So PRS has come out with a “strat killer?” You may have seen the Paul Reed Smith 305 in magazines as of late, and snapped your head back to take a look.
First let’s take a step back and talk about the previous PRS “semi-strat” copy – the 513.
The image above is the PRS 513. Notice how it has “5” single coil pickups. They’ve stacked both the neck and bridge with 2 single coils so you can roll as a humbucker, or use the electronics to split it down to one. Pretty cool I guess, and if you’ve always wanted a PRS with single coil pickups – then voila, problem solved!
It must’ve been only an “ok” solution, because now we have the “305” by PRS. I’m going to show you the stock picture of it, and then the pic on their homepage with Buddy Guy playing one. As far as I can tell they had him play one at their “Paul Reed Smith Days” open house deal, but he’s not actually endorsing one. Like he’s gonna give up the bucks that Fender pays for his sig model strat anyway, LOL.
So the images above are the 305. That’s more like it, huh! I mean the 513 didn’t have the slant pickup – well, it just didn’t have standard “strat” setup – or the obligatory 5 position switch. Also – this is one of the ONLY maple neck PRS guitar that I have (personally) ever seen. They may have made them with the 513 as well. I have to admit – this thing looks stellar. Supposedly 513 means 5 pickups, 13 tone options. 305 means 3 pickups, 5 tone options. They are making it in some cool colors too – like Grandma Hannon Pick, Seafoam Green, and some cool metallics and smokebursts.
You get 22 frets on a 25 1/2″ scale, bird inlays, and a cool “no pickguard” look. You also get the high quality PRS hardware,like the trem and tuners. The question is – what do they play like? What do they sound like? Well, they play like butter of course! Some say the sound is a more warm Strat sound, almost like somebody merged a Les Paul and a Strat into one guitar! I think of it as more of a ballsy, bassy strat sound – which to some might defeat the purpose of getting a strat in the first place (removing the signature squawky single coil sound!).
So – let’s see if we can show you a little bit about how it sounds…here’s Davy Knowles with a video PRS 305 demo actually at Paul Reed Smith’s factory:
He says in the video “love that sound – it’s so big and chunky”. I think that says it all. Even for single coils, it has a big chunky warm round sound. Then I’m thinking – well maybe a lot of that is the amp….so I took a listen to this video demo done at a guitar shop in the UK on a “private stock” version of the 305 through a Matchless:
That’s through a 15 watt amp with no pedals or effects, just the sound of the Matchless Avalon amp and the 305 through it. That was a bit more of the single coil sound that I was looking for. In the last part of the demo they did a good job showing how much better you can do the pinch harmonics on this guitar than a normal strat (because of the better intonation).
Then I watched this video with Mike Seeber, he’s playing through a Mesa. He got much closer to the sounds I thought the 305 would generate, my “strat-like” than anything else I heard:
Probably the best example I have is this one. In this PRS 305 video demo you see him switch from the 305 to a strat, and then back. That’s where you can just see the 305 really just has a voice of it’s own. It’s “strat-like”, and that’s about the best you can say.
Oh wait – before you think you might have made up your mind about how it sounds – listen to Buddy Guy wailing on a PRS 305:
Incredible – isn’t it? I’m going to show you a couple different places you can get one…
This first place is American Musical. The PRS 305 can run you $2,200-2,300 depending on where you get. Of course you can put that on plastic, but at American Musical they have a killer 3 and 5 month payment plan. You can buy the axe – have it shipped to you now, and have it billed to your card in either 3 or 5 payments (I hate to say it, but just like QVC or HSN). Please note, even though the pic below has Rosewood fingerboard, you can usually get either Rosewood or hard rock maple.
Here’s the same thing over at Guitar Center. Difference in price is only $1. Although here you either gotta have enough of a limit on your Visa or MC – or a GC credit card for this bad boy (note the Maple fingerboard in the pic, although you can get maple or Rosewood here too usually):
Last (but surely not least) – they always have some PRS 305’s in auction on eBay – here’s some auctions there for 305’s that are live right now:
USD 28.48 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 315.77 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 343.28 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 318.94 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now