SE Bernie Marsden Custom review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (4 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Bernie Marsden Custom

Price paid: $ 649

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Sound — 9
Chunky, heavy humbucker bluesy tones from both Pups with the Neck Pup even chunkier than the Bridge. The sustain on this thing is unbelievable... 20 seconds plus plus. This is ideal for Blues, hard rock, anything with sustain cause this puppy has 20s+ sustain in all positions. Really great sounding. Rather rich/full sound with the middle switch position (both Pups), a bit lighter and brighter at the bridge and full/rich in the neck position. Great quiet Pups. No hum but when cranked up to volume 10 you get some nice harmonics and overtones with distortion.

Overall Impression — 10
I usually play Strats and wanted a Gibson but this thing is WAY > Gibson Studios and guitars 2-3 time the price. - Fret work is perfect - Woodwork all ideal - Intonation spot on - Tones in all 3 positions is nice - Tough - Pretty - Blokey Great for rock, blues, anything rhythm. Not for shredding... The neck is one big ass chunky monkey. If you play lead on Frets 15-22 you will need some dexterity as the neck base and body join are HUGE. Really HUGE. Which I think adds to the tonal qualities but not the lead QC. I love this thing. PRS Guitars have the best QC IMHO.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Tough a-s, strong, heavy, chunky, reliable. Many people replace the nut and upgrade the Pup but I love it all. You can gig with this and I think the tough ass finish will survive. I am rough on things and this thing is SOLID. Bounced it a few times and zero damage. I mean NADA. Tough big ass chunk of guitar. The strap buttons are good with my straps but you may want to add lockers etc if you are very active with it. The finish is tough a-s. Really ideal and so nice.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Magnificent finish. Really effing perfect. Think Rolls Royce quality and it is really that good. I pulled apart the pups and the bridge etc an looked at the joins, lining etc. Each and all are PERFECT. Very pretty finish and a GREAT looking guitar. Nice veneer top and A heavy BUTT base. Really chunky and high quality. Much like Bernie's 1959 Gibson beast. Think of this as a mini beast. Zero flaws on this thing. Intonation = 100/100 all up and down... Just tuned this thing and started playing. Action = low and ideal. Zero buzz. Great playability. Tuners are good not great. The nut - many reviews complain about the nut. Mine for some reason is very good... Really good. = 95/100. All the hardware is nice, effective and rock solid.

Features — 9
I copied this from MF website. 2012 Made in S Korea = very effing nice. Closely designed with Marsden himself, the SE Bernie Marsden offers classic appeal with today's quality and dependability. Appointments include a Vintage Sunburst maple top with flame maple veneer and crme binding along the body's top edge and a 24.5" scale length, 22 fret wide fat mahogany neck with bound rosewood fretboard. PRS designed SE 245 humbuckers, two volume controls and a single tone control with a 3-way toggle pickup selector round out the offerings. Features: - Body - Top Wood Carved Maple with Flame Maple Veneer and Creme Binding - Back Wood Thick Mahogany - Neck - Number of Frets 22 - Scale Length 24.5" - Neck Wood Mahogany - Fretboard Wood Rosewood with Creme Binding - Neck Shape Wide Fat - Fretboard Inlays Birds - Hardware/Electronics - Bridge PRS Designed Stoptail - Tuners Vintage Grommet Style - Truss Rod Cover PRS - Hardware Type Nickel - Treble Pickup PRS Designed SE 245 Treble - Bass Pickup PRS Designed SE 245 Bass - Pickup Switching Two Volume and One Tone Control with 3-Way Toggle Pickup Selector

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I am a diehard Gibson guy, but I love the Fender Strat deluxe too. I have an se245 with burstbucker1&2. Works great, now I have the Bernie and honestly not much different. I love the Bernie. It stands tuff next to my standard. PRS got it right with this one. I can shred just fine with it, (proco rat), This guitar will do what you want to do. Neck is wide slim (sg) in my hand anyway. It's a 9.5 for me, close enough to be a 10,See ya