Price paid: $ 550
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: First I should say, I got this guitar during a sale. I received 12% off the original price of $619.00. Just to clarify - and the original price did NOT include a gig bag like some other retailers advertise. On to the review!
This is a new model for PRS for 2012. I got mine in black. It also comes in a Tobacco Burst and a transparent red finish. I bought the black by choice. They had the others available. The SE series are the imported guitars in the PRS line which are made in Korea. It is the newer model of their PRS SE Single Cut. The main difference between the two I have found is that each pickup has their own independent volume and tone, which is something I really wanted, which is why I went for this one instead of the older model.
- Body Wood: Mahogany (maple veneer top for transparent finishes. Solid finishes to not have the veneer)
- Set: Neck
- Number of Frets: 22
- Scale Length: 24 1/2"
- Neck Wood: Mahogany
- Fretboard Wood: Rosewood
- Neck Shape: Wide Fat
- Fretboard: Bird Inlays
- Bridge: PRS Designed Stoptail
- Tuners: PRS Designed Tuners
- Hardware Type: Nickel
- Treble Pickup: PRS Designed SE 245 Treble Humbucker
- Bass Pickup: PRS Designed SE 245 Bass Humbucker
- Pickup Switching: Volume and Tone Control For Each Pickup and 3-Way Toggle Pickup Selector On Upper Bout
As the name implies - this guitar has a 24.5 inch scale length. Slightly shorter than the average guitar - but I haven't noticed the playability to be any different than my other standard length guitars. It's got a pretty fat neck on it. I've grown to like the "baseball bat" type necks as of late. I just purchased an Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro last week - and the neck on this SE 245 guitar is just as thick as the Epiphone. It's a pretty bare bones guitar though. Nothing extra on it as you can see from the specs. But I've been through the phase of buying fancy feature-ridden guitars. I'm definitely more in the realm of basic guitars now. So for me, its perfect. I'm giving it an 8 just because when it comes down to it, no matter how much I like it - its just a basic guitar. I do wish it had coil tapping though. // 8
Sound: I play a lot of different music. Some of my favorite bands are CKY, Dream Theater, and Children Of Bodom. I also listen to a lot of Paul Gilbert, Journey, John Mayer, Foo Fighters, etc. I think it would do most of these very well. This guitar is mahogany, much like the Les Pauls. Its got a really huge sound, and it's got a bit of weight to it. It's definitely not the lightest guitar I've ever played. The pickups on this thing are great. They aren't EMG's by any stretch, but I could play all types of metal on these pickups. I just compensate on my Maxon OD9 for a gain increase. I'm playing this guitar through a Mesa Boogie F100 with a Maxon OD9 and MXR Carbon Copy. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: I didn't have to make any adjustments to this guitar. I didn't have to adjust the pickups, action or intonation. As far as everything else goes, no problems at all. I can't really imagine that a 2000+ PRS is THAT much better than this guitar. But I've never played one so I can't say for sure. The ONLY thing I did have to do was change the strings on it when I got home. It came with 9's on it. And all PRS guitars come with 10's standard except the SE series. I bought this guitar mainly for a CGCFAD tuning, so it was necessary to change the stock 9's to 10's. The only thing that seems kind of cheap about this guitar are the tuners. I've read that several people changed theirs out on the SE Single Cut version of this guitar. So maybe that'll be an option one day down the road, but not any time soon. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This guitar seems very solid. I tuned it a couple times after I changed strings on it because I didn't stretch out the strings before hand, but after they settled, I haven't had to tune it. I bought another DiMarzio Clip Lock strap, so I don't have the original strap button on it. I would never gig without a back up. Too much can go wrong, no matter how good your guitar is. But I could see myself playing an entire 1.5hr set with this guitar without changing. // 10
Overall Impression: As I said earlier, I play a bit of everything. It would fit most anything that didn't require a single coil type of sound. I wish it did have coil tapping though. Maybe some of the higher end models have that. But I have guitars with that option on it, so missing the coil tap isn't going to hinder anything one bit. It would just be a convenience thing for live situations. I love how fat the sound of this guitar is. It's definitely Les Paul-esque. I love the single cut look. I've always wanted to own a PRS Single Cut, but wasn't aware they made more affordable versions until recently. It's not the fanciest guitar out there, but its a solid guitar and perfect for what I wanted. // 9