CE 22 review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (35 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: CE 22

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Used Dealer

Sound — 10
I play mainly a lot of progressive metal and jazz fusion (kind of thinking along the lines of Cynic, Atheist, Opeth, and Meshuggah). I'm also heavily into the "djent" movement that is taking over the metal underground now. I play through a Line 6 X3 Live plugged via the direct outs straight to the soundboard at the front of the house (with the live outs plugged into a smaller cabinet behind me so I can use it as a monitor for my own personal use). No other amps or heads - just amp modelling (alot of the djent players use this setup now). This guitar has such a beautiful, rich, full sound. Noise can easily be cut down by rolling back on the volume knob and you can achieve such versatile sounds. I can go from a roaring metal tone to simply pulling back onto an "almost-clean sound" without switching anything. The volume pots on this thing offer superior control. It can easily go from metal to jazz to bluesy-stuff in a heartbeat. As for tone, you can achieve so much more tone from a PRS that you can from any other guitar I've played (Watch Emil Werstler's video on the PRS site - he says the exact same thing. Same with Carlos Santana).

Overall Impression — 10
I'm a strict PRS player. At the risk of sounding like a prick, I only play PRS guitars because they offers such amazing quality, playability, versatility, and they are downright eye candy. In addition to this Custom 22, I also own a SE Paul Allender Signature Model and a SE Mark Tremonti Sigature Model. Such great guitars! Now I see why so many players use PRS guitar nowadays. (Some great bands the play PRS include: Opeth, Cradle Of Filth, Staind, The Black Dahlia Murder, Red, Skillet, Kutless, Thousand Foot Krutch, Breaking Benjamin, Flyleaf, Fireflight, Shinedown, Linkin Park, The String Cheese Incident, and Between The Buried And Me).

Reliability & Durability — 10
Like I said, I play it live and it has been the only guitar I've needed. No problems - no backups. I keep this bad boy tuned down to Drop A# with a Custom set of D'Addario strings that I hndpcked and it sounds brilliant. I tune it once and don't touch it until the next gig - and it still stays in tune (It was quite a surprise considering the tuners are just Standard non-locking PRS tuners).

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guy who sold it to me kept the setup pretty much the same way the factory did (not too hard to tell). Once I swapped the pickups for the Dimarzios with a bit more articulation and output, this thing was a dream to play. No flaws what'soever, except for the few belt rashes on the back that come overtime from simple playing. I play this guitar at my live shows all the time and it has been the only one I need. No problems. The neck offers slick, fast action and the knobs are perfectly positioned for ease of access (and so you don't accidentally hit one and turn yourself down). It reminds me of a Les Paul with the sustain and resonation from the wood at the round "butt end" of the body, but near the top where it's solid wood into the neck with the cutaways, that offers that unmistakeable sleekness that shredders will like alot. THIS GUITAR HAS BALANCE TO THE BODY. The guitar is very responsive to pick attack and the adjustment of where you're picking (but then again, it's probably the Dimarzios I put in).

Features — 10
Simple 22-fret PRS guitar. Made in '08 in Korea. The body is made of mahogany with a flamed maple top with creme binding around the full body. An absolutely beautiful charcoal gray! The neck is Standard PRS with (I believe it is) a 10" radius. Made of maple with a rosewood fretboard, nice and thin, with medium-jumbo frets. Set-thru gives you as the player easier access to higher frets. The neck and headstock also have binding around them. Hardware includes: an adjustable PRS stoptail that you pull the strings around into their grooves, PRS non-locking tuners, one tone knob, one volume knob, and a 3-way toggle switch. The two humbuckers in it were Standard issue straight from the factory, but I took them out and replaced them with a DiMarzio Mo' Joe in the Bridge and a DiMarzio PAF Joe in the neck. Even though I got it used, it was in prestine condition "like new", and the guy threw in a hardcase, a strap, and the tools I needed to make any adjustments.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Regarding, "Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 02, 2011" the guitar he's reviewing is NOT a CE-22. He's reviewing an SE of some sort -- and due to him calling the neck, "nice and thin" makes me think it's a wide thin neck...
    I just picked one up a couple weeks ago in 'Blazing Copper'...seriously can't put it down. Easily the best guitar I own (I have a couple), will forever by my main stage and studio axe. 10/10.
    When did Black Dahlia start using PRS? One of them uses Ibanez and the other ESP/LTDs!