PRS SE Custom
PRS SE Custom

SE Custom, Other Shape Guitar from PRS in the SE series.

King Loudness 08/11/2011

PRS SE Custom : King Loudness's user review

« An awesome mid level ax »

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This guitar was designed to be basically a PRS Custom 22 that was made to a price point that younger players could more readily afford. It retails for about $600 new and despite not being a USA made PRS, still retains that vibe and general quality that the guitars are revered for. They're built in Korea and are nearly identical in specification to a Custom 22. They feature a mahogany body and neck, a maple top (a veener as opposed to a thicker maple cap), a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets, a set of PRS sealed tuners, a PRS designed tremolo (identical to their USA models in appearance) as well as a set of PAF type humbuckers. The control layout is very simple with just a volume control, a tone, and a 3 way selector switch a-la a Les Paul. It also comes with a very nice PRS gig bag as well.


I've always admired PRS guitars for their design and this one is no exception. It may not be a "real" PRS but it still feels like a great guitar. The weight is medium and it feels solid and robust. The shape feels like every other Custom 22 that I've tried, both in how the body sits and how the neck feels. The hardware functions all as it should and the upper fret access is great as always on PRS guitars. The one caveat I have with PRS' design as of late is their slightly blocky neck heel on the set neck models that does impede fret access to a small degree, but it's still nowhere near as obtrusive as a Gibson Les Paul or other similar design.

Getting a good tone out of this guitar is surprisingly easy. Despite being a $600 guitar, the stock pickups are remarkably good. They remind me of old school PAFs but with a bit more grind and attitude to them overall. They clean up very well with the volume knob, and the guitar covers everything from blues to shred with ease as far as tones go.


I've tried this guitar primarily through a rig based around a Line 6 POD 2.0, as well as a rig based around a Peavey 1x15 Delta Blues and various pedals. For being what it is, I was quite impressed with the tones produced by the guitar using either rig. The cleans varied from bright and jangly to sweet and warm. The guitar particularly excelled at a nice sweet blues tone using the Delta Blues and a Drivetrain to push it into perfect breakup. As I moved into the higher gain settings I noted how clear and punchy the pickups remained. They have a very "brown" quality a-la EVH and PAFs that I really look for in a guitar pickup. I am not surprised by this, as PRS pickups have always impressed me in the past, but to have their import sound almost on the same level as a $3,000 USA model... THAT is cool. The drive tones were great for everything from classic 70s and 80s rock to modern day shred and fusion. I don't really play much metal and I don't think these pickups would really do it justice as they're more of a low output and vintage voiced pickup set with a lot of sag, whereas an ideal metal pickup produces a tight and unforgiving tone with gobs of output. That all being said, for the styles of music that I play, from jazz to rock to shred, this guitar excelled.


All in all I feel that the PRS SE line of guitars is really a great step in the right direction for the company. Many players aren't in a position to get one of the admittedly expensive USA models, and this guitar really offers that same high quality feel and great tone, but at a fraction of the cost. Definitely worth checking out for sure!