SE Custom Semi-Hollow Body review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (39 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Custom Semi-Hollow Body

Sound — 9
The way I would describe the PRS would be warm and full. The mahogany body, dual-humbuckers and the semi-hollow body lend to a warm tone, which can still get bright and spanky with a twist of the tone knob. I use it with a Vox AC15, through a Fulltone OCD, Little Big Muff, and a Vox V847 wah. This guitar works great with just about any set-up, and is pretty versatile, although I wouldn't use it for a metal gig with my rig and pickups.

Overall Impression — 9
My overall impression is that this guitar is great for just about everyone. It plays like a dream, has a wide range of tones, and looks damn good. I compared this to a Taylor T5, and an Ibanez AJD, but I was really impressed by the PRS, and then a deal slid my way and I just had to pick it up. It's not quite the finish I would pick, but with a few mods, it looks great.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar has gotten thrown around, but never quite gotten the shit kicked out of it. The hardware is tough, and I'd feel comfortable using it without a backup. One of my favorites things is that the strap-buttons are some of the nicest ones I've ever used, on any guitar. I love 'em! The finish is tough too, I wouldn't worry about it. I've forcefully slammed it into the sharp edge of a tile counter once, and it was fine. That's pretty damn awesome.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action on my guitar is just wonderful! It's challenged guitars three times it's price with playability and tone. The pickups were adjusted fine from the factory, but I raised the neck pickup a bit, and realized it's pretty hot. It makes for a great tone raised a bit though.

Features — 9
The PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollowbody is a Korean made semi-hollowbody electric guitar. It's got 22 frets on a 25" scale wide-thin neck. The guitar features a rosewood fingerboard with classy half-moon inlays. The PRS has got a solid, flame maple top in either natural, black, or blue matteo (a beautiful, deep blue colour.) The body is mahogany, with a "canoe-cut", or a chamber routed on the left-side of the body. This features a modern f-hole. The body style is vaguely like a modern solid-body Ibanez (like an RG) but with shorter, rounder horns. The right horn has a bevel on it for increased upper-fret access, which I personally love. It has a pre-intonated stoptail bridge. Instead of a tune-o-matic and a stoptail, the stoptail was intonated at the factory. This means no intonation problems, but it does mean you can't easily replace the bridge with aftermarket parts. The electronics are simple: volume, tone, and pickup selector. This makes for easy controls, and I have never felt limited by them. The pickup configuration goes HH, like an LP. The guitar comes with a high-quality gig bag. Also: I changed a few small things on the guitar, like pickup rings, pickup covers, and knobs, and they've all greatly affected the aesthetics. It looked good before, but now it looks great.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    UG's two newest reviews are my two guitars. Weird. The SE is pretty sick, awesome beginner guitar and a good range of tones.