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Thread: newb here buying first and only guitar to learn to play. SE CU 24 VS SE 245

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2014

    newb here buying first and only guitar to learn to play. SE CU 24 VS SE 245

    Don't flame me too hard for this. I'm total newb here buying first and only guitar to learn to play. I've read all relevant threads on here I could find. Will learn by playing rocksmith and youtube videos. I ran across PRS SE by reading how good value they are, and hearing some sound comparisons. I'm considering a used 2012+ se 24 (come with coil split) vs a se 245, any others?

    I have a small space, and would get enough guitar to start then have to upgrade later. If I end up not using, I'll sell it.

    relevant thread:

    Few questions/issues:
    I know they are different scale, but I have no idea how that impacts me.
    Since its my only guitar, se 24 with coil split would be more versatile?
    Here’s Rocksmith’s playlist 2014 + DLC. I’ve read comments on here that se 24 sound is more modern, would that fit better?.
    I've heard a lot of good things about the stop tail tone, but se 24 is tremolo only.
    Since I'm buying used, would the stop tail 245 be a safer purchase for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing (but willing to learn).
    Is buying used something a newbie should avoid? Can't tell if it's screwed up.

    There is Drop D in rocksmith, this review says fixed bridge (i assume = stop tail) guitars work better with it.
    Last edited by bob13bob; 02-05-2014 at 02:58 PM.

  2. #2
    The scale length is a minor issue, especially since you've never gotten used to one or the other, unless you have very small hands where the shorter scale length might be something of an easier thing.

    The most important thing is to get a guitar that appeals to you and inspires you to play, so you don't get discouraged and decide that playing guitar isn't for you. Whatever guitar that is, will be the right one. There's nothing at all wrong with starting with a guitar that handles well, plays easily, and sounds good no matter what you're working on.

    Since PRS guitars are indeed all that, you'll find the guitar a good partner instead of an obstacle getting in the way of your playing. Good luck!
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...


  3. #3
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    May 2012
    West Michigan
    The 245 with the stop tailpiece will be a little easier from a drop tuning and maintenance standpoint, as far as the bridge is concerned. The tremolo bridge balances string tension out with springs inside the guitar, so if you change tuning on one or more strings, that tension balances gets thrown out of whack and you might need to retune all the strings. But it's not the end of the world, and you could learn to take care of the tremolo bridge as well, they just require a bit more attention and fine tuning from time to time. And we here at the forum are always happy to help a new player with tech and setup questions!

    My only concrete advice is 1. check out some of the signature SE models as well, there are lots of good ones that combine different options - Santana, Tremonti Custom, Marsden, etc., so see if you like any of those, 2. as Les said, be sure to get something that appeals to you, and 3. consider getting a book to supplement your learning. I know, it sounds boring. You can learn some cool riffs on youtube and Rocksmith, but when the day comes that you want to understand the music and maybe even write songs, rather than just regurgitate memorized riffs, you'll be in much better shape. I highly recommend "Guitar Basics" by Bruce Buckingham, it's a very helpful book that will bring you up to speed on some basic theory and technique, without being too much of a snoozer. To be fair, Rocksmith might cover some of that too, I'm just not sure.

    Best of luck with your decision, come back often!
    -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 - Mira X - SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE 30 Head/Cab

  4. #4
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Downers Grove Il.
    I'm a big fan of SE in general and trem equipped guitars, but as a newbie I'd suggest the 245. They're great sounding and simple guitars to get you into playing.

  5. #5
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Smack in the middle: SE Santana (the more recent 2011 onward iteration. 24.5" scale length & wide fat neck are comfy and super-easy to bend strings, esp. with the factory .09s. Tone-wise, it's brighter than an SE245, but not as bright as a SECU24. You can always block the trem if you are worried about tuning stability. It's not as long-in-the-neck (22F) so it's simpler to play sitting down, but alot lighter than the SE245 as well (thinner body) should you end up playing out alot.

    Not sure how important the coil splits are for you in this newbie stage...
    1990, 91, 92 & 94 CE24s | 1991 CU24 | 2000 CU22 Semi-Hollow | 2004 & 05 SE EGs
    2008 SE Semi-Hollow Soapbar | 2011 CU24 GC Throwback | 2012 Signature Limited x2
    2013 408 Brazilian | 2013 Paul's Guitar | 2013 CU24 | 2013 XPRS 408 Semi-Hollow
    2015 S2 Vela | 2015 PS #5583 Paul's Guitar

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    I would recommend SE 245 if you're going Drop D, but the SE 24 will work as well, just a tiny bit more tuning work. If you're staying in only one tuning, the trem works just as fine as a stoptail. PRS trems are known to be very stable in "float mode", only minor adjustments are needed when you do tuning changes. From personal experience, the SE 24's definitely more modern sounding. The longer scale and the 24 fret gives the neck pickup more clarity as well, and the trem gives it a more "hollow" tone, as usual. The 245's got a hefty weight, much like a full fat LP, if you like the fat, creamy LP tones, you'll love it. However, it's weight could be a deal breaker if you're not too fond of heavy guitars or have a bad back. If you don't mind having names on the headstock, the SE Tremonti with the stoptail is a good alternative as well as being cheaper. Thinner and lighter than the 245, which is a plus for some who doesn't like heavy guitars. And the 25" scale gives less flop for drop tunings. I'm not going to comment on coil splits because I'm biased...I prefer singlecoils.

    Quote Originally Posted by CantankerousCarl View Post
    Smack in the middle: SE Santana
    +1 on this. I've never tried a single SE Santana that I don't like! Makes me wonder why I haven't bought one...

  7. #7
    A♥ hoards guitars ♥A rugerpc's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    deep in the raspberry...
    The 245 is going to be ever so slightly easier to play. The shorter scale length translates to less string tension for a given tuning. It might ease your fingers into callous land a bit easier and you might be able to play longer before your fingers get sore.

    The stop tail is also much easier to tune for beginners. Tremolos float. When you tighten one string, the tremolo raises slightly and makes the other 5 go flat a little. You have to keep tweaking all the strings in increasingly small increments until you are finally tuned. Stop tail bridges don't have that problem.

    If neither of those is a concern for you, then do the blindfold test. Sit blindfolded and have a friend/salesperson hand you the guitars back and forth. Buy the one which feels best in your lap and hands and which sounds the best to you.

    edit: I wouldn't worry so much about versatility and coil splits and things like that at this point. You are going to have your hands full for a while just getting the basics down. finding your own tone is part of the journey, but you have to get established on the road first...
    Last edited by rugerpc; 02-06-2014 at 08:55 AM.
    Gork what your need to gork.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2014
    If rocksmith is your primary learning tool, I would go with the 245 because of all the different tunings on rocksmith. If you down tune a trem equipped guitar the that game can be frustrating as it sometimes will have trouble recognizing notes, making you feel like you're missing when you're really not. As a newbie that will only frustrate you and you may not stick with it. The 245 would be more stable as far as the down tuned songs. I use rocksmith as my primary tool, and I keep 3 guitars in different tunings just to make my life a little easier!

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