Beautiful guitar, beautiful sound, some minor nuances
I am very happy with this guitar, and as always, my experience with Sweetwater. I had previously owned some lower end $200-300 guitar that I was just never happy with. I lost that guitar 10 years ago and have not had an electric guitar since. I got the itch to get back into electric, and the search began. After some research, PRS was high on my list of possible options. While browsing Sweetwater, I saw this Amethyst PRS and knew I had to have it. I was not specifically looking for a 7-string and probably would not have bought one if this one didn't catch my eye. However, I am very happy I got a 7-string and am very much enjoying the extended lower range.
As for the guitar itself, upon first opening and tuning up, I did not like the default setup very much. The strings felt too loose and buzzy... lots of fret buzz. The frets themselves seem fine - smooth, no bumps or ridges. I know PRS setup specs are for pretty low action and minimal neck relief, and it's possible things shifted a bit more due to weather & temperature, and maybe I have a heavier touch than they are designed for. After tweaking the neck relief and string heights (essentially setting them only as high as necessary to avoid buzzing), I am a lot happier with it. With the increased string height of course there is a bit more tension across all the strings, but especially the low B and E strings have gained a much more "steady" feel. Also of course I had to fix intonation across all strings after these adjustments. The only problem now is that the intonation screw on the low (bass) B string does not "pull back" far enough to get a perfect intonation with my current string height. I have the saddle pulled back as far as it will go and it's still slightly sharp at the 12th fret. It's only minimal, so not a huge deal, and I'm not likely to be playing that high on the low B string anyway. Just something to be aware of for anyone that prefers higher string action. Aside from that, all other strings can achieve perfect intonation with the higher string action.
Everything else about it is perfect in my eyes. Very solid feel. I love the feel of the neck, the body. I cannot find any cosmetic or construction flaws. It just seems like good quality across the board. It has a great resonance to it where you will often hear subtler "pretty" frequencies ring out, kind of like you would hear on an acoustic, even when playing with no amplifier. I don't really know the proper way to say it, but I feel like this guitar "sings" with a very beautiful voice. The pickups also seem to have a pretty good range of tonal options, although I have come to prefer either the coil-split neck pickup only, or the humbucked bridge pickup only. Haven't found myself using the "in between" settings too much. With the volume control it seems like once you get to 8.5 there is a very noticeable "ramp up" in volume, between 8.5 and 10, that saturates the signal and loses a bit of clarity. Rolling back the volume to about 8 or 9 significantly "desaturates" the sound to get a little clearer tone. I think it sounds good either way, but I guess these are nuances to be aware of.
The gig bag also seems pretty nice. I am not a gigging musician so maybe not the best judge of this.
Overall extremely happy with this guitar. I feel like I could not have gotten a nicer guitar in this price range. I feel like I have something truly professional, not just a cheapo starter guitar. I feel like this guitar will last the rest of my life, and I sincerely doubt I will ever get rid of it.