I can’t help thinking that at £1439, this used 2007 PRS Standard Singlecut Soapbar guitar is a touch under price – You certainly get a lot of guitar for you money, especially if the no frills and trimmings approach floats your boat – Taking into account how easy it is to mark a satin nitro finish, then for a 13 year old guitar, the overall condition is very good – A quick initial look and you’ll probably notice no obvious blemish – Therefore a more detailed tour will be required to find the odd slight nick to the top surface of the satin finish – Close viewing will reveal light signs of a sheen from playing and maybe a touch of polishing – No fret issues whatsoever, so for a 15 year old guitar, it is very clean – Includes the deluxe PRS case, as well as the eagle swing tag
The satin finished Standard approach undoubtedly leans towards a straight forward plug in and play guitar, with no fancy frills, hence this is unmistakably a guitar that is built for playing – But please do not let the ‘Plain Jane’ appearance of this guitar fool you into thinking that the stripped down approach also means, poor build quality, cheap materials, or indeed an inferior playing performance – Far from it, in fact the name on the headstock alone should re-assure you that this guitar is all about quality, that is built to deliver a no-compromise playing experience – Paul Reed Smith himself has always had a love affair with Les Paul Specials and Juniors, from the 50’s golden era period and this is the flavour that he aspires to and captures with the Standard Soapbar model – It is fair to say that for many, the issue with 50’s spec’d LP Junior and Special models, is that whilst they have a great tone, they tend to lack a playing performance that is versatile enough for many of today’s guitarist – Not so with a modern PRS Soapbar Standard – If you wish to keep your playing simple and let the tone do all the talking, you will not be disappointed with this PRS – Yet if you wish to show off a few flashy party licks, then the fluid easy playing action, that any PRS Guitar is renowned for, will allow you to maximise such techniques – The one piece mahogany neck has a wide/fat profile, so whilst this has some meat on it, it is not chunky and comes in a tad slimmer than many Gibson Guitars – Measures .865″ around the top nut end and gently fattens out to .935″ around the 12th fret – Fair to say it is a medium to full profile, but more importantly, it is comfortable to hold and easy to handle – The only decorative details are a set of colourful abalone bird inlays on the 22 fret rosewood fingerboard – The one piece mahogany body and neck all have the satin nitro cellulose vintage cherry finish, which allows the wood to ‘breath’, ensuring a very resonant tone, full of live with a good ring about it – The whole guitar weighs a very credible 8lbs and 12oz – Nickel hardware is fitted including a set of 14:1 ratio low mass locking tuners and the light weight, one piece, milled aluminium wrapover bridge/tailpiece
Tonal character :- Pickups are a pair of singlecoil P90 Soapbars, in this case courtesy of Seymour Duncan, that kick out a vintage flavoured 7.7K from the neck pick-up, with a hotter 11.1K from the bridge position – On clean settings the neck pickups is deliciously warm and smooth with excellent articulation, that can easily gravitate towards chilled out jazz flavoured tones as required – The bridge pickup has a full bodied tone with a throaty bark and bite about it that retains a musical character – At this point I was half expecting it to be a bit posh and polite, yet when I compared it to a Gibson VOS LP Special, that I had in stock at the time, it measured up very favourably – Which is a good tick in the appropriate box for the PRS, as we know the strength of the Gibson LP Special bridge pick-up is that unadulterated raw vibe – So yes the PRS is well educated, but it can be dirty and raunchy if required – Add some subtle overdrive on your amp, or step up even more with the hi-gain amp setting and the PRS moves up another level – It possesses a Jekyll and Hyde character, allowing you to move from a sweet, rich and cultured tone, through to a raw basic blues vibe, then onwards to the punk based tone adored by the Ramones and Green Day – If you find a humbucker based guitar has a tone that is to dark, yet a Strat based guitar has to weak a tone, then I urge you try this Satin Standard Soapbar, it’s a great guitar that you will have great fun with and surprise yourself what it is capable of delivering
Look at todays ‘affordable’ PRS S2 models that come in around the £1200-£1400 price range, then on paper this used Singlecut Satin Standard wins hand down – It is a genuine full blown USA model, with no ‘PRS Designed’ far eastern parts such as tuners, bridge and pick-ups – It features a nitro finish and includes a deluxe case, not a gig bag – Spec’d with a solid one piece mahogany neck, not a 3 piece neck with scarf joints – Plus not some distance cousin, that is twice removed, regarding the source of mahogany for the body and neck – On the new S2 models, PRS hide behind the veil of ‘same genus different species’ regarding the mahogany chosen for the body and neck, which effectively means a gold fish and killer shark are related – Furthermore this Singlecut Satin Soapbar model will not only hold its value, it will increase as the years go by – A new S2 model will only immediately fall in value, up to and around 50%
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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.