SE Standard review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (144 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Standard

Price paid: $ 720

Purchased from: JB Music

Sound — 10
I mostly play rock, blues, acoustic cleans, alternative music, worship music, some shred and stuff, but I'm not really into metal although I play some metal riffs. it suits my music style perfectly! the pickups are very good for stock ones and I can get really decent tones from them. It's not noisy at all, since mine only has a satin finish, it's tone is a bit warmer compared to the SE Custom. it's great for blues and it's warmness compensates the string gauge it has- 0.009s.. I use a Marshall MG50DFX and a Korg AX5G with it, it still sounds amazing! You can play a variety of sounds on this guitar, it's very versatile.

Overall Impression — 9
it's a very good match to the various styles of music I play, it's also a very versatile guitar. for the price, you can't go wrong with it. I'd get it anytime over a Schecter, Fender, Epiphone, or Ibanez. I've been playing for 5 years, I own an Ibanez RG321MH, a Marshall MG50DFX, and a Korg AX5G. I wish it had bird inlays. the moon inlays are fine but I really dig those bird inlays. I'm planning on having this customized on my guitar. If it was stolen, I don't think I would have the money to buy a guitar in this price range again so would just have to kill the one who stole it. I love the finish, the neck, the brand, the playability, and the tonal verstility of this guitar. I compared it with a PRS SE Custom, and a few Ibanez guitars. I only wish it had bird inlays, that's all.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will definitely withstand Live playing! I've seen various artists doing gigs with a PRS SE. I've also used mine Live and had no problems with it. hardware will surely last, no signs of weakness on my guitar. I love the oversized strap buttons, I won't need a strap-lock on this one. I use a Planet Waves joe sat signature starp on my guitar, I had a hard time putting in in. I had a hell of a tougher time removing it. I'd use it on a gig without any backup.. I'm not harsh on strumming and picking so I rarely break a string. I think the finish is good to last, I'm yet to see that. I've only had this for two months.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Factory set-up was superb! Absolutely no fret buzz on the finger board, I tried bending on every fret and mine had no dead fret. but PRS SE models are also hi and miss, I think I just got lucky with mine. I tried another SE Standard and it had a buzz on the 12th fret. hehe. Action was very low, very comfortable for me. I can shred and do those fast licks even if it was a wide-fat neck carve. Pickups are also adjusted properly. The only flaw I saw with the guitar was a very small ding at the back of the upper horn. maybe somebody accidentally bumped it when he was trying out the guitar. but it was not a problem to me since it was at the back. Wood for the body was ok, alhough it had a darker brown stripe in the center. I think it's because of the grain of the wood, but it's not a problem to me. Hardware was fine, strings were a little rusty. The fretboard seemed kinda dry. There were these lines but no cracks, I think even the high-end PRS have this. But antway, a little fret borad conditioner might do the trick. Fretwire were filed properly, nothing that could cut or Hurt my hand when sliding. Controls were not loose and the pickup selector was fine. I think the potentiometers on th SE line are also very good, they respond good to every turn of the knob and you can really hear the gradual differences in tone and volume. unlike my RG321 where it's not that good.

Features — 10
I have a PRS SE Standard, made in Korea in 2007. it has 22 frets, 25" scale length, wide-fat neck carve. the body is made of mahogany and so is the neck, it's got a rosewood fingerboard with moon inlays. it has a very nice Vintage mahogany satin finish, very smooth even when the hands get a bit sweaty. body style is like a Gibson les paul double cut with the upper horn slightly longer. mine has a wrap-around bridge. two PRS Designed humbucking pickups that are passive. one volume, one tone knob, 3-way pickup selector. tuners are also Standard PRS designed but non-locking. included in the accessories was a gig bag, a spare set of d'addario strings, and a string winder.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ive tried out one of these at my local guitar store. I liked it but I bought the Mikael Akerfeldt edition instead. Its 300 dollars more but its well worth it. Ill post a review soon.
    I just got my brand new PRS SE Standard and I'm loving it. I was quite lucky though, since I got this at half price as this particular shop was going out of business. You can play anything you want on this guitar. This piece is so versatile and affordable that it is unreal. The sound is so great and the neck is amazingly fast, even the size of the guitar is ideal. All in all I'm very impressed with this PRS and I don't think I'm ever changing brands.