Is SHE the Ultimate Strat? When the guitars first appeared, I was impressed by the concept and approach. How much has one already heard about Paul Reed Smith, from the perfect formula he found for guitars, to the special and above all consistent quality, to such bitter classics as "dentist and lawyer guitars and a supposed sterility"! As a classic Maple Neck Strat player, I had been looking for a Rosewood alternative for a long time. When the Maple version of the Silver Sky came onto the market, I was "intrigued" and wanted to experience both worlds. My decision has nothing to do with John Mayer, the fact that it is exactly his signature model did not play a role in the choice, although I am a big fan of John Mayer. At first I also looked at alternatives, including Panucci, Haar, Rebel Relics (yes, the Dutch make really great guitars), but I already have the classics at home in sufficient form and so I put emphasis on subtle innovations that are nonetheless enable the classic charm to be retained.
The packaging was perfect, both guitars arrived safely. The small, precisely fitting, but still valuable gig bag has completely fulfilled its purpose.
The first sight was breathtaking. So there it was, the Silver Sky, which I already knew well enough from videos - and yet - so live and in color it looked many times more perfect. There has been a lot of discussion about the headstock - does it now fit an S-style guitar and oh, what has the network mocked about this audacity, but if you look at the guitar from a few steps away, everything seems to be just right. The design is beautiful, the guitar looks like a small work of art that has a kind of softness attached to it.
The maple neck looks very light, the gold of the Rosewood version is opaque and royal - both guitars are eye-catchers.
The first thing I notice is how light both guitars are. Next up is the tech check. Both guitars are perfectly made. The factory setting is wonderful. Both necks were slightly rounded towards the frets and there is not a ridge that can be felt. The indentation in the cutaway fits perfectly into the design.
The Silver Sky was modeled on John Mayer's old Pre CBS Strat. Accordingly, it has to meet the requirement to sound like an old woman and also to feel accordingly.
In parts, this works very well. I have to say that I've had a few chances to play Pre CBS Strats.
The Silver Sky has arguably the best neck profile I've ever played. The neck of the Maple version appears a bit stronger and rounder, although it also appears rougher and is not painted.
The rosewood neck is varnished, I didn't notice it sticking.
Both necks are fantastic in playability and fit perfectly in the hand. The combination on thin vintage frets and a 7.25 "radius creates a buttery soft feel. It has been possible to pull every note far without the strings touching the above radius. It creates a great feel that one conveys wonderful lightness.
Pickups and Tone:
The pickups are more vintage oriented. I have seldom experienced such transparency and in combination with an overdrive they create a woody, hollow crunch that is always defined.
The tone is extremely direct in the address. Especially with the Maple version. The Rosewood is in no way inferior, it sounds a little softer.
What both guitars have in common is this vintage mid-hump with a slight compression in the tones. This advantageous sound pattern takes place across all registers and frets.
So it fulfills the demand of the sought-after vintage tone in an excellent way.
Yes, what should I say. The playability is second to none. I have to admit that I've rarely had such a playable guitar in my hand. Up to the highest registers, everything can be played with a simplicity that is seldom experienced. The peculiarity of the lower cut away plays into the cards here.
The body lies ergonomically perfect on the leg or on the body when playing while standing.
If you are interested: The Maple version is a 2020 version, therefore painted with nitro, the RW a 2019 version painted with thin poly. However, I can't make out a difference in tone, based on the paint.
Game fun, game fun, game fun !!! From delicate finger pickings to bluesy chords and rocky licks. The Silver Sky delivers over the full length and breadth. The pots react particularly well. The tone potentiometer seems to be a bit lighter, so you experience a seldom experienced brilliance in the overtones, while a little turn back makes a lot, because the guitar immediately moves obediently into softer vintage realms. Overall, the guitar hangs perfectly on the volume potentiometer. The tremolo works flawlessly and there are no detunings to be noticed. The trem arm is attached and adjusted by inserting it, which works very well overall.
Information and multimedia on the Silver Sky - 2020
Sound files, videos
Anyone who knows me knows that I usually try to present my equipment properly. That's why I recorded a comparison video with different sounds this time as well.
The big question of all questions is now answered for me! Yes, the Silver Sky apparently has Strat genes, but it still gives a different feel to the game. Not new, more like a "coming home". A valuable experience for me personally, because the entire mix of the guitar shows me things that I seem to have missed but couldn't really put into words. That doesn't mean my strats are worse because they aren't at all. The Silver Sky provides a welcome change that is also highly inspiring.