Readers of this blog will know how much I love PRS Guitars. And for the longest time I considered a PRS 513 my ideal guitar - in terms of combination of tones, features and looks. Yet Paul never sits idle for long and he has concocted his finest alchemy yet with some really smart switching options - that pretty much put the Modern Eagle V in a class of its own.
It comes with all the usual superior PRS Private Stock appointments you would expect - Mahogany body, Curly Maple ’10’ Top and Neck, Brazilian Rosewood Fretboard and Pegs and of course the finest of PRS smoked black hardware, open gear locking tuners etc. The pièce-de-résistance as mentioned is that super smart switching system which by my mathematics gives you 34 different mode switching options - per my below calculations at the end of Key Features.
I think it looks at its most amazing in its oceanic ripple Aquamarine flame colorway as featured here. I would so love to own this guitar - but I feel I don’t really deserve it - and besides - it’s a little beyond my budget at the moment at $10,300. We can only hope that this sort of switching potential appears lower down the range eventually. The two most significant additions here are the 500k/250k Volume pot switch, and the Humbucker push/pull activation on the Tone knob - which allows you to activate the 2 humbuckers regardless of where your 5-way switch is pointing. You can combine said switches with the 5-way and Coil Splits for 34 different combinations by my reckoning.
I and several others hope we get a bolt-on or S2 version with a similar feature-set!
If you want the ultimate in versatility, build-quality and tone, and you have 10 grand lying around spare - I would have thought this is something of a no-brainer. Only 120 of these will be made - and as its predecessors have shown - they will all be snapped up pretty soon. So you will need to get a message into your dealer quickly to reserve one for yourself.
For us mere mortals, we will have to wait for these features to hopefully trickle down the range - and that depends entirely on how generous Paul is feeling. I have criticised him before for not including locking-tuners on his SE guitars, even if only in upgrade component format which alas still doesn't exist - if he really genuinely cared about quality - he would have locking-tuners on every single one of his guitars! That is and remains my only criticism of Paul Reed Smith - whose guitars overall I find the most consistently high quality of anything out there - alongside MusicMan. Next in line I favour Ibanez and Schecter - those are my 4 favourite builders - I also really quite like Strandberg and Framus!
If I myself had the 10 grand, I don't feel I am yet worthy of such an instrument. My ideal pricing for guitars is usually no more than £2k - £2.5K really which I could push to £3.5K if I absolutely had to. I would find it pretty much impossible to justify a 10K investment in a single guitar, and I would worry about its safety each time it was out of its case. I sincerely hope that those who buy these buy them to play constantly - and have decent enough insurance and peace of mind to do that. I fear though that a large number of these will sit in someone's family vault as an heirloom - which only comes up for air once or twice a year and ends up foregoing the entire reason for why it was built.
I am largely a one-guitar kind of guy - who wants as tonally-versatile a guitar as possible - and then mixes things up with dozens, nay hundreds of different pedals! I will probably still remain vigilant for a decent lightly-used second-hand 513 at a good price, while my most likely next guitar acquisition is the Fender EOB Strat as featured recently on this blog!