PRS Myles Kennedy review – more than a PRS Tele, this is a versatile road warrior’s guitar

The Alter Bridge man’s signature model became one of the most hyped guitars of 2023, but is it more than just a Telecaster with a funny headstock?

PRS Myles Kennedy, photo by Adam Gasson

PRS Myles Kennedy. Image: Adam Gasson

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Review Overview

Our rating


Our verdict

The Silver Sky changed the conversation about non-Fender S-types – while PRS’ entry into the T-type world might not have the same seismic impact, this is a highly refined road-ready guitar with plenty of Fullerton twang surging through its alt-rock veins.

$2,899/£3,099, www.prsguitars.com

It’s sometimes worth taking a moment to appreciate what PRS and John Mayer did with the Silver Sky – they somehow managed to make an S-type guitar that sold better than many of Fender’s Strats. That’s like making a tastier fried chicken than the Colonel, and just because it’s become the norm now for the Silver Sky to be both acceptable and fashionable doesn’t make it any less remarkable.

Of course, the Silver Sky’s popularity and cool factor was significantly influenced by Mayer’s endorsement and gift for marketing, so you do wonder if PRS’ latest take on a Fender solid body might be hoping to pull off a similar trick.

The much-leaked and rumoured ‘PRS Telecaster’ actually turned out to be a double-barrelled release when it finally dropped last year – the more traditional NF53 and then this, the similar but altogether different Myles Kennedy signature model.

A long-time PRS endorsee, Kennedy is revered across the globe for his breathtaking vocal prowess and emotive songwriting, which he’s put to use as a solo artist, and also as the frontman of Alter Bridge and with Slash in his Conspirators solo project. Those in the know also understand that despite him regularly working with some of the world’s most famous guitar stars, he’s no slouch on guitar himself.

His Alter Bridge bandmate Mark Tremonti knows a thing or two about having a successful PRS model – his signature guitar has been around for 21 years now, so will Myles have similar success with this one? Let’s find out.

Birds fretboard inlay on the MK, photo by Adam Gasson
Birds fretboard inlay on the MK. Image: Adam Gasson

Is the PRS Myles Kennedy like a Telecaster?

Well, the MK’s resonant if chunky swamp ash body brings to mind a classic T-shape of course, yet with its unique subtly curved body contours, refined cutaway and comfort-facilitating belly cut, it feels like a more modern, stage-ready, refined and very sleek take on Fender’s first classic slab design.

It’s also a little different to your standard PRS – there are no flamey tops or wild colour finishes here. The MK is available in natural, sunburst, or a trio of muted matt colours. The flat Black of this particular specimen only adds to the road-ready blue-collar vibe of the guitar, though I do kinda wish I’d been sent the Hunter’s Green finish – according to Kennedy himself it’s a special colour developed from the finish of an old family truck.

In another major departure from PRS’ regular recipe, the MK has a bolt-on 25.5-inch scale maple neck. Despite this guitar’s outward alt-rock leanings, the neck itself is a hefty palm-filling C-profile, with a girth that’s pretty consistent as you head up the neck, evoking a heavy vibe of early 1950s ’Caster – be it Tele, Broad’ or even No’!

Bridge and pickups on the MK, photo by Adam Gasson
Bridge and pickups on the MK. Image: Adam Gasson

PRS’ usual standard of beautifully polished medium tall frets adorn the 10-inch radiused maple fingerboard constructed from a separate maple piece of wood giving a subtle classy faux binding look to the beautifully rolled edges of the neck.

The whole neck and fingerboard is finished in a beautiful satin finish aiding the super smooth comfortable playability allied to the top-notch PRS setup.

The rosewood veneered headstock, complete with PRS brass shaft locking tuners and an MK Owl logo truss rod cover, is scarf jointed on which, while perhaps isn’t the most elegant solution to neck construction, will certainly add strength to this area.

Owl logo truss rod cover on the MK, photo by Adam Gasson
Owl logo truss rod cover on the MK. Image: Adam Gasson

The bridge design deserves huge credit, whilst PRS aficionados will recognize it from the Vela, it feels totally at home on this design. The clever keyhole string-through design had us flipping the guitar over a few times and scratching our heads as to where the strings terminated fully expecting to see through-body ferrules.

Instead, the strings are held firmly in the top-loading keyhole bridge slots which is not only a good thing for quick string changes. The shrewd design also brings more ‘thru-body’ levels of downward string tension to the strings as they pass over thick brass saddles for maximum Broadcaster levels of snap and twang sustain yet maintaining a ‘top-loader’-esqe slinky playing feel.

Not for the first time, I have to doff my cap to the engineering genius of Mr Smith and his team.

Selector and controls on the MK, photo by Adam Gasson
Selector and controls on the MK. Image: Adam Gasson

Does The PRS Myles Kennedy sound like a Telecaster?

With its classic swamp ash body and maple neck, unplugged, the MK is a joy. The resonant ash body and classic PRS 25.5-inch scale length bring to mind plenty of classic Tele snap to proceedings, more than you might expect from a guitar very much designed for a heavy rock guitarist.

Plugged into our clean Fender Deluxe Reverb amp, I discover a guitar with a rich and resonant midrange voice to accompany the twang, beautifully comfortable to play with plenty of sustain. The PRS MK is equally at home with delicate finger-picked clean passages right up to crushing high-gain riffs and lead work with more amp or pedal gain.

The pair of MK Narrowfield humbucker pickups are allied to a five-way selector and master volume and tone controls, offering each pickup in isolation in positions 1, 3 and 5. Position 2 offers the bridge and a single coil-splite coil of the neck pickup – a slightly lower output option full of chime. Position 4 is both pickups coil-split for a funky lower output option. The icing on the cake is the preset tone roll-off on the tone control push-pull. This option is akin to rolling the tone control down to roughly 5 and is perfect to tame some of the high-end when using higher gain tones at which the guitar excels.

Myles Kennedy’s signature on the MK neck plate, photo by Adam Gasson
Myles Kennedy’s signature on the MK neck plate. Image: Adam Gasson

Is the PRS Myles Kennedy worth it?

With its pickup versatility offering a wide range of humbucking and single coil-esque tones combined with PRS’ super build quality, the MK is a tantalising proposition for anyone needing a solid and versatile road warrior.

It doesn’t quite have the glistening sonic snap and charm of a genuine battered old 1950s blackguard Tele, but what it loses in sparkle it certainly gains in its muscular midrange-focused, more refined sonic presentation and chameleon-like versatility to cope with just about any amount of gain – from sparkling cleans to crushing drive. It’s not a slavish Tele clone then, but its own unique and interesting thing.

In perfect symmetry perhaps to Myles’ superb vocal versatility, his signature PRS is a high-quality contemporary take on the beaten-up old classics that inspired it. The perfect T-style for the modern rocker.

PRS Myles Kennedy, photo by Adam Gasson
PRS Myles Kennedy. Image: Adam Gasson

PRS Myles Kennedy alternatives

The world isn’t short of high-end T-types that do their own thing, and if you want to go full-on heavy with your sound, the Fender Jim Root Telecaster ($1,549.99/£1,389) is a good place to start. Alternatively, Suhr’s Alt T Black MN ($3,449/£3,199) offers a very similar vibe to the MK but with a pair of full-sized humbuckers. Finally, Ibanez’s FLATV1 Josh Smith Signature AZS Black ($2,499.99/£2,249) offers a much more traditional take on the T recipe, but still does its own thing visually.

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