Raw Power

Look­ing for a gui­tar that’s a bit spe­cial? Try this PRS cus­tom.

Classic Rock - - Contents - Simon Bradley

If you want a lim­ited-edi­tion Paul Reed Smith Su­per Ea­gle II, you’d bet­ter be quick – and have 11 grand in your piggy bank.

When noted blues­man and gui­tarist John Mayer found him­self fronting a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Grate­ful Dead gui­tarist Bob Weir un­der the name Dead & Com­pany, he needed an in­stru­ment that met the unique sonic needs of the gig. To that end he ap­proached re­spected Amer­i­can gui­tar maker Paul Reed Smith with a list of re­quire­ments and, af­ter an ex­haus­tive R&D process, the re­sult was 2016’s Pri­vate Stock Su­per Ea­gle.

Now comes the Su­per Ea­gle II in a new hemp-green fin­ish, just 120 of which have been made avail­able to the pub­lic world­wide. Fea­tur­ing a slightly elon­gated 25.37-inch scale length, the gui­tar is loaded with cus­tom-voiced hum­bucker pick­ups, com­pris­ing a JM Nar­row­field and a pair of JM 58/15s. These are con­trolled not only by a tra­di­tional five-way blade se­lec­tor but also via a trio of mi­cro-switches that act as coil­splits for each pickup. In­creas­ing the tonal palate is an on-board JCF preamp with tre­ble boost de­signed by Josh Flo­rian that gives what Mayer de­scribes as a more ‘HD’ sound, with two more ded­i­cated switches giv­ing full con­trol.

The hol­low­body’s f-hole gives the gui­tar an open, more airy char­ac­ter, with the com­ple­ment of tonewoods, in­clud­ing ma­hogany sides and curly maple for both the top and rear of the body. Curly maple has also been used for the won­der­ful neck, with its African black­wood 24-fret fin­ger­board sport­ing paua and green rip­ple abalone bird in­lays.

Adding still fur­ther to the tone is the Gen-III bridge, de­signed to add mass and thus in­crease sus­tain. Even the May­er­signed la­bel set in­side the body, de­signed by UK artist David Adrian Smith, is unique.

The Su­per Ea­gle II sounds as good as it looks and every­thing about it screams qual­ity. Which, with a UK RRP of £10,995, it prob­a­bly ought to.

More info at prs­gui­tars.com/su­perea­gle

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