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.
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