SE EG review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (38 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE EG

Price paid: C$ 500

Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Sound — 9
This guitar can really do anything, but metal. Blues, classic rock, punk, hard rock, pop, etc. I use a Line 6 Spider III 30, and with the single coil, I can get a light, clean tone, good for Beatles, some zeppelin, and lots of fuzz from the humbucker. With distortion, you can get a nice crunch, to some really insane squealing pitch overtones. The humbucker in it is HOT! I wouldn't say it can to metal, simply because its such a light guitar, but you can get some really brutal distortion. The idea of fitting a PRS with this configuration was genius, giving you that clean Santana sound from the neck pickup, and brutal distortion from the bridge. Mind you, i'm using the Insane setting on my Line 6. My only complain, is that when the pickup selector isn't in 2nd or 5th position, you get a horrible amount of fuzz. I only ever use 2nd or fifth position, but that is really annoying. Maybe its my amp, who knows.

Overall Impression — 9
I play Zeppelin, Metallica, White Stripes, Green Day, Blues, you name it, and this guitar does it all. If your looking at doing Drop C tuning with gauge 13 strings, its not for you, but for what I play, its awesome. From punky power chords, to Zeppelin solos, bluesy slide guitar, its does it all, and I love it. I have a Yamaha ERG121, which was crap, and this is a huge improvement to that. I paid $5oo for it, but it'll beat any Strat or Les Paul anyday. I love the neck, the finish, the look, the action, the pickups, everything. I've been playing for about 5 years, and am not really in the position to lay down $3000 for a American PRS, and this is defiantly a wonderful budget guitar. It it was stolen, or lost (how do you lose a guitar anyways?), I would buy this guitar again, if I could find it and another PRS didn't interest me. Its a hard guitar to find, nevermind the S/S/H version. My favourite feature is either the PRS Tremolo, or the mean humbucker. The tremolo is nicely cut, feels good when palm muting, and can be pent back and forth like a floyd rose, with out the annoyances of one. The humbucker like I've mentioned a billion times before is HOT! I love its tone. The hum when not in 2nd and 5th position is really annoying, and so is the rust on the bridge. I looked at alot of Strats when bought this, and its lighter, and has a humbucker, (that the strats there didn't) has a nicer finish, and I love the way the headstock looks. What really turned me off from buying a strat, is that it seems like everyone nowadays has one. They're way to common, and I wanted something unique. I'll probably never meet anyone else with this guitar in my lifetime, and I love that. What really caught my eye, is the look. Its really a beautiful guitar. I guess it could use a second tone knob, but i'd probably never use it anyways.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I would never consider bringing a backup to a live show. This guitars never failed me, and I am really confident it will last. Its a SE model, so I'm not expecting it to be worth millions anytime soon, but I've confident it will last a while. It hasn't needed a repair so far. I can see the fret board thinning in the next 15 years, but the body and neck finish is untouchable. The hardware, same story, dependable. On my old Yamaha, you'd have to tighten the strap knobs once a week, but these ones are perfect and unmovable.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The fret board on this guitar is rose wood, and its really smooth. The neck is alot thicker then a strat, making fast playing more difficult, but if your a shedder, you wouldn't be buying this anyways. I suppose its somewhere between a Les Paul and Strat neck. Over the last years, its worn down somewhat, but nothing out of the ordinary.The pickups are solid and unmovable. The humbucker is a bit loose, but thats because it doesn't hug the pickguard like the single coils. The finish is beautiful, and I love how the natural wood grain shines through the black sunburst. Its decently scratch resistant, but it has collected a decent number over the last few years. The glued in neck is flawless, and looks like one piece. I've never liked bolt on neck, so this is perfect for me. The finish on the back of the neck is nicely done to. I would have liked for detailed fretboard inlays, but the half moons are nice, and it isn't the most expensive guitar. The pick up selector is abit noisy, but its soild, which is nice. My only complaint is that rust has started to form on the bridge, probably from sweat when palm muting. I'm gonna see if I can get it off, but its abit annoying that thats happened after only two years. The overall build is tight, and sturdy.

Features — 10
The PRS SE EG is a Korean guitar, currently discontinued, but if you can find one, I would strongly suggest it. I bought mine in 2008, and its the version with S/S/H configuration, and a PRS Tremolo. Features solid top a mahogany body, and glued in neck, and pick guard. It has a typical Strat body, and dark sunburst finish, which i must say, looks great. The PRS Tremolo looks like your typical strat, but floats about 0.6 cm of the body, so you can bring it up, or down, like a floyd rose, but without the tuning and intonation issues I've seen on some. Of course, you can't dive bomb like you can with a floyd rose, but this isn't a metal guitar, its anything but! From what I've seen, the PRS tremolo is the smoothest tremolo i've every tried. Its got volume and tone knobs, and 5 way pick selector thats pretty solid. Standard non-locking PRS tuning knobs, nothing special, but they've given me no problems. Of course, you get a PRS gig bag, truss adjustment key, tremolo arm, and extra spings, the usual. I couldn't ask for anything more. The version I own, (S/S/H), features two Standard single coils, and one hot humbucker. I love it.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    to compare this to an American Strat or a Gibson les paul is an absolute joke. All it says is that you've never played either one. A real strat blows this thing away, there is NO comparison. The pickups are weak and one dimensional. It's not a bad guitar but it certainlt isn't a great guitar, medicore at best and in no way does this compare to what an American Strat can do. They are oranges and apples and the strat is FAR SUPERIOR!!
    you guys pay 500 dollars plus and then hook it up to a 10watt(maybe15) solid state amp that costs 15 dollars and wonder why you can't get a good tone...DUH! your sound will be no better than the amp you use regardles of the guitar you play
    Theres nothing wrong with the pickup selector if your useing a Blues Jr or any other decent tube amp. It really brings the guitar to life but when you use a crappy 10 watt solid state amp of course it's going to hum and groan but it's your amp and not the guitar. These guitars especially in the non tremelo style are absolutely Strat KILLERS and they stay in tune forever all the way down the neck-something no strat can ever do. These are incredible guitars get one while you can. You'll never lose any money on it and it will be the best 3 pick-up guitar you'll ever own. Just get a decent TUBE amp and you'll be amazed at how much better your guitars will sound. Been plying over 40 years and when I hear someone complaining about their guitar it's more often than not the Amp and NOT the Guitar.
    AS far as the tremelo vs non tremelo and your going what Grovy says on you tube don't kid yoursel-he's playing a budweiser guitar and he's a narsistic idiot..there's little difference between the two.
    Definitely a great guitar, Ive had original 60's fender Strats and tele-casters,I hown a 57 re-issue Usa Strat, Gretsch 6120DC. The PRS SE EG is a great guitar in its own right, great sound , amazing for holding tune, good sustain.If you don't like the guitar you can always sell it for the price you paid for it,