PRS surprises by going vintage with its new SE Parlor acoustic guitars

Well we didn't see this one coming! The parlor acoustic guitar is an iconic shape that is instantly evocative of the delta blues and folk players of the 1930s, but we never thought we'd see PRS putting any out.

But here they are – and an affordable SE series, no less. And judging by these two videos, they are sounding impressive.

(Image credit: PRS Guitars)

The PRS SE Tonare P20 & P20E are parlor-sized acoustics built with hybrid X / Classical bracing, to allow freer vibration of the guitar's top.

The models feature all-mahogany construction (solid top, laminate back and sides) with the P20E featuring Fishman's GT1 pickup design that includes a soundhole mounted preamp.

“At a time when players might enjoy a new and unique tool for writing, home-recording, and getting lost in playing for hours without ending up with a sore strumming shoulder, we thought these guitars would make a good companion,” says Jack Higginbotham, PRS Guitars COO.  

(Image credit: PRS Guitars)

“This thing is absolutely ready to take on stage. The pickup sounds beautiful and natural. It’s just an all-purpose instrument,” adds PRS Artist Davy Knowles, who demos the guitar in the video below.

“I mean it’s a great guitar for keeping at the end of your couch and picking up on the sofa, and it’s super comfortable in that respect, but I think as an actual touring, gigging instrument – fantastic. 

"And, as a recording instrument, it’s beautiful. I’ve already used it on recordings of mine, and I was super pleased.”

The SE Parlors are available in three satin finishes with herringbone rosettes and accents.

Other features include ebony fretboard and bridge, bone nut and saddle, as well as PRS trademark bird inlays and headstock design. A gig bag is also included. 

A PRS SE Parlor acoustics come with a high-quality gig bag and are strung with 12-53 strings.

The best news of all? The prices; the P20 lists for $499 and the P20E with preamp $579

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Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.