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Thread: PRS SE and the maple top

  1. #1
    Junior Member Frank's Avatar
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    PRS SE and the maple top

    Hey there,
    I'm planning to get an electric guitar this year. I was looking for a Gibson Les Paul first, but when I discovered Alter Bridge, I discovered PRS Guitars. So, there are some SE models which look really interesting: The SE 245 and the Tremonti SE Custom since they both have 2 volume and 2 tone and 3 way toogle which I prefer. Furthermore, they also have a thicker body close to the US made PRS guitars which is perfect since I'm not a fan of thinner guitars.
    Well, I got a question concerning the maple top: Is it a real maple top or just a thin veneer which is used for this guitars?

    Thanks for reading and kind regards
    Frank

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jet Whitey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank View Post
    Hey there,
    I'm planning to get an electric guitar this year. I was looking for a Gibson Les Paul first, but when I discovered Alter Bridge, I discovered PRS Guitars. So, there are some SE models which look really interesting: The SE 245 and the Tremonti SE Custom since they both have 2 volume and 2 tone and 3 way toogle which I prefer. Furthermore, they also have a thicker body close to the US made PRS guitars which is perfect since I'm not a fan of thinner guitars.
    Well, I got a question concerning the maple top: Is it a real maple top or just a thin veneer which is used for this guitars?

    Thanks for reading and kind regards
    Frank
    PRS Guitars Endorsee....White and Relic'd Ones !

  3. #3
    Almost was a FG22 owner.. WEDGE's Avatar
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    I thought is was a real thickness maple cap, with a veneer on top of that for cosmetics?
    ​Secretary of Crackwood Addiction

  4. #4
    Goatee Practitioner Danerada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WEDGE View Post
    I thought is was a real thickness maple cap, with a veneer on top of that for cosmetics?
    Same here.
    - Dane

    “He had a voice that could make a wolverine purr and suits so fine they made Sinatra look like a hobo.”

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jet Whitey's Avatar
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    Top Wood Beveled Maple Top and Flame Maple Veneer (no veneer on opaque finishes)
    Back Wood Thick Mahogany
    PRS Guitars Endorsee....White and Relic'd Ones !

  6. #6
    Junior Member Frank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WEDGE View Post
    I thought is was a real thickness maple cap, with a veneer on top of that for cosmetics?
    That is also what I thought, but I heard different things in several german forums (actually, I live in germany) so I signed up here for asking.

    I just noticed the SE 245 got a mahagony neck, the Tremonti a maple neck. Are there any differences concerning the sound of the guitar?
    Not to forget: Thank you for the answers

    Regards
    Frank

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    Yes, there is a difference in tone between the Maple neck and the Mahogany neck. I could bore you by making an attempt to describe the differences to you with vague expressions like "darker", "brighter", or "more articulate", but it would probably not offer you any real useful insight into the differences between the two. Myself, I prefer a Maple neck to a Mahogany neck. To my ear, it sounds better. I think the best advice anyone could offer you is to try both, and decide which one you think sounds better based on your impressions. What's good for one guy may not suit someone else's style. Your particular pick attack, string gauge preference, and how hard you fret your guitar may be better suited for one wood type compared to another.

  8. #8
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    My personal preference is for maple on my archtop guitars, and mahogany on my solid body electrics. We could all go on four hours about the fingerboard, etc, but do use your ears. Sometimes a particular combination just calls to you. I have 2 SE Singlecut p-90s, and an Se Korina, all thin with mahogany necks. My elephant ears just like the mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard. I don't think I hear better, I could just give Dumbo some competition.

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    Hi, Frank! It's a real bevelled maple cap, with the veneer on it for a nicer look, you can see almost every PRS SE (with the exception of the SE Bernie and SE Tremonti stoptail and the older Korina models) guitar comes with the natural masked binding on the maple cap, not cream or white. There's your proof

  10. #10
    Junior Member Frank's Avatar
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    Thank you for the answers!
    So I'm definitely looking forward getting a PRS SE

    Regards
    Frank

  11. #11
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    Definitely a maple cap. Not as thick as the USA models I don't THINK but definitely a maple cap/top.
    Like you op, I was in the market for a PRS SE in late May. Got to try a lot of SEs.
    I'm more of a DC guy but I've always wanted a SC/Les Paul.
    I went with the Tremonti SE Custom. An AWESOME awesome guitar PERIOD!

    Try them all out if you can. The Tremonti has a WideThin neck where the 245 has a WideFat neck carve. A lot of members here are dogs! I mean they have canine hearing. When I go from a normal hog necked PRS to a maple necked one (my Tremonti and CE24 have maple necks) I never say...WOW..listen to the PUNCH coming from that maple neck!!! Hey, I'm sure it probably makes a difference but probably nowhere near as much as a different brand or NEW strings, pick thickness, PAINT...makes. YMMV of course though.

    Then there's the bridge. Of course the Tremonti has a vibrato/tremolo bridge (with uprout btw) and the 245 is fixed.
    Both guitars come with SE245 pickups that actually sound really good.
    The 245 of course has a 24.5" scale length where the Tremonti has the standard PRS 25" scale. A Les Paul is in between a 24.75". What this means is...if you normally play tuned down half a step (like my band does) or play some dropped tunings or if you prefer lighter strings (.009"s vs .010"s or .011"s) that 245's shorter scale might make stuff REAL floppy.
    I think the Tremonti is only available in a few colors and they depend on what side of the pond you live on. The UK seems to have more options than we do over here in the colonies. It's available in gray black and I think red or purple over here?

    SO...if you like a trem...go with the Tremonti. If you are planning on any lower tunings, probably should go with the Tremonti. If you like the WT neck..go with a Tremonti.
    If you prefer traditional burst finishes, short scale, and a WF carve...then go with the 245. If you like traditional bursts and colors, even though it has 2 volumes and only one tone pot, give the Bernie Marsden a look. It has piping..I mean binding all over the place. Same 245 pups, WF carve I think, great finishes...and...who ever really uses/needs 2 tone pots anyway??

    Either way brother...the new SEs are AMAZING! You can't go wrong. Just find the one that "fits" you the best and go for it.

    I think the differences are only the scale length, bridge and neck carves...well and available colors.
    As for the SE line in general...at least the new ones...all I can say is WOW!
    I own 3 USA PRSs and LOVE them to DEATH. Nothing comes even CLOSE to them. They make Fenders seem/feel like toys and they make Les Pauls seem/feel like '71 Lincoln Continentals..hey, a lot of people like playing with toys and love driving classic BOATS. Nothing wrong with that...but, man I am SO loving this Tremonti SE Custom. I know I sound retarded but...shhh don't tell anyone (looking around embarrassingly to see if anyone's watching/listening) but, I am liking this Tremonti SE Custom better than any of my other guitars :-(.
    It is gonna be my new #1 stage guitar.

    Like I mentioned...I did swap the pups out. Installed a Duncan CC in the bridge and a 59/09 bass in the neck. I also put a USA nut on it but in all reality..it didn't need the new nut...or for that matter, the new pups either...but now, with the new pups it sounds SO awesome(r). Especially on the neck pup.
    I simply can not believe the quality of the new SEs.
    PRS you have gained a new customer in me...and also lost one lol. I just can't see myself ever buying another USA made PRS. The SEs are THAT good.
    I think PRS might be shooting themselves right in the foot with the new SEs. You can't really expect to sell a guitar for over $3K when a person can buy a guitar that is almost every bit as good for under $700!!!
    I just can't say enough about the new SEs. But I will...I'll shut up now lol.

    OP don't worry. With the models you're considering, you just can't lose!
    Can't wait till you decide, buy and try and get your new guitar home so you can give us a tone/playability report and especially, PHOTOS!!
    Incoming congrats for an incoming NGD!

  12. #12
    Junior Member Frank's Avatar
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    I'll definitely post some pics etc. when I got it, might be in a few months or so, let's see. Definitely this year. There are some nice colours out for the Tremonti Custom in the UK, I guess it won't be a problem to get them since shipping UK stuff to Germany is not that expansive. Not like US stuff to germany, this makes you kinda poor. For the shipping you can get a new pickup.
    btw: I also plan to get a Seymour Duncan CC for the Bridge but a SH1 N59 for the neck. PRS Humbuckers are really great but a little to expansive for me. And Kluson Lockheads of course

    Kind Regards and thankis for the funny answer
    Frank

  13. #13
    Maple topped SE's have a 1/2" maple cap with a veneer overlay.

  14. #14
    Junior Member Frank's Avatar
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    Thank you pete
    Tried the SE 245 today. Yeha, what a great guitar, I really liked the finish (Tobacco Sunburst) and I felt more comfortable playing this one than the Gibson LP 70s Tribute I tried which was also much heavier than the 245. Sound was also great (I used a Diezel VH-4 in the shop). So I'll see if I can try the Tremonti SE Custom soon since they did not have it in their store.

    Regards
    Frank

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    i agree with you on the weight Frank. I preferred PRS over Gibson partly because of the weight. I don't get the hype about how the heavier the guitars sustain more, I mean of course it matters but not enough for me to justify taking the heavier ones back. The SE Singlecut that i've tried feels like it could be blown away by the amp's blast! And yet, it sustains forever. Go figure

  16. #16
    deus ex machina
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    I believe that the confusion stems from the fact the maple tops on Maryland-made PRS guitars are figured (flame or quilt) through the entire thickness of top. The SEs are like a plain-top Les Paul with a thin figured veneer laminated to the face of the plain maple top after it has been carved. The faux binding on the Maryland-made PRS and the Asian-made SEs is a finishing effect that is produced by masking and scraping the edge of the maple cap during finishing to keep it free of dye and colored finish. If you look at the faux binding on a Maryland-made PRS guitar, the figure on the binding matches the face of the top. The figure on the faux binding a on maple-capped SE does not match the face of the top because it is the edge of the plain maple cap that is under the thin figured (flame or quilt) veneer.

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