There are a whole lot of guitars out there claiming to be some of the best guitars ever made. All of them have a reason to be doing so, and yet no all of them live up to the hype. Yet there are certain instruments which are definitely up there, at least within their price range. Judging how at the high end among affordable guitars is a highly competitive area, these guitars tend to be amazing at their job. The PRS SE Custom is one of these instruments. Let us take a close look at the guitar and figure out what makes it so good.
The body of the guitar is nothing out of the ordinary, with a rather known design being picked. Inspired by the old starts, the guitar has a double cutaway shape. This shape looks good and plays better, meaning you will have fun looking cool while having fun with the guitar. The double cutaway allows easy access to all of the frets. The guitar has several color pattern options, all of them looking rather great.
The body of the guitar is built out of two woods. The top of the guitar is made of maple, while the back is made of mahogany. I appreciate maple as a good material for the neck, yet I do have a problem with it being a topwood. You see, maple is incredibly transparent in tone and flat in sound. This means the guitar loses a little bit of flavor from sound due to the maple top. The mahogany back cannot make up for this little miscalculation and is unable to provide the typical tone warmth that we are accustomed to from mahogany. The guitar is sturdy nevertheless, being made of some of the sturdiest materials out there. It is a little on the heavy side, since the two tonewoods are known to be heavy.
The neck of the guitar is made of maple. The continuation of maple into the neck allows the guitar to be extremely sturdy, withstanding most damage without ever getting a dent or a scratch. The neck is set into the body, which provides even more sturdiness and guarantees correct alignment. The fretboard of the instrument is made of rosewood, with some bird designs etched into it.
The bridge of the guitar is designed by PRS and has a very nice Tremolo/Vibrato twist to it. You can get very good action out of the bridge, the string stability is great and the ability to play with the sound bending is a lot of fun.
The nut of the guitar is made out of a synthetic material designed specifically to decrease string buzz and allow for great string harmony. Definitely a great asset to the guitar.
The tuning machine of the guitar is very stable and designed to look beautiful. You can have the guitar on the road for days, or untouched for weeks and the tuning will remain in tact. It can also handle string bending pretty well.
The guitar has a dual humbucker configuration. One humbucker is located at the neck, the other at the bridge. The two PRS SE humbuckers are a nice combination, providing the player with great power and good sound. These two humbuckers are highly reliable, lasting the player for a long time. They also have a great versatility to them, which is always a nice thing to have.
The guitar comes with a nice set of controls. One knob for volume, one knob for tone, a lever for switching between pickup configurations and another switch to split the humbuckers into single coils.
The sound of the guitar is rather pleasant. The fact that the top of the guitar is made out of maple takes away the potential for flavor that was initially there, yet the tone does not suffer from this. The clearness of sound coming through the nice pickups picks up the slack of the tonewood. The guitar is able to produce great sound whether you are looking for hard rock or jazz. It is a very versatile sound that is clear, strong and most importantly, fun.
Overall this guitar is pretty great. The idea behind it was to make a guitar that can stay on the road for a long period of time without taking damage or needing tuning to often. The plan was a success and now we get a very good guitar. Highly recommended if you think you need a sturdy piece of equipment.