Reviewed: Paul Reed Smith Guitars SE SVN Guitar

Electric Factory | | Expect To Pay: $1599

I’ve always seen seven string guitars as the weird cousin someone unwittingly invited to the party, standing in the corner in an ill-fitting suit and Rush t-shirt talking to anyone who will listen about flat earth theories and what not. Whether or not you’re into djent at all, it becomes clearer and clearer that sevens have started to bring some life back to an industry that was in danger of going stale, particularly now that a house of such high standing as PRS has chimed in.

The whole PRS catalogue has a particularly distinct image that it maintains with pride. Almost all of their models harbour a high-gloss, modern flame maple top and smooth, beveled horns that gives them the appearance of a luxury sedan. So many they have taken the humbucker and hard-tail crown from atop Gibson’s head and, while they may have landed in some questionable hands now and again, have seated themselves surely at the top end of Tone Town. Their SE series brings this premium grade quality to the production model world and the SVN opens that room up to a whole new school of player.


The SE SVN is every bit the performer’s guitar. The signature ‘Birds In Flight’ inlay, aforementioned flame top and pristine chrome hardware make it easy on the eye while the second-to-none fretwork and neck-through body type make it equally easy on the hands. The fretboard is doublewide in order to make way for the low ‘B’ but this is not to say it is difficult to navigate. The offset, flat ‘D’ neck is accentuated over the increased width and, given that it is pitched toward the upper register, makes it as swift to get around as any of their standard six-string designs. The tonality is sharp as a tack; high-mids are trained as Navy Seals and flanked by some of the most powerful low end I’ve throttled in a while. With the coil tap engaged there is a distinct yet not unruly increase in chime and brightness and only the slightest hint of volume drop.


Our editor said he chose me for this review because I was ‘the least metal writer in the list. Who better to write about the least metal seven?’ For too long low ‘B’ builds have been aimed at chuggernauts and chuggernauts alone. Those of us looking for something less garish, with a little more subtlety have been sorely forgotten about. Leave it to PRS, the Armani Suit of the guitar world, to come up with a design that has as much steeze as it does sludge. If you’re looking to plunge the depths of sonic exploration without being limited to high gain hell then spelunk no further than PRS’s SE SVN.


Hits and Misses


More stylish than any other seven string on the market


Not particularly sensitive tonally but that’s not what we’re here for really