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Thread: New PRS Owner and How I Got That Way

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  1. #1
    Senior Member ExpatGirl's Avatar
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    Talking New PRS Owner and How I Got That Way

    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?

  2. #2
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    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

    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?


  3. #3
    Senior Member ExpatGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyT View Post
    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

    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?

    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.

  4. #4
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExpatGirl View Post
    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.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Zack M 12's Avatar
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    Welcome to the PRS fold. They are fantastic instruments.

  6. #6
    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.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 08-24-2012 at 11:00 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ExpatGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zack M 12 View Post
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    Still a Junior Member Albrecht Smuten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExpatGirl View Post
    I'm not saying PRS are in the same ballpark as Stradivari's violins, but the experience was similar.
    Come on, admit that Mr. Smith is the guitar Stradivari =)

  9. #9
    Senior Member ExpatGirl's Avatar
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    I haven't played an Artist Series or Private Stock guitar yet, so you just might be right.

  10. #10
    Still a Junior Member Albrecht Smuten's Avatar
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    Me neither, I'm just being a suckup =)

  11. #11
    Senior Member ExpatGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albrecht Smuten View Post
    Me neither, I'm just being a suckup =)
    An honest man, gotta like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyT View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by CantankerousCarl View Post
    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?

  12. #12
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExpatGirl View Post
    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:



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



    I think she's perfect!
    1990 CE24 MT | 1991 CU24 | 1991 CE24 | 1992 CE24 MT
    1993 STD 24 | 1997 CE24 3pc MT | 2008 SE Semi-Hollow Soapbar
    2011 SE Akesson | 2011 CU24 GC Throwback | 2012 Signature Limited
    2013 408 Brazilian | 2013 Paul's Guitar | 2013 S2 Mira | 2013 Hollowbody II
    2013 CU24 Swamp Ash Limited | 2014 SE Zach Myers (incoming)

  13. #13
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExpatGirl View Post
    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
    Will end up giving one of them to my youngest son who turns 26 next month.

  14. #14
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    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.
    1990 CE24 MT | 1991 CU24 | 1991 CE24 | 1992 CE24 MT
    1993 STD 24 | 1997 CE24 3pc MT | 2008 SE Semi-Hollow Soapbar
    2011 SE Akesson | 2011 CU24 GC Throwback | 2012 Signature Limited
    2013 408 Brazilian | 2013 Paul's Guitar | 2013 S2 Mira | 2013 Hollowbody II
    2013 CU24 Swamp Ash Limited | 2014 SE Zach Myers (incoming)

  15. #15
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    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.

  16. #16
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyT View Post
    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...
    1990 CE24 MT | 1991 CU24 | 1991 CE24 | 1992 CE24 MT
    1993 STD 24 | 1997 CE24 3pc MT | 2008 SE Semi-Hollow Soapbar
    2011 SE Akesson | 2011 CU24 GC Throwback | 2012 Signature Limited
    2013 408 Brazilian | 2013 Paul's Guitar | 2013 S2 Mira | 2013 Hollowbody II
    2013 CU24 Swamp Ash Limited | 2014 SE Zach Myers (incoming)

  17. #17
    Senior Member ExpatGirl's Avatar
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    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.

  18. #18
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExpatGirl View Post
    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.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ExpatGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aduayer View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyT View Post
    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.

  20. #20
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExpatGirl View Post
    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:




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