If you thought PRS had put all its time and energy into the recent release of the John Mayer Silver Sky SE, you’re about to be pleasantly surprised.
As it turns out, the Maryland brand has been busy behind the scenes curating a catalog of fresh-for-2022 electric guitars, headed up by all-new 24-08 SE and S2 models, as well as a rather glamorous limited-edition Orianthi Private Stock.
That’s not all though, as a wealth of new updates have also been debuted, ranging from eye-catching colorways to PRS-voiced Fishman Sonitone pickups, the latter of which will now be found on all SE acoustic guitars.
A few specific models have also been on the receiving end of some subtle tweaks, including Mark Holcomb’s SE signature guitars, as well as the SE Custom 24 Floyd and SE Hollowbody II.
Read on for a breakdown of PRS’s early 2022 activities.
PRS Private Stock Orianthi Limited-Edition
Just look at that finish. Dubbed Blooming Lotus Glow, you’d be hard pressed to find a more elegant colorway in this drop, and the intricate Lotus Vine fretboard inlay helps cap off this axe as arguably one of the best-looking PRS electrics around.
Now we’ve finished gushing over the aesthetics, let’s look at the specs. A solid mahogany body with a violin-carve maple top is paired with a one-piece, Pattern Thin mahogany neck, which is adorned with a 24-fret rosewood fingerboard.
The 25”-scale six-string also boasts 58/15 neck and bridge humbuckers, controlled by conventional master volume and tone controls. A versatile five-way switch – as found on the Custom 24 – is also included.
As expected, the Private Stock Eagle inlay features on the headstock, which also has room for PRS Phase III Locking tuners and the Orianthi logo. Other hardware appointments include a PRS Patented Gen III tremolo.
The PRS Orianthi Private Stock is available now for $11,700.
PRS S2 Custom 24-08 and SE Standard 24-08
For the first time since the 24-08 switch’s introduction in 2011, the versatile system can now be found on the new-for-2022 S2 Custom and SE Standard models.
First seen on high-end Private Stock models – and later on the Core and SE Custom 24 models – the 24-08 pairs a three-way pickup selector with two additional coil-split mini toggles. In practice, players can remove humbucker coils from each circuit, conjuring up a range of nuanced tones.
It’s an update from the standard five-way switch that both models previously featured, though aside from this update both the S2 Custom 24-08 and SE Standard 24-08 remain true to spec sheets of their predecessors.
“It’s not so easy to get eight musical, usable pickup settings in one guitar,” said Paul Reed Smith of the new models. “Being able to go from full humbuckers to the crisp clarity of single coils and having all the in between sounds brings a lot to these instruments.”
The PRS SE Standard 24-08 is available for $729, while the PRS S2 Custom 24-08 will set you back $1,929.
PRS SE Acoustics
PRS’s acoustic department has also seen a significant upgrade: from 2022, all PRS SE acoustic models will now feature newly voiced, PRS-designed Fishman Sonitone pickups.
The pickups in question were EQ’d in Paul Reed Smith’s studio and promise a “warm, organic tone that allows the natural sound of the instrument to come through”. Implemented by Larry Fishman and his engineering team, the pickups will come with soundhole-mounted tone and volume controls.
“The EQ in this pickup system sounds like you mic’d the guitar,” offered Paul Reed Smith. “It’s very musical. Everyone here is pleased with the sound.”
Each PRS SE acoustic also features the hybrid X/classical bracing, which is said to work alongside the new exclusive pickups to create a tone that will allow players to “move seamlessly between writing, recording and performing”.
A host of other specification updates have been introduced throughout the rest of the PRS collection.
Mark Holcomb’s SE and SE SVN signatures, as well as the SE Custom 24 Floyd, have been equipped with a shallow violin top carve – as found on the SE Custom 24 – while all 24-fret S2 models have been updated to feature Pattern Thin neck carves.
PRS has also been busy developing new finishes. The SE Hollowbody II and Paul’s Guitar are both now available in Black Gold Burst and Faded Blue Burst, while the S2 Series line now offers all-new colorways.
Black Amber, Bonni Pink Cherry Burst, Lake Blue, Mahi Blue and Scarlet Sunburst are available on select S2 Series models.
For more information on all these new models, visit PRS Guitars.