PRS only made the Custom 22 Soapbar for a few years, and it's a shame. These are very difficult to find. In fact, PRS recently did a very limited Reissue run (I've seen the number set at 100 pieces) but this is one of the originals.

This is one of the finest-sounding models PRS has ever produced. A mahogany body, maple top, set neck, maple fretboard, three-soapbar pickup configuration, and five-way switch make this a perfect marriage of Les Paul beef and Stratocaster bite. Even better, the D-profile neck is the nicest neck PRS has ever produced. (I've owned over 50 PRS, and everyone who plays them loves the D neck above all others.)

This particular Custom 22 Soapbar is unusual. First, it's a "B" stock. Depending on circumstances, this means either the guitar was circulated by PRS for demo or endorsement purposes, or has a minor cosmetic flaw somewhere.

While not a "10", this top has some beautiful quilt, birdseye and curly grain. The color seems to be a very transparent version of scarlet red, although I have not yet found a definitive marking or color code inside the guitar, and there is no color notation on the hang tag.

The tuners are PRS factory, but appear to have been added post-production. It appears that the original tuners might have been Kluson-style, leading me to believe that this was an early Custom 22 Soapbar. Time showed that locking PRS tuners were a much better match for the trem, so perhaps this was upgraded by PRS somewhere along the way. I don't know the history of the guitar, so I can only guess.

In any event, it is a wonderful feeling and playing guitar with numerous unique and irresistable tones. Imagine a P-90 Les Paul with maple fretboard and a reliable trem ... or imagine a Strat with mahogany body, set neck, and P-90s. Those are tones to die for, and here is where you get them.

Despite some nicks and scratches, this guitar is in very solid condition. Everything is 100% original except for the PRS locking tuners, and I ssupect those were added on by PRS at some point. Buy this one, play it hard, take it out and gig it. It's not a case queen, and it shouldn't be. The tone is spectacular, it's clearly been played, and it should continue to be played.

Year Condition Color Case
2001 Very Good Red Original Hard


Flametop Guitars
Kevin Spangler
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