“Completely shatters the expectations for a guitar geared toward modern metal”: PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN review

The Periphery guitarist’s signature model gives lovers of the low-end great specs and playability at a lower cost. We find out if it’s more than just a djent machine.

A PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN 7-string electric guitar on a wooden floor
(Image: © Future/Matt McCracken)

Guitar World Verdict

A superb 7-string guitar that’s got a lot more going for it than just modern metal tones, the PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN is an eminently playable extended-range guitar with a surprising amount of tonal versatility.

Pros

  • +

    Surprisingly versatile pickups.

  • +

    Ultra playable satin neck.

  • +

    Stunning build quality.

Cons

  • -

    Pickups might not be high output enough for some.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

As one-third of Periphery’s triumvirate guitar attack, it’s safe to say Mark Holcomb knows a thing or two about crushingly heavy riffing. Periphery has fast become one of the most influential bands in the world of progressive metal and one of the flag-bearers of a sound affectionately known as ‘djent’ alongside bands like Meshuggah, Animals as Leaders, Tesseract, and many more. 

Prototyped back in late 2017/early 2018, the PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN resulted from a close collaboration in design between Mark and the Maryland-based guitar giant. An affordable version of his core signature model, it’s one of few 7-string guitars in the PRS lineup, making it a unique proposition for players who want an extended-range guitar that isn’t just a shred or metal machine.

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Matt McCracken
Junior Deals Writer

Matt is a Junior Deals Writer here at Guitar World. He regularly tests and reviews music gear with a focus on guitars, amps, pedals, modelers, and pretty much anything else guitar-related. Responsible for over 60 buying guides, a large part of his role is helping guitarists find the best deals on gear. Matt worked in music retail for 5 years at Dawsons Music and Northwest Guitars and has written for various music sites including MusicRadar, Guitar Player, Guitar.com, Ultimate Guitar, and Thomann’s t.blog. A regularly gigging guitarist with over 20 years of experience playing live and producing bands, he's performed everything from jazz to djent, gigging all over the country in more dingy venues than you can shake a drop-tuned guitar at. When he's not holed up in his home studio recording new songs or tweaking with pedal settings, you’ll find him making a racket with Northern noise hounds JACKALS