Riddle me this, riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big, black bat? Apparently, not me! I finally have a PRS all to myself and I named her Fanihi. I’ve been looking at PRS guitars since my wife and sister-in-law purchased a PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow body for themselves. While I was tempted to do the same, it isn’t the guitar for me.
The other day I voyaged into my favorite Guitar Center and by some crazy random happenstance I came across a PRS SE Paul Allender at a price I couldn’t refuse. For years, I’ve been watching the Paul Allender series and I’m glad I waited for this one.
First of all, why did I name her Fanihi? One of the main things you’ll notice about this guitar are the bat inlays. PRS usually has bird inlays while other guitar makers have a circle or a square. This guitar has 7 bat inlays. Fanihi is the Chamorro (native language of Guam) for fruit bat. Naming her “Fanihi” seemed like a logical choice. I also had to get the scarlet red burst.
Back to the guitar, this is the first PRS guitar that I’ve seen without PRS pickups. Well, after doing more research, it looks like they are loading more of the SE series with EMG pickups. The soap bars also threw me off too. This was a change from the original with humbuckers. I had to try it out. I was absolutely floored (I think I started drooling or crying or both)! The tone was amazing and just like the Custom Semi-Hollow it has several voices and acts differently depending on how you hit the strings.
I tried a couple of settings by playing with tone and switching pickups and I heard nothing but amazing results. This guitar is definitely better than its purple predecessors.
Here are the specifications:
Back Wood: Mahogany
Top Wood: Flamed Maple Veneer
Number of Frets: 24
Scale Length: 25″
Neck Wood: Maple
Fretboard Wood: Ebony
Neck Shape: Wide Thin
Inlays: Paul Allender Bat Inlays
Bridge: PRS Designed Tremolo
Tuners: PRS Designed Tuners
Hardware Type: Chrome
Treble Pickup: EMG 89
Bass Pickup: EMG 81TW
Oh, it gets better. Just when I thought I geeked out the look, feel, and sound, I discovered the push/pull volume and tone knobs. What do they do? So far, magic. I haven’t figured out the volume portion but my guess so far is balancing the pickup volume. But here’s where the magic comes into play. When you pull the tone knob, you can easily make the guitar sound like it’s using a single humbucker…and these are soap bars! Push/pull knobs rock! This sweet feature makes this under $1,000 guitar and turns it into a $3,500 guitar.
Had to add more comments…turns out that the volume push/pull seems like a volume boost. I’m still tinkering with the push/pull tone. Oh yeah, I plugged it into my pedal board…oh yeah.
As for more technical notes, I can see dents in the strings from the jumbo frets. This is my first guitar with jumbo frets so I need to take into consideration a couple of things.
1. Don’t need to press down too hard.
2. I might have to replace the strings more often.
3. The note will stick if played lightly but then when you press down, it changes pitch.
This is such a fun guitar…my basses are getting jealous on the play time.
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Forgot to mention that the action is high if you’re used to playing a strat or tele.