Paul Reed Smith SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow 2016 Cherry Sunburst



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Weight: 6.51 lbs / 2955 grams

The Custom 22 S-H has a maple top with flame maple veneer and single f-hole, just like the fantastic SE Zach Myers Singlecut. Unlike that guitar, however, the top here is contoured. Maple is used for the set neck instead of the more usual mahogany of the USA core and S2 models, here with a 'wide thin' profile that's slim-depthed but far from a 'speed' neck. Bird inlays decorate the rosewood 'board, which also sports tidy medium gauge frets and the sort of set-up you'd expect from a much higher-priced guitar.

This value perception, enhanced by the quality gig bag, continues with its plugged in performance. There's a beautiful light weight, generous ring and sustain, and a classic tonality that has slightly more midrange colour than you get from the solid body version. It's no ES-335, but it has a different ring to the solid body Custom 22, even when it's unplugged.

It's a great axe for classic rock and blues: raunchy but not over spiky in tone or output, with musical harmonic feedback aplenty if you kick in a level boost from your pedalboard. It's quite the contrast to the solidbody Custom 22, with it's quite ferocious Tone Furnace bridge 'bucker which pushes out more power and drops you metal territory. That said, switching to the neck pickup on either guitars offers a similar voice - classic, vocal, and really emotive for solos.

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