SE Custom review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (318 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Custom
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Purchased from: Andertons music shop

Sound — 9
I play metal and sometimes rock. more into the progressive side of things. I love this guitar as it fits my style brilliantly. I play lots of Opeth songs and this guitar pulls them off (maybe not the acoustic side of things, I use my acoustic for that lol). No matter whether it's heavy riffs or the solo type passages it does it well. First thing I noticed was how deep the sound was. Both me and my friend were impressed. I played the metal Demon of the fall with it to the quiet Windowpane and it was brilliant. would sound better with an overdrive pedal though. The sound of the guitar would be perfect for rock or light distortion though.

Overall Impression — 9
Brilliant guitar. Loved it from the moment I saw it. still loving it lol. I've been playing 4 years maybe 5 and I own a Les Paul Special II, Crafter electro-acoustic guitar, a Fender Champion 300 amp (I used a friends Marshall thoough for this guitar my Fender champion is dead ) and a Boss Distortion pedal. If there was anything I would have loved to ask is whether I could change the colour of my pickups. The black and cream stripe thing is ok but they would have been so much better in white I recon. If it was stolen I would try and retrieve it and if it failed get a new one. Of course if I had more money I'd get one of it's PRS bigger brothers but that wont happen for a long time so I would probably buy it again. I love the action. I love the finish, and I love the sound. tends to detune itself a lot, not so much without the tremolo bar out but still noticible. although it doesn't detune it so much you would play a song and then use the wammy and then continue playing the song with the strings all out. I have to tune this roughly after every 2 songs I do with the wammy on and with it off it we need a lot of songs, but since I tune my guitar before playing each time and I use different tunings a lot it would be hard to say. Anyway to sum up. This guitar is lovely. It was worth every pound I spent on it. Such a step up from my old Les Paul. Sounds great. If you need a new guitar and you have been playing for a while I would buy this. Deffinatley. Ask about the colour of pickups before you buy it though if you don't like cream!

Reliability & Durability — 8
So far it helds its own. Everything about the guitar seems solid. Strap buttons are perfect (one of the first things I noticed since my les paul's strap buttons are awful). also the input plug seemed really solid (again les paul's was bad). I would deffinatley play it Live and probably will. I would without a back up, however accidents do happen so it would be nice just to have one, or at least a few strings. It seems pretty hard waring. I bought this guitar to last, and it looks like it will.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Guitar came with a great action and even told you how to change it just incase the neck bended whislt shipping, which it hadn't. Pickups were fine. pretty much everything was fine and I checked quite hard after playing it for a bit. Finish looked brilliant and action was so much better than my Les Paul Special 2. But I expected nothing else stepping up from a hundred pound guitar to a four hundred.

Features — 8
Made in Korea, has 22 frets with cool crescent moon inlays. Made of mahogany wood and has a solid top. Body and neck both made from mahogany. Finish: grey/black. Love it. lol It has a PRS tremolo bridge and 1 volume and 1 tone knob. Also has a 3-way switch for pickups. Humbucking pickups designed by PRS. I got a rather nice gig bag with it. I was quite suprised with the quality of the bag.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    patgspot
    Don't fall for these reviews. I bought a PRS SE Custom and I think I was ripped off. The guitar is very beautiful but dents very easily. All of the hardware that it is built with is of the cheapest kind. The pick-ups sound like crap(meaning they were very muddy sounding and without any tone.). I replaced the the bridge pu with a carvin M22SD and the neck pu with a Gibson PAF. The bridge had five springs on it which pulled the trem into the body causing it to crack the finish. This guitar shipped with .009s on it. Even after I changed the strings to my preferred Ernie Ball reg. slinky'e(10-46), the trem was still pressing against the body. I had to remove two springs for the trem to sit properly. Oh yeah the intonation was completely out of whack. After all the work that I've had to put into it, I really can't see how PRS charges $600 for this axe??? I should have bought a Gibson Les Paul Studio for a couple hundred more. If you decide to buy one of these guitars then be prepared to replace all the hardware and electronics on it because its all cheap Korean made. I hope this helps you to make the right choice when you bust out your credit card. Have a nice day.
    Ekima
    Well, this guitar is pretty sweet, my brother has it and he changed the picks for duncan lml.. it sound even better... but the main thing is: i have 500 bucks, my bro is selling hes guitar to me for that but i don't know if i should take it cuz i have in mind a Ibanez RGR320EX, comes with emg picks and floyd rose, it is more for the floyd, give me your opinion please, and if i change the bridge of the prs will it loose charm?
    Joeval
    Played one and loved it! Will buy it as soon as I get the money... Patgspot - you're the only one who has said anything negative so far! So maybe you got a bum guitar?
    sidali
    well i might buy one this week, its my first electric. should i buy
    mroberts1
    For those of you who own the PRS SE Custom with a wraparound bridge, you will not be able to intonate it properly if you use hybrid string gauges. I use .046, .036, .026, .016, .011, and .009s. The SE Custom's wraparound bridge is designed to work with standard strings sets only, such as .009s and .010s, etc. There is a solution, however. I just installed a TonePros adjustable wraparound bridge, model number AVT2M-C, which has six adjustable saddles,on my SE Custom and now it plays perfectly intonated. The AVT2M-C also fits the radius of the SE's fretboard better so I get a more consistent action across all the strings. The overall action feels much better with the new bridge. The other thing I needed the SE Custom to do was sound more like my LP, which has Alnico V pickups in it, with the pickups string heights set to between 1.5mm and 2mm across the strings. Because the SE Custom's pickups are hotter, I lowered the pickups to a height of 4mm across the strings. Now the guitars sound more similar. The SE Custom does, however, have slightly hotter mids and brighter treble frequencies, but the bass frequencies are about the same between them now with the pickup height adjustments. I wanted to be able to switch between both guitars without having to adjust my Marshall's tone settings, and it worked. Is anyone else out there as anal as I am on intonation and tone? Anyway, I hope this info helps for those that have experienced intonation problems with the wraparound bridge model.
    DaiR86
    hey guys , recently bought an SE custom ( stop tailpiece ), finnish is fantastic, it has alot of potential , but i am having trouble with the stock tuners as many have stated...so i will be upgrading rthose, but also looking for any suggestions on what kind of pickups i should upgrade to ? i am new at the electric guitar thing... this is my first one, i've been playing acoustics for about 3 years now ... looking to try out some new things?