Last year we asked Myles Kennedy about the T-style PRS guitar he'd been spotted playing during solo gigs and it emerged he was roadtesting it. His smile and "I have no idea what you're talking about" reply when we asked him if it was a signature model all but confirmed it. Now it's official; the Myles Kennedy signature PRS guitar is here. There's a video and everything.
Myles confirmed to us that "80%" of his electric guitar work on the latest Alter Bridge album Pawns & Kings was tracked with the model. While a signature model for the player who has been using PRS since 2007 is long overdue, a new shape is a bold step for both parties. Especially as the T-style will be familiar to Fender fans. The genesis for it dates back to Kennedy's second solo album, The Ides Of March.
"There are certain guitars in my collection had a very distinct sound so I reached out to the folks at PRS to say, 'Can you recreate something like this so I can have this when I go out and tour The Ides Of March?', Myles told us. "And they did a wonderful job but now I'm finding it works really well with Alter Bridge.
"It's turned out to be extremely versatile – I love it," he added. We had to ask Myles if the shape was something the Maryland guitar giant already had in the works. "I think they had ideas but this was something when it was checking a bunch of boxes I hoped they would check for me," replied Myles. "And they did a brilliant job. Even the neck dimensions; it feels just right."
The C-shape is described by Myles as being a "full profile without being a baseball bat." The new Narrow Field MK pickups are a far cry from his bandmate Tremonti's signature models too.
"To me, it has qualities of a single-coil or P-90," Myles told us. "But without all of the hum."
A push/pull in the tone pot allows players to "shave off" the top end to give more of a humbucker character, further highlighting the Swiss Army Nkife role the model has that has seen Kennedy's vintage guitars gathering dust since its arrival.
But the versatility of these pickups goes much further with the five-way switch; position 2 and four activate coil-splits, combine with the treble pickup roll-off that's active in positions 1-4, there's a lot of scope here and reflective of a player who covers a lot of tonal ground in his music.
The Kennedy signature nods to the Ides Of March concept with the geometric owl emblem just below the headstock. "In certain cultures it's synonymous with adaptability," Myles explains. "Which I thought was perfect for this guitar. Because this guitar is so versatile, it can adapt to any situation and it felt very appropriate."
While Myles's initial guitar from PRS was black, the production models include Antique White, Hunter Green, Tri-Color Sunburst and Vintage Natural options as well.
The 25.5" scale swamp ash model features a maple beck and fretboard with 10" radius and bird inlays. And there's more – a whole other T-style model has also being launched at the same time with the PRS NF 53.
This is essentially the non-signature version of the guitar. "Similar and very different," says Paul Reed Smith.
The NF 53 features a swamp ash body and Narrowfield DD (Deep Dish) pickups. It's inspired by Paul's 1953 Telecaster and the pickups here feature more winds and extra metal pieces in between compared to the MK models, for a "more focussed, powerful tone". So now could splitting or instant EQ cut here; it's essentially PRS's own take on a Tele, but humless.
“I am so pleased with the feedback from the artists who have played this guitar – everyone is telling us that we have something special here,” said Paul. “If you are a fan of this style and tone, the NF 53 will take you where you want to go. To me to have this kind of beautiful high end without the hum is game-changing.”
Here the pickup selector is a three-way selector and finishes are White Doghair, Blue Doghair, Blue Matteo and McCarty Tobacco Sunburst.
The PRS Myles Kennedy signature guitar and NF 53 are priced at $2,899.
More info at PRS Guitars