PRS SE Zach Myers
The newest PRS SE Zach Myers signature model is a complete overhaul of the previous PRS to bear his name. Where the first was a single-cut with three humbuckers, this version is a semi-hollow single-cut with dual humbuckers. A semi-hollowbody might not be the first guitar design you associate with heavier styles, but the Zach Myers is an extremely capable axe that can cover both a broad range of hard rock and music that falls well outside that genre.
If you’re a fan of PRS styling, it’s hard not to be taken aback by this instrument’s beauty. The Trampas Green flame-maple veneer top, single f-hole, vintage-inspired tuners with tulip-shaped tuning pegs, zebra pickups, mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboard with bird inlays all exude that distinctly PRS sense of bling that define the company’s more expensive handcrafted instruments. Two other finishes—Spalted Santana Yellow and Vintage Sunburst Quilt—will soon be available.
Even before I plugged it in, I was impressed by the guitar’s resonance and lively sound. Through the rhythm and lead channels of my Mesa/Boogie Mark IV, the SE245 low-to-medium output humbuckers delivered a vintage sound that’s excellent for hard rock rhythm and modern, drop-tuned metal riffs. And it was easy to coax a killer lead tone, rich with sustain, that made playing leads feel effortless.
One of the coolest things about the Zach Meyers is feeling and hearing how lively the chambered body is at high volume, and getting a sense for how that liveliness translates to a more expansive tone palette. Through my amp’s clean channel, the guitar could sound powerfully jangly with an almost acoustic-like airiness when I rolled its volume knob back a bit. To my surprise, feedback was not an issue.
The neck pickup generates warm and syrupy tones perfect for sludgy, low-down riffs. Better still, warmth doesn’t come at the expense of attack. Even with the tone knob backed all the way off, notes remained crisp and articulate. Pick response is excellent, and my sweep-picked arpeggios and alternate-picked sequences made notes pop like a machine gun.
The bridge humbucker has a slightly attenuated treble response not often associated with bridge pickups, and this translated into snappy single notes that didn’t sound brash. I found the bridge humbucker’s combination of fast response and warmth made it ideal for three-notes-per-string legato runs. Hammer-ons and pull-offs had a pronounced attack, which meant I could pick less (and less forcefully) and still generate articulate-sounding phrases.
The Zach Myers’ 22-fret, 24.5"-scale neck sports PRS’ wide-fat profile. If, like me, you’re coming from a world of thin-neck shred machines, a bigger neck profile might be a concern. Yet with its satin finish, this neck feels slimmer than it is, and this made everything from big chords to speedy licks feel natural.
The PRS SE Zach Myers is a well-realized and well-built instrument that, quite honestly, can stand toe-to-toe with semi-hollows that cost four times its price. But beyond its obvious hard-rock pedigree, it’s a very versatile instrument that can handle most any genre of music. In fact, the SE Zach Myers is a top-notch axe capable of so much that it almost seems criminally underpriced.