|Body And Neck:|
Brand new for 2018, PRS has released a handful of models into its renowned SE series. Today, it’s the A50E – part of this series – that caught our eye. This beauty is a midrange electro-acoustic that punches above its price tag, and has instantly been added to our chart of the best electro-acoustics on the market. Let’s take a closer look to find out why…
It’s not a cheap guitar, but then again it doesn’t seem that expensive when you consider the deluxe style on offer – the A50E is very high-end in terms of its design. Featuring a 25.3” scale length and PRS’s distinctive Angelus body, the A50E is peppered with some enchanting decoration such as the abalone purfling and soundhole rosette. This sparkly abalone is also used for the striking bird inlays running up the ebony fretboard.
But it’s not just a well-dressed guitar, as the fundamental materials are top quality. The top is made with solid Sitka spruce and features advanced hybrid X bracing, while figured maple makes up the back and sides. Mahogany is used for the neck, which is fat and wide, and great for fingerstyle playing. There’s a total of 20 frets, all simple to get to thanks to the cutaway in the body.
It’s easy to forget that the A50E is an electro-acoustic as there’s no external control panel messing up the beautiful wood. Instead, this guitar is fitted with an under-saddle pickup with a Fishman GT1 preamp mounted into the soundhole, offering easy access to the simple volume and tone controls. It’s not the most versatile of systems when it comes to EQ, but it wins applause for its low impact on the overall design and tone of the guitar.
Elsewhere, the A50E has an ebony bridge to match the fretboard, a good quality bone nut and saddle, and a hardshell case, which is essential for transport and storage of this beautiful electro-acoustic.
Acoustically, the A50E is a beauty in the tone department for both fingerstyle and strumming. The spruce and maple combine to give a bright, articulate tone with ample warmth, while the hybrid X bracing allows for enhanced vibration of the top, giving a huge projection. Through the Fishman system the amplified tone is organic and sweet, with enough in the form of onboard controls for quick tweaks – although the majority of EQ will have to be done via the amp.
We can’t talk about the look of A50E highly enough – it’s so elegant and sleek, you just can’t help pick it up for a strum every time you walk past. This beautiful guitar is matched by its wonderful tone, which sounds as good on stage as it does unplugged. For the sub-$1000 price tag, it proves a very good buy.