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Thread: USA vs SE?

  1. #1

    USA vs SE?

    I've been contemplating asking this ? for a while now, but worried about the aftershock. first of all, this is in NO way intended to be sarcastic, degrading, snobby, arrogant or condesending AT ALL! please understand that, and refrain from sending angry PM's.(lol) i'm sure this is a ? alot of gibson/epiphone, fender usa/ mexican users fight about too. I have owned probably 30-35 guitars in my time, gibson, heritage, fender,(usa & mexican) epiphone, dearmond, schecter, rickenbacker, prs, and others. a couple i wish i had back, (my heritage h-150 and my korean epi dot) in various price ranges, so i've had top of the line, and near the bottom also. I had tried prs's in guitar stores for years and never found any that felt right to me. I respected the build quality, but never had one grab me. when i got my first prs, a mccarty korina brazzy, a few years ago, it was like, "this was the guitar that was meant for me". i was even shocked myself. 3 years later i am still head over heels completely and madly in love with it. since then i've owned 4 other prs's, and still have 3 total. as stupid as it sounds, I am a prs man for good. i dont even look at anything else. since i bought my first prs, i have tried alot of SE's, but to be honest, just cant bond with any of them, probably more mental than physical. my best friend and guitar partner, owned a mccarty korina, but because of limited funds, had to sell it when he bought my NF3. it was one or the other. a couple of months ago, he wanted a guitar with humbuckers, so he bought a brand new SE tremonti. i asked him before he bought it, "are you going to be happy with a SE after owning 2 usa's? the answer was yes. we put a #7 in the neck, and a usa tremonti in the bridge. it's a very nice guitar, and plays very nice. we'll the last few jams i haven't seen him play it at all. (he loves that NF3 to no end) so i asked why, and i got the answer i knew would come sooner or later, and i'm sure you can guess what it was. so now it's on the selling block, because he cant get used to a non usa PRS. even though i think for the money they are probably the best guitars out there in that price range, I just cant do an SE! I love my usa prs's, and i cant do anything but a usa prs. once again, no disrespect or snobbery here,( believe me, i miss my korean epiphone dot very bad, it played better than ANY usa gibson dot i ever tried, so i'm not looking down my nose at ANYONE who owns a non-usa prs) just the plain truth. anyone else feel this way? ok. let the nasty remarks begin!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by helmi View Post
    I've been contemplating asking this ? for a while now, but worried about the aftershock. first of all, this is in NO way intended to be sarcastic, degrading, snobby, arrogant or condesending AT ALL! please understand that, and refrain from sending angry PM's.(lol) i'm sure this is a ? alot of gibson/epiphone, fender usa/ mexican users fight about too. I have owned probably 30-35 guitars in my time, gibson, heritage, fender,(usa & mexican) epiphone, dearmond, schecter, rickenbacker, prs, and others. a couple i wish i had back, (my heritage h-150 and my korean epi dot) in various price ranges, so i've had top of the line, and near the bottom also. I had tried prs's in guitar stores for years and never found any that felt right to me. I respected the build quality, but never had one grab me. when i got my first prs, a mccarty korina brazzy, a few years ago, it was like, "this was the guitar that was meant for me". i was even shocked myself. 3 years later i am still head over heels completely and madly in love with it. since then i've owned 4 other prs's, and still have 3 total. as stupid as it sounds, I am a prs man for good. i dont even look at anything else. since i bought my first prs, i have tried alot of SE's, but to be honest, just cant bond with any of them, probably more mental than physical. my best friend and guitar partner, owned a mccarty korina, but because of limited funds, had to sell it when he bought my NF3. it was one or the other. a couple of months ago, he wanted a guitar with humbuckers, so he bought a brand new SE tremonti. i asked him before he bought it, "are you going to be happy with a SE after owning 2 usa's? the answer was yes. we put a #7 in the neck, and a usa tremonti in the bridge. it's a very nice guitar, and plays very nice. we'll the last few jams i haven't seen him play it at all. (he loves that NF3 to no end) so i asked why, and i got the answer i knew would come sooner or later, and i'm sure you can guess what it was. so now it's on the selling block, because he cant get used to a non usa PRS. even though i think for the money they are probably the best guitars out there in that price range, I just cant do an SE! I love my usa prs's, and i cant do anything but a usa prs. once again, no disrespect or snobbery here,( believe me, i miss my korean epiphone dot very bad, it played better than ANY usa gibson dot i ever tried, so i'm not looking down my nose at ANYONE who owns a non-usa prs) just the plain truth. anyone else feel this way? ok. let the nasty remarks begin!
    I only have one PRS and its an se. I cannot afford a USA PRS. But I love my se so much.

  3. #3
    I have a lot of respect for the SEs. They're super-nice guitars for the dough. But I'm a Maryland PRS player, and that's that.

    They have the vibe I like. Nothing wrong with that.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  4. #4
    Junior Member chet's Avatar
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    I have both.

    The two guitars are very different from one another. The CU22 is my favorite guitar and the SE is right behind it. I love the Maryland made PRS's.
    If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

  5. #5
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    I feel you but.... If you keep trying different SE's like you perhaps do with the Maryland made guitars, eventually you may find one that knocks your socks off. My SE Orianthi is one of my favorite guitars that I have ever owned and the others are just as, if not more valuable to me than a bunch of more expensive non-PRS guitars that I've had in my life.

    Everything ain't for Everybody.

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    helmi--the Tremonti and the NF3 are totally different guitars, whether or not they're made overseas or in Maryland. Perhaps your friend just prefers a set-neck with humbuckers over a bolt-on. To really compare apples to apples, you'd have to compare a US Tremonti to an SE, as they don't make an NF3 in the SE line (yet). The only PRS I have is US-made, a Brent Mason, and it's a great guitar--but if they'd had an SE Brent Mason I might have been tempted. I'm glad I was able to afford my US Brent Mason, though!

  7. #7
    Member thieves&foxes's Avatar
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    I kinda get what you're saying. When I started playing I was playing Fenders. Ibanez etc (Never sunk low enough to play a gibbo ) Then a mate of mine got one of the first Santana SE's, and once I played that it was PRS from then on. I played SE Santana's, SE Custom 24's, SE Semi Hollow and SE Korina One's, and I loved them. After spending 2 weeks with this same friends USA SC250, I went USA PRS and I've never looked back. They are incredible instruments. Having said that I still miss that Korina One and the Semi hollow, they are fantastic in any price range!
    Location: Beautiful Cape Town, South Africa
    Current Herd: PRS P22 Eriza Verde / PRS Singlecut Hollowbody II Trampas Green / PRS SE 30 1x12
    Future additions to herd : Pauls Guitar / Angelus Custom / SE Korina One / Archon and 2x12 and if they ever release a SE or S2 Bass

  8. #8
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    I play and love SE's, and I have no problem with what you're saying at all! You tried them out, and they weren't for you, no crime in that. What grinds my gears, along with other here, is when someone starts spewing off nonsense about SE's not being any good because they're made overseas, or they read on the internet that the pickups sound bad, or they "just don't have the mojo," yet that person has never actually played one. Add to that the fact that you don't have a problem with your friend playing one, because you recognize the quality. There are differences between the USA and SE lines, in specs and feel, although the basic design principles are the same. I've met a few SE's I didn't care for as well!
    -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.

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

  9. #9
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    First, I'll admit that I'm so much of a grammar nut I couldn't even read the OP.

    Second, I think most SE guitars are different enough from the USA models that it's not a matter of Greater vs. Lesser, just Different vs. Different. I'm assuming it was at least somewhat calculated that way by PRS. I will proudly rock my HBII or my SE Soapbar II.
    --Garrett--

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by garrett View Post
    First, I'll admit that I'm so much of a grammar nut I couldn't even read the OP.
    Some folks just never grasped the concept of the paragraph.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  11. #11
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    When I play SEs, they just feel great and are unbeatable at that price. But once you step into the USA territory, I can understand why it's hard to step back out. No matter how much you try to tell yourself an SE is great in many ways, just hold a Maryland PRS in your hands and keep convincing yourself the SE is just as good. It's not possible. The moment you pick it up, the differences show instantly. Just look at it with your eyes. Most, if not all, can discern with their eyes immediately, that the finish is different. The Maryland PRS just has that "sparkle" (for lack of a better word) that the SE doesn't have. the Maryland one looks "expensive" while the SE is, well.. an import.

    Far away, you can see they share the same silhouette, but up close, they are very different. Let's not talk about the wood selection, carves and fret sizes. Assume that PRS makes the SE exactly the same as the Maryland guitars (like how Epiphones and Squiers were made to resemble Gibsons and Fenders). Let's talk about the product as a whole. The Maryland one will visibly have a more cleaner look, all corners being crafted, finished and inspected very carefully. The SE, however, will have some minor rough edges (but this is actually just splitting hairs) due to the nature of being an import guitar. It's not that import guitars will generally be of lower quality than the USA-made guitars, it's just the way things are done in both factories. The Korean factory knows how to make good guitars, because they have the "recipes" and the guidelines to follow. The Maryland factory uses "recipes" and guidelines too, but these crafters know exactly what they're doing, what they're supposed to do and how they're supposed to do it too. So, with real passion put in to the crafting of these guitars, I believe the end products will be "more" than what their Korean counterparts are.

    This isn't really a mental perception that most people believe it is. It's actually the product itself that shows the quality and you (assuming that you are a veteran in guitars) can see it almost immediately when both are put together side by side. The "shine" on the body gives away everything. Same thing with Fenders and Squiers, same thing with Epis and Gibsons. The playability is the same, it's just the quality that's different. Whether the price is justified, it's up to you. If you like premium craftsmanship, the Maryland PRS will be your choice. If you'd like your wallet to stay fat, the SE will be the way to go. Just my 2 cents.

  12. #12
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Some folks just never grasped the concept of the paragraph.
    Why's everybody lookin' at me?

  13. #13
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Since buying my 1st PRS in Dec. 2006 -

    I have owned 4 USA PRSi, still own 2 of them. The other two I still miss from time to time. They are all great guitars.

    I have owned 5 SEs, still have 2 of them. I miss one of them (my fault) but the other two weren't right for me at all. My baritone is unlike any USA PRS and gets more playtime than the 03 Santana, but the Santana is a better guitar than any other that can be had for ~$300 used. It's worth way more than that to me (an to my wife who plays it frequently), so I keep it.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Some folks just never grasped the concept of the paragraph.
    like i said, let the nasty remarks begin! I'll be sure to go back and take a college english class so i can properly communicate on a forum page.
    Last edited by helmi; 10-10-2013 at 06:19 PM.

  15. #15
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helmi View Post
    I've been contemplating asking this ? for a while now, but worried about the aftershock. first of all, this is in NO way intended to be sarcastic, degrading, snobby, arrogant or condesending AT ALL! please understand that, and refrain from sending angry PM's.(lol)...
    ... once again, no disrespect or snobbery here,( believe me, i miss my korean epiphone dot very bad, it played better than ANY usa gibson dot i ever tried, so i'm not looking down my nose at ANYONE who owns a non-usa prs) just the plain truth. anyone else feel this way? ok. let the nasty remarks begin!
    Quote Originally Posted by garrett View Post
    First, I'll admit that I'm so much of a grammar nut I couldn't even read the OP.
    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Some folks just never grasped the concept of the paragraph.
    Quote Originally Posted by helmi View Post
    like i said, let the nasty remarks begin! I'll be sure to go back and take a college english class so i can properly communicate on a forum page.
    I'm puzzled why this question about preferences would need so much tip-toeing and disclaimer. People like what they like. You get to pick your own favorite, so does everyone else. You might notice that no one berated you for preferring MD made PRS guitars over licensed PRS imports. Give us credit for at least understanding that different people like different things. If you are looking to stir up a rowl with haters falling into camps on MD vs SE, you picked the wrong forum.

    As for comments on your writing style, a gentle nudge towards more readable posts benefits not only your readers, but yourself as well, if you are interested in getting your questions asked without the distractions of a slightly unique approach to composition. Post however you like, given these suggestions.

    For the question at hand, I have both MD made and imported PRS guitars and find that each occupies it's own niche quite nicely. I have a wonderful DGT and a fantastic goldtop hollow body spruce, yet I still prefer to take my very early Santana SE to lessons.
    Last edited by rugerpc; 10-10-2013 at 07:58 PM. Reason: punctuation, ironically. :)
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

    sɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  16. #16
    Senior Member Rider1260's Avatar
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    I had one of the early Tremonti SE guitars for the money one of the best guitars I have ever owned.
    BUT
    The USA offering is just better now that I am firmly in the USA camp I no longer look at the SE line and have no interest in the S2 line but they are great guitars all
    and will be great for the people that get them.
    PRS Family - SCT, 408, 305, CU22, MEII
    Others LesPaul , Stratocaster , Guild
    Amps - Mesa MK2B , Egnater Tweaker 15
    Effects - Tonal Insanity Guitar Effects ( I make them ) TC Electronics Nova

  17. #17
    Junior Member chet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerpc View Post
    I'm puzzled why this question about preferences would need so much tip-toeing and disclaimer. People like what they like. You get to pick your own favorite, so does everyone else. You might notice that no one berated you for preferring MD made PRS guitars over licensed PRS imports. Give us credit for at least understanding that different people like different things. If you are looking to stir up a rowl with haters falling into camps on MD vs SE, you picked the wrong forum.

    As for comments on your writing style, a gentle nudge towards more readable posts benefits not only your readers, but yourself as well, if you are interested in getting your questions asked without the distractions of a slightly unique approach to composition. Post however you like, given these suggestions.

    For the question at hand, I have both MD made and imported PRS guitars and find that each occupies it's own niche quite nicely. I have a wonderful DGT and a fantastic goldtop hollow body spruce, yet I still prefer to take my very early Santana SE to lessons.
    You're a [mod edit]. Cut the guy some slack. Next time stick to the topic and less on chastising someones post composition. You must be a Greenbay fan.
    Last edited by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ; 10-11-2013 at 12:29 AM.
    If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

  18. #18
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chet View Post
    You're a [Mod Edit] Cut the guy some slack. Next time stick to the topic and less on chastising someones post composition. You must be a Greenbay fan.
    Come on, neither helmi or ruger got into name calling, please let's not do this.
    Last edited by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ; 10-11-2013 at 12:30 AM.

  19. #19
    My honest opinion, Mira and Starla S2 look great, but the C24 i really do not like, is that carve to that just do not cut it for me.

  20. #20
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    My apologies to anyone I offended.

    My special apologies to Hans for making him have to finish out his mod term with an edit I prompted.
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

    sɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

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