Custom 24 review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (201 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: Custom 24
3

Price paid: $ 3200

Features — 10
It's been 4 months since I got the guitar, I thought it was time to give a quick review now that I've had some time to check it out properly.
It's a Core PRS CU24, made in USA in 2016, 24 fret with PRS trem and 2 85/15 pups.
Unlike most PRS's, mine has a solid Champagne gold paint job all over, back of the pattern thin neck as well, except the flame maple trim shows on the edge of the body, bird abalone inlays.
It has a 5 way blade switch, with H-HS-HH-SS-H settings, vol and tone knob and locking tuners, Everything listed here is TOP quality.

Sound — 10
As far as tone goes, it's very versatile with many settings and quite high output if needed. Cleans are rich and clear, the split pups have a lot of bite and are almost as quiet as the H settings. Sustain is very good, as is chord clarity. It records amazing, clean, dirt and hi gain.
It does it all, the 85/15 pups are really well researched and evolved from decades of experimenting by Paul. He said the name comes from him making the first set in 2015 and wishing he had made them in 1985

I really like the clean tone from the neck pup with the tone rolled off a bit, it's so thick and warm. All of the notes have great harmonics and depth. The treb H pup with hi gain wil do great pinch and squeals as well!

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The fit and finish ...to use an overused word properly ...is awesome. I mean...it actually inspires awe. The feel of the frets and neck is like butter. There is no issues at all with anything on the guitar, all works better than expected.

The factory setup was ok, I guess it was hanging in the shop for 6-8 months, through the winter after being shipped, not sure if the shop did anything, I didn't ask for a setup as it was ok and I wanted to put some new strings anyways, there was a bit of buzz on the G 1st fret. I did a minor action adj (lower) and added a tiny bit more relief. The truss rod is EXCELLENT, dual action, I turned it about 1/30th or less (just breaking the tension on it really) and it made a noticeable difference and played even better, now after 4 months I've adjusted everything several times in tiny amounts , including the trem spring screws, even though I am using the same brand and gauge as it came with, it is now about as perfect as a guitar can get and stays that way. The only thing that knocks it out of tune is I'm used to a FR setup, and this has no locking nut, so if I put it down like i used to, the tuners will get moved. The locking tuners are great also, very precise and smooth.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I bought this guitar to last me a lifetime, and I think it will do that easily, and pass it on after that.

I have not broken a string on it, it seems like it stays stable in weather changes as well, so it is a great guitar to bring on the road. The only thing that bothers me is it looks so perfect, I know a scratch or bash will happen eventually. It'll break my heart to put that first mark in her, not to mention the instant devalue of it.

The strap buttons are a bit over size, very sturdy but a bit hard to put the strap over the first few times. I'll probably put strap locks eventually

Overall Impression — 10
To sum up, this guitar will do for anything, metal to jazz, and do it very well


I'd buy again, but I hope I never have to! The craftsmanship and time put into this guitar is unreal, not to mention the wood and hardware quality. Necks take 1 month each to complete, the pups are built in house as well. I think the guitar is actually great value for the materials and craftsmanship, but I know 15 years ago I could never afford to buy a guitar so expensive.

I was a bit annoyed the other day when the trem arm seemed to be getting loose and a little sloppy, I had this happen on many FR and strats before, always getting play from things wearing out. I thought there would be somewhere in the back I could tighten it, but no. I looked online to see if others had this problem and saw there was a tiny allen key spot on the front bit to adj the tension on the arm, so I gave it a 1/4 turn and perfect! you can set it as tight as you want, I like my trem to have zero play but drop away.

Speaking of the trem, I am a huge FR fan and was going to get this guitar with a FR, but it was more time and money, so the guy said he actually thought the PRS trem was better. I was very sceptical, "no way" I thought. My first impression after a few hrs was the trem was ok, but no FR. After a month or so I was pretty impressed with it, now after 4 months I must say that I really really love it. It seems amazing to me without a locking nut, how well it stays in tune when badly abused. Even more amazing...and I still don't understand how, is I can drop D and all the other stings stay pretty much in tune, the A goes a bit flat is all. It must have to do with the 6 screws on the knife edge. It also flutters better than my ibanez. Yeah it's a great trem.

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