The PRS 513 is “one of those numbered models” that’s all too often overlooked because it’s not as iconic or easy to find on a music store wall as a CU24. This is unfortunate because it’s a very special guitar.

Originally debuting in 2007, the PRS 513 is still going strong today, and is a good example of PRS’ experimental wiring. The guitar is extremely versatile, and beloved by many artists.

Let’s see if the PRS 513 is for you!


The full specs of this PRS 513 are as follows:

  • Carved Figured Maple Top
  • Fire Red Burst
  • Mahogany Body & Neck
  • Rosewood Fretboard w/ PRS Bird Inlays
  • Pattern Regular Neck Profile
  • PRS Tremolo & Phase III Locking Tuners
  • 25.25” Scale Length w/ 22 Frets.
  • 513 System Pickups
  • 1 Volume, 1 Tone, 5-Way Blade, 3-Way Mode Toggle (Heavy Humbucking, Clear Humbucking, & Parallel)

The Patter Regular neck profile is an updated version of the late ‘80s PRS necks. It’s definitely not the neck for someone who’s used to super-thin carves, but outside of that I’d describe it as very general interest.

As always, the PRS hardware is well-made, and the carved top is exceptionally comfortable.

The scale is actually a very odd 25.25” length on this guitar. I can’t say I’ve played many guitars with that scale length, but it is right between a normal PRS and a Strat, so I can’t imagine anyone not liking it.


You can tell just by looking at the guitar that it’s going to be very versatile, and you know it’s build on the classic mahogany/mahogany platform, so let me touch on 3 things that I think are important about this specific model.

The lack of the two frets does make a difference, and it’s one that I personally enjoy. You can read more about this in our Custom 22 review, but the short version is that placing a neck pickup under the 24th fret harmonic gives it a very fluid and organic tone: one that some players are very married to. I’m not in the camp that would consider the tone of 24 fret guitars “bad,” but seeing “22 frets” on a spec list is a welcome sight for me.

The wiring itself requires its own explanation, given that PRS describes it as “heavy humbucking, clear humbucking, & single coil.” This is also described in the 408 & 513 section of our guide to PRS guitars, and it’s basically a combination of normal wiring, coil taps, and coil splits in one guitar. (Check out the absolutely critical and utterly life altering difference between taps and splits) 513 stands for “5 pickups, 13 sounds” and this is how it’s achieved.

Thirdly: this guitar has its own very identifiable and unique voice, despite having so many tonal options. I love this about it: it doesn’t feel like a phoned in “jack of all trades master of none” guitar. The PRS 513 is very clear and punchy in all positions. This is awesome, but may not be to the liking of some guitarists. Think of the 513 pickups (not in tone, in overall sculptability) as less of a PAF Pro that can sound however you want, and as more of a Lace Alumitone that has its own vibe that it doesn’t like to be pulled away from.

Build Quality:

There’s genuinely not much I can say about PRS at this point, as their output is so consistent. Check out any of my other reviews on their guitars, or this look at a Private Stock guitar of the month to see just how crazy they can get.

PRS are always a good way to go for a USA instrument, and they outperform many flavor of the month “boutique” luthiers on literally every front.

PRS’ finish process is very in-depth, which results in great tops with 3d qualities. Alignment, fretwork, wiring, and basically everything else that goes into building a guitar is done without flaws.

While this is far from a new experience, or one specific to this guitar, I will say that I was particularly blown away by the craftsmanship on the bird inlays on this 513.

Final Verdict:

The PRS 513 is an awesome guitar. It’s everything good about a classic PRS, with some added features emblematic of where PRS as a company is right now.

The tones are extremely versatile, yet the guitar still really has its own voice that it doesn’t really want to be forced away from. Perhaps it’s just my reluctance to give an instrument a straight 5/5 rating, but I know there are some metal players (as always) that won’t be happy with the 513 pickup system. If you embrace the guitar’s natural voice and just tweak it to your liking, 95% of guitarists should be able to get tones they adore.

Not everyone is going to like the look of the pickups, and some players will miss the full two-octave per string range, but I’m really just nitpicking at this point, and would personally argue those are positive features.

The PRS 513 is a fantastic guitar for almost any player, and is especially good for someone that needs one guitar for everything.


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This article was written by Kyle Karich, our editor located in Florida.


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