Seriously. Why are these so good?
I just got home from Guitar Center. I compared an SE 245 to a Bernie and 2 US made Single Cuts. I cannot believe how awesome the 245 sounded. It sounded more like a Les Paul than the Les Paul Traditional hanging next to it - which I had to try just for comparison sake.
The US models were nice. And I know I shouldn't compare a PRS to a Gibson- but mahogany neck and body, maple cap, two humbuckers w/ 4 pots and a single cutaway? Yea, I'm gonna compare it to a Les Paul. But the 57/08 ( ?) pickups didn't have much PAF character to them. The cheap SE pickups though provided plenty of PAF honk through the Marshall JTM1h I was plugged into. When I think LP tone, I think of Beano and LZ's SIBLY (happy b-day JP!). The SE sounded much close to those tones than either of the core models.
Of course, the true winner was the NOS Core Mira. What a fantastic and extremely articulate guitar. If I could choose between the $400 SE 245, the $400 Bernie, the $1800 Mira, the $2300 SC and $3000 SC....I'd take the Mira. But for the money, the SE 245 was the winner.