PRS launches “Dead Spec” Silver Sky Limited Edition in honour of Jerry Garcia’s “Alligator” tones
In this limited run, only 1,000 “Dead Spec” guitars will be sold worldwide.
Credit: PRS Guitars
PRS and John Mayer have partnered to launch the “Dead Spec” Silver Sky Limited Edition model, which pays homage to Jerry Garcia and the tones of his Alligator guitar. Just 1,000 units are being sold worldwide.
The guitar was originally designed at the request of John Mayer for his work on the most recent Dead & Company tour. It is the first of several limited edition designs of his Silver Sky, originally launched in 2018, to diverge this far from the model’s standard specifications.
It has a lightweight Swamp Ash body – as opposed to alder – and is finished in Moc Sand Satin Nitro that is thin and sinks into the grain of the wood. The bridge is a modified PRS patented Gen III Tremolo that has been screwed to the body, which PRS says effectively renders it a string-through hardtail bridge.
The tremolo’s brass block has been kept in the equation for added musical warmth, and there’s also a brass nut and string retainer bar for resonance and tone. Most prominently, its jack plate has been swapped out for a brass-plate Alembic Blaster preamp. This can be used as a straight boost but has an internal pot that allows players to add between 3 – 14 dB of gain to the guitar when turned on.
PRS states that this gives the Dead Spec Silver Sky added punch while maintaining definitive note separation, but it compensates for the capacitance that comes with long stage cables as well. The circuit is bypassed when in the off position.
“After playing the Silver Sky designed for the 2023 Dead & Company summer tour, I realised the guitar was special,” says Mayer. “It quickly became apparent this wasn’t just a tool for one particular job but could be extremely versatile in other players’ hands. I’m excited to hear the music that’s made on these guitars.”
“When I heard John wanted the tone of Garcia’s old guitar for this tour, I called him and said, ‘I think I can have a prototype to you in five days.’ It was that quick and painless of a conversation,” adds Paul Reed Smith, founder of PRS Guitars.
“So, we made this non-tremolo guitar with a lot of brass, which gave the guitar beautiful warm midrange, and the Alembic Blaster switch that cleared everything up and gave the guitar some courage. The first time I played it, I was smiling – I really like it.
“The other thing I love about this guitar is that the finish sinks into the wood. It’s part of the guitar, so the guitar feels alive in your hands. That’s really cool,” he concludes.
The Dead Spec Silver Sky is retailing at £3,495. Find out more and locate your nearest dealer over at PRS Guitars.