SE Paul Allender review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (97 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Paul Allender

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: Martin Music

Sound — 10
I never have and never will listen to Cradle Of Filth. This is an amazing guitar anyway. You can play anything on it. I play a lot of blues and classic rock and a bunch of the old Memphis STAX soul hits like "Midnight Hour" and "Knock On Wood". Right now I'm playing through a limited edition "White Lightning" Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with a Ibanez Turbo Tube Screamer and a Marshall Bluesbreaker. This guitar is nice and quiet, even with lots of gain. Since I play slide in open E tuning, I can get TONS and TONS of sustain from this guitar, and I can get it to sound like derek trucks on the neck pickup or that a electrified harmonica tone from duane allman on the neck pickup. I play with a big mojo medicine bottle slide, and this guitar will SING when that hits the strings! Before I started playing slide, I could and did play everything from jazz to metal on this guitar and it sounded great.

Overall Impression — 9
Like I said, I play a lot of blues and soul, and this guitar is great for that, and any other style. I've only been playing for three and a half years, but this is my favorite guitar, out of this, a 1980s japanese Telecaster and a Jimmy Vaughan Strat. If this were stolen, I would definitely buy a replacement. The only thing I wish it had were locking tuners, but they're not really necessary.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This is a PRS. Their craftsmanship is amazing. I've seen flaws in Gibson Custom SHop guitars that the cheapest PRS model won't have. In 2 and a half years of gigging, I've never had a problem. Everything is rock solid and works all the time. I use this guitar all the time without a backup and I've had no problems.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This guitar was perfect right out of the factory. Action was right where I liked it. I did raise it a bit after a while, just to make it easier for slide. All the hardware is still in great shape. Originally, I had some trouble keeping it in tune when I would use the tremolo, but I just stopped using it because I got tired of the sound. Occasionally it has a bit of trouble going out of tune if you use light strings, but if you use.10s or thicker you'll be fine.

Features — 9
I got this a few months after they first came out back in 2007. Its Korean made, and extremely high quality. The neck is what PRS calls a "Wide-Thin", which is pretty much what it is. Mahogany body, with a mahogany neck. Strat style body with a PRS trem, which I don't use because I'm not a tremolo guy. 3 way pickup Switch, custom Paul Allender pickups. Came with a nice PRS padded gig bag, but its in a hardshell case now.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is one fantastic guitar...looks are so hot that I almost don't want to take it out of its case but plays so well that I have trouble putting it down.
    both people to review this don't listen to Cradle Of Filth? So you own a signature model of a guitarist you don't even like? anyway sounds like an amazing deal and it just entered my list o interesting guitars