I take responsibility. Let's let it go.
Back to the original topic...
I think SEs are great. Over the years since I have had eleven (!) pass through my hands. They in part helped to fuel my GAS, because they were soo much guitar for the money, especially used.
That being said, I have zero SEs right now. When I downsized (primarily to help finance my 408 Brazzy and Taylor 314CE) many things had to go, and I was not attached to my SEs the way I am to my MD PRSi. It was a tough decision, but all of me SEs went, in short order. Why?
Sound quality: my MD PRSi all sustained longer than any SE I had, and had more complexity / range of sound.
Stability: with the crazy weather this past year, temp and humidity up and down, my SEs needed almost constant tweaking, whereas my MDs rarely needed even a tuning.
Aesthetics: my first PRS was a 1992 CU24, and I fell in love with that body hook line and sinker. The basic PRS double-cut shape, with the deep carve, is just flat out sexy. No slab or beveled top will ever do it for me. This ain't about 10-top vs veneer; it's all about the way the light reflects off of the surfaces. Even the plainest-Jane carve top PRS LOOKS expensive.
I consider myself extremely fortunate (as are many out here) that I can be a "guitar snot" and choose MD. I miss my SEs, mostly the P90-equipped ones. I am sure, finances permitting, I'll have another SE...or two...or three...someday. But I only have 6 1/2 more years to save up for my 50th birthday PS
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
One of the things that helped me really love my SE's were that they were different in wood selections then was even available on the core line at the time. The Orianthi and the Nick Canatense were among the first production guitars PRS made that offed a maple neck and an ebony fretboard, and damn do I love that combo. I will concede that my SE CU24 gets the least amount of play time, but that may be because I've always preferred the bolt on models when it comes to PRS's classic design.
I'm down to 3 PRSes, and 2 of those are SEs. I recently put 2 US models in a local shop on commission to fund my incoming HXDA.
My take is this: I'm a tinkerer/tweaker by nature, and the SE line speaks to me as a great base for modification. They play 95% as well as a US model once they are set up right (granted that last 5% is a BIG 5%, law of diminishing returns...), and for minimal outlay and some fun times on the bench you can end up with a truly great playing, sounding and unique axe.
When I came time to move some gear to fund the HXDA, it came down to a financial decision built on emotion. I could part out the SEs and get some money back for what I put in them (both have unobtanium pickups, NFs and 53/10s), but there's an emotional attachment to those guitars. From plotting the specs, to building them, to sharing them with you guys, then finally playing them and seeing if there's those tones you had in your head.
So I looked at my stock US models, thought about how much I would get for them (at one stage I thought I would never let them go, The 624 changed that), and the decision was easy. Maybe a good thing about SEs is how inexpensive they are, not only for the initial purchase, but once you put a bit of time and effort into them, they become worth more to you than the few hundred bucks you'd get for them if you flipped them, so you end up keeping them and the bond you have with them (YMMV etc). The flip side with the US models is because of the value, you might get tempted to move them on to fund the current bout of GAS (like I have). A common theme is almost everyone regrets selling a guitar at one or more points in their lives...
I'm plotting my next SE build already, I've got 3 x 305 pickups sitting in my drawer, and I am keen to put a Roland GK-3 in something. I wonder how 3 single coils would sound right next to each other (keeping the 5-way switch for different "HB" tones) and a GK-3 would look right at home next to them).
Oh dear here I go again...
I can't wait to see that one!!!!
Get yourself a SE EG and find a good pickguard maker, and then...
There IS a comparison to be had
They're both musical instruments capable of sounds TOm Petty to ZZ Top ( for me )
The way my SE cuts through a mix,even with modelling, is constantly amazing to me, even on a way- too - loud rough practice mix tape
It gets you the PRS 'flava' on a price point
I keep on challenging it to disappoint, or fall short
Honestly is delivers what I want
Maybe I'll get sn S2 or core MD model one day
Until then I'll weild my SE
Stand back, BACK I say !!
ok im more biased to the usa models i bought a sc250 to start my prs collection and then i ended up picking up a se trimonti because i didn't want to gig the usa and the pick ups tuners and bridge are completely different you can totally tell the difference between the two guitars so after extensive modification ie emg pickups new grover tuners and a real prs bridge the guitar came to life i mean wow! but that ugly trimonti advertisement at the top had to go so i hit my guys at extreme graphics and had them vinyl me a tru prs head stock with proper prs logo and now the guitar is one of my man used guitars but for only 2k more i could have just bought a real one lol but in all seriousness a guitar is what u make of it i currently am a custom 24 whore and have 3 that have been tweaked with the het set emgs all three lol and they look amazing and play just as good as a modded se!
It's a marketing swindle. Actually SE's and MD's are the same, but Paul (brilliant as he is) didn't want to be perceived as a cheap guitar maker, for he might've get overlooked. Thus:
Maryland - You know you want to pay good money for a good american guitar.
Student Edition - Come on, it's for the kids. Kids deserve the best.
Love for all human beings is like listening to any kind of music. You just don't care.
The 3-Mike-7 devotee.
I had owned a SE Singlecut years ago and did like it. I bought for my boy a SE245 and then traded it for a new SE Singlecut. ( the one tone and volume and toggle location I like better.) Well last year I bout a P22. I modded my boys SE with the USA HFS/VINTAGE pup set along with the USA electronics with push/pull tone. it is sweet for tone and versatility but there are things that it still falls way short to my USA P22. Unplugged the P22 is way more alive! strum it even in case and it ring acoustically for ever. the whole guitar vibrates. The SE sound dull and dark and less sustain in comparison. Both BTW have the same strings on them. also one thing that bugs me about pretty much all se models with stop tail is the bridge stands way high off the body. USA models are quite low and this does lend to sustain and just lain stability-- reminds me of the Gibson USA production models vs their custom shop. The standard bridges are a mile off the top where the CS stuff sits low.
That being said the SE are great guitars for the money, even with the Mods my boys SE will kill and USA LP like studio. But they SE just does not compare to the USA PRS as far as just tone and being alive and attention to details. That is why I really will stay with the USA personally. to me it was worth the upgrade.
2010 Taylor 816CE
2012 PRS P22 in black gold wrap around