Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 99

Thread: Three reasons why SE's beat all the other imports

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    82

    Three reasons why SE's beat all the other imports

    For me at least, these are big reasons why PRS imports slay epi and all the others.

    1-Actual maple cap for tone. The others use veneer atop carved mahogany. SE uses veneer for only looks, as theres a real maple cap underneath for tonal reasons.
    2-One piece neck. All the rest that have the gibson style tilt back head avoid using a larger costlier block of wood by splinting a separate piece for the headstock. For me thats huge. Hate those spliced necks
    3-of those using trems, the block is steel. I have yet to see any import fender with a steel block.

    There are others like the pots and switches that are a cut above and tuners that are very high ratio making tuning even easier and better than i've ever had with anything including sperzels and other aftermarket supposedly high quality stuff. Not to mention fret work that rivals or betters a lot of USA stuff including pretty much every LP i looked at when i happened upon the santana that changed me. But those 3 things listed above to me are what really define the difference between an import thats in the same league as the big boys and those that only look like they are because they cannot be upgraded like tuners and such. Well, maybe somehow the block could but i assume it's proprietary to the PRS trem plate so probably not. Luckily we don't need to.

    Maybe some of the SE's don't share all these qualities, but i think they do. Certainly most do. I feel PRS SE's easily represent the #1 best bang for the buck available today.

  2. #2
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,012
    Quote Originally Posted by dazco View Post
    2-One piece neck. All the rest that have the gibson style tilt back head avoid using a larger costlier block of wood by splinting a separate piece for the headstock. For me thats huge. Hate those spliced necks
    +1 on your SE love, but FYI the American S2 line scarfs the headstocks, to save wood, and those are some damn fine-sounding guitars. My S2 Mira kicks major musical posterior. I think my Taylor 314CE is scarfed as well. No real point, other than I guess if it's done well, it's probably not so bad.
    1990, 91, 92 & 97 CE24s | 1991 CU24 | 2000 CU22 Semi-Hollow | 2003 & 04 SE EG
    2008 SE Semi-Hollow Soapbar | 2011 CU24 GC Throwback | 2012 Signature Limited
    2013 408 Brazilian | 2013 Paul's Guitar | 2013 HB II | 2013 CU24 Swamp Ash Limited
    2013 CU24 | 2013 XPRS 408 Semi-Hollow | 2014 CU24 Semi-Hollow

  3. #3
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Downers Grove Il.
    Posts
    6,638
    I'm all about SE's but I'm not so sure about your second point. SE's have three piece (five if you count the headstock wings) necks if you look closely... At least mine do/did.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sleary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    960
    I think your on to something here. My se clint lowrey is well built and rivals alot of guitars in its price point. Great value imho

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    82
    I know about the wings, but still thats not IMO the same thing. Were talking about a separate head piece which IMO, and it is just my opinion, but i don't think thats a good thing at all for tone. It separates the head from the neck with a bridge of glue. For one, i'm a huge believer thru experience building strats that the neck is the biggest contributor to a guitar's tone. And you don't see it on anything but cheaper imports. If they did that with the SC's then to me thats disappointing. Does it make a difference? Put it this way, there are lots of people that swear up and down that plywood sides on an acoustic make no difference in tone at all. But will you accept plywood sides on a $3000-5000 martin? And do they use plywood sides on those ? So to me at least thats a big + on the SE line. It's cheaper and easier to do it like that but they don't on quality guitars. Think about that. Chances are the SC line must be done like that to keep costs down due to the fact labor costs in the USA are much much higher than korea. He can afford to spec things like that in the korean line because the costs are so low. But you don't see it in the core guitars so i think it's pretty obvious that a one piece is considered the superior way to make a neck.

  6. #6
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Warrington, Nr Liverpool UK
    Posts
    2,366
    Agree with most of your points. SE's are absolutely great guitars in their own right and worth every penny. Strictly speaking of my own experience but the E's are as good if not better quality than some guitars built in the US by other companies. Certainly, my Bernie was a cut above the more expensive Studios I tried by the big G.

    I do have to say though (In the interests of fairness) that some Epi's do have a carved maple cap (Although most are just 'mahogany') and I'm sure there's some other import brands that do. That said, I'd choose an SE over most of these any day.
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  7. #7
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Warrington, Nr Liverpool UK
    Posts
    2,366
    Pretty sure my Bernie neck is one piece with the wings on the headstock. I'll have to check that though. I once thought it was a 5 piece body but it just has some exceptionally straight grain lines in it. Definitely 3 piece which is fine by me.
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  8. #8
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Downers Grove Il.
    Posts
    6,638




    These are three piece SE necks. I've taken a few apart... I'm not sayin' that it's a bad thing or that it takes away any of my love for these little bastids, I just wanted to show you so you know.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    82
    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post




    These are three piece SE necks. I've taken a few apart... I'm not sayin' that it's a bad thing or that it takes away any of my love for these little bastids, I just wanted to show you so you know.
    Some very expenisve guitars are also 3 piece. The point i'm making is that the splinted head is a very different thing in that theres a separation in the wood that separates the head from the neck. A lengthwise 3 piece is still allowing vibration to go from the body to the head purely thru wood with no separation. I know this is all speculation as to the effect of this design, but if you listen to paul talk you'll see he often mentions fine details that most people might just write off as unimportant. But like i said, there are plenty of higher end guitar with multi piece necks lengthwise, but none that i know of with splinted headstocks. And even barring any benefits or negatives, they DO only splint cheap guitars and the SE is the only one i know of that doesn't.

    As to maple caps on a few epis, i not only know that but when i was looking for a LP i investigated those specifically because they were the only cheaper guitar with caps. But those are only a limited edition epi and the street cost is actually the same or more than the SE's.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    319
    Definitely in agreement with you on the quality of the SE's versus other imports and most US-made guitars. I have not gone through guitars the way a lot of other have over the years, but I have owned about a dozen LP's in my time and I would easily put my SE-245 up against all but maybe 2 of those as it came stock. With the few mods I have done to it (pickups, locking posts, nut) I think it is at least a match for the other two.
    The number of pieces of wood and whether the head is a scarf joint don't concern me as long as it sounds good and the SE's do. There is a "bridge of glue" between the wood of the neck and body and also between body and cap after all. Done right I just personally don't think it makes a difference.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Belfast N Ireland
    Posts
    7
    I agree that the SE's are great guitars for the money and well worth throwing in some upgrades for a really great instrument... but I don't see 3 or more piece necks as a bad thing as long as it's done properly.
    A 3 piece mahogany neck is stronger than a 1 piece and I highly doubt anyone could tell the difference in sound between a single and multi piece in a blind test where you couldn't see what you were playing.
    I don't believe the glue will negatively affect the tone either, plenty of Gibson's have had headstock breaks and if it's repaired properly will sound exactly the same as it did before it was broken plus the headstock join will be stronger than it was before the break.
    The glue which holds the neck to the body doesn't negatively affect the tone so why would a properly scarf jointed headstock?

    My Taylor has a 3 piece neck, as does my tremonti SE and they sound fab.

    Personally I prefer 1 piece but that's purely an aesthetic choice and I'd never trade my US PRS for an SE.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    82
    Well guys, we could debate whether a scarf joint matters, lengthwise, etc etc all day long. And I'm not saying you can't find a good sounding guitar that has one. But i WILL say this. All the mediocre guitars with tilt back head that i've had all had a scarf joint.

    But the point here is that they use scarf joints on cheap imports and never on more expensive guitars. So whether or not you think it matters the point is it's obviously not considered by builders to be something that should be done as anything but a cost cutting design. I don't think anyone here would opt for it given the choice, and the fact that PRS spec'd the SE's w/o one, at least the one's i've seen, is IMO admirable.

  13. #13
    My first PRS was an SE, the year the line was introduced, since then i have bought around 8 SE to sell locally since many of my friends where very impressed with the quality and sound. Now, with all honesty the Sterling line from Music Man is of the exact same quality, i have tried 4 of them and they are superb instruments. And in the 7 string department the JP Sterling has an advantage over the 7 string SE, it comes with a tremolo! and better yet its $200 cheaper!.

    Sterling is about the only one that really gives the SE line a run for its money.

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    82
    Quote Originally Posted by nicolasrivera View Post
    My first PRS was an SE, the year the line was introduced, since then i have bought around 8 SE to sell locally since many of my friends where very impressed with the quality and sound. Now, with all honesty the Sterling line from Music Man is of the exact same quality, i have tried 4 of them and they are superb instruments. And in the 7 string department the JP Sterling has an advantage over the 7 string SE, it comes with a tremolo! and better yet its $200 cheaper!.

    Sterling is about the only one that really gives the SE line a run for its money.
    You may be right, but for me PRS isn't about only the quality of thier imports, it's the PRS design, specifically the elements that make them sound and play the way they do. They're quite unique and the way they feel/play/sound is to me what makes them so desirable to me. The quality is just icing on the cake, but to be honest if the quality was at Epiphone levels i'd still be raving about my santana because it's the design. One thing i learned long ago, particularly from building partscasters is that design trumps everything else even quality. I'd take a mediocre quality guitar of the design/wood type that makes for the best sound and feel every time over one thats top quality but with bad design. Well, bad to me anyway. Take carvin for example. There are no higher quality guitars made IMO. Living near thier hollywood store (which just closed) i've had the opportunity to see and play them for years. But tho they are absolute top quality, tier designs and wood choices are such that they sound sterile and just plain yuk. Granted in recent years they've improved a lot in that area, but much too late to overshadow the bad rep they got from years of maple bodied neck thru's with ebony boards and other such tonally weird recipes.

    Point is, take a squier classic vibe....quality is several leagues below carvin but they are proven designs and people have flocked to them and rave about them. And it's the PRS design that drew me in. The 24.5 scale that most of the SE's use makes playing easy and tone fat yet still clear. The neck with a 10" radius with a wide board is a recipe i never see anyone else use and it made for the first and only neck i have ever played that wasn't real thin that i can not only play well on, but BETTER on. That was a shocker. And the #1 thing about it that just floors me every time is the way it sits in a mix. No guitar i've owned in all my years has done that nearly as well, and i still can't figure out how it does that ! So yeah, the sterlings may be made as well. But to me thats just icing on the cake with the PRS SE. Its an amazing design that no one else has combined with quality construction at a unbelievably stupid price ! I now have what i feel is probably my fav electric i've owned in 40 years and i paid 500 bucks for it !!! Sterlings may be made as well, but they are a very opposite design and the chances they would do what i love about the PRS as well or better are slim to none.

    But thats just me. If sterling's designs, which are much more based in the fender camp than PRS which is more gibson, were more gibosn like then who knows. But still it's the uniqueness of the scale length and neck design and other things that make the PRS so amazing for me. So nothing else is going to do it for me like PRS regardless of quality. If you simply want a fender style vibe/tone, then a sterling will likely be better than PRS to you. But then again, if i want that i go right to fender.
    Last edited by dazco; 05-14-2014 at 08:36 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by dazco View Post
    But the point here is that they use scarf joints on cheap imports and never on more expensive guitars
    Well, it's a nice theory, but it isn't true.

    All Taylors, without exception, use a scarf joint for the headstock to neck connection. This is regardless of price. You can spend more than 5 grand street on a Taylor Builder's Reserve and it will still have a scarf joint at the neck to headstock intersection.

    PRS S2s also use them; they're considerably more expensive than SEs.

    Believe it or not, lots of 19th Century Martins were built with the headstock glued to the neck and the volute was there to strengthen this connection.

    Whether it has an effect on tone or not is debatable.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  16. #16
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Downers Grove Il.
    Posts
    6,638
    Quote Originally Posted by dazco View Post

    But the point here is that they use scarf joints on cheap imports and never on more expensive guitars.
    But the S2 line has never pretended to be anything other than a less expensive Maryland made guitar. I'm with you that scarf joints have frightened me in the past but since I have little experience with the S2 line... I'm gonna wait on passing judgement until I have one. I hated the SE line when it came out until I had one and then realized I was full of sh!t for hatin' on 'em. I don't care to do that again.

    I will however absolutely disagree that glued necks don't sound any different... everything affects everything , otherwise CE's would sound exactly like the newer AP guitars with glued in maple necks...and they don't. Good or bad is a personal preference when it comes down to sound.

  17. #17
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,012
    Daz I think you make some good points that we may have glossed over, or maybe we even take for granted.

    I think that as an entry-level guitar the SE line has the highest percentage of the "parent DNA" than other lines I have played. Here it counts the most, the SEs have it. Go play a Squier strat and then an American Standard, ain't the same ballpark. Play an SECU24 and then a core one, the gap is smaller.

    My experience is limited of course, but that's the best I can explain it.

    BTW not to beat the neck horse to death, but I think the SE WT necks are 3-piece and the WF are 1-piece. Hamer, arguably the pre-PRS, used mostly 3-piece neck designs for stability. And they made a damn fine guitar.
    1990, 91, 92 & 97 CE24s | 1991 CU24 | 2000 CU22 Semi-Hollow | 2003 & 04 SE EG
    2008 SE Semi-Hollow Soapbar | 2011 CU24 GC Throwback | 2012 Signature Limited
    2013 408 Brazilian | 2013 Paul's Guitar | 2013 HB II | 2013 CU24 Swamp Ash Limited
    2013 CU24 | 2013 XPRS 408 Semi-Hollow | 2014 CU24 Semi-Hollow

  18. #18
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    deep in the raspberry...
    Posts
    3,442
    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Well, it's a nice theory, but it isn't true.

    All Taylors, without exception, use a scarf joint for the headstock to neck connection. This is regardless of price. You can spend more than 5 grand street on a Taylor Builder's Reserve and it will still have a scarf joint at the neck to headstock intersection.

    PRS S2s also use them; they're considerably more expensive than SEs.

    Believe it or not, lots of 19th Century Martins were built with the headstock glued to the neck and the volute was there to strengthen this connection.

    Whether it has an effect on tone or not is debatable.
    I was gonna point this out, but Les beat me to it.

    Quality luthiers will use build techniques and materials we might raise eyebrows at, but somehow manage to get the quality and tones they are after. The glues PRS, Taylor and other good luthiers are using now have been selected carefully to at worst not hamper tone and at best to enhance it.

    Try Googling the pallet guitar if you think these guys cannot make silk purses out of sow's ears.
    Last edited by rugerpc; 05-14-2014 at 09:52 PM. Reason: Auto correct
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!
    Lexicon
    ísɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by rugerpc View Post
    Try Googling the pallet guitar if you think these guys cannot make silk purses out of sow's ears.
    Well it's easy if you have a silk sow.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  20. #20
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Downers Grove Il.
    Posts
    6,638
    Quote Originally Posted by CantankerousCarl View Post

    BTW not to beat the neck horse to death, but I think the SE WT necks are 3-piece and the WF are 1-piece. Hamer, arguably the pre-PRS, used mostly 3-piece neck designs for stability. And they made a damn fine guitar.


    [/QUOTE]

    This is a WF and it's three piece.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •