SE Custom review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Features: 6
  • Sound: 5
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.7 (318 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Custom

Price paid: € 574

Purchased from: gear4music

Features — 6
The guitar was made in Korea I think in 2016, it's a double cut classical PRS shape, it has 22 frets and a 25" scale, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, maple top, PRS bridge, PRS humbucker pickups, transparent whale blue with photo flame top, 3-way switch selector, 1 knob for volume and 1 knob for tone control, tap for single coil mode, non locking prs tuners, chrome hardware, very nice saddle bag included, one cable gift. Overall it is a stunning finish guitar esthetically, I like the way it looks, it seems to be equally distributed weights and not too heavy to play for a gig.

Sound — 5
Unplugged it's a good guitar, very long sustain, good vibrations, etc... Plugged in a Hughes & Kettner with a Blackstar Dual Drive I find it a little bit poor... Or better, a lot of variety of sound but none of them seems to fit my style. I play in a Foo Fighters cover band and I need a powerfull tone that I didn't find yet in this guitar. The possibility of play single coil with a knob is awesome but the loss of volume is very consistent, I think your guitar will vanish if used in a live! The bridge humbucker sound "boxey," the neck one is full of basses (too many I think). If you take your fingers off the guitar it results a bit noisy in the both pickups position.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action of this guitar is good, low and never buzz (just a little but... not bad, really), the factory set up is ok, the pick-ups too, the only thing I can remark is that one nut of the bridge is a little crooked, I don't know in which stage it could happen, cause I bought the guitar online and was shipped to italy so... who knows? Anyway it seems not to make trubles to playability or other... The finish is very good, birds inlays, nice color (I thought it was better but good enough). The guitar has no faults (except that bridge nut) and seems to be perfect, controls are okay (even better than the gibson sg one that buzz and don't stay inserted).

Reliability & Durability — 5
I'm curious to understand if this guitar will be played live, I bought it right to substitute the SG but... At the moment I think she's the only one :-) The PRS SE is a good guitar unplugged but not convincing plugged into the amp, but, as I said, maybe is going to get some more time to play with the eq to get the right tone. The hardware seems to be good and last for years, only time will be the judge. I think I will find the right setup for gigging and enjoy it alive, maybe I got to find the right sound on the bridge pickup to fit the band sound. The straps are ok.

Overall Impression — 6
I'm playing in a Foo Fighters cover band, I didn't try the guitar with the band yet, but I played it at home with my Hughes 80w and I'm not sure if I like it or not... I have two other axes (Gibson SG Standard and Strato Mexico) and I remember I got good impressions at the first play, with both! With the prs se I don't know what happens, maybe I got to give her time, maybe I got to get confident... I think she sounds better in the single coil position than the humbucker one. It seems I can't find the right sound. I almost play with the bridge pick up, I've always done this way with all my guitars, I'm a rude player! The sound is confused, not "clear" on the distortion, also low gain configuration. I think I will upgrade the humbucker if she stays with me for a long time.

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