Gear Review: John Mayer and PRS SE Silver Sky
Grammy-winning artist John Mayer has partnered with Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Guitars since 2018 with his first model Silver Sky guitar. Mayer also partnered with the company on J-Mod 100 amplifiers with amp designer Doug Sewell.
Now the partnership has evolved into the all-new PRS SE Silver Sky. The American songwriter was fortunate enough to have access to one of these guitars for review. As you’ve read in some of our previous articles, PRS doesn’t just treat its SE Series instruments as a lesser division or target beginner or intermediate musicians. These instruments are aimed at professional musicians who have higher expectations of their guitars, which was very evident in the latest PRS SE Zach Myers model.
Having played the American-made Silver Sky guitar, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this SE edition. But, right out of the carry bag, the satin-finished handle felt comfortable in my hands. The SE version feels a bit heavier than the original, but it’s also built from poplar wood instead of alder, which would explain the weight difference. Like its predecessor, the SE Silver Sky is a bolt-on neck with 22 frets and a 25.5″ scale length. The contoured body with the beveled armrest makes this guitar very comfortable to play standing up or sitting down. it’s plugged into a good amplifier.The pickups are 635JM “S” and together with the dual tone controls and 5 way pickup selector, I was able to go from Jazz in the neck position, Rock in the middle position and Full on Country twang in the bridge position.
The guitar’s bridge is a PRS tremolo style with 2-point posts to pivot on and the tuners are vintage style with plastic but non-locking knobs. The visuals that separate the SE Silver Sky from other PRS models are the reverse headstock (which I love) and the neck plate engraved on the back with John Mayer’s model and signature. The guitar feels substantial and has a quality build when you hold and play it. Softened control knobs and a smooth 5-way selector add to that feel and functionality. Currently, the finishes offered are Ever Green, Dragon Fruit, Moon White (as reviewed), and Stone Blue. Like other PRS SE models, the SE Silver Sky comes with a well-built PRS gig bag to protect your investment.
Mayer and PRS did an amazing job on this SE model. My favorite features, after playing guitar, are the satin neck shape and feel and the tonal diversity with the pickups, and it sounds great too. The retail price is set at $849, which is a bargain for an instrument with this level of craftsmanship and tonal options. In 2022 the sky is the limit and I predict the new PRS SE Silver Sky will be in high demand, you may want to buy yours soon. Don’t let the SE designation convince you not to try this guitar. I think you will be as impressed as me.