This latest evolution of the Modern Eagle features a neck and fretboard made from select rosewood, a hard, toneful material with a lovely striped grain pattern. The dark wood highlights both the beautiful abalone/pearl bird inlays on the fretboard and the shell accents on the matching headstock, combining with the figured maple top to give the instrument a stunning appearance.
As is the case with our in-house 2009 Modern Eagle II, the ME Quatro plays superbly and sounds very in tune in all reaches of the fretboard. The Pattern shape neck is a lot like the rosewood stick on the II, although a tad slimmer and more open grained. The Modern Eagle II’s neck has the polished feel of a bowling ball, while the Quatro’s telegraphs a little more wood texture to your fingers.
Other new details for the ME Quatro are its 53/10 humbuckers—also found on the JA-15—which PRS describes as the warmest sounding of their “vintage” offerings. PRS has definitely upped its game in pickup design and you can hear it in the ME Quatro’s tones, which offer sparkling clarity, a great sense of depth, and glistening harmonics. Slightly less aggressive sounding than the 57/08 units, the Quatro’s pickups have a blossoming midrange and a silky top that cuts through beautifully without a trace of harshness. This guitar sounds very full and balanced, yet there’s so much of the right kind of brilliance on tap that I didn’t need to put the pickups into split mode to get ultra-crisp clean tones.
If you are in the market for a high-end PRS, the ME Quatro delivers on all fronts: It’s beautiful, it plays like a dream, and it sounds terrific. PRS had already gotten very close to perfecting the maple top/dual humbucker concept with its flagship Modern Eagle series, and this guitar takes things a notch further in that direction. For those who can afford such finery, the ME Quatro delivers everything you pay for and then some.