PRS SE Custom 24 Guitar, Black Cherry Review

Posted by Sherrie Kearney on Tuesday, November 15, 2011

PRS SE Custom 24 Guitar, Black Cherry
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First of all, it's a Paul Reed Smith! Secondly, if it's good enough for Santana, Orianthi, Chad Kroeger, Mark Tremonti, Ben Kasica, and multiple other amazing electric guitar players, it's good enough for you!

This is the SE version, which means it is a "student edition" and it's affordable. You are not sacrificing quality by purchasing a SE version. They make these and test them similar to the American made versions, but at about a fourth of the cost. These PRS SEs are better made and are held to a higher standard than the American versions of Les Paul Gibsons and Fenders that cost much more. Plus, it's a PRS! It sounds so much better and is THE guitar! This is the top of the line guitar! There is no compromise on quality. The only obvious difference is that the face of the guitar is flat, as opposed to slightly beveled. You are getting one hell of a guitar!

When choosing a guitar, you can read a ton of online reviews, or you can go to a music store and try them out. Go to a local shop and pit a PRS SE against any American Fender or Gibson... you will answer your own question. The PRS SE is the guitar of today. It has an amazing tone and it's very easy to play. Originally, Paul Reed Smith was trying to create the perfect guitar and was trying to outdo Fender and Gibson. He is no longer trying to outdo them, he is trying to outdo himself. His only real competition is his own guitars. He challenges himself and his staff to come up with a better guitar year after year. He isn't trying to recreate old 60s classic sounds and recreate nostalgia. He already accomplished that over 25 years ago with his original guitar that smashed into the market and basically rendered all other guitars moot.

The Custom 24 is the guitar that started it all. It's THE ONE that he handed to Santana backstage in the late 70s that got everything started. It was the first guitar in 1985 to come out of the assembly line when the PRS plant first opened. It is the most playable guitar with the best tone, sound, sustain, and playability. The finish on these guitars is amazing! Slick, shiny, hard, durable, and unblemished. Each guitar comes with it's own number on the back, an awesome gig bag, a bag of spare parts, the tremolo arm (if you buy one that comes with tremolo), and an instrument cable that has a 90 degree jack on one end and a straight one on the other end. One of the most beautiful gig bags I have ever seen. Amazing embroidery! It says PRS in nice big letters. Can you imagine showing up at a gig, studio, wedding, or concert with a Paul Reed Smith? Unbelievable! 30 years from now all anyone will talk about is PRS guitars and how awesome they sound. New manufacturers will be trying to oneup PRS, not any others.

Of course, over the year Paul Reed Smith hasn't rested on his laurels. He has continually been working hard to improve his guitars year after year. Every year he pulls out a new trick or a new added feature. He is competing with himself. While others keep trying recreate nostalgia by re-releasing old shapes and models and new guitars with a worn out look. (like tattered jeans).

If you don't have a PRS guitar, the SE line is very accessible. Lots of online retailers have models for sale in the 300s and 400s. Try looking around (ebay).

If you already own an electric guitar, these are an instant upgrade to ANY guitar you may be playing, except another PRS. Go to youtube and watch demo videos and reviews of these guitars. You will instantly fall in love.

I can't say enough about these. Sure you can buy one of those $100-200 guitar kits if you want to screw around and see if you like this. But if you are serious and want a real guitar, you can't go wrong with a PRS. They maintain their value over the years unlike any other guitar. Each one is a work of art and the best craftsmanship. People still have their PRS's from the late 80s and early 90s and they still sound sweet and are still selling for big bucks!

Buy this guitar! You will be in heaven!

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Product Description:
The SE Custom 24 features a mahogany body, maple top with a flame maple veneer, three piece wide-thin maple neck, rosewood fretboard and moon inlays. Incorporating PRS designed HFS treble and bass pickups, the SE Custom 24 produces a wide range of tonal possibilities enhanced by a variety of switching options.

A wide range of tonal possibilities. Click to enlarge.
PRS-designed tuning machines.
HFS pickups feature a powerful ceramic magnet and hot coils for an aggressive tone.
PRS "wide thin" set neck.

The SE Custom 24

Playability That Won't Break the Bank
Featuring mahogany body, maple top and neck, plain maple veneer, three-piece wide-thin neck, rosewood fretboard and moon inlays, the SE Custom 24 provides utility and quality at a reasonable price.
HFS Pickups
Originally meaning Hot, Fat and Screams, the HFS features a powerful ceramic magnet and hot coils for an aggressive tone when cranked, clear highs, searing midrange and thumping bass.
The SE Custom 24 produces a wide range of tonal possibilities enhanced by a variety of switching options including master volume, master tone, and 3-way toggle pickup selector.
Wide Thin Neck
This neck has a thinner profile front to back than the Wide Fat. This neck is available on many of PRS's 22 and 24 fret models.
PRS Tremolo
Back in 1984, Paul Reed Smith was granted a patent on his tremolo system. The design elements are simple and resemble the traditional fulcrum tremolo but with some important differences that help ensure return to pitch and a lack of tuning instability. All adjustment screws are inset and made of brass, and there are no rough edges. The tremolo arm stays where you put it, and won't wobble or break off.
SE Custom Available Colors
The Custom 24 is available in Black Cherry, Gray Black, and Whale Blue finishes.
PRS finishes their instruments with a polyester basecoat and acrylic urethane topcoat. Acrylic urethane looks and feels the closest to the old nitro-cellulose finishes but without the finish checking.
The PRS Mission Statement
Guitar building is an ongoing process of discovery. We are devoted to the guitar's rich heritage while committed to new technologies that will enrich our products with uncompromised tone, playability and beauty. Our success depends on our ability to listen, implement positive change and continually refine our craft.
Believing this, we strive to build the best guitars and guitar products possible and to serve our employees, customers, suppliers and community with distinction.

SE Custom 24 Model Specs


    Back Wood: Mahogany
    Top Wood: Maple Top with Flame Maple Veneer


    Number of Frets: 24
    Scale Length: 25"
    Neck Wood: Maple
    Fretboard Wood: Rosewood
    Neck Shape: Wide Thin
    Inlays: Moons


    Bridge: PRS Designed Tremolo
    Tuners: PRS Designed Tuners
    Hardware Type: Nickel
    Treble Pickup: PRS Designed Treble Humbucker with Zebra Bobbins
    Bass Pickup: PRS Designed Bass Humbucker with Zebra Bobbins
    Pickup Switching: Volume and Tone Control with 3-Way Toggle Pickup Selector

What's in the Box
PRS SE Custom 24 (Black Cherry)

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