The 5 Best PRS Guitars Reviews

Do you know how luck you are that it’s much easier nowadays to find the best PRS guitars?  Even just a few years ago these guitars were much harder to find.

In places like England people have been known to drive 300 miles just to buy one of these classics. At least nowadays you can order them online.

Paul Reed Smith is one of the best guitar makers in the world, and he founded PRS Guitars back in 1985. Part of the PRS mystique is its founder’s fanaticism about guitar quality.

He’s been known to seize imperfect guitars from his craftsmen and saw them in half. That kind of devotion to quality can be seen in the detailed perfection of his guitars.

Top 5 PRS Guitars : Comparison Chart

 

Name
Bridge and pickup system
Dimensions
Weight
View on Amazon
Stoptail, PRS SE 245 pickups
6 x 20 x 48 inches
17 pounds
Tremolo, humbucker
19 x 45 x 5 in
13 pounds
Stoptail, humbucker
19 x 45 x 5 in
13 pounds
Stoptail, humbucker
19 x 45 x 5 in
12.85 pounds
Adjustable, single coil
19 x 45 x 5 in
14 pounds

Best Picks of PRS Guitars Reviews

#1: PRS SE Zach Myers Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar – Trampas Green

Just in case you didn’t know, Zach Myers is the lead guitarist of Shinedown. He’s been using a PRS guitar since he was 15 years old, and now he has designed a guitar for PRS.

Even though this is a signature model, it’s much more accessible because it’s in the SE lineup.

Though the setup seems a bit more basic and the parts are more affordable, the sound of this Zach Myers is excellent. You still get all the SE perks including the cutaway.

Paul Reed Smith SE Zach Myers Signature Electric Guitar (Trampas Green)
  • Beveled Maple Top with Flame Maple Veneer, Mahognay Back
  • 24.5" scale Mahogany neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard
  • PRS SE 245 humbuckers
  • Nickel hardware includes PRS Adjustable Stoptail bridge and vintage-style tuners
  • Includes padded gig bag

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For those hampered by a limited budget, this is an option that doesn’t make you feel like you’re settling for a compromise.

This comes with a chambered mahogany body. The top is made of maple, and this features a single F-hole. This feature is what gives the tone a more natural resonance, by smoothening out the mid-range.

The weight isn’t much, so that’s great for your comfort when you’re jamming for many hours. That’s partly due to the semi-hollow body design.

This also features the 245 humbucker pickups, which are made in-house. They match well with the guitar’s tone controls and 3-way toggle pickup.

Highlighted Features
  • Its construction includes the use of mahogany for the back and for the 24.5-inch scale neck.
  • It also has a beveled maple top with flame maple veneer, along with a rosewood 22-fret fingerboard.
  • This features nickel hardware, which include vintage-style tuners and the PRS adjustable stoptail bridge.
  • It also comes with the PRS SE 245 humbuckers.

#2: Paul Reed Smith Guitars ST24VC SE Standard 24 Electric Guitar, Vintage Cherry

PRS has a hallmark guitar model called the Custom 24, which has been the iconic PRS bestseller ever since Smith it introduced it in 1985. Of course, it’s a bit on the pricey side, and that’s why we now have this SE standard version.

This updated model now comes with an all-mahogany body along with other classic PRS features like the 24-fret mahogany neck with the set neck construction.

The fretboard is made with rosewood, and it looks great as it also features the famous bird inlays. It also comes with a PRS-designed tremolo.

Paul Reed Smith Guitars ST24VC SE Standard 24 Electric Guitar, Vintage Cherry
  • PRS S2 Tremolo, PRS S2 Locking Tuners
  • Volume and Push/Pull Tone Control with 3-Way Blade Pickup Switch
  • Nickel Hardware, 25" Scale Length
  • Mahogany Body, Maple Neck, Rosewood Fretboard with Bird Inlay
  • PRS S2 HFS Treble Pickup, PRS S2 Vintage Bass Pickup

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Because of the all-mahogany construction, the tone you get is warm and round, and it sure sounds terrific with the PRS-Designed HFS and Vintage Bass pickup.

If you need a guitar that’s reliable and solid, this is it as it handles supremely well. Its sound is just as good when you run it through a pedal board as it does when you just plug it straight into an amp.

Highlighted Features
  • It looks great, with a mahogany body, maple neck, and rosewood fretboard with the bird inlay. The hardware is nickel.
  • It features the PRS S2 HFS Treble Pickup and the PRS S2 Vintage Bass Pickup
  • You also have the PRS S2 tremolo and locking tuners.
  • The controls include the volume and push-pull tone control with the 3-way blade pickup switch.

#3: Paul Reed Smith Guitars 245STVC SE 245 Standard Electric Guitar, Vintage Cherry

If you like the single-cutaway look for your guitar, then you’ll love the PRS Standard 245. The VC in the code means that this is the vintage cherry version.

As for the 245, it stands for the 24.5-inch scale length. That’s unusual for PRS, as the brand tends to use a 25-inch scale. But the slight reduction to the overall length of the string is actually a good thing, as it makes it easier to tune the guitar.

The body and neck is made from mahogany, the hardware is nickel, and you also get a rosewood fretboard with the now iconic bird inlay. You also get PRS-designed 245 Treble and Bass Pickups, tuners, and a stop tail bridge.

Paul Reed Smith Guitars 245STVC SE 245 Standard Electric Guitar, Vintage Cherry
  • PRS-Designed 245 Treble and Bass Pickups
  • Volume and Tone Controls for Each Pickup with 3-Way Toggle Pickup Switch on Upper Bout
  • Nickel Hardware, 24.5" Scale Length
  • Mahogany Body and Neck, Rosewood Fretboard with Bird Inlay
  • PRS Designed Stop tail Bridge, PRS Designed Tuners

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Each pickup has its own volume and tone controls and there’s a 3-way toggle pickup switch on the upper bout.

The voice of the standard 245 is classic, and it’s already recordable and performance-ready. It’s also one of the best PRS Guitars for beginners.

Highlighted Features
  • If you prefer short-scale guitars, then you’ll fell very comfy with the 24.5-inch scale length.
  • It has an all-mahogany body along with a wide and fat mahogany neck. The mahogany has that same look as the pre-factory PRS guitars, and it helps turn the tone warm and woody.
  • You also get the special PRS-designed stoptail bridge, tuners, and 245 humbuckers.
  • The fretboard is made from rosewood, and you get the unique bird inlays instead of just plain small circles.

#4: Paul Reed Smith Guitars 245STTS SE 245 Standard Electric Guitar

This is the same as the 245STVC in all ways except for its “Tobacco Sunburst” look. That’s what the TS in the name means. Aside from the look, there’s no other difference than the earlier model on this list.

However, its stunning looks do emphasize how there’s really no good competition with a PRS 245 at this price point. It’s that terrific in looks. The finish is fantastic and with the binding and bird inlay it just looks much more expensive than it really is.

Paul Reed Smith Guitars 245STTS SE 245 Standard Electric Guitar, Tobacco Sunburst
  • PRS-Designed 245 Treble and Bass Pickups
  • Volume and Tone Controls for Each Pickup with 3-Way Toggle Pickup Switch on Upper Bout
  • Nickel Hardware, 24.5" Scale Length
  • Mahogany Body and Neck, Rosewood Fretboard with Bird Inlay
  • PRS Designed Stop tail Bridge, PRS Designed Tuners

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Add its great playability and terrific sound, and it’s a real winner. The PRS wrap-around hard tail bridge is especially noteworthy as it’s one of the best bridges you’ll ever see. This will play in tune without fail all across the neck and you won’t have to adjust it at all.

Highlighted Features
  • The back wood is mahogany, the top wood is beveled maple with flame maple veneer, and the body is chambered with a single F-hole.
  • The maple neck as a wide fat shape, while the rosewood fretboard has bird inlay.
  • It features a string through PRS-Designed Plate-Style Bridge, plus PRS-designed tuner’s.
  • You have PRS SE soapbars for the treble and bass pickup.
  • It also has volume and tone controls with a 3-way toggle pickup switch.

#5: PRS 277SHVSSB2 SE 277 Semi-Hollow Soapbar Electric Guitar

This is the most expensive guitar on this list, but at least you don’t go past the $750 mark. Still, for many this PRS SE 277 Semi-Hollow Soapbar is more than a worthy investment.

The 227 in its name comes from its 27.7- inch baritone scale length. With this you get the traditional features including the mahogany back and the maple top platform.

But now it comes with new improvements, as also features a chambered back and an F-hole. With the semi-hollow body, you get better tonal clarity and acoustic resonance.

PRS 6 String SE 277 Semi-Hollow Soapbar Electric Guitar, Vintage Sunburst, Right Handed, (277SHVSSB2)
  • Beveled Maple Top with Flame Maple Veneer, Chambered with Single F-Hole, Mahogany Back
  • Wide Fat Maple Neck, Rosewood Fretboard, Bird Inlays, 27.7" Scale Length, 22 Frets
  • PRS Designed String Through Plate-Style Bridge, PRS Designed Tuners, Nickel Hardware
  • PRS SE Soap bar Pickups, Volume and Tone Controls with 3-Way Toggle Pickup Switch
  • Includes: PRS Padded Gig Bag

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You also have a dual-soapbar pickup configuration. The soapbars give you that delicate balance between a thick and mean growl and uncompressed and transparently clean tones.

Basically, it’s not just playable for a wide variety of music, ranging from country and pop to hard rock and metal. It will feel as if it’s designed for your particular type of music—whatever that may be. It gives you a quality that you’d only expect in handcrafted guitars worth many thousands of dollars.

Highlighted Features
  • This has 22 frets.
  • You have mahogany for the back wood and beveled maple with flame maple veneer for the top wood. The neck is maple as well, while the fretboard is rosewood.
  • The body is chambered with a single f-hole.

 

The History of PRS Guitars

PRS Guitars began with Paul Reed Smith, who as a teenager learned how to build guitars without any sort of formal training. He wasn’t rich enough to buy the better and more expensive guitar models, so he was determined to just build them himself.

He did just that—PRS is the only brand that’s able to match up well with the Fender and Gibson brands. PRS Guitars reviews are generally gushing in their praises.

His big break was in 1975 when he managed to meet Ted Nugent. Smith told Nugent that he’ll get his money back if he didn’t fall in love with Smith’s guitar.

To this day, Nugent still has that guitar. The same thing happened when Smith met Carlos Santana in 1980, and Santana went on to become an endorser of the PRS brand when Smith founded it in 1985.

Smith also had Ted McCarty as a mentor, and McCarty was a former president of Gibson who created the Flying V, ES-335, and Explorer guitars. Their partnership has resulted in the current PRS guitars we see today.

Now let’s check closer as to where these guitars are made…

Where Are PRS Guitars Made?

Many of the PRS guitars (especially the more expensive top PRS Guitars) are made in the US, or more specifically at a factory in Maryland. However, in the 1990s PRS launched the SE line of PRS guitars made in South Korea.

These were more affordable, as the average retail price of a PRS guitar is about $3,000. But amazingly, these lower-priced models still offer numerous features that you can get in a US-made PRS guitar.

They’re the best PRS Guitars 1000 dollars can buy.

Many guitarists use these guitars for heavy metal music. Let’s find out why in the next section.

What Makes the Best PRS Guitars for Metal?

Everyone who has ever spent some time playing a PRS guitar will eventually realize that one of this instrument’s strengths is its versatility. Whether you play it for jazz, blues, or rock, it will definitely shine.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s just good for these genres. For metal, PRS can also be astounding.

So what should you look for in a PRS guitar when you’re jonesing to play heavy metal? While it’s true that any PRS guitar can handle metal music, you need some features to make one absolutely ideal.

One feature in the best PRS guitar for rock is that it should be able to handle low tunings. Another crucial feature is that the pickup design should be modernized.

Finally, the design of the guitar should allow you play with quick movements.

If you’re lucky, try to find the now discontinued Dustie Waring PRS signature guitar. It features a punishing heavy tone, DiMarzio pickups, and a Floyd Rose tremolo system.

This model has all the crucial features for metal, and that’s why some experts consider it the best PRS guitar for metal in recent years.

Final Verdict

If you’re going for a PRS guitar, you must be one of those guitar players who prize quality above all. You share that obsession with Paul Reed Smith himself, so you will appreciate the lavish attention the brand has paid on the details and quality of their guitars.

At least with the list we came up with, you won’t have to limit yourself to expensive models. For many of us, these $3000 guitars aren’t exactly affordable.

So now you can pay much less and still enjoy these best PRS Guitars for the money. You can still get a guitar that’s easy to play, that sounds great, and that can be relied on to perform well.

So which one should you get from our list? Do yourself a favor and just go for the PRS 277SHVSSB2 SE 277. It’s unique because its baritone guitar nature gives you low tuning right away.

If you’re into metal, that’s fabulous. It really is one of the best PRS Guitars for metal.

The baritone voice is low enough that it will stand out if played alongside a standard electric guitar. But it’s still high enough that the bass guitar won’t drown it out.

Play the chord you already know on this guitar, and its low tuning will give you tonal texture that’s darker and more haunting

Featured Image by Rum Bucolic Ape/ CC BY

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Jody soper December 8, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    I have that exact blue you are featuring on your 5 best, the picture of that blue one. Looking to sell . Bought it back about 30 years ago.

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