PRS SE vs the real thing?

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Mark I
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:47 pm

Re: PRS SE vs the real thing?

Post by BigBadWolf » Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:16 pm

I agree 100%, that CNC-crafting machines can do better job than humans. They rarely make mistakes. And a guitar is possible to make of 2 x 4' wood and it works perfectly without body wings (is that wings in english? Not sure). However i do know that the material between the bridge and the nut is more important than most people know. Especially the material of neck is important. If the wood doesn't resonate with strings, it cuts sustain and dynamics.

It's also true, that money doesn't always give you better guitar. There is that thing called "street credibility", which makes people buy low class US made instruments and think they get better guitar than some korean or chinese built is. People sand off decals and put F or G logos on instead and they believe the audience looks at them in awe for those logos. But street credibility is not, what real musician needs. Sound doesn't get any better, when logo changes. Sometimes the difference between prices is just a logo.

It's hard to tell, where the sweetspot is, when thinking about how much is enough to get a decent guitar. Country where it is made, makes a huge difference. If someone believes that one can't find a brilliant carpenter from all billion and half people in China, he really need to re-think everything. I've heard of chinese custom shops, where you can get top custom shop grade guitar with 20% of the price of US made one. Sadly i don't know any for sure, so i can't really say which one of those hundred shops is the one to buy from.

You really need to know, which brand to buy. There are brands, that offer standard level crap as custom shop level special instruments. There is a huge scale fraud going on in this world. It's called marketing. Paint few white dots on a $500 black standard strat, and you get a $1000 artist series guitar (of course these prices didn't happen anywhere on this planet).

But if you go to price range of average custom shop instrument, the odds for getting a good guitar rise. You can get better guitar with money. Generally (if unknown cheaper custom shops are left out of this) you get better woods, better hard parts and higher grade of finishing (which doesn't count so much in paint job, but means everything in fitting parts together).

But if you pay $25000 for a PRS with an owl painted on it, you're not getting better guitar than the $5000 PRS is. You're paying for decoration. The guitar doesn't get any better if you carve knobs out of a huge diamond or attach some reral bling bling - a 5 kilos gold chain - hanging under it. And it doesnt sound any better with more expensive 10-top. However if it brings your mood up with it's looks, you may play a bit better. Worth the price difference -better? Not, if the there is some helluva decoration ;D

And this is where i can come back in the subject of this thread. In these 36 years i've played, i've seen few guitars. When i finally grew adult enough to get one PRS, i noticed that they beat their rivals in materials and craftmanship. And that goes in SE price range as well as with more pricey ones. That's why i keep babbling about them.
Mark III red stripe simul class, Mark V combo (with old half back) and Mark V head with three quarter cab.
Played with few PRS's.
No. I don't match with my gear as a guitarist. How could I? I have the best gear there is.

Mark IV
Posts: 662
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:20 am
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: PRS SE vs the real thing?

Post by afu » Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:17 am

BigBadWolf, that's pretty wise and I'm glad to hear that you've found a brand of guitars that is consistently great for you.
2007 3 Channel Dual Recto w/loop mod

My Humble Music Tech Blog:
Dual Rectifier Index

Mark I
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:33 pm

Re: PRS SE vs the real thing?

Post by iHatePop » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:27 pm

The SEs are fantastic. I own a newer SE Custom 24 and an older SE Standard 22 and love them both. Surprisingly, the Standard sounds better. I think this is due to the lower output pickups (9-10k instead of 13-14k on the newer models) and the fact that it's a stoptail, and it seems everything resonates better. The Custom is much harsher and brittle sounding, although it still sounds very good.

The thing I like about the SEs is that they're great guitars as is, but with a few relatively cheap mods like tuners, nut, pickups and bridge, these rival most high end PRSs, Gibsons, etc. Quality control on these is phenomenal. I've never played an SE that played badly, but it seems most of the $5000 Gibsons I've played were trash, as well as many of the high end Fenders and other brands. These cheap PRSs are always on point from my experience.

Plus you can pick em up used for $300-500. That leaves a lot of room for pickups and other mods, and if you wanna do mods that involve drilling for switches or buttons, it hurts a lot less to drill into a cheap Korean guitar than a $3000 USA PRS.
1997 Mesa DC-5B 1x12 Combo
1988 Marshall JCM 800 2205

Marshall 1960BV Vintage Cab (w/ V30s)

2012 PRS SE Custom 24
2007 PRS SE Standard 22
2010 Jackson Pro Series RR3 Rhoads

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Re: PRS SE vs the real thing?

Post by kdorsey » Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:12 am

I love my SEs. Adore them. Simply the best value in a guitar I've found. They get gigged every week right along side my core PRSi and Les Pauls. And while they look and play so well, let's not blur the lines between the SE, core, and private stock guitars, though. The difference in playability in the latter two is WAY off the scale better. The fret work is the best in the business...period. They spend a month - yes, 30 days - on just the neck of every core guitar. That translates into a very real difference.

Like I said, I gig my SE One and SE245 weekly and sincerely love playing them, but they won't be mistaken for a core PRS anytime soon, if you know what to look for.
'89 Mk III Combo - green stripe
Simul w/ EL-34s | EQ | Rev | EV12L

(2) Boogie 2x12 Half-back Cabs

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