SE Custom review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (318 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Custom

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 8
This guitar sounds great if you like playing classic or hard rock, and it can even be pushed a little if you like metal. It's also fantastic for those who like jazz guitar, with a thick sounding neck pickup. I like alternative and Indie stuff like Death Cad for Cutie and The Shins, etc. This guitar is not very well suited for that style of music, with very defined sound with low gain or clean sounds. I use a Marshall MGX30DFX and no effects with it. On the clean channel, the guitar is a little dull sounding, unless you have bright sounding strings. On the gain channel, with the gain at about 1 or 2, you can go from a little breakup to good classic rock sounds. From about 3-5 is where things get heavier. Anything after 5 can sound a bit harsh and abrasive. If you are into bands that are a bit heavier sounding, whether it be new punk or even metal, this will suit you well.

Overall Impression — 8
With my taste in alternative and inde music, this is not exactly the best guitar to have. But if you have interest in classic, modern, hard, or punk rock (even metal) this is a good middle price import. Comparably it is better than most import guitars, and it's a good investment for a beginner or intermediate player. I've been playing for 4 or 5 years now and I have a Takamine acoustic as well as this and my Marshall. In retrospect, I would have liked to look around a bit more and searched for some other options, particularly the MIM Fenders. The problem with most PRS stuff is it's obscenely expensive, and so it's pretty lucky to find a good quality guitar like this from them at such a good price. I love that it's light and it looks better than most in it's price range, the finish being the best part about it. I do wish it had better voiced pickups (particularly the neck pickups which gets really muddy sounding) and volume and tone knobs for each pickup.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I've only played this guitar Live once or twice, so as far as long term touring or gigging, I'm not sure how it will do. I've given it a decent beating in the year and a half I've had it, and it's had little to no problems. The guitar becomes out of tune quite easily, so locking tuners would be a good investment if it's a guitar you plan on owning for a long time. Other than that, it's a very reliable guitar. The finish is good and seems like it should last for a long time.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action on this guitar out of the box was good. It needed retuning, and couldn't hold much of a tune for the first few hours or days even. But after a while of playing it began break in and stay in tune. The pickups were set up correctly, but if it seemed a little muddy with the neck pickup, that could be easily changed. The flame maple top was beautiful and with the sunburst finish, look even better. My only complaint with this in terms of set up was that after about two months, the pickup selector became just a little bit loose. It turned out to be no problem.

Features — 8
Made is 2006 in Korea. 22 fret, fairly thin neck. Flame maple top on a mahogany body. Very light guitar. Cherry sunburst finish, which looks awesome. Double cutaway with a contour in the lower cutaway. 3-way pickup switch, one master volume and one master tone for both of the PRS Designed zebra humbucking pickups. The tuners are also PRS designed non-locking tuners.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    GuitarPlayer716 wrote: Does anyone other than me think the PRS are overrated guitars?
    Gibson and Fender are overrated
    It's quite different than the EC-1000, actually. The PRS has a double cutaway look, where the EC is a single cutaway. Personally, I think the EC-1000 is a better guitar, but that's just me.
    I wish PRS made bass' Their guitars are amazing. I dont have this one but i do have the SE Soapbar II and its amazing
    suggy88 wrote: I wish PRS made bass' Their guitars are amazing. I dont have this one but i do have the SE Soapbar II and its amazing
    They do, but they're expensive as hell.
    mr. ...
    Strongbow wrote: 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?
    shecter definatly
    These are nice but no locking tuners and flat top made me choose a swamp ash Laguna LE322 over it for $400 vs. $550 for the PRS. The Lagunas frets were bigger and neck slightly thinner also.