A review of the 2023 PRS Silver Sky

Revelation

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This is a review of a 2023 PRS Silver Sky American guitar. This guitar has the updated pickups which are a little hotter and a little more open sounding than the original. The frets are larger as well which help you slide into a note and not go past the fret you want to be on.

Turning Pegs: Many have said, the knobs are not very attractive which I agree with. I think the new T type guitars PRS just came out with, the tuning pegs look better. With that said, I will say that I actually prefer the tuning pegs on the Silver Sky over my 1982 American Fender Stratocaster. On that guitar, you have smaller tuners, which are all bunched together. The larger tuning pegs on the Silver Sky are easier to grab, they are not as slippery, and making subtle changes on the Silver Sky when tuning is really nice and easy. Having 3 tuning pegs on the top, and 3 on the bottom make it also easier to grab the correct tuning peg. The headstock also looks great which with its more modern angle, does not need trees on the headstock to keep the strings down.

Tremolo: There are two pluses about this tremolo. First is you can just pull in and out the bar which is nice and quick. The second plus is there is a screw on the bridge which will allow you to adjust how stiff you want the bar to be. So if you want it to drop down every time you let go of the whammy bar you can. If you want it to stay where you left it, you can have that option too.

Bridge: By not coming with a floating bridge, the PRS card inside the soft case tells you it helps your guitar to stay in tune better. With a floating bridge, the string has a higher chance of not going back exactly where it was. In addition, bending the strings on a floating bridge can be a little more difficult as your moving the bridge when bending.

Controls: The volume and tone knobs are looser than I am used to, but once I got used to them, getting swell effects with adjusting the volume knob is not an issue when playing live.

Locking tuners: This is another modern feature that I like a lot. It also helps the guitar to stay in tune. Changing strings is faster as well as you just pull your string all the way through and then tighten the screw down. Turn the turning peg until its in tune and cut off the excess string.

Pickups: They are not as bright as the Fender Professional II Stratocaster. So there is less of an ice pick with the Silver Sky. Having the ability to adjust the tone control on the back pickup is another plus. The Silver Sky pickups are a little more glassy sounding which I like as well. The middle and back pickup also sound really good. Compared to my 1982 Fender Stratocaster, the Fender has a fuller lower end sound. With the Silver Sky, the pickups have a more balanced sound with highs, mids, and lows. They seem a little quieter too.

Wood: This guitar comes with alder wood. I don't know as much about how Fender dries their wood, but I know with PRS, they have it down to a science and they make sure that the woods are properly dried before they build a guitar with it. This makes them lighter and resonate better.

Neck: Very comfortable to play. The radius is the 7.25 like my 1982 Fender Strat. So I have no issues, but I do admit, I prefer 9.5 radius on my Fender Tele Pro for leads. It just has a little more space on the neck. I am 6.0 in height. so perhaps with my size, this make me prefer the 9.5 radius. But I don't have any issue with playing lead solos on the Silver Sky neck. The larger frets on this newer Silver Sky model does help with staying in your lane. The older Silver Sky's and vintage Stratocaster's have the smaller frets which are fine, but I prefer the newer frets. The PRS has a satin finish which is easier to move around on vs a polished neck.

Block: I prefer the round block on the back of the neck/body connection better than the square block of the Fender. On the Fender when playing up the neck, your hand hits the square edge which is not as comfortable.

The colors of the PRS Silver Sky pop more because they are not sticking with traditional colors. I still love traditional colors but having the option of new colors is nice.

For the price of this guitar, PRS should provide a hardshell case. But for local gigs, a soft case is better. It is nice they provide the truss rod equipment and allen keys needed to adjust the guitar. The truss rod adjustment is on top where it should be.

Strings: Once I switch from the original PRS strings to DR Blues, the guitar tone changed. The nice glassy sound was gone and it now had a meatier sound. In addition, it was a little harder to bend the strings. Personally, I like the tone of the guitar better with the glassy sound it has with the PRS strings. I just ordered new PRS strings to replace the DR'S.

With a soft-shell case, I think the guitar is a little pricey especially when you compare it to a Fender Professional II, Elite or Vintage II Stratocaster as all come with a hard-shell case and they are at least $500 less. Some will argue if you get a Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster, it will cost over $4,200 so it all depends how you look at it. Based on my observations, reviews, and comments online, it appears the quality control is higher with PRS than Fender with the non-Custom Shop guitars.

I have compared this guitar to the Silver Sky SE side by side. They are both very good guitars, and there is nothing negative to say about the SE. However, if money is not an issue, I prefer the American Silver Sky for the following reasons.
1. Locking tuners
2. Pickups are more open and glassy sounding.
3. Alder wood vs poplar.
4. I like the neck feel better. Even though I like the 8.5 radius neck of the SE, the quality of the American neck and fret job I found a little better.
5. Better soft case.
6. The finish on the SE looks a little plastic looking vs the American version. Without comparing the two however, the SE finish looks fine.

With that being said, you can purchase a Silver Sky SE with a rosewood neck, and a 2nd Silver Sky with a maple neck and still pay less money than purchasing one American built Silver Sky. I also doubt you would notice a difference on a recording or someone playing live.
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My last comment has do to with all PRS guitars. Paul has in depth knowledge of guitars that gives me a confidence with purchasing their guitars. He had a relationship with Ted McCarty who used to be at Gibson. Paul knows how the frets used to be put on the Gibson's, what type of glue they used, what all the specs are. He knows how the pickups were wound, what type of wire, all the little details about making a Gibson that Ted shared with him. He used this knowledge to make a better guitar. When making the Silver Sky, he x-rayed the John Mayer Fender pickups and studied them. He has a piece of equipment with software that tells him all the details about a pickup that you need to know. He knows the 21 rules for tone. He said there are about 2 or 3 where most people are dead wrong. He knows all the little secrets of making a good guitar great. You feel his passion about guitars every time he speaks. A guitar that sustains 45 seconds is better than one that sustains 25 seconds. With all of his hard work, he and his team earned to be where the company is today. Leo Fender did not stay with Fender as long, and we all know about the CBS Fender guitars and what many thought about them. Paul and his team focus on making sure a guitar that was made on a Monday morning and one made on a Friday afternoon are as close to each other as they can. For that window of changes between guitars to be as small as they can. This does not mean every guitar is perfect, as when people are involved, sometimes things happen. But with PRS, they happen less often. They also have weekly meetings that include a discussion on what can we do better? Having this knowledge about the team at PRS, gives me the confidence of the little things you don't see behind the paint job, and that construction, parts, and what you don't see inside the guitar they have taken the greatest care to make. This makes me want to own PRS guitars and when owning them proud to play them. The other guitars I have sit in their case more as the PRS 594 and Silver Sky I own generally meet the needs of a session or live gig.
 
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Update on strings.

Bending: I put PRS Signature 10's on the guitar, and string bending is a little easier than the DR Blues strings but they still don't bend as easy as the original strings which had very little resistance.

Sound: The original strings also provided a glassier and slightly thinner sound. I assume PRS put 09's on the guitar originally even though the little card inside the gig bag said 10's. The 10's provide a little meatier sound over the 09's but still has a little more top end than the DR Strings. I clearly like the Signature strings better than the DR's for the Silver Sky. According to DR's web site, the nickel strings are warmer and the nickel plated strings are brighter. Just be aware that the PRS strings don't color code the balls of the strings like D'Addario and it would be challenging at a gig to make sure you your putting on the right string if one broke. Ernie Ball had the best idea with individual packaging for each string with the number of the string on the package. Some would say that they are wasting packaging material, however.
 
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I just read an interview in Guitarworld.com of Tora Dahle Aagard (Norwegian guitar player) who I was not too familiar with. She said something in the interview which resonated with me. Stop caring about what is cool and what is expected of you to use.

This is the reason why I stayed away from the Silver Sky for a while. You had so many Youtubers praising this guitar, comparing it to $10,000 and $20,000 Fender Strats and everyone was saying how great it was. I did not want to buy the guitar because of John Mayer or because it had a lot of attention on the internet. I have a 1982 Fender Stratocaster and I really did not want another Stratocaster type guitar. After several years of the Silver Sky being out, I decided to try the guitar. I was pleasantly surprised of the glassy sound, the non-ice pick back pickup, the comfortable neck, the tone control for the back pickup, locking tuners, and balanced tone. After spending weeks with it and comparing it my CBS Fender Stratocaster, I confirmed that the Silver Sky is as good as everyone said it was. I decided to keep the guitar not because of what others were saying, but because of the results I got from the guitar.

 
I just read an interview in Guitarworld.com of Tora Dahle Aagard (Norwegian guitar player) who I was not too familiar with. She said something in the interview which resonated with me. Stop caring about what is cool and what is expected of you to use.

This is the reason why I stayed away from the Silver Sky for a while. You had so many Youtubers praising this guitar, comparing it to $10,000 and $20,000 Fender Strats and everyone was saying how great it was. I did not want to buy the guitar because of John Mayer or because it had a lot of attention on the internet. I have a 1982 Fender Stratocaster and I really did not want another Stratocaster type guitar. After several years of the Silver Sky being out, I decided to try the guitar. I was pleasantly surprised of the glassy sound, the non-ice pick back pickup, the comfortable neck, the tone control for the back pickup, locking tuners, and balanced tone. After spending weeks with it and comparing it my CBS Fender Stratocaster, I confirmed that the Silver Sky is as good as everyone said it was. I decided to keep the guitar not because of what others were saying, but because of the results I got from the guitar.
I really love my pink one and am not planning on getting rid of my USA Strat either (since it's an HSS Strat... LOL!!! )
 
Update on strings.

Bending: I put PRS Signature 10's on the guitar, and string bending is a little easier than the DR Blues strings but they still don't bend as easy as the original strings which had very little resistance.
I believe that PRS puts their Signature .010s on the Silver Sky at the factory, as they do with most of their Core models (the DGT comes with .011s).

Possibly your dealer installed something else before you took delivery?
 
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