NAMM News: Paul Reed Smith SE Mike Åkerfeldt signature guitar

I know NAMM is now well and truly over, but another announcement that got me really excited was the long-awaited PRS SE Mike Åkerfeldt signature guitar. The Opeth frontman has been playing PRS guitars for quite some time now, and I think it is only appropriate that he gets his own signature model.

From the moment I first heard Opeth I was in love with the tone that Åkerfeldt has had. No over the top buzz-saw death metal tone, just beautiful, and at the same time deadly tone with great dynamics. I’m sure the PRS guitars he’s been playing over the years have contributed to that greatly.

The specifications of this guitar are pretty tasty (taken from PRS Guitars site):

Body Wood Mahogany
Top Wood Maple with Flame Maple Veneer and Opeth “O” Logo
Number of Frets 24 Jumbo Frets
Scale Length 25″
Neck Wood Maple
Fretboard Wood Ebony
Neck Shape Wide Fat
Fretboard Inlays Original PRS Birds
Bridge PRS Designed Tremolo
Tuners PRS Designed Tuners
Truss Rod Cover PRS
Hardware Type Gold
Treble Pickup SE HFS Treble Humbucker
Bass Pickup SE Vintage Bass Humbucker
Pickup Switching Volume and Tone Control with 3-Way Toggle Pickup Selector

I love the colour and the flame maple veneer, and the gold hardware looks very classy. Some might be turned off by the Opeth “O” logo on the body, but I think it sits quite nicely with the rest of the guitar.

I would have preferred the guitar come with the wide-thin neck shape, but that’s just me. The wide-fat is still a very nice neck to play on.

Now some may be concerned by the fact that these are not built in the US, but I’ve played a number of the SE series guitars, and the quality and tone has always impressed me. I’ll be curious to see how much they are when they arrive in Australia. I hope they will be not too much more expensive than the regular SE lines.

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