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Thread: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & comparison

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    Default Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & comparison

    Hello,
    My first electric was a Fender Strat over 20 years ago and ever since then they’ve been my go to instrument. Over the last 6 months I’ve decided to break away from the “Leo” brands and try some boutique alternatives. As there may be others interested I thought I would give some (un) scientific comparison and thoughts. I have (had) a PRS Silver Sky, a Nash S-57 and a Suhr Classic Pro. I also have an older (2012) American Deluxe Strat to compare it to. All were tested with stock pickups on a Victory V40 Deluxe and a Mesa Boogie Triple Crown 50.

    Nash S-57 Retail $1965
    Sounds - The Nash came loaded with the Lollar Dirty Blonde set. I found the neck and middle pickup to be exceptionally clear yet with some heft. Moreso than any other classic set I’ve played they did a great job of capturing the classic early 60’s thick bell like tones while sounding positively fat when overdriven. The bridge to me was surprisingly dark and almost sounded more like a PAF than an overwound single and I was less impressed with this.
    Feel - First off, as a former Luke owner, I love the raw unfinished feel of the neck. Outside of that though I was a little surprised at the feel of it. I would describe it as the least slinky and the one I had to fight the most. Still though a very playable instrument and I did like the easy string bends on the rather large frets and the narrow (1.625) nut width would be instantly familiar to anyone used to playing vintage Fenders or modern Ernie Balls.
    Overall I feel the Nash would be a great fit for anyone looking for the sound and feel of a vintage Fender in a new instrument with the expectation that you may also be dealing with some of the shortcomings of vintage gear.

    Suhr Classic Pro Retail $2199
    Sounds - Came loaded with the Suhr V60LP set. Between all the refinements Suhr has made to this design, combined with the sweeter rounder and darker single coils truly sound like a modern evolution of the S Style guitar. I found the neck and middle pickups very pleasant and smooth but probably the furthest from a “vintage” sound of the 4. The bridge however I loved. I like to flip to the bridge for high gain sounds much like my early influence David Gilmour, and the V60LP bridge pickup was great for this. I actually felt it tried to do the same thing as the Lollar Special S Bridge pickup but better. Less of the unpleasant and steely frequencies that I hear in humbuckers and a very single coil-y sound with a really smooth singing top end.
    Feel - Where I mentioned earlier that the Suhr sounded like a modern evolution of the S guitar, the feel of it absolutely matched up with this. The neck was extremely comfortable and fast and the fretwork and setup was absolutely flawless out of the box. It managed to feel smooth and extremely easy to play while at the same time not feeling as slinky as a strat. All of the tweaks, from the trem to the treble horn cutaway to the stainless frets contributed to the feeling of a better more refined instrument but also took away from its essential strattiness.
    Overall the Suhr is a feat of engineering and fantastic modern evolution of the Strat. The fit finish and feel lived up to all the hype that Suhr gets. I would strongly recommend to anyone other than someone who needs a true vintage sound as it will be the hardest to dial in of the 4.

    PRS Silver Sky Retail $2299

    Sounds - I would put the tone of the pickups between the Lollar Dirty Blondes and the Suhr V60LP’s. They definitely started with a mid 60’s Strat tone, but it has a slightly compressed feel that gives it a little more modern flexibility. I saw a video where Paul Reed Smith mentioned that John Mayer needed a set where all three pickups had the same wind and it does have the least ice picky, most useful bridge pickup I’ve seen in the sub 7k wind range, but I can’t help but to think if by winding the neck and middle a little differently they couldn’t have opened up their tone more. At the end of the day this is being nit picky as it is a great set of pickups.
    Feel - Wow. The hype around this neck is absolutely spot on. Let me preface this by saying my favorite necks have always been V-Shaped, thin, flat radius and tall frets. The Silver Sky’s neck is C, large, vintage radius and has small frets and is the best neck I’ve ever played by a wide margin. It is also the lightest of the 4 which is also impressive considering the Nash is ash versus the rest being alder. The vintage locking tuners are great and I’m loving the 3x3 configuration. The trem only goes down but is very smooth. The fit and finish are as flawless as you’d expect from a PRS but if I had to be nit picky a few of the design choices, such as the control knobs, tuner heads and gig bag feel oddly cheap for such an expensive instrument.
    Overall the PRS is similar to the Suhr in that both are attempt to “correct” a beloved 65 year old design, but I feel the PRS does a better job at straddling the line between vintage and modern and capturing some of the magic of a vintage instrument while keeping an eye to the future.
    It is my favorite of the three “new” designs with the caveat that if I didn’t have a Silver Sky most of its praise would be heaped on the Classic Pro.

    Great - so how does this compare to an original?

    In the PRS promotional materials John Mayer mentioned that out of 100 strats you may have 2 or 3 with that magic. Well my 2012 Deluxe is one of those lucky production instruments with the right or wrong combination of parts to make a killer Strat. It doesn’t look like much, it’s got a sloppy neck pocket and still has the dreaded N3 pickups, but it sounds and feels like all those adjectives that come to our heads when we think about a great Strat. To me that makes this a great benchmark instrument. Compared to the others it has the special slinky feel I associate with great strats, probably with the Silver Sky coming closest and the Nash furthest away. As far as tones go only the neck and middle positions on the Nash beat it for that chimey but bright and focused classic Strat tone. All three beat it in build quality the finish on the Nash was my least favorite, as the matte seemed very unnatural and the relic’ed guitar with a brand spanking new looking pickguard and pickups was just an odd look.

    For my needs, I’d rate it Silver Sky, Classic Pro, American Deluxe then Nash S-57. All our amazing guitars and I could easily see any of them making a consumer happy though.
    "We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace." Sri Chimroy, 1948

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    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    For my money, it's been a G&L Legacy, S-500, Comanche or Legacy Special since about 1992. I had sold my 1960 Strat a couple years before due to a divorce. When I found the Legacy, it addressed all of the issues I had with the old Strat, yet it still had a vintage feel, with the RIGHT modifications for modern styles.

    Nothing else fits me as well as a G&L.

    Bill
    When you've had budget guitars for a number of years, you may find that your old instrument is holding you back. A quality guitar can inspire you to write great songs, improve your understanding of the Gdim chord while in the Lydian Mode, cure the heartbreak of cystic acne--and help you find true love in the process.

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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    I think when you get to that level, it is all personal preference. If you are spending that kind of money, track down all 3 and try them. One will stand out to you.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Quote Originally Posted by ebagjones View Post
    In the PRS promotional materials John Mayer mentioned that out of 100 strats you may have 2 or 3 with that magic.
    I appreciate the effort put into this thread, but this quote is a total misrepresentation of what he means . or anyone means when you hear them say this. -as everyones preferences and physical geometry of their hand and arm and musculature and ear derive different opinions in a stack of 100 production models -there are never 2 or 3 in a run of 100 that are objectively best across a population of buyers -that's totally individual -there are more like 20 or 30 -or even more and every player has what they like best and they are not the same between players from that group of good guitars.
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

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    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    For those prices, you could conceivably, fly to San Diego
    And get Jeff Keisel at Carvin/Keisel build you the strat of you dreams
    EHD
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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Quote Originally Posted by ehdwuld View Post
    For those prices, you could conceivably, fly to San Diego
    And get Jeff Keisel at Carvin/Keisel build you the strat of you dreams
    South Alabama got some strong ideas!

    Plus as soon as a solid body electric climbs north of about 1500.00 -in general, you are paying pretty much for aesthetics only -which is fine if that's what you want -but it's not sounding any better.

    the only guitars I pay more than 2k for are hollow or semi -which have serious Luthier labor involved.
    Last edited by NegativeEase; 05-31-2019 at 12:25 PM.
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

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    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    As I said
    Why stop at what John Mayer likes
    Get one the way YOU like
    Laid out like you want
    Neck shape you want
    Color and shade you want
    Keisel/Carvin specializes in dream guitars
    If you call and check, I'm sure they will build yours too
    EHD
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    RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
    SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
    Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
    Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
    Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
    Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
    GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Quote Originally Posted by ehdwuld View Post
    For those prices, you could conceivably, fly to San Diego
    And get Jeff Keisel at Carvin/Keisel build you the strat of you dreams
    Maybe at one time but in all reality the value of Kiesel/Carvin has gone down considerably over the last few years. Out of curiosity I specced a Kiesel Delos (their “Strat” model) like a Suhr Classic Pro and came up with $1319 plus shipping, let’s round up to $1400. Considering most of these retail models are available for seasonal discounts and coupons that put that range closer to $1572 to $1840, which is a pretty slim difference and the kiesel did not have a compound radius option (like the Suhr) or locking tuners (like the Suhr and PRS) so that closes the gap even more. I’ve never owned a Kiesel and I’m sure they build fine instruments but all three brands above have excellent reputations. Also, my favorite neck was the Silver Sky and Kiesel didn’t have anything close to those neck specs, no chunky C, no 7.25 radius, no vintage frets so I can’t even make a comparison there.
    Here’s the buildout

    Your Cart:
    Base Model Options Quantity Price
    D6G
    Right Handed
    Gotoh 510 Tremolo 1 $1,149.00

    -MA - Maple Neck/Alder Body (Standard) $0.00
    -CG - Clear Gloss Finish (Standard) $0.00
    TT - Translucent Tobacco Sunburst $40.00
    22F - 25.5 Inch Scale, 22-Fret Fingerboard $0.00
    THKN - Thicker Neck Profile $60.00
    -GT6 - Inline GT Headstock (Standard) $0.00
    -MPH - Maple Headstock (Standard) $0.00
    RWF - Rosewood Fingerboard (USA only; cannot be exported overseas) $30.00
    ID - Dot Inlays $0.00
    IMP - White Pearl Inlay Material $0.00
    -STF - Stainless Med-Jumbo Frets .048" H .103" W (Standard) $0.00
    R12 - 12in Fretboard Radius $40.00
    KBB - Kiesel Beryllium Passive Bridge Pickup $0.00
    KBN - Kiesel Beryllium Passive Neck Pickup $0.00
    -400 - Black Pickup Coils (Standard) $0.00
    -PPC - Kiesel Lithium/Beryllium Silver Pickup Poles (Standard) $0.00
    SSS - 3 Single Coil Pickups (N/A with AC) $30.00
    -CHR - Chrome Hardware (Standard) $0.00
    -46 - Elixir 1046E Light Gauge .010 - .046 (Standard) $0.00
    BL - Black Logo $0.00
    SC10 - Black Ultimate Soft Guitar Case $70.00
    Custom Shop Total: $1,419.00
    Options Discount: $-100.00



    Sub-Total $1,319.00
    "We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace." Sri Chimroy, 1948

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    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Ok
    EHD
    Just here surfing Guitar Pron
    RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
    SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
    Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
    Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
    Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
    Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
    GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Great post, thanks.

    I still really want to build an MJT painted, Musikraft body neck, Callaham hardware, custom pickup Strat. The main sticking point is that trying to sell it would net you about 35% of your investment, and my tastes change too much...
    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Those Surh guitars are sure good.



    ;>)/
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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    I never got behind the idea of Gucci-Fenders, tbh.

    Strats and Teles have (in my mind) been super simple guitars. Once you get far enough away from the basic formula, you start taking away from what makes a strat great.
    Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy_26 View Post
    I never got behind the idea of Gucci-Fenders, tbh.

    Strats and Teles have (in my mind) been super simple guitars. Once you get far enough away from the basic formula, you start taking away from what makes a strat great.
    I get what you mean, but I see the other side where people see things they want to modify. To me it's about getting the specific qualities and sounds I want and not about adhering to what a specific guitar model is or "should" be. I will add I'm a bit progressive in that I am a bit disappointed to see the same LP|strat|tele|superstrat types again and again with some Vs, but it's rare to get radically different takes (some neat ones such as the MM bowtie one stand out though). Same goes for pickups and parts. There has been some development like Fishmans and roasted necks though.

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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    I always thought the Music Man Albert Lee & Silhouette Special were ideal forms of the Strat formula.
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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Save your money and buy 2 G&Ls.

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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Interesting review. Any change you could compare the Luke (which model btw?)?

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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Quote Originally Posted by OLDERBUDWISER View Post
    Save your money and buy 2 G&Ls.
    I’ve had several G&L’s over the years, (several Legacies, a S-500 and a ASAT Bluesboy 90) and they were all great instruments. That said, I feel the bolt-ons I’ve played by PRS, EBMM and Suhr have been the next level of quality from G&L. I absolutely cannot recommend against getting G&L especially because they have their own sound with the MFD’s and a lot of great innovations like the dual fulcrum vibrato and PTB I just feel there are better options for me.
    "We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace." Sri Chimroy, 1948

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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Quote Originally Posted by playas View Post
    Interesting review. Any change you could compare the Luke (which model btw?)?
    The Luke 3 I would say is on the same build quality level as the PRS and Suhr. Music Man’s I think have more of their own thing going on, and I very much respect them for that. While my Luke could do a convincing single coil tone, I wouldn’t call it strat like. The neck is a speed demon, skinny v and smooth low frets and a barely finished feel. Great guitar.
    Last edited by ebagjones; 06-12-2019 at 11:24 AM. Reason: Clarification
    "We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace." Sri Chimroy, 1948

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    Member ebagjones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy_26 View Post
    I never got behind the idea of Gucci-Fenders, tbh.

    Strats and Teles have (in my mind) been super simple guitars. Once you get far enough away from the basic formula, you start taking away from what makes a strat great.

    Thanks for your comment. You know I read a lot of people with comments like this but to be honest I see model like the Silver Sky and Classic Pro as a cheap alternative. As great a modern USA productions Fenders are, I think we can all agree that they are not built with the same standards and care as guitars from the 50’s and early 60’s. To get that sort of attention you’d really need to go custom shop, and, at $3500 on up those are simply out of the price range I’m willing to pay for a Strat or Tele Style guitar. Luckily companies like Suhr and PRS (and Anderson, Kirn, Nash, K-Line, Music Man etc) have models built with the care of golden era guitar manufacturing, but with more consistency and with some notable tweaks of faults the makers may have found in the original design. Whether or not the buyer appreciates the tweaks made is up to them, but the fact of the matter is these instruments are exceptionally high quality and have base models generally $1000-$1500 less than what custom shop if asking.
    "We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace." Sri Chimroy, 1948

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    Default Re: Silver Sky, Suhr Classic Pro, American Deluxe Strat, Nash S-57, thoughts & compar

    Quote Originally Posted by ebagjones View Post
    The Luke 3 I would say is on the same build quality level as the PRS and Suhr. Music Man’s I think have more of their own thing going on, and I very much respect them for that. While my Luke could do a convincing single coil tone, I wouldn’t call it strat like. The neck is a speed demon, skinny v and smooth low frets and a barely finished feel. Great guitar.
    Cool, thanks.

    It's interesting, I've only tried a Luke 3 once but absolutely loved the neck.
    The pickups just seemed bland and sterile though. There was also a silhouette special in the same shop and the stock pickups were much nicer.
    The feel of the Luke's neck was just outstanding though and never forgot that.

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