Tremonti SE review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (256 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: Tremonti SE
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Price paid: £ 180

Purchased from: ebay

Sound — 10
Despite Tremonti being a heavy rock/metal gutiarist, I actually play blues and rock, and this guitar is perfect for that. I use a Fender Champion 30 DSP. The neck pickup is warm and rolled back can produce sweet sounding santana runs, or a nice jazz tone, but opened up gives a great acoustic strumming tone. The tone knob, unlike many guitars I have owned, actually works from 1-10, giving a gradual change in tone, instead of nothing from 10-3 then muddiness from 3-1. The bridge I have is a Seymour Duncan SH-6, which again is for metal and hard rock but suits blues perfectly. I can actually get a good Lynyrd Skynard tone out of it, and is great for blues suffles. Again the tone knob works great, but mine was slightly crackly meaning the pot needed cleaning, but that's no big deal. Both pickups together gives me a great, out of phase Peter Green tone (think "Need Your Love So Bad"), and can give some nice country tones in there too. I use a DigiTech tube overdrive pedal and don't particularly go for distortion sounds. The neck gives a rich creamy overdrive tone which when pushed can get you into the distortion lands, but cleans up nicely when rolled back on the volume. The bridge pickup is again great on overdrive but if I were a metal player I wouldn't use this, its just not capable of getting the screaming sounds I hear- maybe its my playing, or maybe my Fender can't do it, but it makes no difference to me because I have no need to go there. Overall I love this guitars sound, amazing for the price. I can go from Santana, to Skynard, to jazz, to chuck berry, to satriani, peter green and back again.

Overall Impression — 10
For my style of blues and rock this guitar is perfect, and compliments my Strat well. When I fancy a nice fat warm humbucker sound I love picking up this guitar and playing it. I had an Epiphone DotEpiphone Dot, and while that was a beautiful guitar, it doesn't stand up next to the PRS. If it were stolen I would first hunt down those who did it and bash them with my tube pedal (that things like a brick) then buy another. Its a great upgrade for those who want to get serious, or for those lucky ones with a nice first guitar budget. I was considering getting an Epi Les Paul, but I'm pleased I own a PRS. If I were to trade in I think it would be only when I can afford a American made PRS. If you like any type of electric guitar music then this will suit, it can pretty much handle whatever you want to throw at it and will last. It is a pleasure to own.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I don't play live, but I would certainly take this if I did. Its roadworthy, the straps are solid, the hardware is secure, one thing I can say is there is a slight rattle in the neck pickup when I really pick hard, but is probably something that I can fix quickly.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was bought second hand so this obviously changes the factory set up, but I don't think it had been played about with too much. At first I was apprehensive about the wrap around bridge as I'm a fan of high action, but it still allows me to highten the bridge, you just haven't got the scope of play compared to a tune-o-matic or trem bridge. Still I love it, it stays in tune and sustains great, so I don't have any problems with it. I haven't had it to bits to change anything, but the wiring seems fine, its grounded fine. The neck is finished great, the frets perfect, the intonation is almost spot on, close enough for me. As for cosmetics the guitar was second hand, you expect a few chips, but the finish is lasting, I'm not one to keep my guitars pristine, and if they get knocked about, then that's part of their life, but I can't say its wearing away.

Features — 9
This is a Korean made guitar with mahogany body and neck and a rosewood fretboard with pearl dot inlays. The finish platinum with a plastic cream binding round the body and neck. It has a wrap around bridge and two humbuckers (my bridge is a Seymour Duncan SH-6). The tuners and non locking but work nice and it stays in tune pretty well. The Tremonti is obviously a Les Paul style guitar but lighter and thinner, its comfortable to play and feels nice either sitting or standing. Quite simply it is a Les Paul for those who want a lighter and thinner version, or want to have a PRS for a small price. Simple but effective.

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