The PRS Modern Eagle V boasts 17 different pickup combinations – and now you might be able to get your hands on one

PRS Modern Eagle V 2023
(Image credit: PRS Guitars)

PRS has announced that its much-lauded Private Stock electric guitar, the Modern Eagle V, has been added to the brand’s Core line-up.

The headline feature of the build is undoubtedly its tonal flexibility, with an exhausting 17 different pickup combinations on offer, thanks to its HSH configuration and some clever switching options. 

Two TCI humbuckers are augmented by a Narrow single-coil NS-01, in the middle position. These are then complemented by a five-way pickup selector. Math wizards will by now have calculated that leaves a further 12 sounds to be found to meet PRS’s claim.

These come from the inclusion of two toggle-switches, each of which splits the coils in a corresponding humbucker, opening up a variety of single coil-style tonal combinations.

Finally, a push-pull switch on the tone knob engages both humbuckers simultaneously, which adds further options when used in combination with the five-way selector.

We won’t list all of the combinations here, because life is for the living and, fortunately for all concerned, PRS has done the legwork for us – pulling together a lovely demo, running through all of the positions above.

Suffice to say, though, the result is an incredibly flexible instrument. We can see the Modern Eagle V being a session player’s dream, and the demo tones run the gamut from Tele-style twang (with treble coil-split and middle position), through to Peter Green-like velvety Les Paul tones on the bass bridge humbucker and a rich jangle when the joint humbucker circuit is engaged.

Elsewhere, the Private Stock roots of the model appear to be evident in the Core range build, which does not appear to cut corners on tone woods and other appointments. 

There’s a mahogany and figured maple body, a one-piece mahogany ‘pattern’ shaped neck and rosewood fingerboard with 25” scale length.

PRS Modern Eagle V 2023

(Image credit: PRS Guitars)

On the hardware side, PRS’s Gen III locking tremolo is paired with its Phase III locking tuners, both finished in a fetching gold. Finally, there’s a total of 16 fetching finish options – including the Charcoal Burst pictured above – and it’s wrapped up in a hardshell case, too.

“Modern Eagle models have always been built to stand up to history while celebrating tonewoods and the discovery of new tones,” says Paul Reed Smith. 

“The Modern Eagle V is a sophisticated instrument not only in its craftsmanship but in its electronic and mechanical design. We’ve refined the pickup tones and are pleased to now add it to the Core lineup.”

The Modern Eagle V now joins a host of New Year announcements from the brand. PRS has revived the Sonzera 20 combo amp, created two new limited-edition 10th anniversary S2 builds and expanded its affordable SE range with four new models, including a David Grissom SE Signature guitar and three SE McCarty options

Finally, the bonanza of new artist models is completed by a new hardtail signature for Between The Buried And Me guitarist Dustie Waring and updated Mark Holcomb and Zach Myers SE models.

The Modern Eagle V is priced at $4,604. For more information, head to PRS Guitars (opens in new tab).

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Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.