SE 245 Review

manufacturer: Paul Reed Smith date: 05/05/2014 category: Electric Guitars
Paul Reed Smith: SE 245
This is a new model for PRS for 2012. It is the newer model of their PRS SE Single Cut. It would fit most anything that didn't require a single coil type of sound. It's got a really huge sound, and it's got a bit of weight to it.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (10) 16 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
SE 245 Reviewed by: CkY freak, on june 04, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 550

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: First I should say, I got this guitar during a sale. I received 12% off the original price of $619.00. Just to clarify - and the original price did NOT include a gig bag like some other retailers advertise. On to the review! This is a new model for PRS for 2012. I got mine in black. It also comes in a Tobacco Burst and a transparent red finish. I bought the black by choice. They had the others available. The SE series are the imported guitars in the PRS line which are made in Korea. It is the newer model of their PRS SE Single Cut. The main difference between the two I have found is that each pickup has their own independent volume and tone, which is something I really wanted, which is why I went for this one instead of the older model. Specs: - Body Wood: Mahogany (maple veneer top for transparent finishes. Solid finishes to not have the veneer) - Set: Neck - Number of Frets: 22 - Scale Length: 24 1/2" - Neck Wood: Mahogany - Fretboard Wood: Rosewood - Neck Shape: Wide Fat - Fretboard: Bird Inlays - Bridge: PRS Designed Stoptail - Tuners: PRS Designed Tuners - Hardware Type: Nickel - Treble Pickup: PRS Designed SE 245 Treble Humbucker - Bass Pickup: PRS Designed SE 245 Bass Humbucker - Pickup Switching: Volume and Tone Control For Each Pickup and 3-Way Toggle Pickup Selector On Upper Bout As the name implies - this guitar has a 24.5 inch scale length. Slightly shorter than the average guitar - but I haven't noticed the playability to be any different than my other standard length guitars. It's got a pretty fat neck on it. I've grown to like the "baseball bat" type necks as of late. I just purchased an Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro last week - and the neck on this SE 245 guitar is just as thick as the Epiphone. It's a pretty bare bones guitar though. Nothing extra on it as you can see from the specs. But I've been through the phase of buying fancy feature-ridden guitars. I'm definitely more in the realm of basic guitars now. So for me, its perfect. I'm giving it an 8 just because when it comes down to it, no matter how much I like it - its just a basic guitar. I do wish it had coil tapping though. // 8

Sound: I play a lot of different music. Some of my favorite bands are CKY, Dream Theater, and Children Of Bodom. I also listen to a lot of Paul Gilbert, Journey, John Mayer, Foo Fighters, etc. I think it would do most of these very well. This guitar is mahogany, much like the Les Pauls. Its got a really huge sound, and it's got a bit of weight to it. It's definitely not the lightest guitar I've ever played. The pickups on this thing are great. They aren't EMG's by any stretch, but I could play all types of metal on these pickups. I just compensate on my Maxon OD9 for a gain increase. I'm playing this guitar through a Mesa Boogie F100 with a Maxon OD9 and MXR Carbon Copy. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I didn't have to make any adjustments to this guitar. I didn't have to adjust the pickups, action or intonation. As far as everything else goes, no problems at all. I can't really imagine that a 2000+ PRS is THAT much better than this guitar. But I've never played one so I can't say for sure. The ONLY thing I did have to do was change the strings on it when I got home. It came with 9's on it. And all PRS guitars come with 10's standard except the SE series. I bought this guitar mainly for a CGCFAD tuning, so it was necessary to change the stock 9's to 10's. The only thing that seems kind of cheap about this guitar are the tuners. I've read that several people changed theirs out on the SE Single Cut version of this guitar. So maybe that'll be an option one day down the road, but not any time soon. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar seems very solid. I tuned it a couple times after I changed strings on it because I didn't stretch out the strings before hand, but after they settled, I haven't had to tune it. I bought another DiMarzio Clip Lock strap, so I don't have the original strap button on it. I would never gig without a back up. Too much can go wrong, no matter how good your guitar is. But I could see myself playing an entire 1.5hr set with this guitar without changing. // 10

Overall Impression: As I said earlier, I play a bit of everything. It would fit most anything that didn't require a single coil type of sound. I wish it did have coil tapping though. Maybe some of the higher end models have that. But I have guitars with that option on it, so missing the coil tap isn't going to hinder anything one bit. It would just be a convenience thing for live situations. I love how fat the sound of this guitar is. It's definitely Les Paul-esque. I love the single cut look. I've always wanted to own a PRS Single Cut, but wasn't aware they made more affordable versions until recently. It's not the fanciest guitar out there, but its a solid guitar and perfect for what I wanted. // 9

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overall: 8.4
SE 245 Reviewed by: KenG, on may 05, 2014
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Axe Music - Calgary

Features: The S/N Prefix indicates this is a 2013 production model. I purchased this new (still in the carton) from Axe's Warehouse. A quick spec summary: Solid 1-piece mahogany body, & 1 piece mahogany set neck w/ long tenon. Rosewood Board, PRS Tuners, PUS and light weight compensated wrap tail piece with set screws for minor overall intonation adjustment. Body had beveled solid maple top with flame veneer & a belly cut, tapered cutaway and reduced heel for better access. The scale length is 24. 5 inches and the fingerboard radius is 10 inches. It also has a dual-action truss rod! It comes standard with a SE Gigbag, cheap guitar cord and the 2 tools required for truss rod and tailpiece. // 8

Sound: Every cavity has shield paint and the cavity covers have a shield on them as well for noise reduction. The 2 Humbucking PUs are hotter than PAFs but still articulate so it's easy to pick out single notes even when distorted. The Bridge PU has some bite and the Neck PU is thicker without being muddy. The chords blend well like a real Les Paul so it suits my style perfectly. The controls are laid out different than a Gibson which may take some getting used to.

I'm a blues/rock guy so again this guitar is made for guys like me, no shredding but bends, vibrato and some fast leads. One thing I noticed when auditioning the guitar through a Fender Deluxe Reverb re-issue is I was easily able to get singing feedback on single notes simply by applying a little finger vibrato to the notes to sustain them more. The guitar itself also has plenty of natural sustain. Considering I'm used to playing some high end Gibson's this guitar showed itself well. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was setup OK but the nut slots were too small for the strings. The guitar comes strung with 9-42's and when I cut the strings they stayed in the nut slots like they were being pinched. The nut slot heights were fine but there's too much nut material left on the top of the nut, it'll need to be sanded down. I use 10-46's so after my cleaning, I widened the nut slots and installed D'Addario 10-46s. The fingerboard had some white and grey stuff in the pores and the surface looked too shiny. I used steel wool (after taping the PUs up to prevent the steel wool dust from sticking) and followed up with lemon oil. Looks great now. 

The finish and fit are top notch. The frets level and smooth. The wiring inside is well done as well, but the shielding paint could be a little neater. It also looks like mounting holes for screws (PU rings, cavity covers) are not pre-drilled. This is very minor in my opinion. Overall the quality of workmanship is excellent. Especially for this price point. The neck is wide/fat according to PRS but it's nowhere near a real '50s neck or RI neck. More closely sized to my R0V2 which is in between a 59 & 60 neck and very close to my old Elitists necks. Anyone calling these baseball bat necks has no idea really! Still it's comfortable. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The finish is not polyurethane but some thinner and more easily damaged acrylic. Not an issue for me, I like nitro and lacquers much more than heavy plastic poly type finishes. Feels a little nice but still not as nice as nitro. The tuners are anything special but seem to be fine enough in turning ratio for ease of tuning. The tailpiece is very light weight, not sure if it's aluminum with a nickel plating or some other light material? I always use Schaller strap locks and this guitar was no exception, I bought a set when I picked the guitar up and installed them during clean up & set up. // 8

Overall Impression: Well I'm a regular Les Paul guy, I have 3 Gibson Custom Shop re-issues, an R0 V2 50th Ann, a 2010 R7 and 2012 R8. All I can say while this guitar will never replace my RIs it is a fine guitar and will get regular playing. I think at this price point it's a no brainer. It'll also be my guitar to take on business trips so I don't have to do without or risk my much more expensive Les Pauls. This guitar only comes with a gigbag so I'll need to invest ina TSA locked ATA case so I can safely check it in at airports. 

I set a budget for this guitar at $600 which it came in under with tax new. I tried MIM Strats, Squires and other PRS SEs but the similarity to an LP just made the decision for me. I wanted a simple guitar that was similar enough to my LPs and this guitar meets that requirement easily. I'll enjoy playing while away from home. // 9

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