Silver Sky incoming

Nick L Plate

Strat-Talker
Sep 15, 2020
302
Santa Barbara
They're a nice version of the Stratocaster. If the specs and sound are fit for you, then great. The pickups are terrific, that's for sure. But so are the handwounds in my CS 1960 Strat, though the Fender's neck and woods are a level beyond the SS. I can see how the SS would be a great fit for some. I can play a extreme radius well enough, but wouldn't buy one. Replacing the iconic Fender headstock with the fiddly and abominable PRS one is hard to accept.
 

Sinner1980

Strat-Talker
May 5, 2010
170
Hong Kong
They're a nice version of the Stratocaster. If the specs and sound are fit for you, then great. The pickups are terrific, that's for sure. But so are the handwounds in my CS 1960 Strat, though the Fender's neck and woods are a level beyond the SS. I can see how the SS would be a great fit for some. I can play a extreme radius well enough, but wouldn't buy one. Replacing the iconic Fender headstock with the fiddly and abominable PRS one is hard to accept.
I see where you’re coming from. For some reason I got over the PRS headstock quite quickly but there’s no denying that I prefer the Fender headstock for its iconic look. Fender CS makes some great guitars and an early 60’s custom strat still remains to be on my wish list.

The SS offers a very smooth playing experience which I’ve never experienced playing a strat before, it’s just different and a little more effortless. For that reason alone it quickly grew on me and became my go to guitar to quickly pickup and noodle on. I do believe that there are CS strats that will perhaps blow it out if the water but I won’t be looking for them any time soon, totally satisfied at the moment.
 

touch of gray

Strat-Talker
Jul 10, 2022
313
Bismarck, ND
They're a nice version of the Stratocaster. If the specs and sound are fit for you, then great. The pickups are terrific, that's for sure. But so are the handwounds in my CS 1960 Strat, though the Fender's neck and woods are a level beyond the SS. I can see how the SS would be a great fit for some. I can play a extreme radius well enough, but wouldn't buy one. Replacing the iconic Fender headstock with the fiddly and abominable PRS one is hard to accept.
Sure, I would expect the components, fit and finish to be a level beyond on a guitar costing 3-4k. Also, having owned a half-dozen PRS guitars, I don’t think there is anything fiddle about the headstock at all. I assume you are referring to the aesthetics as “abominable”. Looks are subjective, so I won’t object to the comment.
 

MaartenX

Strat-Talker
Aug 2, 2022
121
The Netherlands
I have the SE version of the Silver Sky. Haven't played the Core model so I can't compare.
All I can say is that the Silver Sky is a very easy guitar to play with great sound. The neck PU to me sounds a bit brighter than my MIA strats, I find the bridge PU a little less trebly. In between sounds are slightly different as well which makes it a nice addition to the quiver. The big bonus for me is the awesome sounding neck pickup which blows me away, especially clean. Fit and finish of the SE is flawless and can hold it's own against my American Performer. Normally when I buy a guitar I try it a couple of times in the store. This one I played for about 20 minutes (local dealer had only 1 more in stock) bonded immediately and bought it right away.
 

touch of gray

Strat-Talker
Jul 10, 2022
313
Bismarck, ND
I see where you’re coming from. For some reason I got over the PRS headstock quite quickly but there’s no denying that I prefer the Fender headstock for its iconic look. Fender CS makes some great guitars and an early 60’s custom strat still remains to be on my wish list.

The SS offers a very smooth playing experience which I’ve never experienced playing a strat before, it’s just different and a little more effortless. For that reason alone it quickly grew on me and became my go to guitar to quickly pickup and noodle on. I do believe that there are CS strats that will perhaps blow it out if the water but I won’t be looking for them any time soon, totally satisfied at the moment.
I can’t believe how easy my SS SE is to play. It feels like it has 9’s on it instead of 10’s, both my 305 and Swamp Ash Special feel stiff compared to it. I have played a core Silver Sky and it plays nice and smooth, but I prefer the feel of the SE.
 

Murdog

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
May 7, 2021
1,635
U.S.A.
Will do. I’ve spent some time playing the SS now and picked up my strat, which is an AV59 with maple fretboard, to see how they compare.

Unlike many other reviews I’ve read in which people claim that the SS feels different than a Fender strat, I definitely feel like that the SS feels, plays and sounds like a strat; avery good one if I may say so. Compared to most strats I’ve owned(mostly American Vintage and a CS) it does have a bit more of a ‘modern’ feel to it. Hard to explain and might also be psychological mostly.

Things I like about the Silver Sky:

1. The fit and finish; flawless setup out of the box, perfect fretwork and not a single flaw to be found. Just a quality instrument, which PRS apparently is known for Never owned a PRS before so I can’t really compare it with any other experiences with the brand. I’ve tuned the SS up once it came in and 3 days and quite some playtime later it remains perfectly in tune.

2. Overall playability. I really like the neck profile, which feels like a chunky D profile. It has a bit more shoulder to it when compared to my AV59, giving it a slightly chunkier feel. The 7.25 radius is nice and surprisingly bends are pretty effortless and aren’t choking out. Compared to my AV59 the string spacing feels a bit wider, making the SS a bit easier to play. The strat makes me fight a bit more, which I actually like when playing blues.
The most noticeable difference for me is that the SS has a bit more slack in the strings, allowing for better/more precise bending and vibrato. Also the sustain is noteworthy; the notes sustain about twice as long compared to my AV59.

3. The pickups! I’ve had my share of strat pickups(SD Antiquities, Lollars, Bare Knuckle, Chevaliers and a wide range of Fender pickups) but these pickups(PRS635JM) are sweet! Not harsh/ice picky in the bridge position and they have an overall mellow sweetness to them that’s quite reminiscent of an early 60’s strat to my ears(bassy and piano-like). The SS sounds great in all positions and there’s no difference in volume, remarkable. With my strat I mostly stick to the neck pickup and in between positions but with the SS I feel I will switch these up a lot more as they all seem to produce usable sounds.

Any cons then?

1. The fact that it doesn’t come with a case is probably the biggest letdown. Although the gig bag seems solid, I would have loved a nice case at this price point.

2. The volume and tone knobs feel a bit cheap. I would have hoped that they would feel a bit more solid.

Overall the SS is a joy to play and really hard to put down. It’s a very musical instrument and it really sings. Will it make me not want to play my AV59 anymore? I don’t believe it will since the AV59 holds a special place and is by far the best Fender strat I’ve come across after owning about 12-15 strats, including a CS. It also holds a special place since it was an unexpected gift from my wife.

If I could only have one?

Thankfully not the case but if I could only have one it would definitely be the SS(sorry wifey…). It’s everything I hoped for and does everything I would expect from a good strat. I highly recommend it and am even contemplating about selling my Esquire in order to get an SS with a maple board.

Are they really that good?

Trust me, they’re even better than you’d expect them to be ;)
Nice review. HNGD! Love that color. I haven't played a SS yet but I have 2 Custom 24s. Love PRS guitars.
 


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