The following content is related to the June 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.
The first solidbody 7-string guitars started to emerge on the market a little more than two decades ago. Almost without fail, they have been designed exclusively for metal guitarists, offering features like high-output pickups and double-locking tremolos.
Although PRS took its sweet time before introducing its first seven-string model, the PRS SE Custom 24 7-String, the guitar maker took a slightly different path by making an instrument that jazz and country players—as well as metalheads and hard rockers—can appreciate.
In essence, the PRS SE Custom 24 7-String is an SE Custom 24 with a hardtail design and an extra string. Like that model, it has a 24-fret neck with a 25-inch scale length and Wide Thin profile, a mahogany body with a beveled maple top, and a pair of humbucking pickups: an SE HFS at the bridge and an SE Vintage Bass at the neck position. Controls include a three-position blade pickup selector switch and a push/pull pot on the master tone control that splits the coils of both humbuckers. Together, they provide a useful range of tones while keeping the control section very simple and straightforward. The nickel-plated plate-style bridge anchors the strings through the body, providing outstanding resonance and dynamic response.
Like other PRS SE models, the SE Custom 24 7-String is affordably priced but offers the style, playability, and performance of a much more expensive instrument. The flame maple veneer top has stunning figuring, and the rosewood fretboard is adorned with trademark PRS Birds inlays. The model is available in a choice of Royal Blue or Vintage Sunburst finishes.
The PRS SE Custom 24 7-String is an incredibly versatile guitar that sounds great paired with any amp. Through a clean amp with luscious reverb, it delivers sparkling treble and round, punchy bass with the throaty growl of a good baritone. The neck Vintage Bass humbucker provides ample warmth for jazz, and the bridge HFS humbucker with the coil split produces cluck, spank and twang that country shredders will adore. The pickups retain exceptional clarity with high-gain distortion, particularly on the lower range, where most seven-string guitars generally turn to mud.
With its 25-inch scale, the guitar is very easy to play while providing outstanding intonation and ideal string tension even with the lowest string tuned down. The neck is surprisingly comfortable, and once you get accustomed to the extra string, it’s as easy to play as a regular six-string guitar.
Manufacturer PRS Guitars, prsguitars.com
The bridge HFS and neck Vintage Bass humbuckers with coil splitting provide a wide variety of tones ideal for any style of music.
The 24-fret, 25-inch-scale Wide Thin neck is exceptionally comfortable and feels similar to a standard six-string neck.
The Bottom Line
Offering classic PRS tone and playability, the PRS SE Custom 24 7-String is a versatile seven-string guitar that’s great for any style of music, from country and jazz to hard rock and metal.