PRS's release of the Special 22 Semi-Hollow is a welcomed addition to the Core lineup! If the layout of this guitar reminds you a lot of the Private Stock John Mayer Super Eagle, you're not the only one. There are some slight differences (biggest being this one's 22 frets vs. the Super Eagle's 24), but in short, this is a guitar that achieves a very similar level of tonal versatility, not to mention looking just as beautiful.
It all starts with the function and form of the old Custom 22. The neck pickup is right under the natural 3rd-order harmonic for a rich and lush tone full of harmonic content. The bridge pickup has some nice bite to it, and it can handle distortion really well without sounding thin or underpowered. PRS then went ahead and added a Narrowfield middle pickup and individual coil-splits via the mini-toggles. The result is a guitar that is more versatile while being a bit smoother and warmer sounding at the same time.
You can still achieve bright and spanky sounds quite easily, but the top end won't ever get harsh and ear-piercing thanks to the semi-hollow design. While it's naturally designed to be heard and to stand out in a mix, you can also easily mellow it out for an almost jazzy kind of tone, if that's what you're after. Then there's the middle pickup, which sounds like a single-coil with a bit of extra punch and no 60-cycle hum. It matches up well with the output of the humbuckers whether they're in full power or split-coil mode.
As per usual, PRS hit it out of the park with this refreshed new design!
The PRS Special Semi-Hollow offers players a versatile hum/ “single”/hum configuration with two PRS 58/15 LT humbuckers and a PRS Narrowfield middle pickup. PRS Narrowfield pickups deliver the bite of a single coil, so they cut through the mix with plenty of clarity and punch – without the hum. Paired with a 5-way blade switch and two mini-toggles that tap the 58/15 LT humbuckers, this guitar can handle myriad sounds and styles (with twelve pickup combinations in total). Roll back the tone control for added growl, turn it up for some shimmer, and have fun exploring this versatile tonal palette.
Additional specifications include a maple top, mahogany back, 22-fret 25” scale length mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, Phase III tuners, and PRS Gen III patented tremolo. The volume levels between the humbucking and single-coil settings remain very even, and the semi-hollow body with single f-hole provides a welcome airiness and depth to the guitar’s tone.
- Top Wood: Carved Figured Maple
- Back Wood: Mahogany
- Top Carve: Violin Carve
- Finish: Nitro over Cellulose (CAB)
- Number of Frets: 22
- Scale Length: 25"
- Neck Wood: Mahogany
- Neck Shape: Pattern
- Fretboard Wood: Rosewood
- Fretboard Inlay: Birds
- Truss Rod Cover: “Special”
- Bridge: PRS Patented Tremolo, Gen III
- Tuners: PRS Phase III Locking Tuners
- Hardware Type: Hybrid
- Treble Pickup: 58/15 LT
- Bass Pickup: 58/15 LT
- Controls: Volume and Tone Control with 5-Way Blade Pickup Switch and Two Mini-Toggle Coil-Tap Switches
- 10-Top Grade Maple Top (defaults to Hybrid Hardware)
- Hybrid Hardware
- Strings: PRS Signature, 10-46
- Included Accessories: PRS Hardshell, Multi-Fit Case
- Instrument Weight: 6.9 lbs