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Thread: Why should I buy a SE Custom 24 Korean when price so close to American Strat?

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  1. #1
    Junior Member Bret's Avatar
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    Cool Why should I buy a SE Custom 24 Korean when price so close to American Strat?

    I can buy an "American Special" Strat for $799, or a SE Custom 24 for $709.
    Wouldn't that be better value? Aren't SE models actually dolled up American clones like say Oscar Schmidt or the like?
    I'm an easy sell. Sell me!

  2. #2
    Eh, Fender's QC has been hit-or-miss to me for the past few years. Not as bad as Gibson, but still...whereas the PRS SE line has always been pretty damned bulletproof.

    Two very different guitars though. 22 frets vs. 24, SSS vs. HH, 25.5" scale vs. 25" scale, different neck profiles, bolt-on vs. set neck, alder vs. maple topped mahogany...

    Personally, I say go try both. I vote for the PRS SE, though I can respect and love both guitars. It's just a better deal IMHO, but that's just me. Your cash means your opinion is king.

  3. #3
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Depends on what you want, as said above, very different guitars. I have a Fender Strat, and a SECU24, both are very nice. My advice would be to not judge the guitar by where it's made right off the bat. SE's are made in Korea, but their quality easily surpasses some of the other big US manufacturers. For example, the SE line blows away any sub-$1K Gibson I've tried. When you consider the additional costs of making a guitar in the US, you may actually be getting more guitar for your money with the SE if they sell at the same price.

    That being said, I like Fender guitars a lot too. Try them and see what will work best for you. The SECU24 is more of a rock machine, and it has humbuckers. It does a convincing job with blues and other styles too, especially with the new coil taps. But if you want the strat sound (less output, geared for blues etc) go for the strat.
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE 30 Head/Cab

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    For example, the SE line blows away any sub-$1K Gibson I've tried.
    and MOST sub $2000 gibsons.. My Barber had a nice Amaerican strat priced in the $1500 range and the fret started curling on the ends etc. The techs said they could fix that but on a quality guitar ( supposed to be) that should not happen. He has several guitars in the same room and climate even acoustic with no issues. Just confirms another reason I don`t like strats. Although a friend of mine has a Taco-caster( strat) and still feels and plays great after over 10 years! So go figure.

    My boy has a PRS SE245 amd t blows away the Gibson Studio I had in ever way.
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  5. #5
    Administrator james's Avatar
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    I vote buy both!

    Lotta guys that build guitars in Maryland all day that own and love their SE guitars. I still have my first PRS...a SE Soapbar. Great guitars. Still want a SE Korina One

  6. #6
    Threads like this crack me up. There's no linear path to a logical answer because they're different animals altogether. Guitars have a sound and a feel that has to work for you as a player.

    If you would rather have a strat, go buy a strat.

    If you'd rather have an SE, go buy an SE.
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  7. #7
    Junior Member Bret's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Good advice. Fast too! I just wish PRS had another option. I've always admired Paul and his work. The whole farm it out to Korea thing seems like a bad move. I'm sure he will make lots of money at it. But come on, anybody can do that. The videos I've seen on SE aren't convincing. I think Paul wants to believe it. But it's pretty obvious his guys don't. It seems all too commercial to me. My notion of being a part of the PRS dream doesn't include selling out for a clone. I think Paul could do better. I think he should do better. I mean which do you prefer, Paul Reed Smith or Soul-less Corp. (like Fender or Gibson)
    I think I'm gonna wait for a deal on a used good Maryland PRS.
    Thanks though, really.
    Bret

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bret View Post
    Thanks guys. Good advice. Fast too! I just wish PRS had another option. I've always admired Paul and his work. The whole farm it out to Korea thing seems like a bad move. I'm sure he will make lots of money at it. But come on, anybody can do that. The videos I've seen on SE aren't convincing. I think Paul wants to believe it. But it's pretty obvious his guys don't. It seems all too commercial to me. My notion of being a part of the PRS dream doesn't include selling out for a clone. I think Paul could do better. I think he should do better. I mean which do you prefer, Paul Reed Smith or Soul-less Corp. (like Fender or Gibson)
    I think I'm gonna wait for a deal on a used good Maryland PRS.
    Thanks though, really.
    Bret
    Well, the SE line isn't new. It's been around for a long time. Besides, the Maryland instruments are alive and well. The SE line is just, as the name implies, for students who can't afford $2-3k per guitar. ;p

    Sounds like the same mentality I heard in the 80's when Jackson and the like went to Japan...and those instruments were later revered as being as good/better than their American counterparts.

    P.S. - And it's not like these guitars, like some other companies do, are made in India or China and of inferior woods like Cedro and only vaguely look like their American counterparts. You may not get figured tops (they're veneers), but you get the same tonewoods and everything. They're really great guitars, but if you're against imports in general then you've already made up your mind no?
    Last edited by SausageofPower; 12-08-2012 at 05:10 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bret View Post
    . My notion of being a part of the PRS dream doesn't include selling out for a clone. I think Paul could do better. I think he should do better.
    Call him up on Monday and tell him! but not before you go play a SE Custom, I was a doubter at one time as well.

  10. #10
    A♥ hoards guitars ♥A rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bret View Post
    Thanks guys. Good advice. Fast too! I just wish PRS had another option. I've always admired Paul and his work. The whole farm it out to Korea thing seems like a bad move. I'm sure he will make lots of money at it. But come on, anybody can do that. The videos I've seen on SE aren't convincing. I think Paul wants to believe it. But it's pretty obvious his guys don't. It seems all too commercial to me. My notion of being a part of the PRS dream doesn't include selling out for a clone. I think Paul could do better. I think he should do better. I mean which do you prefer, Paul Reed Smith or Soul-less Corp. (like Fender or Gibson)
    I think I'm gonna wait for a deal on a used good Maryland PRS.
    Thanks though, really.
    Bret
    It is patently obvious that you haven't spent any time playing either guitar. It is also interesting that you don't say what kind of music you want to play, so no one on this forum or any other could possibly steer you in either direction.

    Before you start denigrating any company's products or marketing strategy, maybe you should spend a little time with those products.

    If you are buying a guitar to be part of some "dream", then buy whatever pops into your head when you wake up in the morning. If you are truly looking for a new guitar the works for you, you're gonna have to put in some real evaluation time yourself.

    Is it really cold and damp under the bridge in Trollville? Not a good environment for a guitar anyway....
    Last edited by rugerpc; 12-08-2012 at 06:52 PM.
    Thbbbbbt...
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  11. #11
    Junior Member DRM_777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bret View Post
    My notion of being a part of the PRS dream doesn't include selling out for a clone. I think Paul could do better. I think he should do better.
    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.

    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.
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  12. #12
    A♥ hoards guitars ♥A rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRM_777 View Post
    If the SE models were crap, they wouldn't sell. It's as simple as that.
    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.

    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.
    Last edited by rugerpc; 12-09-2012 at 12:10 PM.
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance, but he's soooo missingpieces over them now!
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  13. #13
    Junior Member DRM_777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerpc View Post
    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.
    Oh, I agree, there are tons of crap guitars that sell by the truck load, there is no doubt about that.

    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!
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  14. #14
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Strats aren't very good guitars for rock music. The SE Custom 24 is.

    An American Strat for $799 is going to be a bottom of the barrel USA instrument. The SE Custom 24 is a top of the line Korean instrument.

    Strats are ugly, their pickups are weak, their trems are borderline useless, the controls are poorly laid out, their neck heels are incredibly uncomfortable. They're made up of random parts quickly routed, dipped in finish and slapped together as quickly and cheaply as possible.

    I recently looked at some Fenders as an alternative for some lowered tunings that I don't want to sound like heavy metal. 9 out of 10 I picked up needed extensive fret work and a thorough setup before I would consider them a playable instrument. Then I went over and played some SEs and the Fenders simply weren't in the same league.

    My wife has a USA Fender P-bass she bought in 2001. It was replaced by a Lakland Skyline in 2005 which was simply better all around and made in Korea. Later that Skyline was only surpassed by a USA Lakland which has a quality level like a PRS or Anderson or Sadowsky or Suhr. Fender's just not that great of a company. I'm sure the custom shop stuff is up there but it's just going to be on a $799 strat.
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    Junior Member In2Blues's Avatar
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    Last edited by In2Blues; 12-15-2012 at 03:35 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Beef View Post
    Strats aren't very good guitars for rock music.
    Umm...seriously? That is literally the silliest thing I've read today. I hope you're yanking everyone's chain.
    You're never too old for tater tots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Beef View Post
    Strats aren't very good guitars for rock music. .
    Not that I play rock anymore but i believe some of these guys may disagree with your statement:
    Yngwie Malmsteen
    Ritchie Blackmore
    Eric Clapton
    Jeff Beck
    David Gilmour
    Jimi Hendrix
    I'm sure there are hundreds more.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by John Beef View Post
    Strats aren't very good guitars for rock music.

    Strats are ugly, their pickups are weak, their trems are borderline useless, the controls are poorly laid out, their neck heels are incredibly uncomfortable. They're made up of random parts quickly routed, dipped in finish and slapped together as quickly and cheaply as possible.
    Wow. Really???

    Tell Hendrix, Stevie Ray, Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Edge, Gilmore, Eric Johnson, Blackmore, Buddy Guy, etc, ad nauseum.....

    Here is a list of some of the all time great Strat Players for you: Fender Stratocaster Players

    Tell that to these musicians and their millions of adoring fans and you might just get laughed off the planet.

    Standard USA Strats are very solid instruments in every respect. They are not built of the same materials and hand craftsmanship as the original 50’s and 60’s were. If you want that sort of hand crafted build and tone, step up to a Custom Shop or Master Built. Or pony up for a vintage. This may be the dumbest thing I have ever seen in print.
    Last edited by Woollymonster; 07-01-2014 at 12:38 AM.

  19. #19
    Junior Member Jorj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Beef View Post
    Strats aren't very good guitars for rock music.



    Strats are ugly, their pickups are weak, their trems are borderline useless, the controls are poorly laid out, their neck heels are incredibly uncomfortable. They're made up of random parts quickly routed, dipped in finish and slapped together as quickly and cheaply as possible.
    Did you really post this?

    I have been a Les Paul/Srat player forever...just recently purchased my first two PRS guitars. An SE custom first, then, after loving it, a 2005 PRS McCarty. My Fender american special HSS is a GREAT guitar for rock. Or country, blues, whatever. Would never get rid of it. My PRS's are different all together...love them too. It's true the pickups are not as hot on my strat as those of the Les Paul or either PRS, but those 2 texas specials and 1 atomic humbucker sound creamy and nice. I know how to turn up gain when I need to. The PRS trem is beautifully designed, but I have NEVER had a prob using my strats trem either. But then again, I'm no dive bomber on a trem...use it more subtly. I Guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but Strats are ugly? I think the Stratocaster is one of the sexiest looking guitars on the planet! Bottom line is buy what feels and sounds best for you. You really can't go wrong then.
    Last edited by Jorj; 07-01-2014 at 09:25 AM.

  20. #20
    [Face palm]

    Of course, I saw that coming. I should have said this up front....

    Dont feed the trolls, folks.
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