The Standard uses a five-ply mahogany that you can see at the edges of the unbound f-holes. Guitar World is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. The original feels a hollowbody crammed into a solidbody size, which of course it is. © These days, it’s a modern classic of sorts, and a familiar part of the PRS family. They play exceptionally well straight from the case. Celebrating its 35th year in production, PRS has launched a slew of new electric guitars, with the SE Hollowbody Standard and the Hollowbody II reinterpreting one of the company's most-loved designs for its more affordable SE line. First Look: Hughes & Kettner Spirit Nano Series. Receive news and offers from our other brands? The PRS S2 Vela is more than just an American-made PRS, it’s a really unique guitar that definitely appeals to those with non-traditional tastes. There’s no mention of the new TCI ‘tuned’ system as featured on the SE Paul’s Guitar and SE Santana Singlecut Tremolo. Tested through a 50-watt Friedman Small Box head and 2x12 cab, as well as a Fractal Axe-Fx III into studio monitors, the SE Hollowbody Standard delivered very upscale performance for its mid-scale price, and totally impressed me from the first strum. The fine-playing setup made it easy to dive into any style with confidence. As with the US-built Hollowbody models, there will be feedback at high gain and higher volume levels – especially if you are on a crowded stage and stationed close to your amp. Bath Note: the McCarty name is now used only on the 594 Hollowbody II. The new SE versions we have in for review, however, are something of a more classic hollow or semi-acoustic guitar design. A little roomier, the Standard has a slightly louder, more fundamental voice, while the II has a little more snap to the response. It was also a winner. Vintage 25th Anniversary Series V75-SVB, V6H-SVB & V100-SVB review, What you need to know about Gibson 'Dreadnought' Jumbos. As for the block, which is visible through the f-holes, it is quite clearly a separate piece of wood that looks very much like maple. While the original 20-something-year-old designs are still available in PRS’s USA Core range, these SE models are effectively a complete redesign. The Verdict The upsized design might seem subtle on paper, but it’s surprisingly noticeable. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? It has been a long time coming but here we have two classy PRS Hollowbodies in the more affordable SE range. Among major guitar brands that build affordable lines overseas, PRS has always stood out for its reliably high-quality SE Series. The Vela – also the Latin word for a ship’s sails, the Spanish word for wakefulness and the name of a constellation in the southern sky – is the latest addition to the S2 family. Scale length is 25" and the neck has a wide-fat profile and a 1 11/16" width at the nut. The full-width neck forms the heel and this slots in nicely under the neck pickup cavity. A few months back I reviewed the S2 Mira Semi-Hollow. Bird inlays are not to everyone's tastes. These SEs are unusual for laminated hollowbodies in that there is no top bracing, but they do feature additional block support – approximately 22mm thick – under the top between the aforementioned bridge block and the end of the neck. That said, the revised SE outline is still a long way off ES-335 proportions, where you have a 406mm (16-inch) wide body. The standard PRS headstock outline, only bigger! There was less squeal than with the USA Hollowbody Spruce. Here we have Asian-made ‘S’ versions of the covered PRS 58/15 humbuckers. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. There are no coil-splits as we see on many PRS guitars. And on more than one occasion, it left me wondering why I would ever spend more on a gigging guitar. Diehard fans of the original Hollowbody might not care to admit it but, in our mind, the SE version feels better. In a head to head comparison with the USA model, the SE’s body looks noticeably bigger at 356mm by 464mm (14 by 18.25 inches) – the original measures 330mm by 451mm (13 by 17.75 inches). Although high-end, U.S.-made PRS models are occasionally critiqued (often by those who haven’t played them) as “too precise” or “too clean,” I found this very precisely, cleanly made SE full of personality and completely inspiring. The back and top are 5-ply mahogany (the SE Hollowbody II has a flame-maple top), and the guitar is entirely hollow, save for the maple block that connects the back and top and serves to anchor the bridge. It’s honestly just a blast to play. The result is a marvelously light guitar of around 6.5 pounds. I dig the 58/15 “S” humbuckers (which read 7.74k ohms in the neck and 8.46k ohms in the bridge). It is always difficult to determine how much of an issue this is, but both the SE Hollowbodies seemed more comfortable at high volume. The humbuckers here are simply controlled by a three-way toggle selector, master volume and tone. Privacy Policy | PRS’s proven ability to bring top quality design to functional reality at a fair price is embodied in the SE Hollowbody Standard. Terms Of Use. The Private Stock bridge, for instance, is used on both the SE and Core versions of Paul’s Guitar, and here we have the adjustable Stoptail bridge from an S2 or Core model. It’s more than just a new body shape for PRS—the Vela also boasts a host of new sounds. You will receive a verification email shortly. (There’s no coil splitting on this model.) The biggest neck profile offered by PRS, the Wide Fat neck is now called the Pattern profile on the USA Core models. The back and top are 5-ply mahogany (the SE Hollowbody II has a flame-maple top), and the guitar is entirely hollow, save for the maple block that connects the back and top and serves to anchor the bridge. The SEs have a bound headstock, matching the fingerboard and the body’s top and back edges, and there appears to be a striped ebony or possibly rosewood facing. We are seeing an uptick in proprietary parts being deployed across PRS’s three ranges. And the SE Hollowbodies illustrate are indicative of a wider trend in which the SEs are finding their own niche and are all the better for it. All Rights Reserved The guitar is built around familiar PRS specs. The USA Hollowbody and all-mahogany Singlecut Hollowbody sound a little more acoustic-like, yet these SE models are a little more damped, more akin to a semi-hollow build but noticeably more hollow-sounding than a centre-blocked semi. It has a vintage Gibson-esque girth in the upper positions only with less depth and a subtle V in the lower positions. Paul Reed Smith chases the offset crowd with an expressive and dynamic solidbody. It might be surprising to learn that these models were made in China, but there is no question surrounding the build quality. We adjusted the pickup heights on the Standard because the bridge pickup was too low for our liking, but, really, that’s a matter of taste and a two-second fix. Fret ends sit over the binding and we have the typical 245mm (10-inch) cambered fingerboard – noticeably striped on the Standard, not to much on the II. More on that later...). Sign up below to get the latest from Guitarist, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox! In-Flight Entertainment Both SE Holllowbody guitars employ an ebony fingerboard – quite a rarity in PRS’s history, although commonplace in the archtop world.