SE Standard review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 7.9 (144 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Standard

Price paid: $ 915

Purchased from: SoundControl

Sound — 10
I play a lot of different music, mainly blues and rock and roll, but also a bit of metal and punk and I barely even have to change any of the settings on my amp. I use it with a Marshall CD series amp which is a brilliant partnership. Not much in the way of hum which is good for a cheaper PRS. This guitar has huge tonal variety, from crisp leads to smooth seemless rhythm.

Overall Impression — 10
This is a perfect match for mainly all types of music, even Jazz! I haven't been playing very long but I know how to spot a quality guitar when I see one! Honestly if it were stolen I would probably tell the insurance company that it was a PRS Modern Eagle! But otherwise from that I really can't complain. I compared it with a Fender Strat and SG Special, which I would ahve got in place of this if they had the one with the Wine Red Finish, but thank god they didn't as this is far better than my friends SG Special! PRS are truly better than any over rated Gibson on the market. They may be more expensive than Gibsons but you pay for quality and craftmanship and Gibsons quality control has been very poor recently

Reliability & Durability — 10
The main reason that put me off buying a Les Paul once I got this was the hardware. PRS truly understand a guys need to throw his guitar around on stage so the strap buttons are very wide so there is no need for straplocks and Les PAuls always need straplocks because of the piss poor straplocks. I would have thought they had cottoned on about this flaw but apparently not. Seeing as though this is Korean made, I don't see it lasting a lifetime without some minor patchwork, but I don't care anyway as I'm selling this and upgrading to a CE24 as soon as I get the extra 600!

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action is quite low (but in a good way), My uncle Who has been playing for +40 years couldnt see anything wrong with it and couldnt put it down! Pickups where well adjusted. I couldn not see any flaws in the finish and gleemed on the shelf when I bought it. The nut is slightly of centre but it's easy to miss ass it's only about 1mm of centre anyway.

Features — 10
I'm not sure when this was made exactly but it's Korean built. 22 frets and a wide thin fretboard. At first when I was trying this axe out it took a little while but I came back to it a couple of days later and couldnt put it down so I bought it right there! PRS designed humbuckers aand a stoptail to add to it's endless sustain! Basic PRS tuning keys but these hold up better than the Grovers on my Epiphone. No visual flaws and I can't see any flaws on the finish

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Petey D
    I've owned my PRS SE Standard for about six months now, and I'm still as impressed with it as the day I bought it. It's an all around good guitar. Good action, good pick-ups & the neck is super smooth & fast. I play all kinds of stuff, from Audioslave to Pennywise to Pantera, and it works pretty freakin well for me.
    Remember ppl. A good guitarist can make a bad guitar sound good....not the other way round
    actually PRS isnt doing that. the SE model are just a line they have. its like gibsons standards and customs
    I have one I threw a duncan distortion in it and it sounds freakin awesome plays great too I highly recommend for any style way better than an epi les paul
    Korea is the new Japan as far as quality anyone complain about Korean LTD EC1000 or M1000s? They are nice but I dont like the wide fat necks or the smaller fret wire vs. compareable LTDs which is why I went with an LTD EC400VF a new for 2007 model in a tobacco sunburst finish thats better than the PRS with Extra-jumbo fret wire which I prefer. Also the LTD mimics the LP shape more closely and I like the ESP lower horn better than Gibsons. BTW again w/ Korean quality, I sat down at GC with 3 Epi LPs, 1 from China, 1 from Indonesia, and 1 Korean, whats odd is they were all standards with diff finishes, all new?? The Chian 1 had a noticeably fatter neck and sounded the worst like a plastic guitar, the Indonesian one had a thinner neck but still sounded plastic, the Korean had by far the thinnest neck (actually compareable to the LTDs)and sounded the best by far like real wood. Also the mahoganies on the China and Indonesian had that "fat pore" blurry look to the grain, while the Korean had tight thin pores in the wood grain like you see on a Gibson or LTD. So in my book Korean is the only alternative to US/Japan models.
    Remember ppl. A good guitarist can make a bad guitar sound good....not the other way round
    very true. My guitar teacher just uses a squier strat and a cheapish peavey amp, but his awesome talent totally makes up for the lack of snazzy gear. Personally I don't like it when a company has to give their cheaper guitars a separate title- 'SE' 'Epiphone', etc. It's as if they're trying to highlight the fact you're getting a 'budget' instrument.
    pariah452 wrote: I dont really care for these guitars that much. You get more bang for your buck with a jackson or ibanez.
    for metal, sure. but what if i play jazz AND metal? (i do, and blues, and classic rock, and classical guitar, though classical is irrelevant here) jackson and ibanez guitars are best suited to rock sounds. they can do other tones, but that's the main deal, especially for jacksons. i just can't see myself playing jazz on a jackson, though that's largely an aesthetics thing. if you swap the emg's or really work your tone it's the only issue. change the pickups and you're fine, yes, but what if i don't want to spend the extra cash or can't afford the p/ups? don't get me wrong, there's this one jackson i've got my eye on, but a prs does a greater variety of styles so much better without sacrificing much overall and i'm on a tight budget (can only afford 1 guitar right now). given my broad tastes, i'll take the prs. i'm actually thinking about getting the semi-hollow se custom when it hits stores next month. i like the se custom, but i also like the semi-hollow tone, so i'm gonna shoot for both in one guitar.
    I've tried various makes of guitar recently as I'm considering adding something to my set, Jacksons are pretty sweet but they are mainly for heavy, loud and fast playing styles mainly associated with Metal bands, not a lot of room for jazz or something mellow. However, I couldn't understand why anyone would want an Ibanez which is the first electric make I ever bought as a practice model. I tried some of the more upmarket models and they were just cosmetically improved versions of the practice guitar I already have which sounds pretty shite anyway. PRS give a lot more variety in their tone and better quality sounds whereas Ibanez just don't do the job, the sound is very restrained and doesn't flow freely like a PRS. But all to their own.
    PRS models with the wrap around stop tail piece have a major flaw. They do not allow you to adjust the intonation on the guitar like a tune-o-matic bridge or tremolo system does. As the guitar ages and experiences climate changes, the intonation will need to be adjusted. If it is not adjusted you will be out of tune the closer you play to the 12th fret. You may be the best solo player there is, but if your intonation is not set properly, you will sound like crap! PRS does make a wrap around tail piece that allows you to adjust the intonation, but they only put it on a few of the high end American made models. I think you can order it seperately to replace the stock tail piece for about $125.
    The price i've paid - 600$. One man, that doing buiseness in guitars. He said, that PRS SE Standart is a greate guitar. In tha guitar, he said, you can play a cool-sound heavy music. Then, when i've bought it - he said, that the guitar is for blues'n'jazz one. And when i've change the stock strings to GHS Subzero Boomers, I've hear a many, many noises. It's sound awefull - I try to do some variations in when tunning, but, I think, it's helpless =(( P.S. Sorry for my English.