Gee, I have to review two Paul Reed Smith guitars today… I know – it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it. Today’s subjects are the top-end, USA-made Modern Eagle and the lower-end, Korean-built SE Soapbar II.
The Modern Eagle is top-of-the-line PRS all the way, much like the Private Stock line that’s been available for a while. If you read our PRS factory-tour article a few issues back, you learned how much emphasis Paul Smith puts on grading guitar tonewood. Suffice to say, the hard-maple top, mahogany body, and rosewood neck on the Modern Eagles are among the best pieces of tonewood PRS has to offer, which partially accounts for its formidable pricetag.
As for the specs, the guitar has a carved, maple “10” top and mahogany back. The neck and 22-fret fingerboard are separate pieces of Brazilian rosewood, the neck being highly figured itself. It has a 25″ scale and 10″ radius. The inlays are abalone birds, and there’s a wide-fat carve on the neck. The headstock has an overlay of Brazilian rosewood with a Modern Eagle inlay.
Hardware includes a pair of RP humbuckers, master volume and tone (the latter with push/pull coil tap), three-way pickup toggle and PRS’s new 14:1 Phase II locking-grommet tuners. Interestingly, there’s a blend of hardware finishes, most of which is gold, but the humbuckers have a brushed-nickel finish with gold screws and cr