SE Singlecut review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (264 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Singlecut

Price paid: $ 375

Purchased from: Local store (lightly used)

Features — 8
Plain Jane on features. 22 frets. PRS brand tuners, bridge, and passive pickups. 3 way pickup selectors, master volume, and master tone. Nothing really stands out in features, the charcoal burst finish is absolutely beautiful though. If you want a barebones that gets the job done without having a bunch of flashy features, this is for you. Came with a gig bag. Gotta knock some points off for the only weak spot, thought. Tuners are a little touchy for a guitar of this quality. Probably will be replaced, eventually.

Sound — 10
I picked this guitar up knowing good and well that it had PRS pickups in it, which I had assumed were lackluster. I also had full intentions of swapping them out for Seymour Duncans or DiMarzios. I'm super picky when it comes to pickups. Took this gem home and put it through the paces from blues to hard rock to death metal to classical and everywhere in between. Very precise while not being noisy. Rich, deep, yet crystal clear cleans from the neck, almost saw puppy dog eyes when I added a speck of reverb. Little bit of gain on the tube amp and an extremely transparent overdrive pedal and the bridge SCREAMS, as if to tell me to leave them in there, so I listened. Sound is truly the most immaculate aspect of this guitar. Perfection.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Intonation was a hair flat on the D string... and I mean a hair (10-14 cent?), however, it's non-adjustable. My human ears can't tell the difference, especially in an actual playing setting. However, it still kind of bothers me knowing it's not spot on. I'll probably forget it's even off after a while. Action is smooth as butter, and doesn't have any fret buzz. Pickups were adjusted to perfect height as well. Local shop guys know what they're doing when it comes to setting up guitars. I assume they come from the factory just as good, being that it's PRS.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I'm never mean to my guitars so there isn't much I can say here. I don't gig... yet. Most of my guitars live a pretty calm lifestyle up on the wall unless they get moved across the room to get plugged in to an amp, or, on rare occasion, taken to a friend's house to have a jam session. That said, the guitar feels well built, not indestructible, but well built, and the last owner didn't even put a scratch on it. Still looks mint, so use that as a testament to it's durability. Would definitely put some locks on that strap if I was taking it gigging though, because they are pretty tiny.

Overall Impression — 10
Plays nicer, and sounds better than my Fender Showmaster FMT HH, and will likely replace it as my E standard - drop D tuned guitar. If it was stolen/lost I probably wouldn't replace it, because I buy most of my guitars used, because full price is for people who aren't working 60+ hours a week and still barely scraping by. If I found it in the same color and condition for the same price, I would buy another one in a heartbeat. However, it holds its own against some $3,000 guitars I've played at the store, in playability, sound, and versatility; but not in features. If you just want a guitar that plays nice with no fancy bells and whistles, then this guitar will suit you well for under $800 no matter what genre you play. For my purposes, at $375, it was a perfect fit. Only thing I wish it had, that it doesn't, is a fancier looking inlay on the fretboard and higher quality tuners. Some day when I'm bored and have some spare change laying around, I'll probably replace the tuners. Other than that, excellent piece of equipment. Proud to say I own one.

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