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ExpatGirl
08-24-2012, 04:22 PM
I wasn't planning on buying a guitar last Saturday. I went into my local guitar shop, the Rockshop in Christchurch, to buy an amp. The shop was busy, as it usually is on a Saturday and I was headed toward the amps when I glanced up at the guitars hanging behind the counter.

There it was, a PRS SE Custom 24 in a gorgeous blue colour. I'd heard about PRS guitars but had never played one, so I asked if I could have a go. As soon as I was handed the guitar, it just felt right in my hands. The neck felt good, comfortable, like I'd had the instrument for years rather than a few seconds. Then I plugged it into an amp, a Fender Mustang III. I fell in love. That's the only way I can describe what happened.

I'll tell you a story that does relate to my discovering PRS and my SE Custom 24, so please bear with me. I used to play the fiddle and when I was planning a trip to Washington, D.C., I discovered that they have several Stradivarii violins that can be played by members of the public. I made an appointment and played three of Antonio Stradivari's instruments. The experience was magical. The note was simply there, waiting for me to touch the string with the bow.

How does this relate to my PRS SE Custom 24? Well, the experience was similar in that this beautiful, warm sound was right there, waiting for me when I plucked the string. I didn't have to work to make a nice sound come out of the instrument. It was already there. I'm not saying PRS are in the same ballpark as Stradivari's violins, but the experience was similar.

Of course I bought the guitar. I posted a photo on the "Show Your SE" thread, but I'll put it here too. Isn't it pretty? It can safely be said that I have been converted and am now a true PRS guitar fan. One thought keeps going through my mind though. If the quality is this good in a Korean-made SE model, how bloody good is the quality in the US-made instruments?
http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u131/kmac2001/003.jpg

CoreyT
08-24-2012, 04:59 PM
Nice axe, I have one on order, should land at my local shop in a few weeks.
I cannot decide though between the whale blue and the sunburst tobacco, good thing he is getting a few of each :D

I know what you mean by the quality of the South Korean built ones.
I picked up a 2012 SE Santana a few months back, and it plays about as good as my 2012 $2K plus Gibson '61 SG Reissue I got in March.

I have not played an American built PRS yes, may have to try one next time I hit the shop.
But I ma really satisfied with mine, and I hear the one you bought is really great.
If you have not seen their video yet, check it out.

Did you check out both colors too, and what do you think of the whale blue?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL6nvCmVmvw&feature=player_embedded

Zack M 12
08-24-2012, 05:18 PM
Welcome to the PRS fold. They are fantastic instruments.

LSchefman
08-24-2012, 10:57 PM
The SEs are great. They're in a class by themselves in anywhere near their price range.

The US models are also great, so you really owe it to yourself to try one.

That's really the only way to see what the differences are.

ExpatGirl
08-28-2012, 04:43 AM
Nice axe, I have one on order, should land at my local shop in a few weeks.
I cannot decide though between the whale blue and the sunburst tobacco, good thing he is getting a few of each :D

I know what you mean by the quality of the South Korean built ones.
I picked up a 2012 SE Santana a few months back, and it plays about as good as my 2012 $2K plus Gibson '61 SG Reissue I got in March.

I have not played an American built PRS yes, may have to try one next time I hit the shop.
But I ma really satisfied with mine, and I hear the one you bought is really great.
If you have not seen their video yet, check it out.

Did you check out both colors too, and what do you think of the whale blue?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL6nvCmVmvw&feature=player_embedded

They only had a SE Custom 24 in Whale Blue at my local shop. I think the tobacco sunburst is a lovely colour. My local shop has a SE Custom Semi-Hollow in tobacco sunburst and it's beautiful.

I got to play a Tremonti signature model last weekend. It was absolutely fantastic. The quality was top-notch and the sound was beautiful. Not quite my cup of tea for reasons I'm not sure I put into words. Perhaps something about the singlecut body just doesn't appeal to me. Still, I did like it and would have bought the Tremonti over the Fender Standard Stratocaster I played last weekend. Honestly, the difference between the Tremonti and the Strat was night and day. Literally no contest.

Let me know how you get on with your SE Custom 24 when it comes in. :)

ExpatGirl
08-28-2012, 04:48 AM
Welcome to the PRS fold. They are fantastic instruments.

I'm a true believer now. The only question is, which PRS will be my next guitar?


The SEs are great. They're in a class by themselves in anywhere near their price range.

The US models are also great, so you really owe it to yourself to try one.

That's really the only way to see what the differences are.

The Tremonti I played was just so much nicer than anything I've ever played, be it Fender, Gibson, what have you. My local shop is part of a chain and they have two PRS Studios in stock. My restraint regarding not asking them to bring one down for me to play has been remarkable.

Albrecht Smuten
08-28-2012, 04:52 AM
I'm not saying PRS are in the same ballpark as Stradivari's violins, but the experience was similar.
http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u131/kmac2001/003.jpg

Come on, admit that Mr. Smith is the guitar Stradivari =)

ExpatGirl
08-28-2012, 05:13 AM
I haven't played an Artist Series or Private Stock guitar yet, so you just might be right. :)

Albrecht Smuten
08-28-2012, 05:25 AM
Me neither, I'm just being a suckup =)

CoreyT
08-28-2012, 09:13 AM
They only had a SE Custom 24 in Whale Blue at my local shop. I think the tobacco sunburst is a lovely colour. My local shop has a SE Custom Semi-Hollow in tobacco sunburst and it's beautiful.

I got to play a Tremonti signature model last weekend. It was absolutely fantastic. The quality was top-notch and the sound was beautiful. Not quite my cup of tea for reasons I'm not sure I put into words. Perhaps something about the singlecut body just doesn't appeal to me. Still, I did like it and would have bought the Tremonti over the Fender Standard Stratocaster I played last weekend. Honestly, the difference between the Tremonti and the Strat was night and day. Literally no contest.

Let me know how you get on with your SE Custom 24 when it comes in. :)
Will do, I am going to call them today to see if they have heard anymore when they might land.
I will decide on the color, then they will install my Planet Waves Autotrim tuners I dropped off last week.
I have the Autotrims on all of my guitars, I like them very much.

CantankerousCarl
08-28-2012, 09:15 AM
Welcome, Expat! I likened SEs to potato chips / cats in another thread - you cannot just have one. I have found some amazing deals on some for less than $300 used, and I am up to 5 already. These new SECU24s are really amazing for the price, they do seem a notch above even the other newer SEs I have. Alot of improvements over the 2010 SECU24 I had, across the board.

I have a few Maryland models, including a Signature Limited, which I think is close enough to an "Artist Series" to at least provide a hack-level assessment. I am not a gigging musician, and pretty much had to sell non-vital organs to afford the Siggy, so I probably treat her as more of a "case queen" than I should. But I do play her almost every day for at least a few minutes, and she never ceases to amaze me.

I think what you will find is that the SEs have alot of the all-around PRS-ness of the Maryland models, maybe just not as deep on all aspects. If you can get your hands on a Maryland one, be prepared to pine away...you will have to get one...but you'll also have even more of an appreciation of how good the SEs are.

ExpatGirl
08-29-2012, 04:06 AM
Me neither, I'm just being a suckup =)
An honest man, gotta like that. :)


Will do, I am going to call them today to see if they have heard anymore when they might land.
I will decide on the color, then they will install my Planet Waves Autotrim tuners I dropped off last week.
I have the Autotrims on all of my guitars, I like them very much.
Let me know how you get on.


Welcome, Expat! I likened SEs to potato chips / cats in another thread - you cannot just have one. I have found some amazing deals on some for less than $300 used, and I am up to 5 already. These new SECU24s are really amazing for the price, they do seem a notch above even the other newer SEs I have. Alot of improvements over the 2010 SECU24 I had, across the board.

I have a few Maryland models, including a Signature Limited, which I think is close enough to an "Artist Series" to at least provide a hack-level assessment. I am not a gigging musician, and pretty much had to sell non-vital organs to afford the Siggy, so I probably treat her as more of a "case queen" than I should. But I do play her almost every day for at least a few minutes, and she never ceases to amaze me.

I think what you will find is that the SEs have alot of the all-around PRS-ness of the Maryland models, maybe just not as deep on all aspects. If you can get your hands on a Maryland one, be prepared to pine away...you will have to get one...but you'll also have even more of an appreciation of how good the SEs are.

It's already too late, then. I played a Tremonti Signature model last weekend. I've got my eye on a Mira, so we'll see how it goes. Can you post a photo of your Signature Limited?

CantankerousCarl
08-29-2012, 07:50 AM
Can you post a photo of your Signature Limited?

Here's the "beauty shot" that was posted to the web site if the place I got her:

http://i1261.photobucket.com/albums/ii581/CantankerousCarl/PRS/prslm2fahfietfrhbbs-xl-02.jpg

Here's the live reveal (with image stabilization from trembling hands lol):

http://i1261.photobucket.com/albums/ii581/CantankerousCarl/PRS/118.jpg

I think she's perfect!

CoreyT
08-29-2012, 09:05 AM
Let me know how you get on.

Will do.
I am seriously thinking of getting one of each color now, so I better order up another set of the Planet Wave Autotrim tuners :D
Will end up giving one of them to my youngest son who turns 26 next month.

ExpatGirl
08-30-2012, 03:06 AM
Here's the "beauty shot" that was posted to the web site if the place I got her:

http://i1261.photobucket.com/albums/ii581/CantankerousCarl/PRS/prslm2fahfietfrhbbs-xl-02.jpg

Here's the live reveal (with image stabilization from trembling hands lol):
http://i1261.photobucket.com/albums/ii581/CantankerousCarl/PRS/118.jpg

I think she's perfect!

OMG ... That is just lovely, absolutely stunning. You must be thrilled! Does it play and sound as good as it looks? (I know it does, I just want to give you a chance to gush about your baby.) :)

ExpatGirl
08-30-2012, 03:08 AM
Will do.
I am seriously thinking of getting one of each color now, so I better order up another set of the Planet Wave Autotrim tuners :D
Will end up giving one of them to my youngest son who turns 26 next month.

I hope he appreciates it!

ExpatGirl
08-30-2012, 03:20 AM
Hi guys,
I went by my local music shop today to have the tremolo on my SE Custom 24 adjusted. While I was there, I played two SE Custom Semi-Hollows and one SE Santana. Here's what I thought.

SE Custom Semi-Hollow: This is just a great instrument. I loved how light the guitars were, yet they weren't neck heavy at all. The tone was warm and full. The pickups sounded sweet and even maintained clean note separation when I cranked up the gain. The wide-fat neck wasn't chunky or uncomfortable, though one definitely felt better than the other one That guitar, with a sweet natural vintage finish, was really calling my name, so watch this space.

SE Santana: I liked this guitar but it didn't call to me the way my SE Custom 24 or the SE Custom Semi-Hollow did. The quality was excellent, the neck was comfortable and it sounded good, but I just didn't like it as much. Still, it was a lovely guitar.

CoreyT
08-30-2012, 05:26 AM
I dig my Santana a lot, so I guess I am in for a real treat when the Custom 24 lands.
Cannot wait to try it out, just wish they would hurry up and get here.

I looked at some other sub $1,000 guitars after I got my Gibson, but I think for the money there is not much out there that can touch the quality of the SE line.
I do not feel any need to mod my Santana except for the new tuners which also will be going on the Custom 24.

CantankerousCarl
08-30-2012, 08:19 AM
OMG ... That is just lovely, absolutely stunning. You must be thrilled! Does it play and sound as good as it looks? (I know it does, I just want to give you a chance to gush about your baby.) :)

Yes, gush gush - the interesting thing about the Siggy is that I have spent so much time playing with the "in-between" positions (middle on various combos of single/double) that I haven't spent alot of time with just the bridge and neck humbuckers...looks like I have home work. I can say that the single coil tones on the Siggy are amazing, and the switching is so intuitive that you just don't think about it. Not likely the type of guitar you will find just hanging in your local shop, but if you ever get a chance, play the crap out of one!

CantankerousCarl
08-30-2012, 08:43 AM
I dig my Santana a lot, so I guess I am in for a real treat when the Custom 24 lands.
Cannot wait to try it out, just wish they would hurry up and get here.

Very different guitars, they complement each other extremely well. Take both of those with you, and you can pretty much cover anything you'd want to play...

ExpatGirl
09-01-2012, 11:48 PM
I bought a vintage natural SE Custom Semi-Hollow yesterday. I reckon I've got an awful lot of humbucker tones covered with those two guitars. :)

aduayer
09-02-2012, 07:07 AM
congratz. The SE line is a lot for the price you pay. I just got a SE and hot rodded it at PTC, and it's as good as any of my Maryland made ones.

CoreyT
09-02-2012, 07:17 AM
I bought a vintage natural SE Custom Semi-Hollow yesterday. I reckon I've got an awful lot of humbucker tones covered with those two guitars. :)
Cool, post up some pics of that when you can.
I got my son a 2012 in natural yesterday, I have pics of it in a thread in this section.

ExpatGirl
09-02-2012, 02:51 PM
congratz. The SE line is a lot for the price you pay. I just got a SE and hot rodded it at PTC, and it's as good as any of my Maryland made ones.

I'm overseas in New Zealand. I wonder how I'd go about getting my SEs hot-rodded. I know I'd have to ship them but damn, I'd hate to be without them for however long it took to get them modified.


Cool, post up some pics of that when you can.
I got my son a 2012 in natural yesterday, I have pics of it in a thread in this section.
I found them! Your son and I have the same finish. The shop had a black one but I didn't like it as much. It just didn't feel right. I'll post a photo of my new baby later on.

CoreyT
09-02-2012, 03:28 PM
I found them! Your son and I have the same finish. The shop had a black one but I didn't like it as much. It just didn't feel right. I'll post a photo of my new baby later on.
Cool.
Just wait until you throw some good polish on it, it will make it look even better.
I got the PRS Thank You package a week or so back which included cream polish and cleaner, but have not used it yet.
On my Gibson SG, SE Santana, and my sons semi-hollow, I just use the Virtuoso polish.
The cleaner is only if they are grungy looking.

For in between the main polish job, I have Gibson's Pump Polish which goes on quick as it is a liquid, and no hard buffing required.
Virtuoso claims though with their polish you only need to wipe the guitar down after each use with a cotton cloth to remove finger prints and any dirt, as the polish acts like a protectant too.

Em7
09-02-2012, 07:45 PM
If the quality is this good in a Korean-made SE model, how bloody good is the quality in the US-made instruments?



There are major differences in build quality between the Korean and Stevensville guitars. However, one is going to pay for those differences.

The body on a maple-capped SE is usually made from six to seven pieces of wood. The mahogany back is made by laminating two or three pieces of mahogany together to obtain the correct width for the body blank. The maple cap is made from at least two pieces of plain maple that are laminated to the laminated mahogany back and carved. Two pieces of figured maple veneer are laminated to the carved plain maple cap. If one examines the figuring on the masked-binding on an SE, one discovers that it does not match the figuring on the face of the maple cap.

The body on a Stevensville maple-capped guitar is made from three pieces of wood; namely, a one-piece mahogany back plus two bookmatched pieces of figured maple. If one looks at the figuring on the masked binding on a Stevensville guitar, one will discover that it matches the figuring on the face of the maple cap. Thatís because the maple is figured through the entire thickness of the cap.

As mother nature is not good at producing completely blemish-free (a.k.a. "clear") wood, one has to sort through a lot of lumber to find wood that is of high enough quality and the proper dimensions to build a Stevensville guitar. The Stevensville factory could save a lot of money by using a laminated mahogany back. For example, a completely blemish-free mahogany board that is 6/4" thick, 14" wide, and 20" long is more expensive and more difficult to find than two completely blemish-free boards that are 6/4" thick, 7" wide, and 20" long. High-quality figured maple is very expensive. The plain maple cap plus figured maple veneer approach that is used on the maple-capped SEs results in a significant material cost savings.

The bridges used on the Stevensville guitars are machined in Baltimore, Maryland by Excel Machine & Fabrication. The potentiometers and knobs used on the Stevensville guitars are OEM parts, and the pickups are wound at the Stevensville plant.

With that said, the SEs are very good working musician guitars. They provide a lot of bang for the buck. The decision to purchase a Stevensville guitar is a personal one.

Hereís my one-off 2011 Custom 24:

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/oneoffcu24-1.jpg

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/oneoffcu24-3.jpg

ExpatGirl
09-03-2012, 01:14 AM
Cool.
Just wait until you throw some good polish on it, it will make it look even better.
I got the PRS Thank You package a week or so back which included cream polish and cleaner, but have not used it yet.
On my Gibson SG, SE Santana, and my sons semi-hollow, I just use the Virtuoso polish.
The cleaner is only if they are grungy looking.

For in between the main polish job, I have Gibson's Pump Polish which goes on quick as it is a liquid, and no hard buffing required.
Virtuoso claims though with their polish you only need to wipe the guitar down after each use with a cotton cloth to remove finger prints and any dirt, as the polish acts like a protectant too.

They have thank-you packs? I wonder if they have them for SE guitars and ship them to overseas customers. Hmmn

themike
09-03-2012, 01:18 AM
They have thank-you packs? I wonder if they have them for SE guitars and ship them to overseas customers. Hmmn

Sadly the thank you packs were a limited promotion that has ended, and was only valid to US customers.

ExpatGirl
09-03-2012, 01:20 AM
There are major differences in build quality between the Korean and Stevensville guitars. However, one is going to pay for those differences.

The body on a maple-capped SE is usually made from six to seven pieces of wood. The mahogany back is made by laminating two or three pieces of mahogany together to obtain the correct width for the body blank. The maple cap is made from at least two pieces of plain maple that are laminated to the laminated mahogany back and carved. Two pieces of figured maple veneer are laminated to the carved plain maple cap. If one examines the figuring on the masked-binding on an SE, one discovers that it does not match the figuring on the face of the maple cap.

The body on a Stevensville maple-capped guitar is made from three pieces of wood; namely, a one-piece mahogany back plus two bookmatched pieces of figured maple. If one looks at the figuring on the masked binding on a Stevensville guitar, one will discover that it matches the figuring on the face of the maple cap. Thatís because the maple is figured through the entire thickness of the cap.

As mother nature is not good at producing completely blemish-free (a.k.a. "clear") wood, one has to sort through a lot of lumber to find wood that is of high enough quality and the proper dimensions to build a Stevensville guitar. The Stevensville factory could save a lot of money by using a laminated mahogany back. For example, a completely blemish-free mahogany board that is 6/4" thick, 14" wide, and 20" long is more expensive and more difficult to find than two completely blemish-free boards that are 6/4" thick, 7" wide, and 20" long. High-quality figured maple is very expensive. The plain maple cap plus figured maple veneer approach that is used on the maple-capped SEs results in a significant material cost savings.

The bridges used on the Stevensville guitars are machined in Baltimore, Maryland by Excel Machine & Fabrication. The potentiometers and knobs used on the Stevensville guitars are OEM parts, and the pickups are wound at the Stevensville plant.

With that said, the SEs are very good working musician guitars. They provide a lot of bang for the buck. The decision to purchase a Stevensville guitar is a personal one.

Hereís my one-off 2011 Custom 24:

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/oneoffcu24-1.jpg

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/oneoffcu24-3.jpg

That is one beautiful guitar! You must be over the moon with it.

I went to violin making school for a year and a half and learned a bit about wood. Like the wood used on the maple tops of the PRS, violins use two piece of maple for the top and, for violins, the back as well. We were taught about the things to look for in good wood, like tight, regular grain and blemish-free wood. We beginners didn't get the really nice wood, as you might imagine. The students who were further along in the course were very territorial about their wood. :)

I do want to get a Stevensville-made PRS guitar. It would be my dream instrument, a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. So I've got to make a careful and informed decision. This is going to be fun! In the meantime, I'm thrilled with my SEs.

ExpatGirl
09-03-2012, 01:22 AM
Sadly the thank you packs were a limited promotion that has ended, and was only valid to US customers.

Ah well, I still love my SEs and I'm loyal to PRS. :)

aduayer
09-03-2012, 06:46 AM
Funny thing this SE x MD made sub topic. I have both on my collection and the MD made ones, do looks much better and stock, they play and sounds much better too. I don't like much the electronics nor the Hdw the SE's come stock, but after some tweaks, they just fits me perfect and have they spot on my rack. I mean, for me, in the end, it's about quality. An instrument can be made with less refinement and be the perfect tool for the job.
I just got an SE Nick Catanese (I had to replace the EMG's, not my cup of tea) and I just can't put it down.

Em7
09-03-2012, 09:19 AM
That is one beautiful guitar! You must be over the moon with it.


To be completely honest, my Custom 24 (CU24) is a bit of a case queen. Being a one-off, it is a one of kind build. One-offs tend to be finished in custom colors (Burnt Orange Tigerburst in this case), which leads me to believe that they may be experiments. One-offs also tend to sport gold hardware. I did not plan to purchase a CU24 when I purchased the guitar. I drove down to Washington Music Center with a list of guitars from their website that I wanted to try. This guitar wasn't even on the list. Brian Meader brought it up from the basement after hearing that I was interested in purchasing a Sunset Burst DGT. I was stunned when I opened the case, but what sold me on the guitar was the its voice. It has a really big voice.


With that said, my "player" PRS is a 57/08-equipped 2009 Mira Korina. If I could only keep one PRS, it would be this guitar.

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/ModdedMiraK-1.jpg

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/ModdedMiraK-2.jpg

bluefade
09-03-2012, 08:39 PM
NEW ZEEEELAND,THE US MODELS ARE THE MAIN MEAL AT THE GUITAR FEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ExpatGirl
09-04-2012, 01:38 AM
NEW ZEEEELAND,THE US MODELS ARE THE MAIN MEAL AT THE GUITAR FEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.

aduayer
09-04-2012, 05:54 AM
I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.

nice to know you had the same "problem", I thought my English wasn't good enough or it was a New Zeeland's internal joke.

ExpatGirl
09-04-2012, 02:36 PM
nice to know you had the same "problem", I thought my English wasn't good enough or it was a New Zeeland's internal joke.

Nope, I'm a native English speaker and I didn't get it at all. :)