SE Custom review by Paul Reed Smith

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

Price paid: A$ 900

Purchased from: Billy Hyde Music

Sound — 10
I play mainly 70s, 80s, 90s 00s rock with some metal in there as well but I also love classics such as The Eagles. It suits my styles easily whether I am playing Hotel California, Black Dog, Paradise City or Scream Aim Fire. I use a Line 6 Spider III which is fantastic but I use a Marshall vs100 during lessons and that is terrific with the guitar. It is never noisy and rarely gives out feedback. As I said before, it can give out a wide variety of sounds.

Overall Impression — 10
As I already said, I play mainly Guns N' Roses and Led Zeppelin and it has adapted to these styles terrifically. If it were stolen or lost then I would certainly buy it again because it is the best value of music equipment for its dollar. 100times better than Epiphone Les Pauls. I love everything about it but the tuning pegs are a bit annoying as mentioned earlier. The only thing I wish it had were a larger price tag so people could see how good this baby really is!

Reliability & Durability — 10
At our end of year concert the guitar performed outstandingly and nothing happened to it. The hardware is great and strap buttons are also great too with the strap coming undone only once in a 7 week period (being played every day). Its extremely reliable and is able to play pretty much through any amp. The finish is fantastic and looks just like the $6000 PRS's.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar has been set up pretty well at the factory but the only problem was the inotation wasn't up to scratch. It was easy to fix but still a pain in the arse. Apart from that minor stepback it has been set up perfectly and beautifully especially the body and pickups.

Features — 9
I started playing guitar in early 2009 and was playing an Ibanez RX240 and needed my first guitar. This Guitar was made in 2009 in Korea, and it has 22 frets with a wide fat neck. It's a solid top with a Mahogany Body and Maple Neck with a rosewood fretboard and the body is a cherry sunburst colour. Obviously being a PRS, it has the stereotypical Paul Reed Smith Style which in my opinion is in between a Strat and Les Paul. I LOVE the pickups and i have no idea what they are apart from the fact that they're humbuckers and are in zebra colours. The tuners are not that terrific but probably because of me using the tremolo bar a fair bit. The gig bag that came with it is possibly the greatest gig bag known to man.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Can this guitar be coil tapped? I'm a total noob about this sort of customizing guitar lark, but I have this guitar and was wondering if it it possible?
    breakdownkid784 wrote: whats the difference between this guitar and the normal Custom 24
    The custom 24 has a wide thin neck rather than the 22 which has wide fat neck. The pickups are also different & yes the custom 24 has 24 frets.
    patgspot wrote: 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.
    It DOES get dented easily, and seriously very easily. If you change the string gauage to 0.10's then you'll have to work on the nut cause it will end up squezzing the strings. A bit of carved top (like on the singlecut model) would had been great, the current one tends to hurt if you sit & play for more than 2 hours consistently while supporting your forearm on the upper side of the guitar's body. The tremolo it has is a fulcrum tremolo which is similar to the floating bridge trem but this one is a little better than the later. However don't expect to do whammy stunts cause it goes outta tune unless you have a set of locking tuners or know to wrap the string properly on non-locking tuners. The tremolo isn't a Floyd Rose trem either so there is a limit as to how much pitch it can lower or raise. The stock pick-ups are good. They clean up very well when you lower the volume on the guitar. Pretty vertalie guitar, but if you do play shredding metal licks & have small hands then accessing the upper last few frets can be a pain because of the size of the block joining the neck & body, but not a major issue(a custom 24 might be better for this). Overall this guitar is good & with a few adjustments can hold its own against guitars priced above it. I wish they made SE custom 24's when i was getting this, but i don't regret buying it at all. Also they discontinued the SE Custom 24 along with a lot of their other higher end models(check out their website if ya curious).