PRS Standard 22 Satin review

  • £1999
Paul Reed Smith's Standard 22 Satin (top)

MusicRadar Verdict

An extremely well built and highly playable guitar.


  • +

    Faultless build and function with added resonance. Great 'working man's' vibe.


  • -

    Not everyone will want to pay £2,000 for a 'plain Jane' guitar.

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Unlike the hybrid design features of the Soapbar the Standard Satin is identical to the High-Gloss models except for the finish and the birds-only inlays.

The 22 can be ordered with wide-thin or wide-fat (as here) neck profiles, and the profile here is slightly bigger in the hand than on the Soapbar.

The vintage mahogany finish again avoids being too flat in both texture and colouration and is less plain looking than a natural-finish mahogany. It has to be said that there's no room for error with this finish and the slightest scratch or abrasion mark would be highly evident.

The workmanship on all three guitars is precise and smooth, though, and shouldn't be confused with, we have to say, the almost brushed-on look of Gibson's satin Faded finish. The overall look is extremely classy.

The acoustic resonance of the guitar is enhanced by the vibrato fitted here and rather like a good acoustic it feels really alive.

PRS prides itself on thin finishes but this Satin is the thinnest of all. Sometimes a thicker finish can tone down an over crisp resonance but here resonance and detail are more than apparent.


The 22's neck feels a little more like wide-fat home than the Soapbar, and if a Custom 22 can just sound too pristine, this one sounds like it was built 40 years ago.

There's a dry, resonant character, and thanks to the big and fat sounding Dragon II's there's a real old vintage vibe.

The five-way selector, once you've figured it out, gives extra tones like the soft-edged inner single-coil mix that sounds very organic, and the inner-coils-in-series mix that's like a hot-rod Strat and is still one of this writer's favourite PRS tones.

There's not a bad sound here. The classic rock bridge and neck voices would get you through hundreds of gigs alone - the extra three single-coil mixes are a bonus.

Judging by the endless number of artists choosing decidedly un-posh old guitars to ply their craft these days, PRS's Satin Series seems well timed.


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