PRS P22 Tremolo Review

PRS P22 Tremolo Review

Thank you for checking out my PRS P22 Tremolo review. This is obviously not the first review of the PRS P22 ever made. For this reason I will leave most of the ramblings about technical specifications to the other reviewers and get straight to the points about what I really like about this guitar.


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Tremolo Bridge with Piezo

Having a piezo pickup in a tremolo guitar is in my book simply awesome. I like floating tremolos because I believe that it helps me with bending and vibrato. With the PRS P22 Tremolo I can have the piezo sound with my favourite electric guitar tremolo bridge. The PRS/LR Baggs designed piezo pickup has a separate jack output for routing into an acoustic amp or it can be mixed using the blend control knob into the magnetic pickup sound which is output via a separate jack. This allows for many different and interesting setups. As an example, I like to route the acoustic sound into a Loop Station to lay down a backing track and then switch to the magnetic pickups to play lead on top.   

Obviously the piezo pickup does not make the P22 Tremolo sound like a full fetched acoustic guitar. This is hardly possible with 0.010” gauge nickel plated steel strings. The results however is close enough for most applications and it could even become a special signature sound. The uncovered 57/08 pickups sound full and warm. I really like that they are very responsive to pinch harmonics and the natural harmonics sound great too.

The combination of the piezo and the magnetic pickups allows for gradually blending of the sounds giving the PRS P22 Tremolo another tonal dimension altogether.

The magnetic pickups are controlled via the 5 way blade selector. Here is an overview of the sounds related to the individual blade positions.

Position 1: (up) Neck Humbucker
Position 2: Neck Singlecoil with Bridge Singlecoil
Position 3: Bridge and Neck Humbuckers
Position 4: Bridge Humbucker with Neck Singlecoil
Position 5: (down) Bridge Humbucker

More info is available here.

Great Looks

I have always been a sucker for beautiful guitar shapes. The PRS carved bodies with their brilliant colours and the figured maple tops are overall simply stunning in my book. This PRS P22 Tremolo with the V12 Makena Blue finish is no exception. The ten top changes colour depending on the light, the flamed maple wood grain gives it an almost three dimensional effect and the pink heart abalone birds are oozing class. I also like the fact that PRS have come up with their own style of knobs, pickup surrounds and pickups bobbins giving the guitar an identity that can hold its own against many niche luthier custom built guitars still sporting middle of the road control knobs.


Playability and Handling

The PRS P22 Tremolo comes with a Pattern Regular neck. When I first got the guitar about 12 months ago I felt the neck to be too chunky. I have since changed my view to the opposite. While I do not believe that my hand has grown larger to adjust to playing the pretty fat neck I can safely say that I have become a much better player during the time that I have had this guitar. Skill can be bought to some extent!As such I am a strong believer that skill can be bought to some extent. Having the best guitar that you can afford will make you a better player for many reasons that should probably be explored in another blog post.

Now the neck of the PRS P22 Tremolo feels very comfortable and much less tiring. It seems as if the back of the neck gives my hand the exact amount of support needed. This brings me to the rosewood fingerboard and the frets. I never liked fingerboards without a binding and I never liked frets that had a jumbo width. Again, the PRS P22 Tremolo made it work for me. The 10” fingerboard perfectly complements the medium jumbo fret wire and allows clean, controlled and effortless bending along the frets.


High Quality Instrument

Another thing that I truly like about this guitar is its weight and the balance of that weight. Well balanced for both standing and sitting positionsWhen I first got the guitar I was quite surprised that it felt heavier than I expected it to be. When you hold it in your hands you immediately notice that it is a substantial instrument and it radiates quality. The finish is perfect, that hardware looks great and works and the guitar is beautifully balanced for both standing and sitting positions.

There is one little thing that does not entirely match the high quality of this guitar and that is the battery compartment for the piezo pickup. It is located next to the jack outputs and consists of a battery holder with a head plate made from rather brittle looking and feeling plastic that does not seem to be able to last the lifetime of the guitar. Then again, luckily the battery does not need to be replaced that often.

Overall, I have to say that I really like the PRS P22 Tremolo. It is a guitar that made me a better player and I am sure it has not finished its job just yet. Follow this link to see the technical specs.



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PS: What is you experience with PRS guitars?  – I’d love it if you share it in the comments below!

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