PRS SE Mikael Akerfeldt - Tortoise Shell
PRS SE Mikael Akerfeldt - Tortoise Shell

SE Mikael Akerfeldt - Tortoise Shell, Other Shape Guitar from PRS in the SE Signature series.

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julian_r7 09/14/2014

PRS SE Mikael Akerfeldt - Tortoise Shell : julian_r7's user review

"Best guitar I ever had"

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The PRS Mikael Akerfeldt guitar proved to be one of my best choices among my musical equipment. I've owned mine for five years now and I've used it to play all sorts of music with amazing results.

It is an SE model, featuring a sort-of-Les Paul shaped body of maple wood with a particular shell print on it. The neck is maple, ebony fretboard (with a sort of satin in it that is actually helpful to avoid unwanted sliding), wide neck, 24 jumbo frets, and the typical PRS birds inlay (though I think this was one of the very first SE models to feature them). It has a tone knob, volume knob, a three way selector (positioned below the strings, as in a Stratocaster). All hardware and pickups are PRS designed: treble is the PRS SE HFS Treble, and bass is the PRS Vintage Bass, and the name describes perfectly the sound of this particular pickup. The bridge is a PRS Designed Tremolo, the tuner are the standard PRS Tuners, and the hardware is gold (which makes for a very classy look and requires a lot of care).


The guitar was excellent out of the box. With a beautiful action, a comfortable shape and a medium weight, it has been my companion on every gig for the last five years. As this is the custom model of Opeth's frontman, Mikael Akerfeld, the guitar is designed to cover his needs on the band. Luckily for everyone, these include fingerpicking, lead work, rhythmic work and frantic riffs, so the instrument is quite versatile per se. As stated before, the satin finish of the neck makes for a quite comfortable play. The very sharp bridge makes this guitar a sort of string snapping machine if you abuse the tremolo, so that's a minus.


As it was made to cover Akerfeldt's needs on the band, the guitar works best for clean, dark tones, bluesy leads, and extra heavy riffs. The pickups can deal with 70's singer songwriter fingerstyle sounds as well as the most intense death metal distorsion.

I've run this guitar through some VOX, Marshall, and Mesa models, and the sound has always maintained its characteristic bass darkness and richness. The tone may be a little lacking for things like classic rock and such, but the variety of music you can face with this guitar totally makes up for it.


I find this an extremely stylish, comfortable, and versatile instrument. Back in 2010, I tried at least twelve PRS guitars before getting this one, and I haven't regretted my decision for a second. I even tried other SE models and I found none as this good for fingerpicking. It is totally worth its price. The hardware has worn out a bit with time, and the knobs have to be cleaned with some regularity, but that's rather normal in Korean made guitars. The tuners are excellent too, they have rarely failed me. I would definitely make the same choice again.