PRS expands its John Mayer signature SE Silver Sky lineup with new maple fretboard options and fresh finishes

PRS SE Silver Sky Maple
The new maple-‘boarded SE Silver Sky models are offered in Nylon Blue, Overland Gray and Summit Purple. (Image credit: PRS Guitars)

PRS Guitars has unveiled a refresh for its SE Silver Sky lineup, offering the more affordable version of its John Mayer signature guitar with a maple fretboard for the very first time, and switching up the finish options for the rosewood models.

The new maple-‘boarded SE Silver Sky models arrive in Nylon Blue, Overland Gray and Summit Purple. While the new rosewood models feature muted but classy Piano Black and Storm Gray finishes. These new finishes come with a sting in the tail for anyone who had been saving up for the Dragon Fruit or Ever Green models; these will be discontinued,so if you’ve been eyeing one up and you see one, grab it while you can.

There are no surprises here that these are all solid-colour finishes as per the lineup’s design logic. There are no surprises that the maple fingerboard options would come to the SE range. But that doesn’t make them any less of a big deal. Jack Higginbotham, chief operating officer, PRS Guitars, said Mayer was involved in developing the new colour finishes.

“Adding a maple fretboard option to the PRS SE Silver Sky lineup is an exciting expansion for this guitar,” said Higginbotham. “Players have always enjoyed having fretboard material options for tone, feel and looks. The buzz that the prototypes have created around the office has not been small. Having the opportunity to work with John on some new colours has been a bonus.”

The original PRS Silver Sky was one of the most talked about, most sought-after and most controversial electric guitar designs of this or any other century. That it was controversial at all speaks to the growth of culture culture in the internet era as much as it does the design. 

It's ironic that there might have been less controversy had it been a straight-up Strat-alike copy. Sure, the Silver Sky is a high-end electric guitar inspired by an early ‘60s vintage Fender Stratocaster, but PRS and Mayer put a unique spin on it. The tones, the build, the fit and finish and a host of sweet colour options have helped establish it over the years.

Besides the fretboard material and colour, all these SE Silver Skys share a similar build. They have solid poplar bodies, a bolt-on maple neck, 22 frets, a Strat-esque 25.5” scale, 8.5” radius fingerboards that split the difference between the 7.25” and 9.5” radii commonly used by Fender. 

All are equipped with a trio of 625 JM ’S’ single-coil pickup that are controlled by a single master volume and two tone pots. A five-way blade switch selects your sound. You’ll find synthetic bone nut at the nut, small bird inlays on the fingerboards, and a demo video of the maple-boarded SE Silver Sky below.

For more details, head over to PRS Guitars. You can read MusicRadar’s review of the PRS SE Silver Sky here, in which the biggest caveat was there were no maple fingerboard options yet. 

Looks like we’ll need to go in and edit that now…

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.