* Prices may differ from that shown
PRS are probably my favourite guitar makers in the world. Paul Reed Smith has made quality hand built guitars for years and the SE range from PRS are the Korean made cheaper alternative to the quality hand crafted American models.
This is a six string solid body electric guitar modelled on its expensive counterpart, the original PRS custom 24, which was the first guitar Paul Smith took to a trade show.
The body is a mahogany body with a flamed maple top. This won't mean much to anyone other than a proper guitar nut, personally I just know that it's not heavy like some of my other guitars and the flamed top looks amazing!
I love the shape of this guitar as it's different from the standard "strat" shape that so many companies try to copy but not so different that it makes you stick out like a sore thumb. The edges are smooth and it feels great sitting on your lap or hanging off of a strap.
This is a 24 fret guitar, but there is also a 22 fret model available, so there is plenty of room for those long runs up the fret board for those crazy solos.
The inlays on my model are crescent moons, which are cool because it's a small change on the standard dot inlay. I would prefer the flying bird inlays that can also be found on this guitar as I think they look fantastic and mirror the more expensive model better, but I got a great price on mine so I wasn't complaining!
I think the neck plays really well, it's not set up like a shred machine for metal players, but still has a nice low action allowing speed when desired but is also smooth for the more relaxed playing style.
The PRS SE custom 24 is fitted with 2 PRS designed humbuckers. These look really nice as they have a "zebra" look, with each half of the humbucker a different colour (cream and black). The pickups sound great and I have no desire to upgrade them. I can achieve anything from a heavy rock tone from the bridge to a lovely blues tone from the neck.
The pickup switch is a 3 way toggle, selecting neck, split or bridge pickup configurations. The switch feels quality unlike other guitars I have used where it just feels like the switch was just the cheapest the manufacturer could get their hands on.
The other controls are volume and tone. The tone is very good; allowing a lot of difference in the sound no matter what pick-up is selected. The volume is also very good, allowing a smooth change in volume unlike some which seem to do nothing then suddenly change from 1 to 10 in an instant.
The knobs on these controls are great too. Top quality feel to them and look the part too.
The hardware is all nickel and PRS designed.
The tuners feel quality and work really well allowing very small adjustments in tuning with ease.
The bridge is a PRS designed tremolo system. This is a great tremolo system and probably the best I've ever used. It feels like a cross over between a standard strat tremolo which doesn't over much, and a full on Floyd rose which offers full on madness. I have set my bridge so that it floats, allowing the tremolo system to fall and rise, allowing a lot of fun without the difficulties of a locking system.
The only problem with this bridge is that if you are going crazy on the tremolo arm then the tuning does slip because there are not locking tuners or a locking nut. You could buy PRS locking tuners for around £80 (when I looked a while ago) but I have never really felt the need to.
This beautiful instrument will probably set you back between £500 and £600. You might be thinking at this point that £600 is a lot for a cheaper model of a guitar, but compared to the £2,000 you would pay for an American PRS I think it's a steal! Compared to other companies cheaper versions, take squire from fender for example, the SE range are phenomenally well built and just look and feel so much better.
In conclusion this is my favourite guitar and I would not replace it for anything, unless maybe I win the lottery and can afford the £2,000 version !