This beautiful piece of musical art is a Paul Reed Smith SE Custom guitar. It is the first line of PRS guitars which are manufactured (not hand made). PRS is known for it's amazing quality hand made guitars, with beautiful tone, great sustain, amazing looks, and one of a kind fat sound. How does the manufactured SE line stack up?
Well, I'll know soon, since I just ordered this baby. I've played one at Guitar Center, and I must say the sound and feel of this instrument is great. Especially when you look at the price tag. A traditional PRS can run in the thousands of dollars...a bit too rich for my wallet. The SE Custom line goes for around $550. I happened to find a good deal online for $499 shipped. Can't beat that!
I've been reading many reviews on this guitar, and the general consensus is that you are getting a better-than Les Paul guitar for quite a lot less. Ok, yeah, it's not a traditional PRS...but this is as close as you can come without taking out a loan.
So what's the difference besides price? Well, PRS's can usually split their humbucker pickups into separate single coils...the SE cannot...at least without some modifications :-) Also, as I've mentioned before, the SE is manufactured on an assembly line, and therefore isn't quite as unique sounding (or looking) as a traditional PRS. But from what I've read, PRS personally inspects each and every SE that comes out of the factory to make sure it stands up to the quality PRS is known for.
I'll report more when I get a chance to play this puppy!