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PRS officially launches the $849 SE Silver Sky – watch John Mayer put it through its paces

After weeks of teases and speculation, the SE version of John Mayer's PRS signature guitar, the Silver Sky, has arrived at last.

Ringing up at $849, the SE Silver Sky is a significant new entry in the mid-priced electric guitar market, a guitar that Mayer says is "more accessible, but doesn't penalize a guitar player for not having the Core, US [Silver Sky]."

“With the release of the SE Silver Sky, PRS has kept the modern design aesthetic, tone and feel of the original model and made it accessible to more guitar players, from beginner to professional. I couldn’t be happier it with it," he elaborated in a statement. You can check out the blues guitar superstar's brand-new demo of the model above.

In advance of the model's unveiling, Guitar World – and our esteemed Tech Editor and resident gear inspector, Paul Riario – was also given an advance look at the guitar. You can check out his findings below.

Though similar to its US-built big brother in more ways than you might expect, the SE Silver Sky is still its own animal. 

Instead of the alder body found on the Core Silver Sky, the SE Silver Sky boasts a poplar body. It does, however, retain the Core model's maple neck and rosewood fretboard (though the US-built Silver Sky can also be purchased with a maple fretboard). The rosewood fretboard features downsized versions of the Maryland company's trademark bird inlays.

Though the SE's neck – like the Core model – features 22 frets, a 25.5" scale length, and the Mayer-favored 635JM carve, its fretboard radius – 8.5" – is a departure from the vintage-minded Core Silver Sky's 7.25."

SE versions of the 635JM pickups Mayer and Paul Reed Smith meticulously developed for the Silver Sky are also present, giving players a close approximation of the tones found on Mayer's beloved ’63 and ’64 Stratocasters.

With a single volume and two tone knobs, plus a five-way blade switch, the controls are also the same. 

The PRS steel tremolo, Silver Sky inverted headstock, nickel hardware and vintage-style tuners found aboard the Core Silver Sky are also present on the SE, though the SE's tuners are non-locking, while the Core's tuners are locking. 

To top it all off, the guitar comes in four finishes – Ever Green, Stone Blue, Moon White and Dragon Fruit – that aren't available on the Core Silver Sky.

PRS's new SE Silver Sky guitar

(Image credit: PRS Guitars)

At $849, we reckon that the super well-spec'd SE Silver Sky is set to be as big – if not bigger – a player in the electric guitar arena as the US-built model that preceded it

For more info on the model – which comes with a PRS SE gig bag – head on over to PRS.

Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at guitarworld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.