#1
After playing a buddy's PRS SE Soapbar II (with a Lollar pup in the bridge) I fell in love. I'd never tried a P90 equipped guitar before -- simply because I thought they didn't look cool. But after that, I was hooked!

I put out a feeler for one of these and after a few hits here and there lucked out with a truly awesome deal. Seriously, this is probably the best value in a guitar I've ever gotten.

PRS SE Soapbar II with the following upgrades:
  • PRS USA Soapbar pups
  • Bone nut
  • Sperzel locking tuners
  • Wilkinson bridge (perfect intonation)
Feast your eyes on the pics (but don't mind the dust -- I'll take care of that when I change strings)!

Really nice gig bag to start (actually didn't expect the gig bag to be included as he never mentioned it and I didn't ask).


About as close to pristine as you're going to find used, IMO.


Close-up of body.


Sperzel locking tuners


Bone nut


Yay, moons! Now I've collected them all (Dots, Moons & Birds). Woo hoo!


USA PRS Soapbar P-90 in the neck


USA PRS Soapbar P-90 in the bridge


Wilkinson bridge.


Review (initial impressions):

Pickups: The first thing I noticed was how quiet these PRS USA P-90s are. Not that they're humbuckers, but still way quieter than I was expecting. Very big single coil sound, bordering on humbucker territory. They can do a real nice creamy tone through a blackface or gritty old school blues through a 4x12 tweed. I typically play heavier rock stuff, but these pups could work for a wide variety of music.

Playing some Nirvana was right in their element. Not going to get Gilmour cleans, but their responsiveness has been very impressive so far. So think punk rock & general thrash -- something that you don't care about a little noise from. Definitely high output.

Neck: The neck is a wide fat. I've played several of these and they've been my favorite type of neck until trying PRS' new Pattern neck (which stole the top spot for me). This is definitely a wide fat -- let there be no mistaking it. It feels chunky, beefy and comfortable as hell (for me anyway, YMMV)

The neck is lacquered mahogany. Other than my acoustic, this is the only finished neck I have. All others have been satin or otherwise unfinished (like my Modern Eagle Quatro). I don't hate the feel, but I'm not a big fan of it. It's different. I'll most likely take a scotchbrite pad to it and make it more of a satin feel. For anyone that plays painted/finished necks, this would be totally fine. And that being said, I've only played it a while so honestly I should reserve judgement on it.

Bridge: This is my only fixed bridge electric guitar. So far I love it -- and it made me realize how little I actually use my trem. What's blowing me away so far is how well it's intonated. The seller told me when he had the bridge and nut replaced that it was intonated perfectly and this was the main reason he was hesitant to sell it. I get it.

Electronics: The controls are simple. There's 1 volume & 1 tone knob. There's also a three position switch that switches between neck (top), neck/bridge (middle) & bridge (bottom). And yes, the middle position really does buck the hum.

Playing: I'll be playing this live on Wednesday and am really looking forward to it. I'll report back how it does in that sort of setting. At this point though, it's a keeper -- and for the price I paid I can't ever see it going away. There's just no reason to!

I'll also say I understand now why you don't see many of these guitars out there for sale (the fellow I got it from had two, so let one go). They're just amazing sounding instruments and once you get your hands on them, people don't let go!
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

PRSi:
*ME Quatro
*CE-22
*SE Soapbar II
H&K TubeMeister
TC Electronic Nova System

PBT Native
#2
HNGD Are you going to change pickups for hum canceling P90's?
PRS SE Custom 24 w/ Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz Pickups
Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster

Digitech Bad Monkey

Pignose 7100 Legendary Amplifyer
#4
HNGD!

5-piece body?
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
#5
Quote by Dr Sixstring
HNGD Are you going to change pickups for hum canceling P90's?

At this point I see no reason to move away from these. Actually, when I played my friend's SE with the Lollar in the bridge, I was amazed at how good the neck pup sounded. Yes, the bridge was predictably good, but the SE pup in the neck is what sold me on getting one of these.

And what I'm hearing right now gives me no interest in other pups. These things are wicked good! I'll see if I can make a clip or something, but for live play I can't imagine needing anything else. Maybe if it was needed for studio work, but even then it's not something that would jump out at you...
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

PRSi:
*ME Quatro
*CE-22
*SE Soapbar II
H&K TubeMeister
TC Electronic Nova System

PBT Native
#6
Quote by JesusCrisp
HNGD!

5-piece body?

You know, now that you mention it, it sure looks like it. I know the newest ones have a maple veneer top. But this one doesn't -- it must be the previous version with the solid mahogany body & neck.
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

PRSi:
*ME Quatro
*CE-22
*SE Soapbar II
H&K TubeMeister
TC Electronic Nova System

PBT Native
#7
HNGD. If I had money to spare I would certainly have one of these on my list.
Strauss!
"I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way." - Gustav Mahler.

Quote by AeolianWolf
absolutely what will said

Yay, my first compliment!
#10
Nice one! I just sold my only P90 guitar yesterday. May have to look at one of these. Great upgrades!!
#11
Quote by thehikingdude
Nice one! I just sold my only P90 guitar yesterday. May have to look at one of these. Great upgrades!!

Yeah, the upgrades made it a no-brainer for me. But I would have been fine with just a stock one to tell you the truth.

If you get a chance, check one out. Like I said above, the neck pup of the stock SE was glorious -- I don't think you'd even need to change it. Can't comment on the bridge one as I've never played through a stock one.

But these USA ones are ridiculous! I'm really in love, and while I understand this is the honeymoon period I have enough experience with my friend's to know this isn't a fluke.

I'm really excited to play on Wednesday now (not that I wasn't before, but even moreso now).
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

PRSi:
*ME Quatro
*CE-22
*SE Soapbar II
H&K TubeMeister
TC Electronic Nova System

PBT Native
#13
Nice! HNGD! You definitely don't see a finish like that everyday!
Quote by Dunning~Kruger
Yes I was rude, and I was aggressive and I was offending a large group of people. But I was civlized about it.

Taylor 414CE
#14
Quote by cdr_salamander
Nice! HNGD! You definitely don't see a finish like that everyday!

Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not (it's fine if you are). It's my first solid mahogany guitar (other than my Traveller), so compared to my other PRS it's not super fancy. But that's alright. I think it looks great and sounds awesome!

Tone Update: So far it isn't happy playing quiet acoustic-type stuff. It really wants to growl and seems to find whatever gain the amp has in it. I was playing on the clean channel for a while, but with a bit of gain. Ordinarily I reserve that for full volume to get some gritty breakup. But with this thing I had to turn the guitar volume quite low to NOT have it break up. Interesting...
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

PRSi:
*ME Quatro
*CE-22
*SE Soapbar II
H&K TubeMeister
TC Electronic Nova System

PBT Native
#16
Quote by richardlpalmer
Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not (it's fine if you are). It's my first solid mahogany guitar (other than my Traveller), so compared to my other PRS it's not super fancy. But that's alright. I think it looks great and sounds awesome!


I guess what I meant was that you don't see a guitar finished that way everyday. Like a clearcoated wood without color. At least I don't. No sarcasm.
Quote by Dunning~Kruger
Yes I was rude, and I was aggressive and I was offending a large group of people. But I was civlized about it.

Taylor 414CE
#17
Quote by cdr_salamander
I guess what I meant was that you don't see a guitar finished that way everyday. Like a clearcoated wood without color. At least I don't. No sarcasm.

Ahhh, gotcha. You're probably right. Especially when it's a plain top like that. Should be plenty good enough for rock 'n roll.
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

PRSi:
*ME Quatro
*CE-22
*SE Soapbar II
H&K TubeMeister
TC Electronic Nova System

PBT Native
#18
That's real nice. Probably one of the nicest PRS guitars I've seen. Yeah, including the stupidly high end ones. HNGD

P90's are awesome. I have a Fender Telecaster JA-90 that's got them in. Sweet stuff.
#20
Quote by WholeLottaIzzy
That's real nice. Probably one of the nicest PRS guitars I've seen. Yeah, including the stupidly high end ones. HNGD

P90's are awesome. I have a Fender Telecaster JA-90 that's got them in. Sweet stuff.

I still like my stupidly high end ones too.
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

PRSi:
*ME Quatro
*CE-22
*SE Soapbar II
H&K TubeMeister
TC Electronic Nova System

PBT Native