PRS guitars turned 30 years old in the guitar building business back in 2015 and one of the things they did to celebrate was to create the Gary Grainger Standard line of US made basses.
This is the updated vesion and it features a lot of improvements.
Even if they've always been devoted to guitars we can find different times when they produced basses. Michael Manring used them on this first solo recordings in the late 80's. Then the 90's saw a new series of passive PRS basses that caught the market by surprise. Then for many many years there were no basses until the great bassist Gary Grainger approached PRS to have a custom bass built. His signature Private Stock bass is among the best instruments to ever come out of the PRS factory. Unfortunately Private Stock instruments are not affordable for everyone so we are really glad to see that the new Gary Grainger Series of basses by PRS is within reach of many more people.
This bass in particular is what PRS calles "Top Ten", meaning it sports an amazing flamed maple top with perfect grain. It really doesn't get any better than this.
A quick look at this instrument tells you immediately why PRS are the absolutely best when it comes to carving gorgeous maple tops for their instruments as well as their deep stain painting process. If the good news stopped here, this would be just a great looking bass but we are glad to report there's more. Much more, actually.
As soon as you play the first notes yo realize that the dimensions of the neck are about perfect and it feels more familiar and comfortable than other 24 neck basses. Everything is within reach and there's no feeling of effort at all. Everything seems easier to play here. Of course the fingerboard sports PRS's trademark bird inlays.
The bridge is equally interesting: it combines the low mass/high resonance concept with a thin base plate along with brass saddles for the best tone and sustain and extra long intonation screws. Cool!
Electronics are also impressive. The previous model was active only but this one is Active-Passive. Two powerful Gary Grainger Humbuckers and a 3 band EQ have been installed and this combination seems to be just about perfect. The pickups themselves are really good and seem to offer the clarity of Single Coils with the performance of Humbuckers (more ouput, noiseless). The bridge pickup can be as incisive as you may ever need but the onboard EQ can make it sound smooth too. The neck pickup sounds absolutely wonderful too with a big and deep tone to it that doesn't lack clarity. Mix them and you'll get a modern scooped type of sound that will fit into a lot of different music styles. Passive mode sounds much more vintage and midrangey so here we hae the best of both worlds: a delicious vintage sound in passive mode as well as incredible precise and clear active sound in active mode.
The low B on this particular bass is remarkably good. It is loud and clear down to the lowest notes. This is remarkable as scale is the traditional 34".
We are also glad to say that this bass is quite lightweight, something that your shoulder and back will no doubt thank you for long sessions.
To sum up: a top noth bass that is gorgeous to look at, really comfortable to play and sounds awesome. What more could you ask for?
Original hardcase included.
PRS Gary Grainger 5 string 10 Top Maple Faded Whale Blue