This cutaway dreadnought electro – again all-solid spruce/mahogany – shares the PGC’s sunburst theme, but this time the sunburst is confined to the top, with the back, rims and neck lacquered over a mid-brown stain. If that prompts a twinge of disappointment it’ll be fleeting, as elsewhere Peerless has really pushed the cosmetic boat out with abalone purfling, an abalone rosette and pearl stars on the belly bridge. Extra plies are also added to the back purfling.
However, the tour de force sits along the fingerboard – a scrummy abalone vine inlay. Not only that, but the fingerboard edges are purfled in the same shell, as is the edge of the headstock, which totes gold rather than chrome tuners. There’s a danger that all this could look overblown, but the effect is sumptuous and tasteful. The all-over gloss finish is once again immaculate.
Thanks to the neck’s natural finish we can see that it’s essentially one-piece, with extra wood just for the headstock wings and heel portion. It comes with a volute again, and the profile and dimensions are to all intents and purposes the same as the concert’s, the only noticeable difference being a little more depth towards the heel turn, which doesn’t detract from the comfortable, speedy playing feel.
Fishman’s Prefix Plus-T provides the onstage juice, adding an auto-chromatic tuner to the familiar control layout of sliders for the four-band mid-swept EQ and rotaries for volume and a notch filter. A phase switch is also included and the fast, accurate tuner works both acoustically and plugged in.
In terms of absolute acoustic punch this is a slightly polite dread, not a snarling belter. Its tonal character is pleasantly tempered with a vein of underlying warmth and low-end depth and a fluid delivery edged with a hint of top-end sweetness. Cross-string balance is again very good. All this serves the guitar excellently when powered up, because it leaves the Prefix to be used creatively rather than compensate for any out-of-kilter traits. The result is a joy to work with: a versatile, natural-sounding EQ palette, decent gain and – on our sample at least – an under-saddle output that’s spot-on even across the strings.