The Eagle has landed...Now with PHOTOS!!!

markd21

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I got the ME setup and playing the way I like this afternoon. I played for 4 non-stop hours just jamming through a model of a Grammatico LeGrange. Without ever changing a knob on the amp I was able to nail pretty much every tone I would need on a session.

The volume and tone controls are typical PRS awesome. Obviously the switching provided me with most of my options...however, I want to talk about the 250/500K switch.

Yes, this is subtle. But, it is incredibly effective in providing nuance to your tone. I found that I was able to get creamier lead tones with the humbuckers in 250K mode. The single coil sounds are more authentic in 250K. With the switch in 500k, I was able to get an almost-Esquire grind on the treble pickup when split. The humbuckers had a lot more obvious snap in 500K.

The middle single coil rules. You can really hear the differences between the impedance switch on the single coil. In 250K it has a nice, fat circular sound that can carry the rhythm. Flipping to 500K gives a round presence to the pickup's tone. It snarls more.

I have to say - doing the review/demo video is going to be interesting. I think I'll just record me doing something like I did tonight. It really showed me what the guitar was capable of, and how I would use it in the studio.
 

JonH

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Mar 15, 2020
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Really enjoyed the video. And what an awesome ME V. But you’re killing me, man .... I’m desperately waiting for my Charcoal one to be shipped to me here in Australia!!
 

Michael Lee

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Feb 21, 2014
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Congrats! A very different experience for me with my ME V and the 250k/500k pot switcher - I must be going deaf because for the life of me, can't tell any difference in either position haha
 

markd21

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@Michael Lee I couldn't hear a difference either, at first. I was playing the guitar clean and was getting frustrated with how it seemed that switch made no difference. I switched "amps" to something a little more touch sensitive than the Twin Reverb I was using. I went to a Vox. Here is where I noticed that the pickups were too hot for my tastes. I could not get the type of dynamics that I liked. So, as I do with almost ALL PRS guitars, I started lowering the pickups. After half-an-hour of twiddling and flipping switches I found the balance that enabled me to have better touch dynamics, "work" the amp better, and hear a clearer difference in tones. But I was still struggling to hear what the 250/500K switch could do.

I know PRS well enough that they would not put a useless gadget on the guitar. It had to be about nuance. At this point I switched to the Grammatico - which is basically a '57 Tweed Deluxe...very touch sensitive, pickup reactive, and dynamic. However, it is not a subtle amp. I figured I'd give it a shot not expecting much in return.

I was wrong. Here is where the guitar came alive and that "gadget" became something I could hear. Again, it is a nuance, not a massive tone shifter. In some ways it reminds me a little of the "sweet switch" just not as pronounced. I heard the biggest difference with the 250/500K switch using the neck humbucker when the amp was saturated. BTW - I was not using any drives or other effects, only straight amp tone. In 250K the neck pickup was "rounder" and seemed to slightly smooth out the aggressive snarl of the raging preamp and power amp saturation. Again, not like using a compressor, just a very subtle tone shift. Flipping to 500K, the neck pickup became a little brasher and the amp sounded more like a monstrous fuzz box.

The middle pickup seemed easily affected by the 250/500K switch as well. It seemed the difference between an old 60's strat pickup (slightly muffled and smooth) vs. a spanking new strat pickup (bright and harder sounding).

The bridge pickup seemed the least affected by the 250/500K switch. I could tell better in split mode, but overall it was the most subtle of all the pickups. Interestingly enough, it is also the pickup that is closest to the strings.

With all the pickups engaged, I could not really tell that big of a difference - but, in all honesty, the Grammatico is really a one pickup at a time amp. It gets too mushy when using multiple pickups. I'll experiment again with a "tighter" amp. I am thinking a Hi-Watt or a JCM800 - something that has enough headroom to handle the tone of multiple pickups.

Anyway, that is how I did it. I will admit it's probably going to be REALLY hard to be convincing with that switch on video. It is a subtlety that almost seems like you are imagining it - but it's there. Make sense?? Lol.
 

bodia

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I got the ME setup and playing the way I like this afternoon. I played for 4 non-stop hours just jamming through a model of a Grammatico LeGrange. Without ever changing a knob on the amp I was able to nail pretty much every tone I would need on a session.

The volume and tone controls are typical PRS awesome. Obviously the switching provided me with most of my options...however, I want to talk about the 250/500K switch.

Yes, this is subtle. But, it is incredibly effective in providing nuance to your tone. I found that I was able to get creamier lead tones with the humbuckers in 250K mode. The single coil sounds are more authentic in 250K. With the switch in 500k, I was able to get an almost-Esquire grind on the treble pickup when split. The humbuckers had a lot more obvious snap in 500K.

The middle single coil rules. You can really hear the differences between the impedance switch on the single coil. In 250K it has a nice, fat circular sound that can carry the rhythm. Flipping to 500K gives a round presence to the pickup's tone. It snarls more.

I have to say - doing the review/demo video is going to be interesting. I think I'll just record me doing something like I did tonight. It really showed me what the guitar was capable of, and how I would use it in the studio.
So, you like it? :D
 

markd21

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@bodia YES!!! I really like everything about it. What I was hoping for was a 25" set-neck Brent Mason. I got it. The 250/500K switch is a bonus. While there are tiny cosmetic things that I prefer - the abalone birds with MOP outlines - none of those things really matter because the guitar does what I want it to do. It gives me the ability to access nice single coil and humbucking tones while still maintain my sound, the ability to play comfortably and look bad-ass while I do it (LOL).

I was telling Katie (new girlfriend/fiancé once the divorce goes through) last night, on the phone (she had to stay home so I could bond with my other girl), that in reality I only "need" four more PRS' to give back what I had as far as session tools. I could do EVERY session with the ME V, but to give me the right attitude for certain tones, the following guitars would be great to have in the studio closet again:

Vela
CE24 SH
2017-spec 594
Hollowbody II Piezo

The ME V replaces, for me, the need to have all the following:

DGT
Paul's Guitar
Brent Mason
Custom 22 (though I would like a mid 2000s spec with DIIs again one day)

I still have a P22 and the SC245 1957/2008. The P22 will probably go at some point because I rarely play it. I think moving to an HB II Piezo is a better move at this point.

But, yeah, the Modern Eagle V is everything I was hoping for. Those of you that "know" me will realize that I am really picky and often hate my guitars at first - I usually have to warm up to what they can do. I was very nervous that I would be let down by the ME V - much like I was when I got that first Boogie MK IV back in 1991 - I built it up so much in my head that there was "no way" it could live up to it. Well, the Boogie disappointed me. The Modern Eagle V didn't.

It's the bee's knees!!!
 

bodia

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@bodia YES!!! I really like everything about it. What I was hoping for was a 25" set-neck Brent Mason. I got it. The 250/500K switch is a bonus. While there are tiny cosmetic things that I prefer - the abalone birds with MOP outlines - none of those things really matter because the guitar does what I want it to do. It gives me the ability to access nice single coil and humbucking tones while still maintain my sound, the ability to play comfortably and look bad-ass while I do it (LOL).

I was telling Katie (new girlfriend/fiancé once the divorce goes through) last night, on the phone (she had to stay home so I could bond with my other girl), that in reality I only "need" four more PRS' to give back what I had as far as session tools. I could do EVERY session with the ME V, but to give me the right attitude for certain tones, the following guitars would be great to have in the studio closet again:

Vela
CE24 SH
2017-spec 594
Hollowbody II Piezo

The ME V replaces, for me, the need to have all the following:

DGT
Paul's Guitar
Brent Mason
Custom 22 (though I would like a mid 2000s spec with DIIs again one day)

I still have a P22 and the SC245 1957/2008. The P22 will probably go at some point because I rarely play it. I think moving to an HB II Piezo is a better move at this point.

But, yeah, the Modern Eagle V is everything I was hoping for. Those of you that "know" me will realize that I am really picky and often hate my guitars at first - I usually have to warm up to what they can do. I was very nervous that I would be let down by the ME V - much like I was when I got that first Boogie MK IV back in 1991 - I built it up so much in my head that there was "no way" it could live up to it. Well, the Boogie disappointed me. The Modern Eagle V didn't.

It's the bee's knees!!!
Aw, hell yeah, that's what I like to hear!!!

First, congrats on the fiance! Great news!

The ME V is such a rad guitar. I am not surprised by your initial impressions. It certainly ups the badassery quotient! I like mine so much I may move my 509, SHH, and 2018 Exp Ltd Paul's. The ME V makes these three redundant, for sure.

As for your wish list, take it from a guy that owned four 2017/2018 594s.....you want a 2020 model. Those first four were awesome, but something about the 2020 is awesomer. I don't know if it is the nitro finish or the TCI pickups, but there is something a smidge "better" with the 2020 version.
 

markd21

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Aw, hell yeah, that's what I like to hear!!!

First, congrats on the fiance! Great news!

The ME V is such a rad guitar. I am not surprised by your initial impressions. It certainly ups the badassery quotient! I like mine so much I may move my 509, SHH, and 2018 Exp Ltd Paul's. The ME V makes these three redundant, for sure.

As for your wish list, take it from a guy that owned four 2017/2018 594s.....you want a 2020 model. Those first four were awesome, but something about the 2020 is awesomer. I don't know if it is the nitro finish or the TCI pickups, but there is something a smidge "better" with the 2020 version.

Right on!!!

Thanks, man. Katie is a great girl. She's very "basic" - and I mean that in a good way. She's a mountain girl from TN, and life is very simple for her. She sings like an angel too. We're working on a cover of Iron Maiden's "Strange World" to get her used to recording and having more confidence in her range. She sings in church every week, but we have talked about doing, at least an EP of originals, but also starting a band. She's excited, but just needs to boost her confidence - her words not mine.

I totally agree. The ME V makes a lot of guitars redundant. I am surprised to hear you say that about the SHH, though. I thought that was your favorite!!

As far as the 594, does the 2020 still have the LT pickups? I'll try out a 2020, but from a "color" standpoint, it was really the LT pickups that created the magic with that guitar. The way it sat in a mix and the different way it handled drive and volume interactions made it a special guitar.....

I know we briefly talked about it, but what do you recall as the difference between the other 594s and the 2020 - I know you say a smidge better, and that you can't pinpoint it, but tonally....what do you say?
 

bodia

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Right on!!!

Thanks, man. Katie is a great girl. She's very "basic" - and I mean that in a good way. She's a mountain girl from TN, and life is very simple for her. She sings like an angel too. We're working on a cover of Iron Maiden's "Strange World" to get her used to recording and having more confidence in her range. She sings in church every week, but we have talked about doing, at least an EP of originals, but also starting a band. She's excited, but just needs to boost her confidence - her words not mine.

I totally agree. The ME V makes a lot of guitars redundant. I am surprised to hear you say that about the SHH, though. I thought that was your favorite!!

As far as the 594, does the 2020 still have the LT pickups? I'll try out a 2020, but from a "color" standpoint, it was really the LT pickups that created the magic with that guitar. The way it sat in a mix and the different way it handled drive and volume interactions made it a special guitar.....

I know we briefly talked about it, but what do you recall as the difference between the other 594s and the 2020 - I know you say a smidge better, and that you can't pinpoint it, but tonally....what do you say?
That's so cool about your girl! Happy for you, dude.

With respect to the 2020 594s; yes, they still have the LT pickups, just with the TCI treatment. I don't know if it's the nitro or the TCI, but there is just something "different" about them. I'm really bad at this stuff, but I'll cut/paste some thoughts from MA Pete. First, realize his Holy Grail guitar, after lots of PRS and other brands, is his 2016 PRS SC 594 Prototype. He is on record stating that the 2020 Core SC 594 are just as good as that Holy Grail. From a confirmed tone cork sniffer, that says a lot. Here's something from Pete:

In the coming days, this guitar blew my mind! It validated some really important things about the new 2020 models. First and foremost, the tone and feel of these 2020s (at least THIS ONE so far, more to follow) was 90-95% as good as a Private Stock 594. That was not at all the case for the many V12-finished 594s I owned in 2016 and 2017. They were all on average really fantastic, but none really held a candle to the Private Stock ones, for me. I really love everything about the PRS Nitro finish, both in feel, and also re my opinion on how it positively affects the resonance and tone of guitar, so I am biased in that regard. (Having owned a pretty broad range of Core, WL and PS guitars over the past 12 years, over 100 of them, I feel pretty qualified to weigh in with an opinion on that.)

Also, the TCI pickups are the "Real Deal", and also these new 5815 LT+ pickups specially wound for the SCs are amazing. (I will go more into the pickups on a subsequent post.)

I have come to really love the tuners, everything about them - well, except that they aren't locking tuners.
1f609.png
I dislike restringing a guitar with vintage tuners as much as the next guy, but these tuners just look so "right" to me on the 594s, so much so that the Phase III tuners now look "wrong" to me. Also, they look and feel high quality IMO, despite being some sort of plastic. They are more solid mechanically in feel than the Phase IIIs. Significantly more so. If I were to spec a Private Stock 594, there is no question in my mind that I would spec it with these versus the Phase IIIs.

When some of the Chicago crew came over on Feb 15, we did an A/B of the 2016 and 2020 Prototypes, and the gang unanimously declared the 2016 one bested the 2020 one re Classic Singlecut tone, at least by a little. I think it is pretty close. Over time, I have come to like the 2020 one a little more, it certainly gets played more. The 2016 one is a keeper for sure, it is so special in what it is, but what an awesome discovery with regards to the magic of this first 2020, that it can be considered pretty much as good as the 2016 Prototype is amazing!



Finally, if you haven't seen this video yet, check it out.

 
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