As an overview, when you see any USA PRS Guitar listed as a Limited Edition, Modern Eagle, Artist Series, Wood Library or Private Stock model, you pretty much know it is going to be exquisite – Maybe the odd Private Stock model and Wood Library models can be a touch to ostentatious, but beauty is always in the eye of the beholder – This new, but old stock, PRS Artist V, with a lush, red tiger gloss finish, is certainly loaded with all the aesthetic appeal, that will appeal t-o many aficionado’s – First of all let me apologies about the web site pics, as they do not do the red tiger finish justice, one Iota – To much light/exposure and you loose the lush qualities of the red tiger finish – Not enough light/exposure and you don’t see the highly figured maple top – It certainly looks far more exquisite when viewed in the flesh
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 5 years ago, but I still maintain a very good relationship with the UK team – Every so often, following a ‘spring clean’ in the warehouse, the UK team will come across a few new guitars that have sat in one of the European, or 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 PRS Artist V has never previously been sold – An initial quick tour of the gloss finish will reveal little, if any, signs that this Artist V has ever left its case, since leaving the factory in Maryland USA – Complete with the deluxe Artist PRS case, plus the factory swing tag – Re-strung with a set of 10-46 gauge strings and set-up with a slink easy action
The PRS Artist V was released at the 2010 PRS Experience show, at their Maryland factory in the USA – Part of a run of 300 – The last Artist model, 1V, was released around 15 years earlier, so you could say the Artist V was well overdue
- Whole guitar weighs 8lbs and 4oz
- The modcat info reads as Regular/Standard neck profile, Peruvian mahogany body plus Gabon Ebony fingerboard
- The Regular/Standard neck profile has now effectively morphed into the ‘pattern regular’ profile – Same depth as the wide/fat profile but just a tad slimmer nut width – Not a million miles away from the popular DGT model – Measures .850″ around the top nut end and fattens out to .942″ around the 12th fret
- The large majority of PRS Guitars feature a rosewood fingerboard – Here we have a Gabon ebony fingerboard
- 22 fret
- Colourful paua shell bird inlays, with mother of pearl outlines beam out from the ebony fingerboard
- Ebony headstock facia, with an abalone signature inlay and mother of pearl ‘artist’ V inlay
- Note paua purfling ‘binding’ along both sides of the fingerboard
- Gold hardware throughout including a set of Phase 111 open back locking tuners, plus the one piece light weight aluminium wrapover bridge/tailpiece with a satin gold finish
- Master volume + tone pot
- 5 way ‘blade’ switch that offers the following combination :- bridge humbucker – bridge humbucker + neck single coil – both humbucker – neck humbucker + bridge single coil – neck humbucker
- Artist V covered humbuckers – neck measures 10.44K whilst the bridge kicks out 11.72K
- Deluxe Artist Pack case with soft ‘teddy bear’ lining
The neck profile has the popular regular profile, so a low fluid playing action lies in wait, ready for you to burn up and down that ebony fingerboard as you rip into your party tricks and licks – The regular neck profile will be very popular amongst Strat based players as it has a strong Fender vibe about it, with a nut width that is a touch slimmer than either the popular PRS wide/fat or wide/thin models, yet still possesses a comfortable amount of depth to it with a round C feel about it – As usual the 22 medium jumbo frets are fitted and polished to perfection to allow a well balanced and fluid action and to assist with effortless string bending
Tonal character :- In-conjunction with the right amp, the Artist V has the ability to provide velvet smooth, warm and rich clean tones, from the custom wound Artist neck humbucker, that are required for jazz/blues/fusion playing styles, as well as clean funky/disco rhythm styles – The slightly hotter Artist bridge pick-up delivers more bite for clean rock, blues or country styles, whilst retaining the musical warmth and body – Click on to subtle overdriven amp settings for those classic blues and rock tones with good natural sustain, or dial in some hi-gain filth from your amp for the tones adored by the modern contemporary guitarist – The tones from the Artist V are slightly thicker, warmer and smoother, than many of the best selling Custom 22/24 models, so probably more akin to a Gibson 335, hence more articulation and clarity then you’d hear from many Les Paul’s – Due to the quality and taper of both the volume and tone pots on a PRS , you’ll find out that these controls do actually work smoothly as you roll them back from 10 through to 1 – This allows you to control the volume, gain or tonal expression, that you may require from your amp, direct from the guitar itself – As you back off on the volume pot, you’ll notice that the tone does not go mushy, instead it retains its clarity and allows the amp to clean up nicely, allowing you to control the emotion of the tone required- The main strength of the guitar is undoubtedly to provide 3 humbucking voices via the 5 way blade selector switch, from positions 1, 3 and 5 – Yet check out position 2 and 4 on the switch, as it allows you to delve into some split funky tones, as it now offers the neck humbucker, combined with a ‘split’ bridge pick-up – Or indeed bridge humbucker with a ‘split’ neck pick up – Hence they are ideal for some funky Nile Rodgers style rhythm chops
Sure you can own 2, 3, 4 or more different guitars, each capable of doing a specific job, yet the Artist V as one instrument alone, maybe all that you require – It is not meant to be a ‘tone clone’ of either a Les Paul or a Strat, rather just a great playing instrument with good tonal options and just as original in its own right – In fact the tonal expression possible from a PRS is down to you and the amp you chose to put it through along with how you wish to play it – A good instrument will enrich your playing style not hinder it, allowing you to explore new avenues, with an increased tonal palate and that is what a PRS guitar can offer
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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.