So, I guess I’m wondering if anyone else has had this type of experience with PRS. This comment is based off of PRS’s outspoken claim that their guitars are good to go out of the box.

I traded with a friend and ended up with an Austin Tour Pro AU792, which was Austin’s copy of the PRS Custom 22 (now discontinued) – but a much cheaper copy. They retailed fro 449$ USD new and the one I got was in fair to good condition with a really horrible set-up. I was enjoying the feel of it after fixing the most major issues, and thought I would check out the instrument it was copying so I ordered a PRS SE Custom 24.

Here is my problem – the guitar came set up very poorly. I ordered from musiciansfriend.com but I haven’t had any problems with them before. I let the guitar sit for a while to see if it needed to adjust to any type of climate changes, then adjusted the neck. The neck needed to be adjusted about a quarter turn on the truss rod, tightened. Then I let that sit and still had to adjust the bridge a lot, lower the saddles, re-adjust the intonation, etc. Next up is that it appears there was some kind of preservative or something rubbed into the rosewood fretboard (a beautiful piece of rosewood, by the way). Some kind of white chalky material was in the little crevasses in the rosewood. I cleaned it really well and rubbed a little bit of lemon oil into the rosewood. After all of this, the guitar plays fairly well, but not as well as I expected.

In near the same price range I’ve owned a G&L Tribute Series S500, which came set up much better and played much better. My main guitar is a little more expensive – a Carvin DC145M – and it plays so much better than the PRS it is embarrassing. Honestly, I put about the same amount of work into the Austin Tour Pro AU792 and it probably plays as well as the PRS. What the PRS has going for it is really good electronics for a guitar in the price range, good electronics and I didn’t hate the neck. The heel of the neck felt really awkward to me, though.

So, I guess at the end of the day is this: Is there anybody else who has been underwhelmed by PRS? All I hear about PRS is insanely positive comments. I have no doubt that their top of the line 2 – 4k $ guitars are amazing, but I expected a much better instrument in their SE series. I’m trying to decide if I want to sell this or give it another chance after a break to kind of see if absence really makes the heart grow fonder.
set ups vary and a lot of things can throw it off over time. you don't know how long that guitar sat in a box at M.F. or how many varying temp changes occurred to it over time.

the SE is just that, a "student edition" guitar. it's not aimed at pros no matter how many people use them on tour, they just aren't meant for it. most can be set up to play really well though.

i've had more than a few and the bottom line for me is are they a good value on the used market for $275-325? yes. so are the G&L tributes you mention.

are they a bargain at the stock sticker price you see in stores and online? no. i'd pass and find something else. (same with the G&L tributes).

also the SE guitars come with that white stuff in the rosewood boards, i'm yet to see one without it.

i'm not any more underwhelmed by the PRS SE series than i am any other line of $450-800 priced "new" guitars. (except maybe bacchus).
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
I have a PRS SE Custom 24. I have to admit that it does not meet my expectations, I was underwhelmed by its setup, and it never stays in tune. My 170$ yamaha acoustic always stays in tune and the 700$ electric never does, how does that make sense? I think after a few minor upgrades it will be an excellent guitar but at this price I don't think I should be upgrading based off of tuning stability.
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I see the SE range as slightly better than the epi standard models. It's good but it's basically a PRS looking guitar with very standard hardware/electronics.

BTW Carvin quality is far and away better than most mass produced imported stuff.
Last edited by cheesefries at Feb 17, 2014,
Quote by cheesefries
BTW Carvin quality is far and away better than most mass produced imported stuff.

Yeah, I'm a huge fan of Carvin, myself. I'm probably going to just save up and get a Carvin CT624 to get my fix for a guitar similar to a PRS Custom. I already own my Carvin DC145M and my Carvin V3M combo. I even use Carvin mics and headphones...gonna replace my bass and bass amp with Carvin at some point down the road. You just gotta be sure you're getting what you want because the resale is so low - Carvin doesn't have the good name recognition it should have.
read a lot about problematic nuts in the SE line. wonder if that's causing tuning issues. Many in PRS forums replace the nuts with PRS USA nuts
Last edited by bob13bob at Feb 17, 2014,
I don't like PRS SE guitars, they don't feel good and the pick ups are meh. You can change the pick ups but not how they feel...

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Quote by bob13bob
read a lot about problematic nuts in the SE line. wonder if that's causing tuning issues. Many in PRS forums replace the nuts with PRS USA nuts

I read about the nut slots being tight if you put in larger gauges of strings, which I haven't done yet - but I'm prepared to take some nut files to the nut if necessary.