Custom 24 review by Paul Reed Smith

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (199 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: Custom 24
5

Sound — 10
No surprises here, it's only the best-sounding mass-produced guitar on the planet. It's hard for me to talk about the sound of this guitar without coming off like a wine-taster in the Sonoma Valley, but I don't care. The V12 finish really does help the wood breath, and the articulation of the pickups is nothing short of astounding. I've never played a guitar with 5 pickup configurations where I haven't been lukewarm on at least one of the positions, but this is the exception. Everything sounds good. Jazz, rock, metal, country, blues, you name it. It has no weakness! I'm the guy who will look for excuses not to give something a 10 but I literally can't find anything to complain about.

Overall Impression — 9
I have a confession. There was a time in my life that I would publicly, and adamantly, hate on PRS. I could never get over the fact that for the price of 1 guitar, I could instead have an American Standard Strat, an American Standard Tele, AND a Vox Ac30. It seemed absolutely incredulous to spend that kind of money on a guitar, throw in the fact that every PRS-owner I had met up to that point reminded me of the guy in the Diesel jeans with the fake tan and pastel-colored polo shirt that would act like your "bro" at parties while he's really just waiting for his chance to hit on your girlfriend the second your back is turned. However, upon further inspection, the guitars are priced right where they should be, the only real question is if you personally believe spending that much on a guitar is called for, but they're worth every penny.

Reliability & Durability — 9
One of the reasons you pay the premium for this guitar is the quality of the components. The knobs are smooth and the tuners are solid. Of all the PRS owners I know, none of them have ever needed to have one serviced. Durability shouldn't ever be a problem because, as any Gibson 335 owner will tell you, you'll be too paranoid about scratching or dinging it to ever take it outside the house.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Right out of the box it plays great. I'm a big fan of the "pattern thin neck shape" and it really does feel as if it's already been broken in. The actual setup was a little low, surprisingly, and had slight initial issues in the ol' 6th string 7-9th fret buzz zone. Nothing a slight adjustment didn't fix. They ship just like they should with a set .10 gauge strings and, for the most, part, was good to go out of the gate. We've already talked a bit about the finish and, as with most PRS guitars, video and pictures don't do it justice. Did I mention that a team of chemists has been working on this since the last millennium?

Features — 9

YouTube preview picture
There are some notable new features added to the Custom 24 line, and all the old good ones are still around. The much ballyhooed V12 finish is probably the main attraction. Paul Reed Smith put together a team of chemists to work on creating a finish that would enhance the natural characteristics of quality woods, but address some of the problems people had with nitrocellulose, etc... 12 YEARS AGO! That's right, PRS has their own chemist division and they've been working on this for over a decade. We'll talk a little bit more on this in the "Sound" section of the article, but it's safe to say that these guys have outperformed Dean B. Zelinsky's chemists. Also new to this year's models are the neck shapes. This one happens to have "pattern thin neck shape", which was meant to feel like "home" from the second it's picked up. It's the product of Precision modern tooling and programming that's supposed to maintain a consistent playability. I find this to be an area that is, amazingly, often overlooked when choosing a guitar. Every player is different, but the pattern thin neck feels and plays great and I've heard no complaints from anyone who has tried it. It has two 59/09 humbucking pickups and a redesigned 5-way blade switch that offers an incredible amount of versatility (see the video for the switching positions). It has the dutiful Phase III locking tuners that work with the PRS tremolo to give any Floyd Rose a run for its money. As always, the quality of the components is unmatched and it comes with a pretty standard hardshell case. I've always been a little underwhelmed by the PRS hardshell case. Don't get me wrong, it does everything a guitar case is supposed to do and this is first-class nitpicking, but they're just pretty standard compared to how amazing the guitar is.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ishiga
    For all those wondering why PRS are so expensive; MASS PRODUCED DOES NOT MEAN MACHINE MADE. Every PRS is HANDMADE FROM START TO FINISH. Lots of care goes into these guitars, they've got one hell of a reputation to uphold and they do so VERY well.
    Sam Wotrey
    If you don't have the 3 g's, just get an SE! Seriously amazing stock features and top notch versatility for its price.
    Basti95
    pailoong wrote: I can't bring myself to buy one of these just because of that over-rated douche from Creed. I really need to get over that and try one out.
    Think of all the underrated bros like Ler from Primus
    venuto
    I've got a Warmoth custom Strat, a Les Paul and now a PRS standard. Here's what I know. The PRS has an awesome neck and plays like a dream but understand this, it is not a replacement for the others. It's an addition. There are times I want my Strat sound. No pickup combination on my PRS will give me that. Same like my les Paul. It has it's sound unique to it. To the ibanez haters here, you should try a JEM7 then tell me they suck.
    LeakyFlask
    PRS makes some top notch guitars but I can't really say they're my cup of tea. That finish is just kind of a turnoff for me, I'm not a flame maple guy and it just kind of screams furniture. Then again, when you pick one up and play it, I'm sure it screams guitar. I like the pickup configurations, but the sound coming from that Blues Jr. wasn't really to die for. And I could swear I heard some fret buzz. Anyways, seem like high quality guitars for the people who can afford them.
    pailoong
    I can't bring myself to buy one of these just because of that over-rated douche from Creed. I really need to get over that and try one out.
    cris9310
    PRS are so expensive but they are so awesome. I would probably only compare the brand in terms of quality to Musicman Guitars
    MaggaraMarine
    uvq wrote: bluespunkmetal wrote: Dude, someone up there plugged a PRS into an MG Stack ?? Are you nuts, what a waster of money ?? An awesomely frickin cool PRS won't even show half of its tonal fineese when your playin it through an MG !!! Sell your PRS, buy a good Ibanez, and a Mesa Dual/Single Recto, you won't regret it !!! Or, buy a tube amp today !!! if you have an ibanez, you will not sound anything as good as a prs through an mg!!!!
    Depends on which Ibanez. They make cheap and expensive guitars.
    Teh Skisgaars
    soo expensive, i saved for ages to buy my custom 24. sooo very worth it. amazing guitar. i was looking for a critical review on the sound but they all gave them 10, for good reason. absolutely the best guitar i've ever played.
    Basti95
    shelovemyguitar wrote: The guys from Between the Buried and me use these. If they use one of these, I want one of these.
    All the kool kids do :p:
    pailoong
    Basti95 wrote: pailoong wrote: I can't bring myself to buy one of these just because of that over-rated douche from Creed. I really need to get over that and try one out. Think of all the underrated bros like Ler from Primus
    Truthfully (no sarcasm here), that's MUCH better. :-D
    ffaf12
    ridiculously beutiful guitars ive god a tremonti se but its nothing compared to the real deal
    BigHeadClan
    Haven't played one but I had the privilege of Mikael from opeth show me just how awesome they are last month . I wouldn't mind trying one of them out(or buying) but that price tag..... New amp first I think, you can only go so far with a Vyper 60 tube in terms of tone regardless of how many upgrades/mods you do to it .
    Basti95
    HELLSHREDD wrote: My Jackson or Gibson would kik da fuk out of this wanker axe.lmao
    My SE would probably do that to your Jackson or Gibson. NEVER underestimate a PRS.
    blackbird51
    bluespunkmetal wrote: Dude, someone up there plugged a PRS into an MG Stack ?? Are you nuts, what a waster of money ?? An awesomely frickin cool PRS won't even show half of its tonal fineese when your playin it through an MG !!! Sell your PRS, buy a good Ibanez, and a Mesa Dual/Single Recto, you won't regret it !!! Or, buy a tube amp today !!!
    Mesa Rectifier amps are shit, even the MG is probably better sounding, Rectifiers have a shitty scooped and fizzy sound, sound like absolute shit. The Mark IV and V however, are amazing.