SE Standard Review

manufacturer: Paul Reed Smith date: 01/14/2009 category: Electric Guitars
Paul Reed Smith: SE Standard
The SE Standard is a solid basswood guitar with a glued-in mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard. It features a black finish with a camouflage pattern and satin topcoat, black hardware and moon inlays. The electronics include two PRS designed humbuckers, a 3-way pickup selector, volume and tone knobs.
 Sound: 9.8
 Overall Impression: 9.4
 Reliability & Durability: 9.6
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.2
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
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 Users rating:
reviews (5) pictures (3) 31 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.2
SE Standard Reviewed by: UG Team, on september 14, 2006
5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Features: One of my favorite features of the SE Standard is its seemingly endless sustain. The 25" scale length mahogany neck through design has much to do with this. The intonation, even past the 15th fret, is also on point and the 22-fret wide fat neck was surprisingly lighting fast. The guitar came with a Cordura gig bag that sports an efficient yet roomy accessory pocket allowing you to store your picks, capos and sheet music in style. // 8

Sound: The tones on the SE Standard were quite good; exceptionally good when compared to any guitar in its price range. As you'll hear from the audio clips, this guitar is an extremely versatile tone machine. It is very percussive and rhythmic when playing open chord progressions and funky clean riffs. Both PRS designed humbuckers sounded great, clean or distorted, and when I rolled back on the tone knob I even found it had great capabilities for jazz. My favorite tone was when I combined the bridge pickup with a light distortion from a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Visually, the guitar is a perfect 10. The design of the body is very similar to any high end PRS's I used to not be able to afford. The guitar I tested had a Matte Vintage Mahogany finish... very smooth to the touch and an awesomely neutral color. Of course, the trademark moon inlays look stellar while the beautifully chromed hardware & now famous PRS Headstock round out the SE with style and beauty. I found this guitar to be ultra light and extremely comfortable to play sitting or standing. // 8

Reliability & Durability: My first impression of the SE wasn't even of the guitar itself, but rather the excellent Cordura gig bag that the SE was packed in. Not only is it almost as sleek as the guitar itself, but its solid interior reinforcement will definitely protect your investment from any possible mishaps while on the road or just loading up for another Saturday night gig at the local dive. But, enough about the gig bag. The PRS SE Standard is a well-crafted guitar, and a perfect compliment to the outstanding sustain this guitar brings to the table is the way it manages to effortlessly stay in tune for hours of non-stop play. // 8

Overall Impression: Back in my high school days I dreamed of owning a PRS. I used to walk in to the local music shop, ask to play each one, and the salesman, thinking their was a slight chance I had rich parents, would let me sit there and wank my way through every Metallica and Nirvana riff I knew. Of course, I'd leave disappointed that my parents were indeed not rich and that minimum wage was only $5.25/hr. But times have changed and now all you lucky guitarists with champagne tastes and box wine budgets can now own a very sweet Paul Reed Smith guitar. Perhaps even putting away the plastic and paying with cash this time. All in all, this guitar gets a 10 in our book. If you're a novice or professional player looking for a well-crafted guitar that's versatile, attractive and downright affordable, then do yourself a favor and try out one of these babies. They simply look, sound and play amazing and you won't have to miss next months rent payment to own one! // 8

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overall: 9.2
SE Standard Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 12, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from:

Features: Solid basswood double cutaway body (top horn slightly longer than the bottom), cool camoflage finish, 22 fret mahogany neck w/rosewood fretboard, wide-fat like neck carve, abalone moon inlays, no pickguard, 2 humbucking pickups, 1 volume and 1 tone control, 3-way toggle Switch, PRS style stoptail. // 8

Sound: Well this guitar seems like one of the better SE's avaible I'm sorry I was never a fan of the current Santana SE (post pickguard) nor the SE EG. But this guitar seems to have them beat obviously. I have a Marshall AVT and a DigiTech GNX2000, a Boss NT-2, Chromatic Tuner, Ph-2 and a DigiTech Death Metal distortion pedal. Due to the noise supressor its not noisy. Soundwise this guitar can go from Hoobastank to Underoath to Killswitch Engage and back to Miles Davis. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came set-up perfectly no adjustment needed. The pickups didn't even need to be adjusted. This guitar had no flaw as far as the eye can see. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I haven't tested this guitar yet in a live situation and proabably wont until I got back out on the road in late August. But I'm willing to bet this thing will withstand any live playing. The hardware and the finish looks like it can take a good 10 or 20 year beating. If I was forced to I would gig without a back but since I play in 4 different tunings it would not be wise. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing guitar now for 6 years and hell I'm lucky enough that my band is signed. My band so far sounds like a mix of Incubus and Underoath which would probably equal something like Lost Prophets. So yea it does suit my style. So I would like to think I know a good guitar when I hear one. This is definitely one. I own a white Tremonti SE, SE Soapbar II, and a Santana SE (pre-pickguard). And this one is definitely a cool buy. I love the unique finish and even though I like Dan from Hoobastank I think this guitar will attract more people because yea it does look like his custom but it does not bear his name. If this guitar was stolen I'd probably buy another one in a heartbeat. So overall a great guitar from PRS so far the SE line has not dropped the ball and this is no exception. // 10

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overall: 9.8
SE Standard Reviewed by: deltacross, on january 14, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 720

Purchased from: JB Music

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 10
SE Standard Reviewed by: Burning_Angel, on september 19, 2006
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Sound: I play mostly metal/progressive (I've mostly learned a lot of Opeth) so this suits me perfectly. I play some thrash but not much. However I am confident that this guitar could play whatever I want it to. I am currently using a Fender Bullet Amp and a DigiTech DF-7 pedal. The pedal is awesome, the amp average, and the guitar still sounds great. Not very noisy, I can get the tone I want if I mess with settings on my pedal or amp. On the neck pickup it has a rich full sound which I like for playing distorted Opeth, the bridge I use for the clean interludes and such cause it gives a pretty bright tone. It can make any sound from Jazz to Death Metal. My pedal gives it a little more versatility though, it still has good variety. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was adjusted at the store, so I'm not sure how it was from the factory, but I'm pretty confident it was well set up. I didn't need to adjust the action at all. The pickups were fine for me. I have a tendancy to play above the neck pickup and I haven't hit it yet. Everything was perfectly set up for me, no flaws what-so-ever. I didn't need to adjust anything. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I would play this guitar live without a backup, but I still would like a backup, because if a string breaks or slips I'd be screwed. The hardware will definitley last, even if I'm gonna put on Seymour Duncans eventually. The strap buttons a perfect. They aren't loose or anything. And, I can depend on it. As I said earlier, I'd play it without a backup. Finally, the finish. The finish is good to last. No nicks in it, and sadly, I have bumped it a few times. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall perfect. Matches my style perfectly. I can get any tone I want out of the guitar. I've been playing for a few years. I have a Yamaha classical, and electric. This guitar blows both of them out of the water. Everything was perfect so there's nothing I wish I asked. If it were lost or stolen, I would cry. Seriously. I would definitly buy it again, or just save for a CE24. I compared it to a Godin of some sort and some different guitars and it just ended up a better fit for me. I love everything about it. Although I can't decide on a favorite feature. The only thing I wish it had is Duncan pickups and 24 frets. // 10

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overall: 10
SE Standard Reviewed by: jamiec123, on june 08, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 915

Purchased from: SoundControl

Features: 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 // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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! // 10

Overall Impression: 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 // 10

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