Jeez... exceptional build quality and great tone! PRS content ahead.

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by DHart, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    I've always felt that PRS SE guitars were pretty nicely made.

    But I recently acquired a PRS SE Custom 22 Semi-hollow body that has what is possibly the nicest neck and most exquisitely done fretwork I've seen. It comes from World Musical Instrument Co in S. Korea, before PRS built their new plant in Indonesia. I had a 15% off deal with Musicians Friend, I'm kind of on a semi-hollow guitar jag right now, and decided this would round out my stable of instruments very nicely.


    I've been kind of busy with some other guitar exchanges in the last few weeks and haven't given this one a lot of attention (other than adding some pickup covers - not a fan of zebra bobbins - and some black trim rings). But I've given it enough play time to be incredibly impressed with the neck, the fretwork, the flawless and beautiful finish, and the fantastic tones of these pickups when in split-coil mode!

    I've seen some fantastic instruments coming out of Asia lately, and I'm thrilled with that experience. We are most definitely living in the golden age of guitar production today!

    In recent months I've pretty much let go of any appreciation I've had previously with PAF-style humbucker pickup tone. I much prefer the tones from low-wind single-coils and Gretsch/TV Jones pickups. But the sound samples I had heard of these humbuckers -when in split coil mode- really caught my interest.

    PRS has found a way to split these 85/15 S pickups into single-coils and have them sounding strong, clear, and full bodied. They are not the least bit thin, nor wimpy sounding, but rather sound good enough to please a Telecaster nut, like me!

    I found the tones in split-coil mode to be magnificent - and this Tele lover enjoys them very much!


    PRS, in concert with WMIC, really do put out a stunningly nice quality guitar, for quite a reasonable price!
    Hammerhead, Merc and Lionpotato like this.
  2. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Congrats !
    DHart likes this.
  3. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    I had many PRS guitars in my hands during the years. Although they all screamed "perfect" I have to admit that I really never bonded with one of them. And I wanted to.
    Since many, many years I am on the search for a perfect Les Paul. Gone through all of them even the Japanese golden-vintage-ones. A McCarty seemed to be the better one. But even that did not stay for all-too-long. I do not have any excuse for that.
    Maybe they are just too" hybrid" for an old guy like me.

    I am happy that you foun "your guitar" in this quality-brand.
    new6659 and DHart like this.
  4. Scooter127

    Scooter127 Synchromatic

    Feb 25, 2019
    I'm a big fan of coil-tapped pickups and have a Les Paul with them and love it. It makes me wonder if the pickups in my Squier 72 Thinline Modified Something are wired to allow splitting them. I guess I need to yank em out to find out.
  5. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    Split-coils that I’ve heard in the past didn’t sound good to me. I think the industry has done something to improve that in recent years.

    The tone of the split coils in this guitar and in the Epi ES-Les Pauls I recently purchased is really, really GOOD! Surprised me, for sure.
  6. afire

    afire Country Gent

    My only experience with split coil pickups was with an early '90s PRS Custom 24. I was relatively new to guitar (3 years), and never had heard of them before. At first I thought the whole concept was so cool that I could get Fenderish and Gibsonish tones from one guitar that I wasn't paying attention to the finer points. But after a while, I started to realize that my Fenderish tones were pretty wimpy compared to the real thing. But I can imagine that in 25ish years they have improved. I don't really need a Swiss Army knife guitar anymore, but if I ever find myself back in a 70s-90s classic rock situation, another PRS would probably be my first choice.
    DHart likes this.
  7. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I had a PRS Hollowbody once upon a time. One of the best made and playing guitars I’ve ever heard. I wanted to love it but the tone was so sterile and uninspiring that I sold it not long after. I’ve owned a few PRS since and they all had the same flaw. The perfect is the enemy of the good.
    Ricochet and DHart like this.
  8. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    I have to agree. I've looked at many over the past 20 years but they leave me cold for some reason. Maybe they are a kind of Frankenstein-ish meld of the promising ideas of other makers?
  9. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    PRS definitely have their own vibe. I wouldn't choose one as my only electric guitar, as I love Teles & Strats, and ES-Les Pauls, ES-339s, Gretsches, and D'Angelicos so much! ;) But as an addition... it's really a wonderful guitar with a different vibe.

    I guess PRS doesn't get a lot of love from a lot of guitarists, but that said, no particular guitar is universally loved by guitarists anyway. With the incredible variety of options at our feet... life is very good! :)
    new6659 and drmilktruck like this.
  10. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Congrats and enjoy. The Koreans make great products today. As I’m sure many Electromatic owners would testify that I stand correct.
    MKunie and DHart like this.
  11. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    PRS is doing incredible stuff at all price points. I still have GAS for a Starla.
    DHart likes this.
  12. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Congrats! Looks great.

    Funny you should say that you're surprised by the quality coming out of Asia. Aside from Gibson (which is it's own story) and PRS, I dont know of any guitars that are mass produced outside of Asia - and those US made guitars are more expensive than, but not necessarily better than, Japanese made. Are there any others?
    DHart likes this.
  13. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    I think Godin makes quite a few guitars in Canada and Hofner probably still makes some in Germany. Hagstrom may still make some in Sweden but I think they also build them in eastern Europe. I might be wrong....
  14. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    Henry... it's just taken me some time to catch up with the rest of you. ;) I was a dyed-in-the-wool USA-made guitars guy for many, many years.

    I do quite clearly recognize now, however, that most of the guitars I am greatly enjoying (aside from the many Fenders that I LOVE) are coming from Asia. Especially Japan and So. Korea, but even China is producing some superb instruments (Eastman, and some Epiphones come immediately to mind).

    This PRS SE Custom exhibits exquisite quality, great playability, and awesome tone. Just another example of the wonderful instruments coming out of Asia.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
    Henry and new6659 like this.
  15. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    Congrats on the new acquisition, DHart!!

    A couple of years back, I bought a PRS SE 30th Anniversary Custom 24. It had a wide-thin neck profile, which I absolutely loved, and it sounded nice in the GC. Unfortunately, I was moving away from the humbucker sound, and had amps more favorable to my Strats and the Gretsch I had bought. As much as I liked the PRS, I really had to make a hard decision on which way I was going, and the humbucker sound just wasn't it.

    The PRS SE 30th Anniversary Custom 24 that I had was a beautiful guitar to look at, and was well crafted in every detail. Enjoy your PRS!
    DHart likes this.
  16. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    LivingMyDream... I think our dreams are similar! I've moved on from the humbucker sound myself, as well. However, I heard the tones of this guitar in split-coil tone on a YouTube video and was intrigued! So I decided to give it a try, knowing that I could return it -or- install some great sounding TV Jones/Gretsch-ish pickups in it, if I liked it enough to keep it.

    Turns out that the split-coil mode sounds great to my single-coil-loving ears! I don't play it in humbucker mode. :eek:

    I've been converting my remaining humbucker-equipped guitars (except one Tele which I modded to sound awesome with Gibson Classic '57s) to TV Jones or Gretsch pickup guitars! These are guitars that I really love, but just not so thrilled with their humbucker tones.

    This PRS I will play in single-coil mode, until such time as I may decide to install some T-Armonds, Hilo's, or Classics in it - or just keep playing the 85/15s in split-coil mode? Who knows?

    I replaced humbuckers in my D'Angelico hollow body, which I LOVE, with T-Armonds the other day, and what an amazing transformation that guitar has taken on! Fantastic. Buh-bye buckers! :D
  17. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    I totally understand your point of view, and if I hadn't use the PRS SE as part of trade for my Taylor acoustic, I would likely have changed out the pick ups.

    I might even consider getting another one, but right now I'm evaluating necks, and trying to decide if there really is a neck that's the perfect fit.
  18. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    Necks are really interesting. I play so many different guitars in a day, that it's easy for me to change from one neck profile to another. There are some chunky necks that I enjoy (my ES-Les Pauls) and some thinner ones (PRS SE Custom 22 SH) that I enjoy also. For the most part, I guess the ones that are sort of a middle ground, or slightly fuller than middle, may be the most pleasing to me.
  19. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    I decided a while back to take "pickups" off of my list of evaluative criteria to buy, or not to buy, a guitar.

    With all the amazing choices we have available for pickups, I wanted to buy guitars for what the guitar itself offered (neck, body shape, playability, ergonomics, looks) and not worry about whether I liked the pickups that were in it.

    For me, choosing a guitar based on the pickups that come with it is like limiting one's choice of vehicles to buy determined by what kind of tires the manufacturer installed on it.

    So now, I don't care what pickups come in a guitar - if I like them, fine. If I don't like them, that certainly won't keep me from buying the guitar - I'll just install whatever pickups I prefer after I acquire the guitar.

    There are some humbucker-equipped guitars that I really like - even though I'm no longer interested in having the typical humbucker tones - no problem, out with the buckers and in with TV Jones, Gretsch pickups, or some other replacement pickups. :)
    new6659 and Henry like this.
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