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Paul Reed Smith Custom 22 - PRS Guitar Review

Updated on September 15, 2013

Based on one of the original guitars first developed by Paul Reed Smith himself in the 1980’s, the PRS Custom 22 is a stunning, versatile tone king when it comes to high end guitars. Similar to the Custom 24, the 22 is the shorter version, however it carries a punch and fury of guitar might that will leave you with chills.

For years the Custom guitars from PRS have been some of the best selling and most prized among professional players around the world.  Paul Reed Smith changed the game in 2009 when they introduced many new lines of the next generation of great guitars on this planet.  As a result, they discontinued a lot of the old SE customs.  The good news, all of the new 25th Ann. Customs sound even better, and anyone who owns an older discontinued model just saw their asking price on Ebay go up about 45%.



Let’s start first with some of the basic specs. Remember, there are a large number of Paul Reed Smith Custom 22’s out there, so this is more a generalization of what you are likely to come across.

Most PRS Custom’s will come stock with the highest quality components, including Rosewood fret boards, mahogany bodies, and finely finished maple tops. You usually have rotary switch, which is a slight drawback for some players. Locked tuners are a bonus, as you can expect your guitar to stay in tune for what seems like forever.


With the Rosewood fret board you will find yourself really flying up and down the neck. The guitar comes setup in pristine condition, and you feel like you fingers can just spider around like lightning. Its lightweight, and just feels comfortable which all in all makes the PRS Custom 22 one of the most playable guitars you will find.

As a player of 15 years, there is something beyond the simple mechanics of this guitar that you only realize when you actually pick it up and play it. The Custom 22 is just that good, you will find yourself getting lost in your playing because its makes you sound that good.

Sound Profile

When you purchase a Paul Reed Smith, it is no secret that the tone you are getting is one of the fullest and best sounds you can find. While it doesn’t stand out as much as say a Fender or Les Paul, the Custom 22 comes with Dragon 1 or 2 pickups (depending on the year) , making this one of the highest quality PRS sounds you will find. Its just amazing when you hear the guitar live – through any amp. I have seen the 22 rigged up with Fender Reverb’s, which sounds amazing.

Another good combination is with a Mesa. The crunch sounds produced with a nice distortion pedal when you combine the Custom 22 and a Mesa…gives me shivers  :)

Now, if your looking to get an example of the killer tone of the Custom 22, the best method is to venture to your local Guitar Center.  You just can't get the full scope until you hear it live for yourself.  If that's not in the cards however, you can always check the circle of Youtube reviews.  This is one I came across that is great (plus this kid just kills it!).

Custom 22 Design

I personally can’t say enough about the design of a Paul Reed Smith Custom 22 guitar. When your standing on stage with one of these babies the light just sparkles right off the guitar making you look like some kind of Demigod. The maple finish is done so the guitar almost looks like it has a 3-D effect to it…which is pretty cool if you ask me.

For me personally, the 22 just has a better vibe and look then even a Les Paul.  Many guitarists might criticize that view, but its my honest opinion.  The Gibson is overdone, and just looks old.  PRS is new, bold and hip....sad to say, but true.

If I had my choice for any guitar in the world, in all honesty, I would likely opt for the PRS Custom 22. This is one of the most spectacular guitars I have ever come across, and has been a staple in my instrument collection for years.

Also, if you really are interested in buying a PRS Custom, check out some of the online deals. Amazon and other prominent sellers can give you really nice price breaks.


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    • profile image

      Mike 24 months ago

      Hey, if I was the parent of a kid that monstrously talented, I'd buy him anything he wanted. Born to play.

    • profile image

      cherrypicker 6 years ago

      How does a 12 year old end up with such an expensive item? I would not trust him with a tricycle.

    • DrumsAcousticMuse profile image

      Jesse Broman 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      the cherry sunburst is my favorite- I want one!