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The PRS P22 Electric Guitar
Classic electric tone has traditionally been delivered by way of magnetic guitar pick-ups, a la single coil and humbucker designs. For those electric players seeking acoustic quality when plugging in, choices have generally led to hollow and semi-hollow body axes. Now there’s another option. It’s the P22 solid body, furnished with an L.R. Baggs piezo pick-up, from PRS.
When it comes to building electric guitars, Paul Reed Smith, “PRS,” is a luthier with one foot in the characteristic past of great sounding instruments, while envisioning something completely modern. The company’s Mission Statement, accessed on its website, provides the details:
“Guitar building is an ongoing process of discovery. We are devoted to the guitar’s rich heritage while committed to new technologies that will enrich our products with uncompromised tone, playability and beauty. Our success depends on our ability to listen, implement positive change and continually refine our craft.”
Magnetic vs. Piezo
Distinctive electric guitar sound is often associated with the well-known single coil or humbucker type of pick-up. Both use small magnets to capture string vibrations. When a metal string is strummed or plucked, the magnetic field around the pick-up generates a signal, which travels to the amp.
In a piezo pick-up, which is usually found on an acoustic guitar, tiny synthetic crystals convert the mechanical energy of the string movement into an electrical signal. The piezo pick-up is less susceptible to feedback and hum but cannot produce the typical electric distortion everyone has come to know and love.
PRS has tackled the issue of acoustic versus electric by launching the P22 sold body, which merges the clean resonance of an L.R. Baggs piezo pick-up with the bite and grit of two 53/10 humbuckers, known for capturing vintage 1953 richness though manufactured in 2010.
Making use of an L.R. Baggs system on an electric guitar is not new for PRS, which is explained online:
“PRS and L.R. Baggs partnered more than a decade ago to design the piezo system found in PRS’s popular hollow body models. This new system retains the same circuit design as the original, giving the P22 the same tonal authenticity and real world practicality as PRS hollow body guitars.”
- Made in Maryland, the P22 displays the expertise for which PRS is recognized. From the 25″ scale length and 22 fret mahogany neck to the carved figured maple top and rosewood fingerboard, the overall message is quality.
- In addition to the L.R. Baggs piezo pick-up, located under an adjustable stop bar, is a pair of PRS’ 53/10 humbuckers, the first a treble, conventionally placed at the neck and the other a bass, positioned near the bridge.
- A five-way switch does the mixing and matching of the “L.R. Baggs/PRS Piezo System.”
- Available in the sleek PRS “V12” finish, the P22 is offered in a variety of colors.
Players can choose quilted maple for a top instead of flamed, gold hardware and East Indian rosewood for the neck.
Launches in 2012
The P22 is set to hit the streets in the first quarter of 2012, so retail prices haven’t been presented yet.
Acoustic precision and compelling electric versatility, mixed with PRS’ reputation for excellence, the P22 is a future classic available in the here and now. Since it’s a PRS, the next logical question is, “How much does it cost?”