Custom 24 review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (199 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: Custom 24

Price paid: £ 2500

Purchased from:

Features — 9
This 2014 Custom 24 model was purchased in mid-2014 and has been one of the best electric guitars I have played on. It features a mahogany body and neck, a maple top and a rosewood fretboard. The neck has a 25" scale length with 24 frets and is more than comfortable to play on. The neck is relatively thin and very easy to handle. It features locking tuners and a PRS tremolo bridge, so changing strings, tuning, changing intonation etc. is very easy. The truss rod is easy to get to as well. The guitar stays in tune very well. However, since it is a tremolo bridge changing tunings or string gauges frequently might not be the best idea. Originally the guitar had two 59/09 treble and bass pickups (PRS pups). The guitar also has a 5-way blade switch, which is very useful. there is also a volume and tone knob. The tone and volume knobs are very natural to use during play. The guitar came in a hard box case with a tremolo bar, tools for the truss rod and some various essentials and papers. The only issue with the features I have is that sometimes you can accidentally slip the volume knob during play (very very minor issue). I also had a minor problem with the tremolo system when changing string gauges, but was resolved quickly.

Sound — 9
As I mentioned previously, the guitar initially came with 59/09 bass and treble PRS pickups. These are very good sounding pickups, however, if you play more aggressive metal I would recommend changing the bridge pickup. I personally changed my bridge pickup to a Seymour Duncan Pegasus pickup. The process was a bit confusing, as there were no resources available to explain the wiring for the 5-way switch. I managed to change the pickups easily by keeping the same setup for the 5-blade switch. However, if you want to change the 5-blade switch setup, good luck. I have used this guitar with a variety of different amps and effects and have rarely had it sound worse than good. *Overall* I would say the guitar has a quite warm sound. I play mainly jazz and metal and I can safely say this guitar is a very good choice for either of the two. I mainly use E standard, Drop D, DADGAD or BADGBE tuning with a 10-52 set and they all hold very well. The intonation of the frets is almost perfect, with only some minor issues on the 22-24th frets (expected for thicker strings).

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar came to my house perfectly set up. Nothing was wrong whatsoever. The build quality is fantastic and it's beautiful. I got it in charcoal burst, but there are several other finishes you can choose from and browse on the PRS website. When I got the guitar the action was a bit high to my liking, but that is just a personal opinion and I set it up for a lower action later anyway. Over time the bridge has slightly discolorised but it is hardly noticeable and doesn't make the guitar 'uglier'. The tremolo bar is fine (its a tremolo bar, what do you want?), but the plastic piece on the end looks a bit cheap (only 'cheap' looking thing about this guitar).

Guitar was setup and purchased from

Reliability & Durability — 8
I have owned this guitar for 3 years now and I have not encountered any problems with the hardware apart from a small issue with the tremolo system (which was easily resolved). Another small issue is that the strap buttons are too large to put strap locks on to, so I have had a couple of instances where my strap would come off while playing. However, this does not happen often as the strap buttons sort of act as strap locks in themselves. This guitar would be very reliable, I've never had a string break on it (D'Addario NYXLs), even after a few months. The finish has not worn off in any way. Only notable thing is that perhaps the bridge has discoloured slightly and gets dusty very quickly - you should clean this guitar often.

Overall Impression — 10
Before I got this guitar I used to play an old telecaster. This was definitely a big change and I would buy this guitar again. Nowadays I mainly play jazz and metal (progressive/djent). Only thing that bothers me a bit is the tremolo system; as much as I love it, I think I would prefer not having it as I do not use it so often. The thing I probably love most is the 5-way blade switch, great way to get a variety of sounds instantly and I would highly recommend this feature in any guitar. I don't really use the tone knob much but I guess it's there if you want one. If you are looking for the perfect guitar, this guitar should definitely be on your list of choices (unless you're on a budget :D).

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