NGD Vernon Reid Vela


New Member
Jan 3, 2023
Here's a fun one that I've been putting off for too long. That time has also helped me bond with this instrument and understand what it's got going on, what I like and what I dont.

It's a 2018 Vela Vernon Reid Sig in GOLD!!

I didn't know these existed until a few months ago; it was one of those things that when you see it you're instantly searching to see if any were available. There were none anywhere, so I waited. Oddly this one was on reverb, but it didn't come up if you were searching for the Vernon Reid guitar specifically, it only came up when I typed in PRS Vela Gold, reverb can be weird that way with what you're looking for being tucked away. Bought it instantly, from Ladkor guitars in Ukraine. It had been sitting in a box for 5 years, the black version sold instantly and this one did not.

It's a weird guitar. Vela foundation, all mahogany, 22 frets, dual HFS pickups, deep V neck, Floyd bridge. But it pops and is endlessly inviting to play.

The ideal guitar to me has 22 frets, a dive-only Floyd Rose with a D-tuna and that's what I've made this into. I put a mahogany block in to make the Floyd dive-only, added the gold D-tuna and my favorite tremolo arm in gold also which is made by RedBishop - Magik Arm which removes any play in the arm so the Floyd is very responsive, great upgrade for any Floyd 1000 or Ibanez bridge

I was worried about the deep V neck but in an interview Vernon said Paul shaped the neck himself and that brought me some comfort; it starts out at the headstock being quite a deep V then smooths out towards the body and actually is really nice and supportive of your playing, I usually like necks on the thinner side but it took no time to adjust to.

The Dual HFS pickups were an odd choice to spec for this guitar and need time put into tweaking the pickup and individual pole piece heights as well. Once you've done that though it's very rewarding. The Bridge position is like any other HFS and it's a great pickup, especially with the square bobbins. The neck pickup is really interesting and I credit this to the high output but when playing in the upper register under gain there is no flub like a Les Paul gets or other 22 fret guitars tend to get, it retains that flutey liquid quality but is also very tight. It took adjusting to get there but now it does what frankly few other neck pickups do.

Position 2 is just the slug coils of the bridge pickup and position 4 is the slug coils of the neck pickup so there's a volume drop which one needs a boost to compensate for then it works fine. In the future I will be turning the neck pickup around so the slugs are closer to the neck for the woodier single coil sound.

Final Thoughts - I'm thankful it sat in a box for years and the woods all had time to set in a safe environment. I have no experience outside of this with S2 but it could be a core guitar, it feels that alive and well made. Also pretty neat that it has core pickups and electronics, the pots and everything feel like what are on my core PRS and respond the same way so I would assume....? It's also got this REALLY thin finish where you can still see the mahogany wood grain under it, like I've bumped it on things by accident and it is quite a hard finish but yet so thinly applied, really cool, feels resonant. Once the pickups are adjusted it is so, so great like it's got that PRS sound underneath it all but seems to work with every style of playing with minimal tweaking of the amp now. For a PRS its an odd guitar, but for me it is perfection as I don't think there are many 22 fret PRS with Floyds, add on the sweet Vela shape, the gold and the fun pickguard and yeah.. I love it...



I doubt PRS will change up it's recipe any time soon as they seem to be doing great just as they are. I'd like to see more 'out there' guitars from them though. They have the talent and cool shapes to make it happen.
I think when they came out the price was a pretty big ask for an S2. They mostly all sold apparently but many at the time were like nah not paying that.
hey, congrats, and again thanks for support!
It's one of longterm selling guitars i EVER had. I even made video on our youtube channel about 5 guitars i sold tooooo long and this vela was one of them. 5 years! I'm happy this guitar find new good home! Black one was sold to Lviv here in few weeks, but this one was in stock really long.