Price paid: $ 996
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
I love a wide array of music, from oldschool blues, bluegrass, to classic rock to modern rock and metal of all forms. Honestly, this thing is geared more towards heavy rock and metal than anything else due to it's construction and the high output of the pickups, but with a little creative dialing in of amps and playing technique, you can find yourself comfortable with any of the tones this guitar will provide. I find the cleans to be very full, yet bright, and if you know how use your vol/tone controls and dial in your amp, you can find very satisfying tones for almost any style. But where this thing really shines is if you want to crank up the gain and whail. The pickup selector in the bridge or middle position provides very nice cleans. Anyone that is familiar with this pickup combo will know that these pickups are extremely quiet. I own a B-52 AT 2x12 100 watt combo, and I'm very, very happy with any of the cleans and dirt.
Overall Impression — 10
When I jam, I'm typically tooling around with music from bands like Tool, Alice In Chains, Slipknot, etc., but as I stated earlier I have a wide range of appreciated influences. Two things I did to this guitar on the first night of owning it were the 18V mod to the EMG's, and I blocked the trem to dive only. I have experience with the EMG's, and the extra headroom and midrange adjustment from the 18V mod is something that I feel more comfortable with. As far as blocking the Trem, I want stability in changing tuning as well as to simplify things when changing strings. Plus I'm not a huge Trem guy. I've never really like Floyds, but this guitar had everything I was looking for in my next purchase, so I figured the annoyances can be defeated with a little work. I've been playing for over 15 years, and have owned lots of different guitars and lots of different gear. I'm pretty minimalist and it doesn't take a $3000 guitar to make my fingers move. But I tell your, for $1000, this guitar is one hell of a purchase.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is solid and well constructed. Enough said. Pick one up for a bit and you'll know what I mean. Also, I have been absolutely amazed at how well this guitar stays in tune. Absolutely amazing. After the first restring I spent hours divebombing and doing whammy pulls... This thing just kept coming back perfectly.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar was setup unbelievably well. I like to do some slight adjustments with anything I bring home, but overall, it was a dream to play when it was in the store. As far as the finish, I had a choice of two, and I chose the one with the better bookmatched top. They both played as close to identical as I've ever experienced from two guitars at a store. (I have been known to have two of the same model and finish next to me take turns swapping them before I make a decision). Overall, this guitar came as pristine and perfect as I could ever expect.
Features — 9
This is a new model from the PRS SE line of guitars. It was made in Korea with a higher price point than any of the other non-signature SE models, and when you pick this thing up, you know why. It feels extremely well built and has substantial weight and density with a very slick feel to it. It has a flame maple top and comes in two finishes. I personally got the red one. This guitar has a maple neck with neck-through body construction, Maple top and Mahogany body. The ebony fretboard is very clean, very smooth and absent of any inlays. This models sports a Floyd Rose double locking trem system and a pair of EMG pickups (81/85). Two knows(1-tone, 1-volume) and a blade style 3-way pickup selector keep things simple and clean. The finish was very pristine.