Sound — 9
The SE Custom boasts such a wide range of quality tones that you may be inspired to learn a few new styles if you happen to pick one up. The SE Custom shreds, grooves, bops, spanks, rocks and funks with ease. The mahogany body and maple top give this beauty some uncompromised tone. This guitar works exceptionally well with a light distortion through a tube amp, creating excellent tones for classic rock or blues. What I really enjoyed about the guitar was its percussiveness. Funky rhythms and palm-muted riffs sound nothing but tight on the SE Custom. And if sustain is your ting, look out! The sustain on the SE Custom was particularly amazing. If you like holding notes for their actual length or perhaps you're a feedback junky who loves tastefully utilizing feedback to color your sonic landscape, this guitar is right up your alley.
Overall Impression — 9
Maybe guitars like this will be the new trend. Maybe people will stop equating large sums of money with good equipment. Maybe weekend warriors can save a couple thousand dollars and still sound like they didn't. Maybe guitar mega stores will begin issuing lower interest rate credit cards this year. Who knows? But at least you'll know one thing... you can be the proud owner of a guitar with amazing quality, and you don't have to break the bank to get it!
Reliability & Durability — 9
The PRS SE Custom proves that you don't have to be a rock star, a workaholic or a trust fund baby to own one damn fine quality guitar that will handle just about anything you can throw at it. The fine folks over at PRS have put their name behind a very strong axe with a very weak price to ensure that not every rocker teenager has to play a Mexistrat or an Epiphone.
I would be remiss to end this article without including a brief mention of the beautiful cordura gig bag it comes with. The included gig bag looks great, it's easy to carry, has plenty of front pocket space for all your accessories and it's solid design and interior reinforcement will help protect your new baby.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Not only is this guitar a treat to listen to, it's also a dream to play. it's ultra-light design makes it comfortable to play in any scenario I could come up with; sitting, standing, one leg up on a chair, lying in bed watching nick-at-nite, you name it.
As with any PRS, the SE Custom is flawless in it's style and look. The craftsmanship and attention to detail easily make the guitar look & sound like it belongs in a price range well beyond it's actual list price of $758 (remember, that's list. it's quite cheaper in stores and musicians friend. currently selling for 549.99 from Musicians Friend) The guitar I had the pleasure of testing had a flame maple top and it's color was gray black with a natural maple edge. The paint and veneer was immaculate and quite hip. The moon inlays, chrome hardware and zebra pickups were all excellent as well. Cosmetically, this guitar goes to 11!
Features — 9
The SE Custom is another affordable option in owning a PRS guitar. The 22-fret rosewood fret board and low action makes playing for hours easy and fun. The intonation on the SE Custom, even on the upper frets, was dead right! And none of the tuning problems you might normally associate with a guitar in this price range even existed.