Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: Review: 20th Anniversary 2006 PRS Singelcut

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Review: 20th Anniversary 2006 PRS Singelcut

I recently got to setup and spend some quality time with a friend's beautiful 20th Anniversary Black PRS Singlecut. This particular specimen has Kluson style "tulip" tuners, standard PRS nut, rosewood board (with birds), maple top, mahogany body, PRS wraparound bridge (with individually adjustable bridge saddles) and PRS 7 pickups (with factory installed electronics).

This guitar is pretty to look at. I really love the look of the natural body binding and, as usual, the guitar has that flawless PRS "dipped in plastic" finish with no imperfections to be found anywhere. The playing action is really good, with a solid neck feel and incredible upper fret access (way better than a comparable Les Paul). The neck is a full profile that feels really good without being too big for those with smaller hands. For those that are new to PRS, the 25" scale length can take some getting used to. If you are accustomed to the 25 1/2" Fender scale length, or the 24 3/4" Gibson scale length, a 25" scale can feel a bit strange with your favorite string gauge (either stiffer or spongier, depending on which scale length you are most comfortable with, Fender or Gibson).

The timbre of the guitar isn't quite Gibson Les Paul… it is a bit more refined with a more "rounded off" tone. Don't get me wrong, it sounds great, but not so much like a Les Paul to my ears. One annoying thing, though… on the four-control Les Paul style layout the volume controls are both located on top and the bridge volume is the rear knob. If you are used to playing Les Pauls this might have you accidentally turning your volume down or up at a gig, but since this is so easy to modify it certainly isn't a deal breaker. If it were my instrument I would definitely rewire the controls to the Les Paul configuration to eliminate any confusion when switching between different guitars.

I really like the tone of the PRS 7 pickups. They have a nice ring to them and are very articulate, allowing for good note separation even with lots of amplifier distortion. Not sure if it is the guitar's wood or the pickups that are lacking that high-end sizzle I like to hear in a good Les Paul, but it is definitely lacking. I'd say this guitar has more of it's own sound (which is certainly not a bad thing). One big plus is that the controls roll off beautifully and allow the guitar to clean up really well on a good, touch sensitive tube amp. Another awesome thing they did was to include a second nut (already pre-slotted) so years later when the old one is worn out you can just pop on the spare, file the slots to perfection and you're done. Nice touch!

I really dig this guitar. The only two things I did to it was to add a set of Schaller strap locks and re-glue the nut, which actually fell off the guitar once I removed the strings. I am not always super impressed when I pick up a PRS, but now and again I grab hold of one that really knocks me out… and this is one such example.

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