CE 22 review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.3 (35 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: CE 22

Purchased from: Sound Control

Sound — 10
It suits my style perfectly. I tend to play a variety of classic rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin) to heavier stuff (Guns N' Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen). This guitar is perfect for all of them. I use it through an Orange Tiny Terror, and, compared to the thin sound of my old Mexican Stratocaster, the humbuckers on this are really thick and smooth. Even at high volumes this guitar manages to stay deathly buzz free, although I can't compare the noise to other humbucking guitars as I was a Strat player. I had grown used to the hum that you get when playing through single coils and I had thought that every guitar was like this. I was pleasently surprised when I plugged my PRS in and heard no hum whatsoever. The Treble pickup is very bright but not like a Strat bridge pickup, it isn't unbearably glassy and bright, but rich and full sounding, great for leads and solos. The Bass pickup is perfect for Rhythm playing, and the Parallel single coils with the volume rolled back a little give great trebly cleans. For something a bit warmer you can just Switch back to series coils which gives more low end. A huge variety of sounds can be made which will suit many different styles of playing. It is absolutely perfect for me.

Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is a great match for any style of rock, blues, metal, in all a very versatile guitar. I have been playing guitar for four years, and this PRS blows both my Stagg and my Fender out of the water. I did regret not choosing the model with the coil tap push/pull Switch, but this guitar has enough pickup options to make up for that. If it were stolen I would definately buy another PRS. The thing I love about PRS is that they use the same pickups on their CE 22 as they do on their high end Custom 22 guitars. My favourite features are the range of sounds which can be produced, and the easy playability of the neck. Overall a fabulous guitar. I would recommend it to everyone.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar seems quite solid, but at the moment, since I have only had it a few weeks, I am too scared to bang it off anything incase I chip the finish. One interesting thing is that I accidentally banged it off my first guitar, a Stagg Stratocaster copy, and the paint chipped off the Stagg, but there wasn't even a small dent in the PRS. The finish didn't take and damage at all! The hardware seems very durable, nothing is wobbly and it all feels very solidly put together. The strap buttons are fimly attached, and I would depend on it to play a gig. As demonstrated in its bash with the Stagg, the finish seems extremely durable and hard wearing, not one which will wear through easily.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I recieved the guitar perfectly set up. The action is quite low which makes it really easy to play. The pickups sounded perfect and every thing was flawless. The finish is high gloss over stained mahogany, although a fiqured maple top is available. This is a very beautiful looking guitar.

Features — 10
It is a 2006 PRS CE 22 made in the USA. Almost identical to its 24 fret (CE 24) brother, but with a few different features. The 22 fret model has covered PRS Dragon II pickups and a wide-fat neck. This guitar has a Mahogany body (optional maple top) and 25" scale maple neck with rosewood fretboard. The finish on my guitar is a high gloss over red stained mahogany. The guitar is available in a variety of different finishes, also with the option of a figured maple top, although, mine looks absolutely gorgeous with the red mahogany and is not too flashy. The body style of the PRS is basically a cross between a Stratocaster and a Les Paul, with the benefits of each, a double cutaway and carved top with dual humbucking pickups. The bridge is a PRS tremolo, an amazing piece of hardware which, combined with the locking tuners which come as Standard, rarely goes out of tune with moderate use. The bridge is capable of doing Strat-style vibrato, to full out Van Halen divebombs! Although, not being a locking bridge, it will go out of tune from time to time with prolonged heavy use. The guitar features passive electronics, single tone and volume controls, and a five way rotary Switch. The 24 fret model comes with a three way Switch and a push/pull tone control. Also, I believe that you can get this 3-way, push/pull configuration as an option on the 22 fret one. With the 5-way, you can choose either just the Treble Pickup, Outside coils in parallel, Series single coils, Parallel single coils, or just the Bass Pickup, a great variety of sounds. The tuners are PRS 14:1 Phase II low mass locking tuners. The Guitar came in a sturdy hard case with a plush black interior. This is an awesome guitar with lots of different features. It takes the best from two leading guitars and blends the best bits of both, effectively producing a super-guitar.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Chrisiphone wrote: I really adore this guitar in whale blue How much would one be new?
    It really depends. For the model without the figured top you can expect to pay about 1000 (less if you are lucky). For the one with figured maple top you are probably looking at 1500+, however some great deals can be found on ebay if you check regularly.
    mrjustinguy wrote: how does it do for harder music like metal?
    It would be well suited to metal. The hot dragon pickups, especially the one in the bridge position, provide a full sound, ideally suited to rock and metal alike. The neck is low action and hence would be ideal for fast legato licks
    mrjustinguy wrote: how does it do for harder music like metal?
    see: between the buried and me