SE Custom review by Paul Reed Smith

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (318 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Custom

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
This guitar fits my music style perfectly. I play basically any kind of rock and metal. I'm currently playing this through a DigiTech rp-200 to a Rocktron Silver Dragon distortion to my line6 spider II 112 amp. Even on the insane distortion setting on such a crappy amp with the gain up to 10, there is barely any noise, although the neck pickup does tend to be a little muddy. It also plays cleans nicely. The sound is very full and harmonics are rich. This guitar could play just about any genre except maybe shred, as the neck is very fat.

Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for close to 2 years and this guitar is a perfect match for me. It fits the styles of music I play perfectly. I also own a Squier Strat which completely sucks and for a while I had an Ibanez RG321. this blows them both away ( course that isn't too hard to do). I compared this to a few Epiphone LP's and a few Schecters (C1 Classic, C1 Blackjack) and none of them came close to the sound of this axe. The schecters could match it distorted, but clean they had no chance. I love how it sounds amazing both distorted and clean. I really didn't hate anything about it. If it was stolen, I'd first hunt down the person who stole it, rip their soul out, eat it, and sell their vital organs on the black market. Then I'd get it back. If it was lost, I'd simply buy a new one. I do wish this guitar had a strap lock system and locking tuners, but I can do without those.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have not gigged with this guitar yet, but I'm sure it could stand a live performance easily. I accidentally dropped it once onto a concrete floor and there were no scratches and no visible damage. The hardware should last, although the pickup selector switch is a little bit loose. I would definitely gig with it without a backup, unless I needed a different guitar for alternate tunings. I've had this guitar for a few months and I play about 6 hours a day. the finish is still as beautiful as the day I bought it. The strap buttons seem solid enough, but I'll probably get strap locks just to be safe.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I got this guitar in the cherry sunburst finish and it is beautiful. I've searched every square inch of this guitar and have not found one flaw. The action was perfect, low, but not so low as to create a lot of fret buzz. in fact, there wasn't any fret buzz. I thought I might have to adjust the pickups, but they were also perfectly set up.

Features — 9
This guitar was made in Korea, in I think 2005. It has a 25" scale mahogany neck with a 22 fret rosewood fretboard. The body is solid mahogany with a flat maple top and flamed maple veneer and is the general PRS shape. It has passive electronics with one volume and one tone knob, and a three way selector switch to switch between the PRS designed treble and bass pickups. It has a PRS designed stoptail bridge. The tuners are PRS designed non-locking.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    how is the tremelo system, how much can you play with the whammy without it going badly out of tune
    guitar_god22 wrote: seems pretty cheap for a prs
    its a PRS SE ..thats why its so cheap
    I cant decide between the SE Custom in see thru black with trem (and buy some sperzels) or an Epi Les Paul Classic quilt top. The Epi has half an alder body which sucks, both have thicker type set necks but looks like you can play up high on the PRS much easier. But I love the arched top of the Epi, just a preferance, so Im still deciding.
    Between those two, I'd say go for the PRS Se Custom because of the fret access. An arched top isnt all that great.
    I have this guitar and love it...for a few reasons....I'm cheap and it still sounds great
    I just got one of these - grey black with stoptail - and it's f@#king sweet. Best value for that price i've ever seen. Sounds great playing everything from death metal to blues even at high volumes. Fast but not too slippery fretboard and great fret access. The only thing I see found wrong with it is the tuners, because, sadly, they are non locking and don't stay in tune for 3 weeks like my last guitar did. CustomCustom: Definately get this guitar. Much, much better value for your money, - I find les pauls way overpriced - better fret access and sounds way better than the epiphones.
    sounds way better than the epiphones. the new elitests are kickass
    I just ordered one of these in grey/black with trem If it's anything like as nice as the SE Soapbar (which I tried recently) then I know it'll be awesome, and since it costs 150 quid more then it fricking better =P
    IM thinking of buying one of these, i play punk/alternative and rock/heavy rock should i get one? Its the SE Custom Cherry sunburst, stop tail peice and zebra humbuckers should i?
    Yeah like many others im thinking about getting this or an en epi lp custom, gibson sg special or a shecter s-1, any suggestions?
    get this over a LP every time! I got mine in grey/black w/ trem and its awesome. the action is perfect, the finish is amazing, the tone, the neck, the weight are all amazing. it does go out of tune a fair bit but i'd guess that's down to being fitted with gauge 9's. I'm gonna up to 11 soon