbuckers, plus the LR Baggs patented piezo system, that incorporates individual string voicing and real acoustic modelling, the tonal options are vast – You have the option of running both the piezo and regular humbuckers down a conventional guitar lead into your existing amp set-up – However to get the best out of the piezo system, it is suggested that you run this into a more dedicated amp (electro acoustic amp, pa desk, recording package etc,) with the humbuckers still hooked up to your regular guitar amp – Therefore you have 2 separate outputs, if required, to allow you to take advantage of this option – The little 3 way mini toggle switch allows you to select humbuckers only, piezo only, or both – The three control knobs are volume and tone, whilst the 3rd knob allows you to blend in the piezo level, as required to work inconjunction with the humbuckers – Very easy to use and very flexible – I for one, would never have put the piezo option as a must have item towards the top of my shopping list, but once you have played around with it, you realise it has some great voicings available to enrich your perfotrmance – The humbuckers produce a full bodied, smooth and warm tone with good articulation and loads of rich natural harmonics – For a blues/rock player dabbling in jazz, or a jazz player dabbling in blues/rock, this has to be an instrument worth investigating, yet for a solo virtuoso guitarist it is a must have instrument
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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.