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This article was originally published in issue #47
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The Mark Tremonti Custom features a bevelled maple top with a really nice flame and a mahogany body wood – the classic wood combination, of course.
Typical PRS quality SE construction
Fine Playability and sound quality
Only if owning a signature guitar bothers you
PRS has a revised range of its well priced SE models on offer for 2017. We've looked at the Custom 24 and 22 previously but the new Mark Tremonti is equally deserving of attention. We gave one to Sam Bell to see how it shreds.
The PRS SE series is now well established as a truly solid series of affordable PRS guitars. The build quality is consistent and the playability coupled with the great features makes these instruments some of the best you can buy in the lower/middle range price bracket for a quality guitar. In this review I am going to be looking at one of the company’s brand new releases for 2017, the latest incarnation of the SE Mark Tremonti Custom.
Let's first establish that this isn't the first Mark Tremonti model – nor even the first SE that has carried the name of the Alter Bridge and Creed star, but it is the brand new version, with a modified headstock and, most importantly, completely new pickups, Mark Tremonti 'S' types.
The Mark Tremonti Custom features a bevelled maple top with a really nice flame and a mahogany body wood – the classic wood combination, of course. This guitar is also available in a mean looking grey/black design keeping the flame theme, by the way. The 25 inch scale length offers 22 medium frets on a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. The neck is wide and thin, perfect to shred but also enough to grab onto for those crushing power chords with full harmonic resonance. The hardware is nickel with all PRS made hardware, including a PRS patented tremolo (whammy bar!) with a ‘trem-up’ route, meaning we can get some upward whammy bar action as well as downward, leaving us with a very excitable and expressive floating trem system that doesn’t get in the way of the picking hand or require lots of allen keys to set up!
The guitar is wired with two new Tremonti ‘S’ humbucking pickups which are controlled by the three way toggle pickup switch on the upper side of the guitar. These powerful and articulate pickups are controlled further by individual volume and tone for each one leaving you with the option of really playing with your sound on the fly. The bridge pickup is a snappy humbucker pickup with lots of articulation and upper middle range perfect for chunky rhythm work and the neck pickup is a lower output, round warm sounding humbucker perfect for soaring lead work or ethereal cleans.
Of course, beyond the lovely looks of this guitar and signature high quality build of the PRS SE series this guitar is incredibly playable. Right out of the box the action and intonation were set up perfectly and I was able to get shredding right away with no issue. The wide and thin neck is a characteristic of most of the PRS guitars in this range and it really enables you to get behind the fingerboard and stretch out whilst also giving you something to grab. The cut away gives you flawless access to the 22nd fret, the cut away angles out around the back so you can get behind the heel of the neck joint, at no point did I feel anything got in the way of my playing whilst journeying up and down the guitar's neck.
So who is this guitar suited for? Well. Despite having Mark Tremonti's name scrawled across the truss rod plate, this isn't a guitar only for Mark Tremonti fans – not in the least! It has tons of sustain and real ease of playability, making it a Rock machine at heart and one that would suit a very wide range of players. If you are also looking for a shred machine without the stereo-typical shred machine appearance of some rivals, this would be a perfect first call, especially if you are looking for a bit of class to your hard Rock edge! Oh, and did I mention that, at street prices, it is really well priced for a guitar of this class?