Classic Humbucking tones on a budget, A new standard? Are you looking for that classic Les Paul sound on a budget? Enter the PRS Bernie Marsden SE Signature.
I’ve always been a great fan of the Gibson tone and a lot of my favourite guitar players (John Sykes, Mark Bolan, Zakk Wylde) all have made use of that classic dual humbucking tone and cool single cutaway looks. As such, when one landed in the shop the other day I was interested but sceptical.
Starting with the aesthetics I was blown away, the guitar looks vintage but isn’t relic’d it features a modest flame maple top that is pretty but not garish. The cream pickup surrounds and binding are a nice touch and have that “yellowed with age” look which just oozes cool.
Gibson Fans will feel right at home playing on this neck, the 22 frets will be comforting and familiar as will the 24.5” scale length. The tuning pegs seem strong and stable and the PRS designed stop tail while not a tune-o-matic like on a Les Paul standard, doesn’t alter the tone or playability. It’s also light so gone are the days of playing through back pain leaving you free to focus all your energy on hitting that sweet note!
Now onto the fun bit! This thing screams, the pickups (PRS SE 245s) are powerful but not over wound and give you heaps of dynamic response and thick warm tones that would slice through a band mix nicely. The bridge pickup is pure Gibson and has that classic bark while the neck pickup is really articulate, I was particularly impressed by how clear and usable it was as sometimes I find neck pickups on Les Paul type guitars can be quite muddy but not in this case!
Turn the gain up and this sweet bluesy gentleman turns into a fire breathing monster. The aforementioned neck is really comfortable for playing fast and the mahogany body and neck adds loads of depth and sustain to the tone.
So to conclude, if you're looking for a Les Paul at a fraction of the price but with all the tonal goodness check one of these out, your mind will be well and truly blown!