Recommendations for Cleanest and Warmest PRS M, Both SE and Stevensville


New Member
Jul 1, 2023
Eastern Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay
I am contemplating my first PRS purchase and need some advice

Primarily a Strat SSS player, I am looking to add a clean, warm sounding humbucker guitar and have been nibbling on a 2018 S2 Singlecut Standard at my local shop. It is pristine and has a nice price. I would like some useful comments about whether this guitar will do the trick for me. It will be played through a Deluxe Reverb. I am mostly an R&B/old time R&R player. I rarely overdrive the guitar and for this purchase, I am chasing that old school round, buttery HB tone.

Have played the guitar in the shop through a Princeton amp and it sounds great to me but they have no other PRS in the shop to compare it to and I have limited experience with PRS, in general.

I can't really get a handle on the PRS #7 pickups that are in the guitar, although I read that they are hotter than PAFs.

On a related question, what is the thought here in general about the best PRS guitars for clean, round tone? I would be interested in recommendations for both American made and SE guitars. I recently played a Custom 24 SE at one of the big boxes through a Deluxe Reverb and liked it a lot but again, I feel limited because it is so hard to find American made PRS guitars alongside the Indonesian guitars so that I can A/B them. I am counting on the advice of people here who have broader experience.

Many thanks.
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IMO, you can't go wrong with a Hollowbody for a gorgeous clean but warm humbucker. Depending on your budget, the Core's are great but I'm a big fan of the SE's as well. The import 58/15-S pickups those come with sound great to my ears.

I have 3 Hollowbodys - a regular SE, a Piezo SE and a Piezo Core, if that tells you how much I like that guitar!
My guess is that an older McCarty or Singlecut with 57/08 pickups would get you there. It would definitely be clean, warm and old school. You would be looking at used guitars, though.

It appears to me that the current pickups (58/15 LT etc) are on the brighter side.
Many thanks for these replies. Please keep them coming.

I also have a Reverend Charger with wonderful sounding P 90s that give me a wide spectrum sound which approaches warm humbucker territory when properly EQ'd through my Fender amp. but those pickups break up very easily and they fall a little shy of the HB tone I am chasing. For electirc blues, I drive the Reverend through a Supro Delta King 12. It has a 6L6 power amp that I boost with a Keeley Katona. Cleantown lives in the Deluxe unadorned except for (usually on) Xotic EP Boost pedal. I will definitiely check out older American semi hollows and current production semi hollow SE's.

I am a charter member of the "I Wish I Had Never Sold That Guitar Club," and have never gotten over a 1980's ES 345 that I let get away from me. That tone is still in my head. Fooishly sold that guy for double what I had in it instead of the 4x+ that it is worth today. Focusing on a PRS now because I have been happier keeping everything at or near a Fender scale length, so even some PRS guitars will be out of bounds. I am new to PRS and still trying to develop a feel for them.

Thanks again for the nice and helpful comments.
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