Step aside, Silver Sky: PRS’ best-selling guitar of 2023 wasn't John Mayer’s signature guitar – it was its all-new ‘Telecaster’-style NF 53 and Myles Kennedy models

(Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)

Ever since it arrived on the market back in 2018, John Mayer’s Silver Sky signature guitar has been a sale list stalwart for PRS. In fact, it’s become one of the most popular electric guitar platforms money can buy, with Reverb registering the US-made and SE versions as some of its own top-selling six-strings for the past two years in a row.

Although PRS hasn’t made readers privy to its own end-of-year sales figures, it’s fair to assume the Maryland brand experiences a similar level of demand for its flagship Stratocaster-style model, which has undergone a few functional and cosmetic changes across the years.

Now, though, the status quo has seemingly shifted thanks to the arrival of two all-new PRS models that have pipped the Silver Sky to top the brand’s “Top Selling Models” list.

Those models are the Telecaster-inspired NF 53 and Myles Kennedy signature guitars, which take up first and second positions in the brand’s sales rankings, respectively.

PRS revealed the success of its flagship T-type single-cuts – which, amazingly, only launched in June – in a Spotify Wrapped-themed Instagram post that plotted both its Top Selling six-strings and most popular finishes.

Unsurprisingly, the Silver Sky did indeed make it into the third position, but the fact it was displaced by the comparatively infant NF 53 and Myles Kennedy six-strings speaks volumes of the latters’ success.

Whether this would still be the order if PRS had included its SE line – whose SE Silver Sky model is likely more popular than its US-made sibling, especially with the SE range currently receiving 20% price cuts over the holidays – is up for debate. We imagine the SE DGT could also be in the conversation if that were the case.

Still, that’s not to take away from the achievements of the NF 53 and Myles Kennedy guitars, because they still managed to fend off stiff competition from the likes of the ever-popular Custom 24 and modern-day classic Modern Eagle V (which finished fourth and fifth, respectively) to top the list.

PRS Myles Kennedy signature guitar

(Image credit: PRS)

Like we say, it’s a testament to the fact that the standard NF 53 and artist series Myles Kennedy signature guitars aren’t just novel creations designed to be “PRS’ answer to the Telecaster”. 

Sure, that might have been part of the intrigue to prospective players, but it soon became apparent these models were beasts in their own right. As we wrote in our own review, “These guitars look, feel and sound a lot less derivative than the Silver Sky.”

That, as Paul Reed Smith himself told Guitarist at the time of their release, was precisely the objective with these two guitars: “The Silver Sky was a retooling of an historic device. It was a goal to get somebody incredibly comfortable with our instruments. This [the new MK and NF 53], on the other hand, is after a feel and sound in a different way. 

“We’ve been talking about it for a decade,” he went on, “because our artists want that sound in their arsenal, but the thing that was not okay with me was the hum [from the single-coil pickups]. Very often with those instruments the hum can be louder than the guitar.”

As mentioned, PRS also disclosed its Top Selling colors of the year, with the Silver Sky stalwart Moc Sand topping the list ahead of the NF 53’s Black Doghair. Faded Whale Blue, Yellow Tiger and Cobalt Smokeburst completed the roundup.

First introduced at NAMM 2019, Moc Sand arrived as part of the Silver Sky’s first aesthetic expansion pack, and most notably was recently selected by Mayer himself to head up the revolutionized ‘Dead Spec’ Silver Sky.

To peruse the PRS collection, head over to the brand's website.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.