PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo Electric Guitars: A Comprehensive Review
Paul Reed Smith (PRS) guitars have always been synonymous with quality and craftsmanship, and the PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo is no exception. This stunning instrument combines the warm, resonant tones of a hollow body guitar with the versatility of a solid body electric, thanks to its innovative piezo pickup system. In this review, we will delve into the various features that make this guitar stand out from the competition, as well as discuss its playability, sound, and overall value.
Design and Build Quality
The PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo is a beautiful instrument that features a double-cutaway design with a fully hollow construction. The top and back are made from 5-ply laminated maple with a flame maple veneer, which not only adds to the visual appeal but also contributes to the guitar’s vibrant tonal qualities.
The mahogany sides and neck provide a warm, rich tone, while the ebony fingerboard ensures smooth playability. The guitar features 22 medium-jumbo frets, a 25-inch scale length, and the iconic PRS bird inlays, making it instantly recognizable as a PRS instrument.
The attention to detail in the build quality is impressive, with flawless binding and a high-gloss finish that really showcases the beautiful wood grain. The hardware is equally impressive, featuring PRS-designed tuners, a Tune-o-Matic bridge, and a stop tailpiece with brass inserts for added sustain.
Electronics and Versatility
One of the most unique aspects of the PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo is its dual-output electronics system. The guitar comes equipped with two sets of pickups: a pair of PRS 58/15 “S” humbuckers and an LR Baggs/PRS piezo system integrated into the bridge.
The humbuckers offer a wide range of tones, from warm and smooth jazz sounds to aggressive rock tones. The volume and tone knobs, as well as the 3-way toggle switch, provide precise control over the humbuckers’ output.
The piezo system, on the other hand, captures the natural acoustic resonance of the hollow body construction, delivering a convincing acoustic guitar tone when plugged into an acoustic amp or directly into a PA system. The piezo’s output can be controlled via a separate volume knob, and a small switch located near the guitar’s input jack allows you to select between the magnetic pickups, the piezo system, or a blend of both.
This dual-output system makes the PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo an incredibly versatile instrument, suitable for a wide range of musical styles and performance situations.
The PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo is a joy to play, thanks in part to its comfortable “Wide Fat” neck profile. This shape is designed to provide a substantial yet accessible feel, making it suitable for players of all skill levels and hand sizes.
The ebony fingerboard is smooth and responsive, with a 10-inch radius that accommodates both chordal and lead playing styles. The medium-jumbo frets are expertly dressed and polished, ensuring clean intonation and effortless bends.
The guitar’s hollow body construction also contributes to its playability, with a lightweight feel and excellent balance when strapped on. The double-cutaway design provides easy access to the upper frets, making this guitar a great choice for lead players and soloists.
The PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo truly shines in the tonal department. The combination of the maple top and back, mahogany sides and neck, and ebony fingerboard creates a rich, resonant sound that is both warm and articulate.
The PRS 58/15 “S” humbuckers are incredibly versatile, offering a range of tones from mellow jazz to aggressive rock. The neck pickup delivers a smooth, warm sound with excellent clarity, while the bridge pickup has a brighter, more cutting tone that’s perfect for lead playing.
The piezo system is equally impressive, providing a natural-sounding acoustic tone that is both dynamic and expressive. When blended with the magnetic pickups, the guitar takes on an entirely new character, with a unique tonal palette that is ideal for exploring new sonic territories.
While the PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo might not be the most affordable guitar on the market, it offers an incredible value when considering its versatility, playability, and overall build quality. This instrument is suitable for both professional players and serious hobbyists who are looking for a high-quality, reliable guitar that can handle a wide range of musical styles and situations.
The PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo is an exceptional instrument that combines the best aspects of hollow body and solid body electric guitars. Its innovative dual-output electronics system, top-notch build quality, and superb playability make it a worthy addition to any guitarist’s collection. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an aspiring musician, the PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo is a guitar that will inspire you to reach new heights in your playing and creativity.