SE Custom review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (318 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Custom

Price paid: £ 200

Sound — 9
This guitar suits me perfectly for sound. I play Jazzy / Bluesy licks and basically just noodling in general. I run the guitar straight into a Fender Superchamp XD with a short cable. I may use an Overdrive pedal to just fatten the sound a little. The guitar makes ZERO hum or noise. This guitar is utterly versitile. With treble bleed on the volume (1000pf ceramic cap) you can roll back the volume and still retain the high end of the guitar, this is great for rhythm work and making it sound like a Fender. I find with the amp volume turned up and the volume at around 6, the guitar sounds very Telecaster-ish. With it being a hum-bucking guitar, you can still roll the town off and get a mellow jazz sound, or a full sound. Plenty of mids, bass, and treble. With only one volume and tone, the tonal options available are slightly less adapt to say something like a les paul; for this, unless I was splitting hairs there isn't much more you can get from the guitar for the price, for this reason it gets a 9.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, brilliant. There isn't much I'd want to change other than upgrades. It would be nice to have more body contours like a Fender, slightly better machine heads. To me, I really like this guitar, easy to play, easy to mod. Great thing. Definitely buy another one. Probably the best guitar I've owned.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is pretty solid. I like it. The hardware is good, is except for the machine heads. The finish really is the best I've seen on any guitar, it's almost like a piece of ART. Remembering this isn't a real PRS, but its bloody close. If it wasn't for the cheap but and machine heads, I'd definitely give a 10.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I got the guitar second hand as the previous owner didn\t have the confidence to adjust the truss rod or the nut. Both of which were terrible as he's fitted 10's. The neck had far too much back bow, and the cheap plastic nut that comes on all of these guitars binds with thicker strings. It is worth pointing out that a tiny drop of mineral oil, I mean a SMIDGE, under each string helps keep tuning something like normal. The pickups werent adjusted to my taste after resetting the neck and action. I rasied them at 5mm for the neck, and 2mm for the bridge. I rasie the pole pieces by ear to even out the volume of each string. Very subtle difference, but it works. The finish and quality of this guitar is unbelieveble for the price. Especially for a korean guitar which usally has the shortcuts of cheap electronics etc. Not so, big audio taper Alpha 500k pots, mechanical switch, sturdy and well thought out wiring. It is also worth mentioning that popular to contrary belief, these guitars come with 4 conductor wire pickups, so with a bit of fiddling, it is possible to make a coil tap. However, I don't really see the point if the guitar has treble bleed, which is a far easier mod. I have changed the cheap ceramic capacitor to an Orange drop, and also the tone pot to a 0.01uf Orange drop. If you're looking for a quick mod that costs only a few , then its worth doing. Will improve the taper and quality of the sound. The neck and fretwire are finished brilliant, Nice fat frets make bending a doddle. Worth mentioning that like a les paul, with the short scale, playing powerchords gets harder further up the neck due to small gaps in the frets. Because the body dosent quite feel like a mahogany body (as in it dosent weigh 20kg!) it possibly could be another generic tone wood under the name of 'Korean mahogany', as saying mahogany is like saying pine, there are many pines! Either way, the body lends itself to the guitar as its light and comfortable and still retains plenty of resonance. Because they chose to put some crappy machine heads and a cheap plastic nut on the guitar, it only gets an 8.

Features — 9
Made in Korea under license to PRS. 2006 22 Frets, 25" scale, medium-fat neck, jumbo frets, Rosewood fingerboard, mahogany neck. 3 piece mahogany body, maple veneered cap, natural maple binding (looks amazing), polyester finished black, flame top in black (not carved) Strat / Les Paul Hybrid body shape. Solid stop bar tail piece. Passive Electrinics, 2 humbukers, selector switch, volume (with treble bleed) tone. Standard tuners Comes with soft gig bag.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I purchased one of these for 450 about 2 months ago and thought this guitar was great however recently i took it to KGB workshop in birkenhead and had the pickups replaced to a 59 neck and a JB bridge and had the action and intination set up and now for 216 its like the perfect music machine. Sound 10, Action fit and finish 10, reliability and durability 10, Impression 10. For 666 you can have a perfect guitar for rock, blues, pop and metal! Spot on guitar
    I have that guitar dropped to C. It's sounds great for that price ! I didnt have any problems with this beauty