SE Soapbar review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (51 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Soapbar
1

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 10
This guitar suits my style perfectly for it's versatility: Classic and Hard Rock, Contemporary Christian, some Jazz, Blues, and Pop. P90s aren't really for Death Metal, but with the right amp...? My main amp is a Peavey Delta Blues 210, 30 watts of warm tube power. If you are not familiar with single coil P-90 pickups, you will get some minor humming in the Bridge and neck positions. The trade off is this growling, snarly tone in the Bridge pup that cuts through the rest of the band The neck pickup is warm, yet articulate, sweet as brown sugar, retaining a round scooped sound. Tons of tone, a meatier sound with more midrange bottom end, than say, Strat single coils, and much higher output signal; yet, they retain more high end clarity than a humbucker. This axe pierces through when I want to be heard. P90s are the offspring of a marriage between a singlecoil and a humbucker.

Overall Impression — 10
Since I play primarily Classic & Hard Rock, Blues, and jazz, this guitar suites me pretty well. It is beyond doubt the most comfortable guitar, fun guitar I've ever played in 30+ years of playing. The Korean quality, combined with PRS quality control matches and exceeds some higher end Gibsons and Fenders made in this country. I own a 1991 American Standard Strat, and this "Soapy II" has relegated it to backup status. I would buy it again, used because this model is discontinued, if stolen, after I was let out of jail for killing the thief. I love it's Vintage sound, yet versatility. I only wish it came with a maple fretboard, and another tone pot, one for each pup.But, this fact is easily overlooked because of the sound I get out of this guitar. Mr. Smith's SE line is not a budget line, only budget priced.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Although only a comfortable 7.2 pounds, this guitar still carries the PRS name on it. It was put together with exactingly high standards. I will gig without a backup with confidence. Strap buttons were solid; I use locking Schallers. The nitrocellulose finish looks bulletproof.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought this guitar used, and the action was a little too high for me, but since it was preowned, I can't comment accurately about the action. I've read blogs about PRS setups being very playable out of the box. However, action is subjective, and adjustable to taste. The pickups were setup slightly low output, so I raised them slightly. The flame-maple top was perfectly bookmatched, the Bridge was flawless; I have yet to read about anyone who owns a PRS SE line who has complained about the fit or finish of these guitars. The tuners feel kind of budget quality, as does the sharply cornered graphite nut, which is hollow, and going to be replaced soon with a bone nut. These two issues are in stark contrast to the overall fit, finish, and looks, which is that of a guitar that is worth 3 to 4 times what I paid for it.

Features — 9
This 2007 PRS SE Soapbar 2 is the double cut model. No doubt the Koreans have done a great job in crafting this guitar, under PRS's watchful eyes. With 22 jumbo frets, it has a mahogany body and mahogany set neck with the wide-fat carve. It has a stunning, high-quality flame-maple veneer, with tri-color tobacco sunburst finish and hi-gloss black back and neck. A rosewood fretboard, and polished fretwork makes for a neck that asks to be played. The two Seymour Duncan designed cream-colored soapbar P90s were made to PRS specs, controlled by a three position heavy-duty toggle. The understated, yet functional EQ controls consists of two speed knobs, one for volume, the other for tone. The beauty of this setup is in its simplicity. The Bridge is a one-piece wrap-a-round that is factory preintonated. It came with an extremely high quality gig bag.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    corrda00
    How do you pay $ 731.9817? Do you have to cut off a corner of a penny or something?
    b_faulk75
    I just have to post my experience with this guitar. After a year long search and the purchase of 3 other guitars to upgrade from my entry level ibanez, i finally landed on a black prs se soapbar 2. There it was hanging on the used rack at guitar center, in rather dirty and dinged up condition, i played several new and used and ended up taking this guitar home. After a thorough cleaning and a pro setup with new strings and some slight tweaking. I can honestly say this the best money i have ever paid for an instrument in my life and i even took a loss on a trade in. Its been with me about 3 months and i can't stop playing it. It is light weight, well built, the neck feels better than any guitar i have ever played and it sounds spectacular to me also, the p-90's are in a class all by themself, thats for sure. I play a variety of music and it fits most of them well, i play thru an old all tube kustom amp, a small crate amp and a small line 6 amp and it sounds pretty awesome through all of them. If you get the chance, BUY this guitar, you will not regret it.
    coventryrams80
    I bought the PRS SE Soapbar II I paid 100 bucs. She was a bit chewed up and needed some work. .but I'd do it al over again. Great guitar.
    Stevegio
    Thisguitar DOES NOT have a nictrose finish...read the specs on the PRS site..they never had nor will they ever have that finnish unless you want to spend upwards of $3000
    Stevegio
    What kind of musician leaves factory strings on for 3 or 4 months..Are you retarded? the first thing you do when you get a new guitar is change the strings and put on a GOOD set and if you play a lot (which I doubt) you change them every 2 weeks. I doubt anything you posted is real except that your a beginner..$100 for a PRS...Sure you did... and woow a 30 wat digital amp'''This guitar screams for a tube amp...This post is about as real as flying saucers
    Stevegio
    What kind of musician leaves factory strings on for 3 or 4 months..Are you retarded? the first thing you do when you get a new guitar is change the strings and put on a GOOD set and if you play a lot (which I doubt) you change them every 2 weeks. I doubt anything you posted is real except that your a beginner..$100 for a PRS...Sure you did... and woow a 30 wat digital amp'''This guitar screams for a tube amp...This post is about as real as flying saucers
    Stevegio
    Another phony poster. These guitars weigh in at 6 lbs..I don't know what this guys playing (the fact that he has a Squir might give you a hint but it's not a PRS..They have some of the best tuners, pots, hardware and electronics on the planet...Save your money and naybe when you turn 16 mommy will but you a Fender bullet