Sil­ver Ma­chine

John Mayer’s lat­est sig­na­ture elec­tric gui­tar – re­leased with an un­prece­dented level of con­tro­versy.

Classic Rock - - The Dirt - More at www.prs­gui­ Si­mon Bradley

John Mayer has had his fair share of sig­na­ture mod­els, and the lat­est gui­tar to bear his scrib­ble, the PRS Sil­ver Sky, is pos­si­bly the most con­tro­ver­sial new gui­tar of any re­leased in re­cent times. As news of its spec got out, the on­line gui­tar com­mu­nity was im­me­di­ately up in arms, in­sulted by its re­sem­blance to a Fen­der Stra­to­caster, and any player who dared to even point at a Sil­ver Sky was open to the kind of abuse only the in­ter­net can im­part. That said, it should have been of lit­tle sur­prise that Mayer, a long-time Strat fan who al­legedly be­came ‘dis­sat­is­fied’ with what Fen­der were do­ing, would opt for some­thing sim­i­lar from an­other com­pany.

There are sev­eral re­fine­ments to the clas­sic Strat de­sign that PRS have been por­ing over for sev­eral years, in­clud­ing three-a-side lock­ing tuners and the f lat­ter de­sign of the five-way switch but­ton. One truly in­spi­ra­tional idea is the sub­tle carve within the lower bout, or rather that it’s coloured in a slightly lighter shade of fin­ish than that of the re­main­der of the body. This helps the con­tour to stand out in lower light and ac­tu­ally helps when play­ing the gui­tar when stand­ing.

Other facets have been taken straight from Fen­ders of yore. And while the Sil­ver Sky is hardly the first solid-body elec­tric to be guilty of the sup­posed crime of brazenly bor­row­ing from what’s gone be­fore, it’s amus­ing to hear Paul

Reed Smith re­fer to the Stra­to­caster as “the other gui­tar” on the PRS web­site. The neck has been de­lib­er­ately shaped to feel sim­i­lar to Strats Mayer has played from 1963 and ’64, a con­cept aided by the dis­tinctly Fen­dery 7.25-inch ra­dius of the 22-fret fin­ger­board, and the trio of 635JM sin­gle­coil pick­ups have been painstak­ingly de­signed to give the Sil­ver Sky its com­ple­ment of five vin­tage­flavoured tones. A bone nut and flush-mounted bridge help keep the gui­tar in tune, and there’s no doubt that it is a sub­lime in­stru­ment that plays nicely and sounds great.

“The Sil­ver Sky is my vi­sion of what a re­boot of the elec­tric gui­tar should look and feel like,” Mayer pon­tif­i­cates, and at £2,299 it’s a whole lotta gui­tar.

How­ever, with the price of an Amer­i­can 60s Fen­der Strat com­ing in at £1,639, the know-it-all on­line fo­rums have wasted lit­tle time in pour­ing yet more vit­riol on the PRS Sil­verSky, which re­ally is a shame.

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