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I like that PRS makes modern guitars with vintage vibe and feel. I was playing a Custom 22, and we thought it would be cool to create an instrument specifically to play on the King Crimson tour. As a statement of intent, I asked PRS how they felt about putting the iconic artwork from the first King Crimson album on a guitar. A friend of mine got the artwork together, and I gave them some specs regarding the neck and the pickups. They were up for it. “It looks amazing because the turquoise-blue finish is like porcelain. It was their suggestion to use clear plastic knobs so you could see through to the design. They came up with the lovely maple edging and the almost luminescent bird inlays on the ebony fingerboard. The moon man design on the back is from the inside sleeve of the original album gatefold. “I went with the P24 because it has higher access and a different feel. The 22 feels like a mandolin to me now—the neck feels tiny. The body is mahogany. The pickups are kind of basic—I don’t like overwound, hot-rodded pickups. That’s too much fizz for me. I’m after a more old-school PAF sound. But I did ask them to put a piezo pickup in the bridge and include a separate output that I send to the monitors. “I love having the piezo’s additional attack and clarity available. It gives the tone a nice high-end presence. I generally mix it on clean sounds, such as ‘A Scarcity of Miracles,’ but lately I’ve started using it with overdriven sounds as well. For example, Robert plays a long, angelic melody in ‘Level Five,’ and I play the chords behind it using a pretty hefty sound. I’ve started bringing in the piezo so it’s not such a mush. Zappa used a transducer in the neck for similar purpose—adding presence to heavy sounds.”more
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