help me decide
i have a major problem, i've played les pauls forever, im 57 and started playing at 15, my first gibson was a '55 junior, ever since i've owned loads of lesters. what i have now is a '94 special which i've just added up all the work i've put into this thing. just did frets and nut $460. new ABS bridge $150, new pots and caps and it never seems to stop bleeding me. i'm done!! the only PRS's i've ever played were the real expensive ones from the early '90's. i don't have 3 grand for one of the maryland made models i am however interested in the SE's. i know this is a site where people are... well, PRS owners but i need to start someplace. i have questions, generally how's the quality? what kind of pot's are used i.e. linear/audio taper? what i don't want to do is rebuild it like i did to the special i have. any suggestions or ideas or opinions will be appreciated.
joey pinter, lost in LA
I'll start you off.
The build quality on the SE line is superior to the quality off the Gibson US line. Fit and finish are just better. Period. You won't see any of the swirl marks in the finish and no gaps in wood joints that I have seen on $MultiK Gibsons.
That answers the quality question.
You should check out the SE 245 or Bernie Marsen.
I have had quite a few SEs and would say the quality is second only to the USA PRS guitars. They're serious guitars. I really don't have any complaints about any of them. I've owned 4 and still have 2. The two I got rid of, one was a project guitar I gave to a friend, the other was fine but just not for me.
"Lost in LA" is that Los Angeles or Louisiana? If it's Los Angeles there should be plenty of good dealers to go check one out.
I love the SE line and they are superior to many USA built instruments from other brand names.. I did, however, upgrade all my hardware, electronics and pickups to Maryland stuff and I'm still only in it around $1100... Great guitars and you will definitely not be disappointed. Like the other post said, find you a Bernie Marsden SE and check it out! Also, before they disappear from the dealers, you should look into a set of 53/10 pickups to put in that bad boy if you choose to go with the Bernie... Would be a fantastic combo!
If you like slab bodies, like the specials and SGs, check out an used Mira. Fr under/around a grand, you can get a US-made PRS, that sounds and plays amazingly well. I'm definitely not knocking the SE line, as they are worth the price of admission. I just think you could also find some great deals on the used market.
Every time I play my Mira, I remember what drew me to it to start with.
Originally Posted by rugerpc
I'm not into the whole PRS VS Gibson Vs Whatever. I'll get what offers me the best value for money, with build quality / playability being above tone and looks.
In my limited experience the SE's genuinely seem to be superior to much of what Gibson / Epiphone put out. Gibson / Epiphone do put out some wonderful instruments but the QC consistancy just doesn't seem to be there.
The one weak point of SE's is the nut IMHO - although, chances are it'll be perfectly fine. I wouldn't worry about that as that is a cheap and easy fix, if it's needed at all, compared to shabby fretwork you find all to often on Gibbos and Epi's.
My vote is the Bernie Marsden. A seriously, seriously good guitar!!! If the two vol 1 tone layout isn't for you then check out the SE 245.
I've had my Bernie in bits and I can tell you the build quality is excellent!
Audio taper BTW