I think what speaks volumes is that Fender are selling their flagship American Standards for a similar price to the SE Range however the flagship American made PRS Custom 24's comes in at more than twice the price and so either the PRS SE range is a very high quality guitar and Fenders Flagship American made instruments only just surpass the quality that PRS are able to have produced in Korea......... or the SE models are over priced.
Originally Posted by Bret
Being an SE owner, I wouldn't say they are over priced and you are getting a very high quality instrument for your money and as you will see from these boards many of the American made PRS owners rate the SE editions very highly as well.
With musical instruments, I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for the large majority of the time and the SE models are VERY popular, even more so than Fender as a whole these days probably..... If the SE models were crap, they wouldn't sell. It's as simple as that.
However, to refer back to the original question of why should you buy an SE Custom 24 when the price is so close to an American Strat? Well the real answer is that it shouldn't even be an option because they as mentioned before, they are completely different guitars with very different sounds and if your main considerations as to why you should buy a guitar is being based on brand name and manufacturing country, then you have missed the point in a big bad way.
Go try one, you won't regret it.
Mr Beef, Mr Beef...?
We Have a Mr Blackmore on the phone...
I love Strats... Been around them for years.
As has been said they're different animals.
When I compare guitars at certain price bands I tend not to compare PRS & PRS SE to Fender but to Gibson or other companies such as ESP, ESP Ltd, Epiphone, Schecter, etc.
Thinking about the SE's in particular (And the under $1000 price bracket) I honestly (And in my limited experience) think they're the best or amongst the best instruments you can buy. To get to SE quality I was looking at guitar in excess of £1000 and some of those where US built. Infact, my Bernie (I felt) was of higher quality than some of Gibsons lower priced US offerings.
ALL of these companies are capable of putting out great guitars but the QC seems more consistant with an SE. SOme other companies go for bling and fancy hardware over building a good instrument. Lipstick on a pig shall we say.
But bolt on Fenders are a different beast. A more simple beast, but one that is equally as gorgeous to me.
My only slight gripe with Fender is that they've got what seems like a million different versions of what seems the same thing. I kind of wish they'd simplify the line.
Got a Mexican Standard with upgraded pups and nut. Nut was the only fault. Other than that it's been faultless. Love it as much as my Bernie Marsden and (probably) the new SE C24 I got. I'd compare the C24 to the Bernie but neither of those two to the Strat. I just know I like them all.
So, if you're after a Strat or other similar bolt on single coil then go for it. If you're after a glued in neck, 2 humbuckers, etc then i'd give the SE's a whirl.
Ony you can make the choice.
One last note... When it comes to cloning, you could argue that Fender & Gibson have been cloning their former selves for years.
When looking for an instrument, what it comes down to is very simple: there is no "best" anything, other than what's best for you.
Other than having six strings and pickups, a Strat is a significantly different concept in a guitar than a PRS, and it's not just about the bolt on neck and single coil pickups. From wood selection and curing, to single piece mahogany bodies and backs, to hardware. carving, pickup winding, and all the rest, the philosophies between Fender and PRS couldn't be more different. Many of the differences are incorporated in the SEs.
Rest assured, SE guitars are the creme de la creme of the imports.
Now, whether that makes an SE a better buy than an entry-level USA Strat really ought to depend not on the country of origin, but on the objects themselves as instruments. Pick what you relate to best. They certainly are competitive in terms of being good instruments.
I'll add one thing to this post I forgot earlier: Strats really sound different from PRSes.
I meant to cover this in my last response. Thanks James for reminding me.
Originally Posted by james
Asking whether you should buy a strat or an SE is like asking whether we would recommend fish or steak for dinner. Both are meat and both might satisfy your urges, but the similarity ends there because they are literally different animals.
Go to a store which stocks both. Take a friend. Sit blindfolded and have your friend hand you $200 - $800 guitars back and forth (along with other brands and models) and buy the one that your hands and ears tell you to.
Getting hung up on the brand or the model is the exact wrong way to approach buying a guitar - especially if your are as new to guitar as you say.
I have to play Devil's Advocate here. There are tons of crap guitars out there that are selling well enough... It is on the buyer to make a truly informed buying decision. The sad fact is people are just too lazy to inform themselves and really research things about which they are deciding. And that doesn't just apply to guitars.
Originally Posted by DRM_777
Ask 10 people why they bought a particular thing and see how many bought it because they thought it was the popular choice - that is some review or neighbor or family member told them to get it. Ask them if they compared features, appointments, fit and finish, etc. and you'll find out that they only looked at 2 or three things, and only briefly.
Want to be happy in your buying decisions and decrease 'buyer's remorse?' compare, compare, compare.
I'm one of "his guys". I believe it.
Originally Posted by Bret
I like my "all too commercial" SE One. I even had it modified by the PTC.
I "[sold] out for a clone". :hello:
More of more and less of the same old same old
You could buy a strat of many different flavors of pickup configs from me, that way I can get closer to buying another PRS for myself!
I'll give you 2 Strats for 799! They're special because they too, are made overseas, just like the Fender specials are
Originally Posted by Bret
Each guitar adds a different voice to your music. Strats produce an iconic sound that is essential for some types of music. I assembled a nice strat made just the way I like them from components I selected. That's something you can do with Fenders, and it's a lot of fun. That said, I almost always play my PRS guitars for recording and for live shows. I play better on them. I love the tone, and the quality of them. I love how they stay in tune. They are really great guitars.
I would really recommend to anyone who is serious about being a good guitar player to seriously consider buying a higher quality guitar at an affordable price by buying a used instrument, at least until you can afford the new ones. You will never regret buying a quality instrument.
Besides, there are a lot of fickle guitar buyers on this and other forums providing a steady supply of good used PRS guitars. They are hot to buy the latest and greatest, and frequently dump exceptional instruments at bargain prices in order to fund the next round of GAS in a seemingly never-ending tone quest. Make their losses your gains.
Two different guitars.
Originally Posted by Bret
I have Strats AND CU24s, so trust me, you're talking about two different guitars. Buy the one your ears like the best.
FWIW the SE Wide Thin neck is in my opinion the perfect neck carve ever. I put a set of locking tuners, Tusq nut and a Duncan JB/Jazz set and it sounds great. SE's are great guitars. Like someone said, they aren't made of basswood and bolt on necks. Your gonna get a mahogany body with a set neck and I challenge you to find a flaw on a SE. I am shopping for a USA PRS too but I'll never sell my SE.
Imagine how much better he would have sounded with a PRS!
Originally Posted by Mikegarveyblues
I agree with about everything said here. I do not have an SE, been impressed every time I've picked one up, just have never bought one. As far as strats go, I love strats and teles. But they are like picking fruit, you gotta find a good one. I would never order a strat of the internet. They have to be played to find a good one. I mean, an american made instrument for $799..there has to be some shortcuts to get to that price, where as a Korean made guitar for $709 is luxury! lol.. Personally, I have never played an american standard strat that I thought was worthy of $800..the deluxe strats are another story though.
I think you should look into finding a used PRS CE or a Mira. High quality (far beyond that of a $799 strat) and american made. I've seen both go for under $1000..and in that range there is a huge difference in quality for a few hundred more.
Also the resale value on a CE or Mira would be much better than an american strat or SE...I've seen both go for less than $400 online...
A lot of people thought the SE line was a bad idea in the beginning, which was what 9-10 years ago? I think Paul has proved them wrong. I don't look at it from an "I can't afford a US model, so I'll settle for an SE" standpoint. They are different offerings which serve different needs.
The best thing to do when trying to find The Guitar For You is to discard brand, place of manufacture, and (to some extent) price. Play a bunch of guitars, research, and find what features you want and get the guitar meets that need. You may end up like me and own both a USA Fender and an SE...
So true..what is the right instrument for your playing style and music?
Originally Posted by garrett
My SE Santana was a great guitar right out of the box. Played great, looked great and sounded great. I ended up upgrading it to the point it's more of a hybrid Maryland/Korean guitar now. All US components with only the wood remaining from stock. And with all that done I still paid less than a decent US Strat and I have a guitar that is a contender when played back to back with my Made In Maryland PRSi... It's not hype, the SE guitars are not just great guitars for the money, they are just great guitars.
Either way you are getting a cheap version of the original.
But you will be happier with the SE, or any other Korean made guitar at this price point.
Let's be clear about that. Your comment only applies to a few guitars, like the CU24. In fact, there are some guitars that are ONLY available as an SE.
Originally Posted by RafRey
There is no US made version of the SE One. SE only!
How about a US made baritone that isn't Private Stock? Nope. SE only!
US made 7-string? Unless you go Private Stock... SE only!
My opinion may be in the minority, but I've never found that "bad strat". In fact, the MIM ones are so indistinguishable, to me anyway, that it makes it hard for me to justify the cost of an American one.
Originally Posted by slang05
Since the original poster seems a bit new to all this, the real question is if you want the sound of a strat-like guitar, regardless of cost and manufacturer. Strats have a certain "quack" to them, which is great if that's what you're looking for, but not as great if you're not. For me, I don't play enough "Sultans of Swing", or "Lay Down Sally" for it to be important to me. I'm, generally speaking, happier with a humbucker trying to sound like an out of phase single coil when it needs to than the reverse.
So, if you like the strat type of sound, then the question for you is what manufacturer.... PRS has great strat-quack options (not as familiar with them in the SE line, but I'm sure that they exist, and are reasonably price competitive). To me, MIM strats are just fine, look like a strat, quack like a strat, and are a good option. Unless you're a high-gain shredder though, it doesn't seem likely that you'd find a ton of sililarity in your two choices regardless of cost....
Oh, I agree, there are tons of crap guitars that sell by the truck load, there is no doubt about that.
Originally Posted by rugerpc
But the point I guess I am trying to make is that that there seems to be a general perception that SE models are to PRS what Squire are to Fender and what Epiphone are to Gibson, yet given the price point and overall quality of the SE range, it's clear to me that SE's are far superior guitars to almost all of the above, aside from the American made PRS guitars of course.
I know loads of people who have one Les Paul, or one Fender Strat......... yet most people I know who own an SE, own two or three...... which brings me round to my original point, if the SE's were crap, they wouldn't sell. And they wouldn't sell as well as they do!
I've owned two SE's over the years and regret selling the first one I had (old Santana SE) and absolutely love my 25th Anniversary Cu24. I've got an order placed for one of the new SE 24 -7's as soon they become available in February. If I can make my budget stretch, I'll be picking up an American Custom 24....but if I can't stretch as soon as I'd like, you can bet I'll be picking up another SE, either a 245 or a 2012 Cu24 and even then I am sure it won't be my last SE either!