PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow With Bigsby

With 19 production guitars already in the affordable SE guitar range, you would think Paul Reed Smith would start working on a new series; but instead they decided to work on the ultra retro-cool SE Custom Semi-Hollow with Bigsby.

PRS have taken the very popular Semi-Hollow body and added a few cool features like a Bigsby tremolo and 3-ply black-white-black scratchplate, giving it a vintage charm. But it’s not only a pretty face and it was recently the winner of the Guitarist Choice award and when its in front of you in the flesh you can clearly see why.

The PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow with Bigsby is, in regard to its body, almost
identical to a standard Custom Semi-Hollow. However its Mahogany back is
hollowed out on the upper bass side and capped with a maple top that sports a very Rickenbacker-esque soundhole. This ‘Slash’ hole not only looks awesome but also gives the guitar greatly improved sustain. Although its semi-hollow construction isn’t actually that hollow it still produces noticeably lighter articulate tones.

Its Mahogany, glued in neck is set in the typical PRS wide-fat profile, which is very aptly named. This is probably the only love it or hate it feature of PRS guitars as it does take some getting used to, but it’s just a really nice, comfortable neck, if you’re into that sort of thing.

However many people aren’t, and it doesn’t really allow you the freedom, especially when shredding, like a flat neck does. Its jumbo frets are slightly lower than other USA models, which sit comfortably over the edge binding and are mirror polished very attractively. It has a 10-inch luxurious Rosewood fingerboard with the iconic bird inlays that feels so comfortable to hold and play.

The main difference between the PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow Bigsby and the
standard Semi-Hollow Custom is the USA made Bigsby Tremolo System. Bigsby’s
add a vintage look to any guitar and it is paired with a tune-o-matic bridge and PRS
top-locking tuners that maintain exceptional tuning stability.

The pickups are pretty typical with two PRS designed open-coil humbuckers, a master volume switch, master tone and a three way toggle selector to control them. The power is very much there, but in a subdued way as if waiting until called upon.

It was able to handle any Genre, certainly that I can play, except perhaps Metal where the neck might let you down. Unfortunately you can’t exchange the pickups for coil splits as none of the pickups have an extra-tap wire, which I wouldn’t do under normal circumstances but its well known Bigsby’s and single-coils go together perfectly.

Credit where it’s due the SE Custom with Bigsby ticks just about all of the boxes. It looks great, sounds awesome and is very well priced so it’s not very hard to see why it was voted Guitarist Choice. If you need any more convincing go and try one for yourself and you’ll see what all the hype is about.

Gibson Les Paul Studio 70s Tribute

This is a guest post by Steve Williams

The newly announced Gibson Les Paul Studio 70s Tribute joins two other 70’s tribute guitars in the Gibson range. Although when we think of Les Paul’s we don’t necessarily think of the 70s, as the guitars most revolutionary era was mainly in the 1950s, however the 70’s saw some of the most beautiful and recognisable guitars ever produced.

This particular Les Paul is based on the style of guitars from when Gibson was owned by Norlin industries, so that means the classic pared-back design and
completely new pickups; the 70s tribute is a very exciting guitar.

The most exciting feature of the Les Paul 70’s Tribute is the two mini humbuckers of a completely new design, which is a rare occurrence with Les Pauls. In fact in greatly resembles the Les Paul Deluxe from… yep you guessed it, the 70s.

These new pickups are based on the Alnico V magnet, but with a new piece configuration including dual steel blades.

The results are incredibly effective and actually produce higher output than other mini humbuckers, but as they are cheaper to produce they can be applied to more affordable guitars, making this one of the most inexpensive Gibson Les Pauls available.

The bridge pickup is wound for slightly higher output than the neck pickup. But despite all this it maintains its rich, vintage
tone with ringing chime and lots of sustain.

The Les Paul Studio 70s Tribute incorporates one of the most noticeable construction features from that decade of Les Pauls. The traditional Mahogany neck is swapped for a Maple one. Another of the guitars unique features is the introduction of the Volute.

This is a bump on the reverse side of the neck where the neck meets the headstock which is designed to reinforce the neck and improve sustain, this in coherence with the 17° headstock emphasises the temporal authenticity. The neck is then shaped to a SlimTaper profile and finished with a baked maple fingerboard and trapezoid inlays.

I think basing a Gibson Les Paul on a 70’s model was a brilliant idea as it’s such an underrated generation of guitars. Gibson have delivered with historical accuracy and that vintage feel yet maintaining modern aspects and continuing to look forward. It’s a truly brilliant guitar and it’s a Les Paul, so you know you’re getting guaranteed out and out quality. Plus for a US made Gibson LP its great value for money.

Its available in four finishes: Gold Top, Vintage Sunburst, Cherry and Silverburst and are available in a left handed equivalent.

Yamaha FG700s Review

yamaha-FG700S-acousticguitarAverage User Rating: style3_5

Welcome to my Yamaha FG700s Review, where I outline the pros and cons of this guitar and whether or not to consider it as your acoustic guitar.

I assume you've reached this page because you're looking to buy a new guitar either as a beginner or even as a more experienced player.

The Yamaha FG700S is an entry-level, six string acoustic guitar. The guitar has a natural wood color with a satin finish to create a beautiful looking instrument. It has a reasonably low price point to allow for first time guitar buyers to purchase an affordable instrument, yet still contains the high quality of construction synonymous with the Yamaha name.

For example you can get this guitar for under $200 with FREE shipping at Amazon here.

Let's look at some of the features of the Yamaha FG700s

The guitar features a spruce top and a rosewood fingerboard, as well as die cast tuners. A large tortoise shell pick guard protects the body from any scratches. While many inexpensive guitars can play poorly due to shoddy manufacturing, people say that the Yamaha FG700S retains a smooth action to allow the beginner to learn guitar with a well made instrument.

Pros

  • Professional quality design and materials
  • A good smooth action to stop your fingers hurting
  • A great beginners instrument

Cons

  • No cutaway for reaching very high notes
  • A plastic saddle which might effect sound quality

Some may find the cost of the guitar to be a con compared to the price of some other starter guitars, but the lack of quality in many cheaper guitars make spending a small amount more for quality worth it.

This guitar is designed for anyone who needs a well constructed acoustic guitar. While a beginner will appreciate the price point and ease of play, even a seasoned guitar player will be able to enjoy the fantastic sound and action of the instrument. This makes for a great first guitar, and also can serve as a good back-up guitar if one is accustomed to using a pricier model.

Check out this in-depth video review of the Yamaha FG700s

If you are someone in the market for an acoustic guitar, give this model a look. It is a well-made and good sounding instrument that will meet your needs admirably. While it doesn't contain the bells and whistles of pricier models, it will perform admirably in almost any situation that requires a full bodied acoustic guitar.

What are people saying about this guitar?

People who already own the guitar have given fairly glowing praise of the Yamaha FG700S. One man had previously had trouble with other acoustic guitars that had overly high and unresponsive action. This had caused undue pain on his fingers to the point where he considered abandoning guitar playing altogether. When he tried out Yamaha's acoustic guitar, he found the action to be much more comfortable to the point that it rekindled his attraction to guitar playing.

Another customer found that the sound of the guitar was very desirable. There was no buzzing or poor resonance, and the sound was big and clear. The only complaint he had was the quality of the plastic saddle, and recommended replacing it with an ivory one.

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