PRS NF3 - Review and Tone Report

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by SharkAtl, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. SharkAtl

    SharkAtl Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    I just received my new PRS NF3 the other day and thought I would provide you folks with a quick review and tone report. This is a fairly new guitar and there is not a lot of information out there on it, so I thought this might help.

    First of all, the Korina body is just plain beautiful, especially with the light burst. You can really see the grain and the new V12 finish from PRS really makes this thing gorgeous.

    Even better than the body, though, is the unfinished Maple neck. This is off the beaten path for PRS as most of their guitars are Rosewood. Man, this thing is made to play. The unfinished back makes it feel incredible. When I took the guitar to my luthier to set up, he had never seen one before and was amazed. He actually said that this was one of the best playing necks he has ever come across. High praise. The jumbo frets make bending a breeze, and the outlined black dots are very classy. The guitar has the standard PRS locking tuners. I have not played with her enough to get a feel for the tuners, but if they are like other PRS tuners, then I don't anticipate any problems.

    What sets this guitar apart from Strats or Teles, are the three Narrowfield humbucker pickups. These things are incredibly versatile. With the volume dialed all the way to 10, you can really get a nice crunchy gain that sounds alot like a nice LP. Dial it down a few, and you get a wonderful sounds somewhere between a single coil Strat and a P90. Bring the fvolume down to 5 and you get some really incredible cleans. This thing just sparkles at lower volume. While this is not an LP, Strat or Tele clone, you do get some very similar tones while really establishing a distinctive sound.

    I have a nice American Standard Tele, a Custom Shop Strat and a Gibson ES335, all very nice guitars. After playing this for a few days, I am afraid those other guitars may get a bit lonely. This thing just screams to be played, and it is soooo easy to play it's insane. Sits right to the body and the necks just invites you to move up and down her. Very impressive!

    Here are some pics of Little Suzy (named after an ex-girlfriend - just don't tell the wife!):




  2. neverwhas

    neverwhas One step ahead of the Devil!!!

    Mar 25, 2009
    Chicago suburb
    I love the grain on the contour part, great axe man! NF3's rock hard!
  3. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks for the report!
  4. Kelsey

    Kelsey Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    Memphis, TN
    Nice looking guitar. I might have to find one with a maple board to keep mine company.

    I've been playing my white wash NF3 with RW board since the end of November. It's a very cool guitar with great tone and playability. I was looking for a Strat-style guitar with humbucking pickups, and this one came up at a great price lightly used, so I grabbed it in a trade. The pickups are very cool and unique. They sound bright and fat at full volume and get darker and duller when you roll back the volume to 8 or 9. However, when you roll the volume back a little further to 5-7 they seem to get brighter again. I've never played anything quite like it. The finish on the maple neck and Korina body is superb, and the weight, balance, and comfort are exceptionally good. The hardware is also very high quality and smooth in operation.

    I have a few nits to pick. I still prefer a Strat for rhythm tones, as the NF3 is a little too dull at some lower volume settings, as noted above. I think I would prefer a good noiseless Strat SC sized neck pickup, if such a beast exists. The bridge pickup is good, and the middle pickup is exceptional. The NF's are just wide enough to require some adjustment in pickup height and picking technique, even for a Strat player. All 3 NF's have the same DC resistance, but the middle pickup seems the loudest for some reason, but that's fine with me as I prefer it lower than the others. I also had to play around with the neck pickup height because I caught the high E string under the top edge of the neck pickup on two occasions -- once while playing and once while in my gig bag. Finally, I wish the neck was a little thicker in depth -- it's about as slim as I find comfortable and not quite as nice as the old WF on my McC. I do like the narrower nut on the NF3 and the fingerboard edges are more comfortable than the sharp edges on my McC.

    Overall, it's a very cool and unique guitar, and I'm glad to have it. I posted a live clip in a different thread, so head over there if you want to hear mine in action doing some slow blues.
  5. mullytron

    mullytron Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2009
    right behind you
    I played one at GC, waiting for a friend. Maple neck, ice blue finish, I thoroughly expected to find it unfulfilling, but was blown away. So many tones, and so much fun to play, and I was only using a Fender modeling amp. It was so good I even ended up liking the finish.
  6. Chicago Slim

    Chicago Slim Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Bowling Green, KY
    Congratulations, and thanks for the review.

    The non-maple top PRSi (Standards, Starla's, SAS's), are my favorite guitars. I'd love to get a NF3.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  7. jetydosa

    jetydosa Silver Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2007
    Atlanta GA
    Congrats!! Sweet looking guitar! :dude:

    I just recently picked up a Swamp Ash Studio (been meaning to post up a NGD) and cant believe how great the NF pickups sound. They are warm and yet super articulate at the same time. They did a great job with these.
  8. Hugh DaMann

    Hugh DaMann Silver Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    La La Land
    NF3's are great guitars. I love mine! I saw Brent Mason play one at NAMM, so hopefully the word will spread about these.
  9. THebert

    THebert Member

    Nov 2, 2003
    New Orleans, LA
    Love the grain on that one! Nice-
  10. Loki

    Loki Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    It is indeed a gorgeous looking beauty - worth the name of your ex-girlfriend for sure. I am lusting for a NF 3 oder a Mira since a while now but at the moment i can't justify the expenses. Probably in the future.

    Have fun playing her and always treat her well :)
  11. progholio

    progholio Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2007
    In My Room
    this looks like a nice instrument. i'm primarily a strat player and have been kicking around upgrading to something of an uber-strat.

    never been a fan of maple fingerboards - does this one sound bright?
  12. robertkoa

    robertkoa Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Bumping this thread 'cause I just checked out a Demo of the Tubemeister 18 ( want to hear the 36 more )

    BUT- the Guitar World demo uses an NF3 and I really like the sound of it - and I think for more versatility and really plucky tones- more Strat-like for some things- these Narrowfields may sound great with a series parallel switch .

    I also think this 25.25 " scale is sounding very cool and would like to try it.

    Anyone try this yet -switching the two coils of a Narrowfield into parallel ?

Share This Page