PRS Studio 2021 Review | MusicRadar


PRS Studio 2021: what is it?

Don’t adjust your outfits. Yes it is a PRS Studio, the Maryland supplier of high end electric guitars‘on the HSS format, sharing a name with a guitar released in 1988, then redesigned for 2011 with a pair of 57/08 Narrowfield humbuckers replacing the two single coils.

It’s a name also familiar to the PRS’s more affordable S2 line-up when, starting in 2018, a more stripped-down S2 studio featured this versatile pickup pairing on a solid-colored all-mahogany electric finish. But in 2021, what has changed?

Well, definitely not the form. This Core model is instantly recognizable as a PRS long before you get to her doll. The scale length is typically PRS, 25 “, and the fingerboard radius of 10” similarly divides the difference between the fundamentals established by Gibson and Fender. And the idea behind Studio 2021 and its 10-year-old ancestor has changed little; it’s a versatile guitar, a real Excalibur for the session player.

SRP Studio 2021

(Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin)

But like so many PRS designs, it’s all about sophistication across the board. This distinctive headstock is now equipped with a set of lockable Phase III tuners. When you turn your attention to the vibrato, you will find that it has also been revised. It’s a guitar redone by the brushstrokes of Phase III.

Unlike the 2011 model, today’s Studio arrives with a Pattern / Wide-Fat neck profile where previously a Pattern / Wide-Thin neck was also on the menu. Like the 2011 model, we have 22 frets as opposed to the 24 fret format of the 1988 model. This 2021 studio is now finished with the new Core Nitro standard over a base coat of CAB lacquer.

SRP Studio 2021

(Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin)

And, most importantly, we also have new pickups, with the 2021 model equipped with a 58/15 LT humbucker at the bridge and small aperture narrowfield humbuckers that have been refined over the years and occupy a space of their own on the spectrum. sound – neither full ‘bucker nor single-coil and not a P-90 either.

Just as PRS’s design philosophy is to focus on every part of the guitar to get more performance out of it, from the woodworking to the headstock design, etc., the Studio’s control circuit presents us with an assortment of features. ‘options of this pseudo-HSS configuration, with a five-position pickup selector and a split push / pull mode on the tone control and a master volume.

SRP Studio 2021

(Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin)

PRS Studio 2021: Performances and verdict

SRP Studio 2021

(Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin)

All of these little details work together to elevate the design of the PRS guitar beyond the brand’s preconceived notion of being somehow exclusive. These Core USA models don’t come cheap, but the attention to detail and the way it manifests in the sounds and feel is what makes it a square deal in terms of value.

Also think …

PRS S2 Studio

(Image credit: PRS)

PRS S2 Studio
On the price side, you get what you pay for. This means that it fits into what is a pretty exciting real-world area, which has the Fender Professional benchmark range, on the one hand, contrasted by more progressive guitars such as Ibanez’s AZ models.

Ernie Ball Music Man Saber
The Saber shows a different side of Music Man, with a classic double cutaway body, the launch pad of a modern all-sing-and-dance electric that has plenty of stuff up its figured maple neck.

PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo
Sleek construction, crisp feel and excellent humbucker pairing are enhanced by the presence of piezo tones. This all adds up to one of PRS’s top-of-the-line models that loses little of its glamorous magic in the more affordable SE range.

The patterned neck profile is a classic guitar design, with a timeless quality that blurs the line between vintage and modern. It certainly fills the palm of the hand with a nod to 1950s Les Paul, but it’s more of an ergonomic voodoo act, with the rolled fingerboard edges giving the Studio a lived-in feel and easy right out of the holster.

Indeed, right out of the case, it is ready for action. The factory configuration on these Core USA models is flawless. Again, details.

The takeover of the Studio for 2021 is an interesting initiative from PRS as it sees this pseudo-HSS model meet an actual HSS model in the form of Mark Lettieri’s signature Fiore, which is, indeed, a new form for PRS, and a bolt finally… With real single coil pickups!

Does this make the Studio less relevant? Absolutely not. But that might change the way you look at it in the catalog, as the tones here are a bit different from almost everything out there.

You have the 58/15 LT humbucker doing its PAF thing at the bridge, and when you pull it apart you have a great single coil voice at the bridge. Do not consider this single coil mode to be a secondary feature in itself; it’s a tone that is on par with the full humbucker mode. Too often, a coil-split mode only serves to make us regret having a Stratocaster at hand, but not with the Studio. It seems exceptional.

SRP Studio 2021

(Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin)

As for the Narrowfield pickups, they work the same magical Fender-esque way when combined, but with a little less bite and a little more width. The sound detail remains impressive throughout.

The Studio does the work of two or three guitars. When you rate that and consider the truly exceptional build quality and feel, it really makes sense. Now those PRS design flourishes – the abalone bird inlay, gold nickel hardware beautifully complementing the Faded Whale Blue finish – are starting to look rather classic in their own right.

If you head over to the PRS website, you’ll find some 18 color options, from antique white to Eriza Verde, a shade of green that gives this violin-carved maple top an almost neon luminescence. Again, there is PRS with the options. In 2021, as always, the Studio is all about them.

MusicRadar Verdict: A triumph for the principles of constant refinement, the 2021 PRS Studio delivers a thoughtfully epic playing experience and sonic versatility that just might leave a number of guitars in your collection redundant while presenting a wide range of fresh tones. to explore.

SRP Studio 2021

(Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin)

PRS Studio 2021: the web says

“Can you get a bad sound from this guitar?” Well, we’ve tried… But it’s worth pointing out that it’s not that Superstrat hot-rod style of a beefy bridge humbucker mixed in with a pair of Fender-type single coils. No, the Narrowfields here definitely have their own voice and it’s a voice worth knowing.

“It feels less to us to copy the sound of a ’60s Strat with a warm PAF at the bridge, and more to offer a wide range of fully anti-buzz voices that sound classy and sophisticated played clean and really quite huge but defined. with a little crunch and gain. “

“The PRS Studio provides an ultra-strong foundation that is defined by beautiful woods, excellent components and great attention to detail that pairs it closely with other key PRS models like the Custom and McCarty. really differentiates the Studio, however, it’s the pickup and while this setup isn’t for everyone, it’s a thicker, chunkier variant of the HSS jack-of-all-trades model that offers flexibility. maximum to so many players. “
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PRS Studio 2021: practical demonstrations


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PRS Studio 2021: Specifications

SRP Studio 2021

(Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin)
  • ORIGIN: United States
  • TYPE: Electric solidbody double offset cutaway
  • BODY: 1-piece mahogany back with carved flamed maple top
  • NECK: Mahogany 1 piece, Pattern profile, glued
  • LADDER LENGTH: 635 mm (25 “)
  • NUT WIDTH: Synthetic friction reducer / 43.25 mm
  • HIT: East Indian rosewood, bird inlays (green abalone center / vintage ivory outline), 254mm (10 “) radius
  • FRETS: 22, medium jumbo
  • EQUIPMENT: PRS Gen III tremolo, PRS Phase III locking tuners
  • ELECTRICAL: Full-size PRS 58/15 LT humbucker at the bridge; PRS Narrowfield humbucker at neck and middle positions. 5-position pickup selector, master volume and master tone (with pull-push switch to split the bridge humbucker)
  • WEIGHT (kg / lb): 3.62 / 7.96
  • OPTIONS: The base price of the Studio is £ 3,885. The only option is the 10-Top with hybrid hardware (as reviewed), which adds £ 615
  • RANGE OPTIONS: See Rivals. The Custom 24-08 (£ 3,799) offers simple humbucker / true single coil switching
  • FINISHES: Faded Whale Blue (as reviewed), one of 20 standard finishes available – all gloss “NOC” (nitro over cellulose)

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