The body is mahogany with a flamed maple cap - looks better than any finish PRS have ever achieved! The mahogany neck is stopped with an Indian Rosewood fingerboard with perfectly-finished frets. The rosewood is outstanding - and comes from stock purchased from Burns Ltd in London when Burns ran into difficulties. It's the fingerboard that is probably the guitars best feature (next to its looks); being particularly fast. The cutaway allows for easy access to the 'dusty end' with ease, the heel isn't obtrusive and you can get to even the 22nd fret on the sixth string without changing your grip.
Let's be clear here - this guitar is heavy. Not as heavy as say an SG2000, but certainly going that way. If you want a nice airy piece of wood, find something made of alter!
There are two low profile 'mini' humbuckers, and just three controls; a three-way selector switch and a single volume control and tone control with a push-pull coil split. With the split selected it won't make the Retro sound like a 'Strat - more like a humbucker-equipped guitar with a coil-split, but it does suffice.
There are no dints or dents or scratches of note. If you look closely you can see pick-scratches where a scratch-plate would have been fitted on another design - but you will need to look real close, and at the right angle.
The tone is...well I think the nearest is to that of an SG, or perhaps a Les Paul. One thing I love is that the back of the guitar has a cutaway for your hip so you can pull the guitar close to you and feel the whole body resonate at high volumes. The neck seems to gone on forever, once again because all 22 frets are easily accessible. Even though it doesn't have through-body stringing it has good sustain. The tailpiece is machined rather than extruded aluminum.
I'm selling it because it doesn't get used. I've switched to acoustic; simply because my ears can't cope with high volumes anymore and playing acoustic lets me sit down to play legitimately.
Although it looks great I'm no PRS-owning estate agent or lawyer - this guitar needs to be owned by someone who will take it out to play, rather than be left hanging on a wall looking pretty. Before being shipped this guitar was photographed and appeared on the JJ web site for the model.
The controls were designed in consultation with working musicians - exactly what you need on-stage, with nothing complex to go awry. The volume dial is spot-on if you like to get that 'violin' effect with your little finger rather than with a volume pedal. Tuning and intonation are spot-on even with fierce string bending. I haven't found a style of music unsuited for it, but if you played metal I reckon you would need hotter pickups. Certainly for rock, blues and jazz they do the trick. After buying this JJ I only ever purchased one more electric - a cheap second-hand Godin for more Strat-like work.