CE 24 review by Paul Reed Smith

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (46 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: CE 24

Price paid: $ 1850

Purchased from: Guitar Center, S.D.

Sound — 10
I play moslty metal, prog, blues, and rock and this axe specializes in all of them. The tone is very warm and lush, and hits heavily. On a clean channel the in between pickup setting make a crisp bright sound perfect for emphasizing chords changes, strumming clean rythyms or creating ambience. I priamrily use a Carivn V3 with a DigiTech RP200A, Boss DD-6, and sometimes a metal zone, which I have mixed feelings about. I can get a creamy '80s lead with tight with piercing highs, and heavy mids and lows to give the sound a huge punch. The pickups are very responsive, and the ensity of the maple allows the notes to resonate very well, and taper off naturally with great sustain, while holding the true sound of the notes desired pitch.

Overall Impression — 10
I have mentioned my gear setup, precise adjustments, style and upkeep of this instrument. With the warranty options, I would replace this if it became damaged, and probably go to jail if I found out tht someone stole it. Yes I would kill someone coldblooded if they kidnapped my baby. Before deciding on the PRS CE 24 I debated about and Ibanez S and RG models with wizard necks, higher end Les Pauls and SG. After playing the CE 24 and reading about the Paul Reed Smith philosphy and quality on the website, I felt the call to own this one compared to the others. The only thing I would change; I proabably should have chose black, but metallic green is looks great too. After reading about the different artists that use these guitar I am even a bigger loyalist to PRS and hope to one day be included on that list. PRS player for life.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is a performance instrument. It begs to be played and to be touch. Upon deciding to buy a guitar of this caliber keep in mind you will want to be high end gear and accessiories to go with this, not only for purposes of sound, but holding the instruments value over a long period of time. PRS guitars are truly an investment. Over a short five year period it will hold the original retail value at best, but over 20-40 years, keeping the guitar in prime condition will most likely increase the value. I would confidently use it without back up at a gig anywhere.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I have the action setup fairly low, and have adjusted the tremelo base to the specifications listed on the web site, 1/16" off the body. I am very savvy at my own adjustments, but if you are not comfortable doing self maintenance, I would suggest going to a professional. The adjustments are worth it, and usually very minor right off the floor. These instruments are known for their high caliber of sound and setups. Take a look at the factory tour on youtube. No flaws, no shortages, clean pickup switching, no hum from the guitar. The topwood is actually two pieces, but from the same piece. they take the maple and cut it in half so the luthier can symetrically line up the maple, to get the famed flame effect on the body. A high gloss finish makes the CE 24 look beautiful, and very show up beautifully in pictures. With black lighting, it almost glows. I set mine exclusively with Ernie Ball regular slinky's. I use heavy slinky's on the 6th and 5th string to really bring out a heavy low end, especially when playing low tunings, which it holds well.

Features — 9
Made right here in the homeland at the PRS Factory, this CE 24 has a quilted maple top that almost glows. It came with tighly wound HFS bass and treble pickups, brazilian rosewood fingerboard, and a mahogony back. Classic PRS looks, and sound make this guitar probably my favorite possession. It came with a nice case and all the official certificates.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    schwedengitarre wrote: Amazing.
    Quoted for truth. Incredible guitars, these. My only quarrel is the lack of a pickup selector. Could allow for some truly incredible sounds to be made...
    Bullet FMV
    I absolutely agree with everything said here. The pickup selector does take a little getting used to, but once you're used to it, it can be more effective than traditional selectors. The finish is amazing, however, very susceptible to blemishes. Anyone that has the cash to buy this guitar though, will either take super good care of it, or they're a touring signed musician, and really just don't care, so that doesnt make much of a difference. Overall, this is an amazing guitar, and you can't go wrong with it if you have the cash to spend on one.
    rykoff sexton
    A few errors in the article I need to point out; Action fit & finish - line 2 - 1/16" off the body. Action fit & finish - line 5 - caliber of sound and setups. Sound - -line 6 - a creamy '80s lead with tight please inform me of any other grammatical errors, thank you. R. Sexton
    Damn, I want one too (I love the flame Tortoise Shell one to death! PP). Tried it once some time ago and fell in love with PRS inmediately. They're simply perfect; they look so beautiful, play like no others and are the most versatile guitars I've seen thru my whole life (I could play from classical Tarrega pieces to the black metal masters 1349 with only one guitar, I was amazed!!!). If I get the money (no matter how long does it take!) I'll get one.
    I've got an SE SIngleCut and its fantastic, so as soon as i get the rest of the money I'm selling it and buying the CE24! If the Korean built guitars are good i cant wait for this American made one
    I think this is the hidden gem in the PRS lineup. Sure its got the bolts in the back and it lacks the shiny gold pickups. But, play it and none of that matters. I was able to do some shredding that my current PRS that I payed twice for, just doesn't get it done. Without getting into the SE's, this has to be the best PRS for the money that I have found. Bullet FMV makes a very valid point about the pickup selectors, it will take some getting use to, and maybe the colors aren't my favorite, but the sound is all that matters and we'll all adapt to those pickup selectors as they are located in a somewhat weird location on the axe.
    I tried one of the all mahogany bodied versions in indigo blue at my local dealer and spent so long with it, I got a parking ticket - it's the boy! My Lonestar Strat has now been made to walk the eBay plank. Spanky clean or girthsome fat humbucker tones and a trem that stays in tune. Every time. Heck, there's even flame figure on the back of the neck. All for under a grand. Gives my mucker Tex and his 58 Les Paul a great dualling partner. But I got mo frets! Mo tones! Just got a SE soapbar for slide too - these PRS guys KNOW what sounds good.
    I own this guitar, and i agree with everything said in the review, it truly is a great guitar