The moment I saw the PRS SE Zach Meyers Semi-Hollow at the NAMM show, I knew it would be a huge hit! It looks phenomenal; the top is very 3D and has show-stopping looks. Both pickups offer a huge tonal selection and are very snappy when playing with fingers. Add in an overdrive, and this guitar has great sustain and sounds amazing.
A little background on me--I've played guitar for about 13 years, have gigged regularly and am a lover of a great tone. This guitar was an early Christmas present from my wife. She kept it a secret until the box arrived...and then it was impossible. Just FYI if this is a gift, this box is MASSIVE, but very well packed--the guitar was kept very safe. I opened the include gig bag and found a beautiful vintage sunburst finish. This is my first SE since I purchased a used 2002 Tremonti Standard years ago. With American electronics and a little refinishing that Tremonti was my number one guitars--until now. This guitar is beautiful for starters. It is a looker for sure. The flame maple really is an eye catcher. The vintage tuners add to the look. The neck is a satin finish and it feels surprisingly good in the hand...I've never had a satin neck and I dig it. I put on a set of my Ernie Balls, did a truss adjustment to compensate and reintonated the strings. With that in mind, it's worth mentioning this is the only SE I've ever seen with an adjustable hardtail bridge. I saw a video interview with Zach Myers where he said this is the American adjustable bridge they put on this thing! This thing plays like a dream. It has sustain for days. I thought maybe I would replace the pickups, however the tone is actually quite nice. I did purchase a set of nickel-silver pickup covers to put on purely for aesthetic reasons--I'm not a fan of zebra pickups. I am having trouble finding an affordable hard case. I am a worship leader at a large church and travel with my guitar twice a week. The gig bag makes me nervous, but due to the thickness of this beast, it does not fit in a lot of standard hard cases. The only real flaw my guitar has is a scratch on frets 20-22 on the lower three strings. I will eventually fix this with fret recrowning tools, and I never use those frets on those strings, so it is no issue, however it is worth mentioning. I'd highly recommend this guitar. The craftsmanship, tone and playability are much higher than the price point!
Another 5-star vote based on just about all factors, including price
What can I do but echo what you read consistently in almost every review?... This guitar is surely the best deal below a grand, probably even among those below twice its price! The looks are simply stunning. Anyone who looks at it - whether a player or a layman - is struck by its beauty.
I've been playing for 25 years and fancy myself a jazz player, but with my group we play a lot of rock/pop covers and explore just about any genre. I've always played a solid-body, double humbucker "Frankenstrat" and was entertaining the idea of buying a jazz box for years. However, I more recently concluded that what I needed was a guitar that would cover all tones/styles well and then this beauty appeared before my eyes in a catalog and it was love at first sight. But I didn't act on the impulse right away - I read reviews for months until I was convinced that this guitar was definitely not just about looks.
After waiting almost 3 months on back-order (a testament to its popularity), I finally received it in June 2015 and I have been gigging/rehearsing 4-5 times a month on it since. It is everything I ever wanted in a guitar: semi-hollow, dual humbuckers, fixed bridge, shorter scale length, and lovely aesthetics. No extraneous features.
I can't say that the semi-hollow aspect gives it loads more sustain, but there's a little extra that is noticeable and the other guitarist agrees. It helps for the jazz tone (though I would like to put a more bassy/fatter p'up at the neck).
The bridge is nice and comfortable against my palm and I like that it is one of the few PRS models with adjustable saddles because I'm extremely sensitive to intonation issues and this gives the best chance to solve them. I have never used a trem bar, thus glad this has a hard-tail. Fewer moving parts is always a plus for me on any machine.
The shorter 24.5" scale length (versus 25.5" on a Strat, for example) is one of the biggest selling points for me. The reason is two-fold: 1. Frets are less of a reach, leading to swifter single-note playing, more comfortable chords, and less hand fatigue. 2. It means that the string tension of any given gauge of strings will be lower, which is a plus. NOTE: a guitar of a short scale like this should have .010 strings at the absolute minimum! I cannot believe that they ship this with .009 from the factory - they might as well be rubber bands. Actually, I had Sweetwater set it up with .012-.054" because that's what I have used for years and now they feel SO nice with the reduced string tension and help put more tone into the not-so-amazing p'ups.
My only two complaints about this axe are the pickups and the tuning machines, and I want to emphasize that they are just niggles when considering the price of the guitar. The pickups are nothing to write home about; not bad, not notable. I would like more bass out of the neck pickup for a fatter jazz tone. Nevertheless, the dual controls do offer a nice wide range of tones, with which I'm still experimenting.
The tuning machines are just barely adequate. I don't like their vintage styling and the milky-green plastic knobs look and feel cheap (would have been a big bonus if they glow in the dark :-) However, those two trifling complaints about the guitar could be addressed for a few hundred bucks and then it would be the perfect customized axe for me and I would still barely break the four-figure mark! I can't imagine there is any other guitar about which I could say that.
Something that really surprises me is that this guitar is spec'd/endorsed by a hard-core player and most demonstrations of it that I've seen, e.g. on YouTube, use a heavily distorted tone. This guitar is pristine when clean and that's where I really think it shines. In my opinion, distortion is a good way to mask the tone of an otherwise not-so-impressive guitar. I guess it depends on one's intended usage, but I believe any demonstration of this axe ought to be done through a Blackface-like clean channel.
OK, if you made it this far, I apologize for the long-windedness, but I had a LOT to say about this guitar because it is without a doubt one of the best guitar purchases just about anyone could make based on so many criteria. It is hard to believe PRS and then SW can offer this at such a low price and everyone still makes a profit!
I've had this guitar for about a week, and have played it live in 4 sets now, so I think I can give a decent review. I play in a praise and worship band and we do anything from heavy contemporary christian to southern gospel and anything between. I mostly play rhythm and some fill.
First off, Sweetwater was awesome to deal with! This is my first "big" purchase from them, and I will never deal with any other store as far as music equipment goes.
Now onto the guitar...It came in last Tuesday and was very well packed. I unboxed it and everything was there and nice and clean. I tuned it up, and played it for a bit unplugged and the sustain was the first thing I noticed. I had practice that night with my band and that was the only guitar I took to practice. I have an SE Santana that has been my main guitar. I started practice and had to adjust some stuff on my Line 6 Pod XT Live because the tone was a little different and the pickups are a little hotter on this guitar than the Santana, but around the 2nd song, everything was sounding great! After practice, all the other band members commented on how much fuller this guitar sounded. The next day I did some work on it though. I've always played 10 gauge strings and this one came with 9s, so I swapped the nut with a graph tech and strung it up with 10s. I adjusted the intonation and everything is still good with it. I messed around with the Pod XT and created a few patches with sounds that I liked and I thought would fit our band's style. The clean sounds are very nice and it'll get as dirty as you want, but I haven't had it sound muddy yet. As of now, this is my main guitar and will stay that way. If you have a chance, don't hesitate to buy this guitar!
Mine is beautiful; in looks, playability, and tone, it is sublime. If you want different tuners and knobs or pickups, then it's an easy replacement. But the design and finish are stunning for it's price and thrice above. I honestly don't know much of Mr. Myers, but I know this guitar is beautiful and a steal; that's enough for me.
BEST Guitar for the money!!!!
The PRS SE line just keeps getting better and better, and this guitar is a perfect example of it. First, the unfinished neck, it completely changes the feel of the guitar. Second that top tho!!! The Trampas Green with clear knons just gives it a classy look and honestly makes it look like one of their US Models(but for the half the cost). Out of the box, no set up needed. I honestly would put this up against any guitar against it price range and above.
From the minute I was first handed one of these guitars I knew I had to own one. The satin finish on the back the neck is silky and comfortable in the hand. The tones on this guitar are warm and rich. This has become my go to guitar and sometimes I catch myself just looking at it and smiling.
I am seriously considering buying the same guitar in spalted maple and you just can't go wrong with a Sweetwater setup it's ready to play out of the box.
SE Zach Myers Semi-Hollow
Excellent playability. Great sustain. Happening over-driven tones. The SE Zach Myers leans firmly toward the hollow jazz box. Plugged into an amplifier, the guitar immediately impressed me with a sparkly response and great sustain. I loved its satin finish, which lends a feel that is similar to unfinished wood. The SE Zach Myers is an impressive axe that offers a ton of performance for a great price.
Great guitar for a great deal
I generally buy made in US guitars (Fender, Gibson, PRS), but I liked the looks of this and thought it would be a good guitar for gigging. What a great guitar. The pickups sound great, the tuners are keeping it in tune and the neck is really unbelievable with a matt finish my hand glides over. I'm still trying to get used to the PRS pot arrangement..I'm used to the Gibson LP arrangement. The only downside, I got some shirt snags on the screws from the cavity covers on the back...so I had to carefully file them down. Other than that, a great guitar. Very resonant, even unplugged. I've already installed the strap lock. The only thing that would have been a great improvement would have been locking tuners, but I can add those later. Great guitar, Wonderful neck, nice color and finish.
PRS SE ZM 2014 Best Guitar Inrroduction of 2014
The PRS SE Zach Myers sig guitar is my first foray into PRS guitars. Prior to the introduction of this profoundly great guitar, I conducted a rigorous amount of research on PRS SE guitars. They seemed so wonderful, especially at the SE price points, it was a dream come true. I had been in an ongoing dialog with my Sweetwater Sales Engineer Matt Alexander about the merits of buying Mark Tremonti SE guitar for at least a year, and when I was finally ready to “pull the trigger” and grab one, Matt told me I might want to wait a month and take a look at the new PRS SE Zach Myers signature guitar. I took Matt’s advice, and now I own one of the best “players guitars” introduced into the market in the past 20 years. I can’t imagine anyone producing a better guitar than the PRS SE line. Everyone I know who’s bought a PRS guitar has nothing but great things to say about them. Thanks to Sweetwater for providing me with the most wonderful guitar I’ve ever played.
The buzz is that this is the private stock of SE PRS and that is not a lie. for the price or don't tell Paul but even if it where double the price this guitar would still be amazing. The ZMSE does not take a back seat to anything else. I find myself playing it more that my Maryland based PRSi. The only quibbles are minor. I'm still not in love with the green tuners but that's easy enough to fix and they work just fine. I wish they put covered pickups on it from an aesthetic point for view but that's about it. Anyways I could not recommend this guitar enough.
SE Zach Myers guitar
This is a fantastic guitar. Sounds and plays great. Sweetwater comes through again with a perfect setup and not a flaw on the guitar. Thanks Mike for another smooth order process. This is the best imported guitar I have played. This guitar will not disappoint. ENJOY!!!
2014 PRS SE Zach Myers Signature Model
I own three PRS Core (Made in Maryland) guitars (Custom 24, Mira, NF3) and I wanted a semi-hollow but wasn't going to be able to spend $3-4K. When news of this was first released I knew I wanted it. I was lucky enough to get one of the first 17 guitars that Sweetwater got in. I ordered it Friday (it shipped THAT day) and I'm playing it on Tuesday. Thanks Marcos! So onto the guitar: I must say the build on this thing is amazing. The fit & finish is impeccable; the neck is fantastic. I've played other SEs in stores that are nice but this blows them away! And at 7.2 pounds its right in between my Custom 24 and NF3. I've only played it through my practice amp for now but it sounds quite nice. All I can say if you've been on the fence about this guitar get your name in for the next batch – you won’t be disappointed. (Call Marcos Sanchez if you don’t have a Sales Engineer!) And don’t even think about getting it anywhere else but Sweetwater - they actually check the guitar over, pack it correctly & ship it FAST!
Zach Myers SE Semi-Hollow sleeper
I waited for months for the little kids to finish making mine, in what ever factory they make them in that far, far, away country. I finally got it close to Christmas! Wow! What a beauty!!! She is Santana Yellow spalted maple (very thin veneer - but nice just the same). She plays like hot melted butter! Pickup are very nice, but I may in the future swap them out for some Dragon II, as I prefer those. Don't wait to pull the trigger - excellent guitar for the price without having to pay over $1k for an American made guitar. This makes my 10th PRS - I have 5 of each - SE and American made - yes, I have GAS!!!!
A great buy for the money
The fit and finish on this guitar is excellent as are the other Se PRS I've purchased in the past. The playability and tone is better than I expected and is good for many styles of music. It exceeded all my expectations and I am happy with my purchase in all ways.
PRS zach Myers
Great semi-hollow guitar. So well made, it's amazing! Nothing else coming out of the orient comes close. I use this axe for Jazz and the fit and finish are second to none. neck is great, pick ups are sweet-everything on it is first class. The finish is like nothing I've seen in this price range. The only problem with this guitar is; it makes me want another PRS
First of all I want to say this: I would have rated this guitar a perfect 5 stars if not for two major reasons.
1) I wish it would have come with jumbo or extra jumbo frets.
2) I want those magicians at PRS to work harder to earn that other half of the fifth star...
This guitar is the best guitar I have ever owned AND played! The esthetics are stellar, the body is light and resonant, and the tones are unbelievable!!! It's an absolute STEAL for this price.
Update: Needed upgrades
So I thought I'd waited enough time to write a review but I had not. So these are the issues/upgrades I made, some needed, and some based on personal preference.
1) The pickup selector switch completely failed it the middle of a solo while attempting to switch to the neck pickup.
2) The pickups are fine but not what I was wanting from such a beast of a guitar. I've upgraded to Alnico II, Chrome covered picks with black pickup rings and selector knob tip.
3) The vintage style tuners needed replacing after the guitar got knocked off its stand and fell the two feet to a carpeted floor. The low E string tuner's screw on the back of the guitar just popped off while tuning.
4) the nut had to be re-cut to fit a standard set of 10 gauge strings (which are pretty standard)
all in all I had the best singlecut style guitar Ive ever played and it only cost me a total of $1000 ($699.99 for the guitar and $300 for replacement parts/upgrades) not including repair bills and replacement parts needed for such repairs. Still not even close to the price tag that comes with an American made PRS.
Follow Up: PRS SE Zach Myers Vintage Sunburst
A quick follow up to my previous review:
- Replaced the SE245 pup with a DiMarzio Bluesbuckers set, they really opened it up! It's like a blanket had been taken off, can get some gnarly P-90 style grit with the pots wide open, but dialing back the volume can get some smooth, clear clean, overall clearer and much wider bandwidth tones, more hifi than the SE245s could supply. But that's the difference between the stock what couple buck pups and $70+ a pop Dimarzios. You get what you pay for, And I wanted to get more out of the axe. It deserved it.
- Replaced the tuners with Vintage-style Gotohs, much improved tuning stability.
So, with about $200 worth of upgrades ($150 for the Bluesbucker set and $45 for the tuners) IMHO I have greatly improved the guitar, when added to it's playability and the beautiful semi-hollow tones, I now give it a 4.0. If the intonation could be adjusted in on all the strings, and if I hadn't had the initial issues with the bridge post and the truss rod adjustment, it would be a 4.5, or maybe even a 5, it is a great value for the money, the overall build quality is astonishing for the money.
I got this because I wanted to try out a semi-hollow, the price was right, I trust PRS and the design is attractive. And I got exactly what I expected - it's a solid workhorse for under $700. If I changed out the tuners and pickups (which would almost double my investment but kill resale) this would exceed the S2 line. The neck feels great (I have small hands but prefer fatter, wider necks) and steep bends are effortless. And the reason I keep coming back to this one is the resonance - the sustain on this guitar lasts for days, even with the mediocre stock pickups. The S2 pickups aren't the bees knees either - when I upgrade from this it's going to be a Hollowbody II. But at 15% of the price of the PRS Hollowbody, this is an excellent deal. Especially if you upgrade the tuners (because it goes of tune every song if you're playing Hendrix, Led Zeppelin or other covers with whole step plus bends) and the pickups (the factory ones are good for chords but muddy in the bass for solos) - if you do those two things, you'll have a solid guitar with soaring sustain for less than an S2 semi hollow and 1/4 of the price of a Hollowbody II. If you have the patience to wait for the Zach Myers to be in stock, it's worth it for the comfortable neck and the sustain.
PRS SE Zach Myers Vintage Sunburst
Have had several PRS guitars over the years (a Swamp Ash Special, a 513, and a modern Eagle) but never got on with them, always ended up selling them. I saw the Zach Myers, and they looked really good, I like semi-hollows and satin necks, so I asked Santa (read: my wife) for one for Xmas last fall. I checked with my Sweetwater sales engineer, and he told me that some limited style models were coming in around November 2014, the Santana yellow spalted maple and also a vintage sunburst. I'm a sucker for both, but love sunbursts, so it was a (nearly) no-brainer, the sunburst. Has a satin neck, which I prefer in guitars, and a bridge with adjustable saddle, not common at all in PRS guitars.
Wife ordered it, it arrived early December, sat for nearly a month, then... Christmas Day, the unveiling! Beauty! Light! Satin neck! Uh... really really really low action, gotta raise it... loosen the hex-head screws (wrong size wrench - dang! Have I got one? Yep here's one...), uh oh can't raise the treble side, the height adjust screw was SUPER tight, used the largest screwdriver I had, managed to get it up to a bit under 1/16", with some serious scarring to the adjuster head. Had to go to Orchard Supply Hardware and get the largest screwdriver they had to be able to turn it without any further scarring. Bass side much easier to turn, no scarring! Phew. Put on a set of my favorite 10-46 strings (La Bellas) and adjusted truss rod a bit, needed a little relief... wtf, the danged Allen wrench they sent is wrong size!! Found the right one on my tools, adjusted the relief to 0.010", the way I like it. OK...
Now, adjust intonation... low E won't come in. Oh well, whaddaya expect for the price? At least the others come in. hook up to amp and jam it! Hm, interesting, the volume and tone knobs do not have the same layout as a Gibson... what's this, the neck and middle switch positions sound the same? Open up the switch cavity, spot a solder bridge between the switch contacts. @#$%%#!! Get out the trusty ol' soldering iron, remove the solder, ah fixed! Called my guy at SW and told him what I found, and he had PRS send me a replacement bridge height adjuster post for the bass side.
Play it for a while, play some more, and some more... With the setup done to my liking, plays like butter, super easy bends, intonation almost perfect (except low E, not enough adjust range, octave a tiny bit flat). Love love love the satin neck, the profile is a tiny bit on the chunky side, but feels really good, comfy profile, much better than I recall having on my previous PRS guitars (the 513 was really chunky). And the look - WOW! And it is nice and light, perfect!
Play play play some more... three months later, the pups sound OK, but I notice that the overall tone is kind of muffled and dark compared to my other guitars, and they tend to break up really quickly. Guess I need to change 'em out. I've been wanting to try out some DiMarzio Bluesbuckers, so they are incoming.
So, in summary:
Semi-hollow/solid body hybrid tone
Plays like butter, with super easy bends on a 10-46 set
Satin neck (did I say I loved the neck?)
Setup/hardware from factory may be, ah, quirky (such as balky bridge height adjustment post)
Possible electronics mishaps (a la solder bridge on switch)
Insufficient intonation adjust on some strings (low E)
Incorrect size for truss rod adjust and bridge hex head Allen wrenches
Pickups on the dark side and break up easily
I recommend this guitar, but I think the 55 point inspection may need to include a few more for this axe in particular, just to be on the safe side.
Nice looking - ZM SE
I expected this Zach Myers Semi-Hollow to have same/similar wide-fat neck as the Nick C Evil Twin. The neck feels more like an Epiphone 1960's slim taper. The guitar seems to be well built and the pickups are crunchy. Comes with a nice gig bag like other SE's. Overall, seems like a quality guitar for the money. Ed N. at Sweetwater provided excellent service.