SE Soapbar review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (51 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Soapbar

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: Peeler

Sound — 10
One of the most incredible sounding guitars I've played. It has this hollow, deep resonance to it, sounds better than the Gibson gold top reissue with P90's, Schecter Blackjacks with Seymour Duncans, and the humbucker PRS' in my opinion. Hum cancelling in the middle position, small hum in bridge or neck single. It has a very rich, full sound. I played it on a Peavey classic tube. It won't be the most versatile with P90's. Didn't buy it (yet) but I've played it many times in the store (they should make me put a down payment on it every time I ask to play it from now on). I can't put it down, it sounds so beautiful. Nice thick cruch through the Peavey, good Drive on either pickup, though not as strong as, say a Schecter or Ibanez. But that's what the effects pedal is for. The bridge has nice treble, the neck is very warm and mellow.

Overall Impression — 10
I play alternative rock, love a mix of the classic sound of the Strat and the full sound of the humbucker, this has it. I've been playing for 2 years. I love the way this guitar plays and sounds. I've compared it to an Ibanez SZ and Schecter Blackjacks. They sound like every other guitar I picked up, the PRS SE soapbar struck me as very unique from the moment I started playing it.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Due to the beefy set neck and opaque finish, it feels pretty durable. But I don't own it (yet) so I can't say too much on this.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I played 2 of them, one has kind of high action, the other was very nice and low. I didn't notice fret buzz on either. The pickups sounded even on all strings. Even though it played nice, I'm not sure if the frets are finished, they looked 'cut' at the ends, like they were never smoothed or filed. But the edge of the neck has a nice feel to it, unlike my Schecter which feels like it is digging into my fingers on barr chords. All the controls seemed well put together. I'm not sure how well it stays in tune. Classic PRS double cut shape looks good, but nothing great overall in thelooks department, black or white, I've seen the burst on the Santana, and it is ok.

Features — 6
This is the Soapbar II, double cut. Wide-fat neck, you can get dimensions from the PRS faq on there site. See above for features.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    To the person who wrote the review at the top- Most guitar strings only last 3-4 months. You should actually really be changing them more often than that anyway. Otherwise, I really like this guitar too, and I hope to be getting it soon.
    im dutch, so excuse me if I make any mistakes in my writing First of all: I truly love my my Soapbar great sound, plays like madness, just my thing but am I the only person here with a soapbar that had to be fixed twice now..? I'm very carefull with it and i only have it for half a year now...but first my volume button stopped working spontaniously and a month later one of my pick-ups just stopped working! and i really am carefull with my guitar
    I think I must have the double cut Soapbar, but IMHO, it looks much better than the single cut body. It plays beautifully, the neck is smooth and the action is phenomenal. I'm going to exchange the single coil P90s in for a pair of Bill Lawrence L500XL, or possibly a DiMarzio Evolution Neck/Bridge set, because I play extreme metal and single coils don't have high enough output, but they still sound great.