’88 Custom 24

One of the first batch of eight PRS guitars in the UK, courtesy of Doug Chandler, then of Chandler Guitars in Kew, later marketing director of PRS itself, and now of Guitar XS importing Groove Tubes and Collings guitars and the excellent Providence stompboxes to the UK.

This one has a tight ribbon flame under a grey stain, a medium-fat neck profile, a vintage pickup at the neck and an HFS at the bridge. One of the last with a genuine Brazilian rosewood fingerboard before this was outlawed and they turned to sourcing lesser woods from elsewhere. Also just predates the factory move that saw them upscale manufacturing and broaden appeal, so very much an earlyish PRS from a great time.

Contrary to received wisdom, I find it quite a temperamental instrument – it always plays well but some days it sounds fabulous, other days not. It’s in near-mint condition with original case and candy. The stupid stock plastic knobs are in the case, replaced by black dome-head metal knows that don’t fall apart each time you use the rotary pickup selector. The small toggle is the ‘sweet switch’ which brings a choke into the tone circuit and usefully mellows the sound.

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