SE Custom review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (318 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Custom

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.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I like those sound samples , sounds pretty nice :O not expensive at all , wish more people would add sound samples to there reviews =)
    PRS is probably the best brand of guitar around much better then Gibson or Epiphone
    EatsP1es wrote: 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
    i second this i love this guitar
    the first review was by the UG team... =P but yeah, my only complaint about this guitar is that the rythm pickup is REALLY bassy, like overpoweringly so. (when on a clean tone or similar)
    This guitar is to play hoobastank, lostprophets, papa roach, velvet revover...??thanks
    FireHawk wrote: I have this guitar and love it...for a few reasons....I'm cheap and it still sounds great
    Haha, Nice
    i would definatley say that this is one of the best guitars made. its features arent the best, but for its price this guitar is amazing. i play mostly death metal, it has a really hard bite to it but it still sounds chilled. the first time i played it through the clean channel i almost wet myself it was so beautiful. i recommend this guitar to anyone who plays guitar. ive gotta say, this is my second favorite guitar, the first being the PRS double necked dragon guitar.
    I have this guitar - love it so much. My dream is to get the PRS Singlecut
    Killing Lights
    Strongbow : 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? i suggest the schecter s-1 elite although i dont know too much about the other 2 i have the s-1 elite and it is amazing it is awesome for drop tunings (im almost always in drop C) and the coil tap is great although peopl esay the duncan designed arent good pickups, i disagree. they suit my style (as i lay dying, a7x, afi, ranging from that to soft, sometimes blues)
    I'm think about buying a PRS Singlecut... not SE. Is that worth it though, I mean, those are pretty damn expensive.
    um just off the topic, do any of you guys notice the home page shows picture of Paparoach on music reviews for weeks now?!
    I think the best looking PRS guitars have the transparent PRS guitars are sweet
    I'm defiently getting a PRS SE but i dont know which one to get this or the singelcut
    gtr-boy wrote: PRS is probably the best brand of guitar around much better then Gibson or Epiphone
    nahhhhh. I owm a ginson les paul studio ad it sounds quite better than the se custom.
    Well, as you won't spend too much money on the guitar, you could change the pickups.