PRS SE Standard 24 Review – This Guitar Is Really Hot!

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PRS SE Standard 24 Review – An image of the PRS Logo

Have you been waiting to get your first PRS (Paul Reed Smith) guitar but are being held back by your budget? In this PRS SE Standard 24 review, I’ll tell you why it might be time to take the plunge.

If you already have a Strat and it’s getting lonely, maybe it’s time to give it some company. You can never have too many guitars!

Keep on reading to get the key information you need to help you decide if this is the guitar for you.


PRS SE Standard 24 Specs

Here are the basic specifications for the PRS SE Standard 24 guitar. More specific information about the guitar is available in the remainder of the article.

ItemSpecification
BodyBound Mahogany
FinishGloss Polyurethane
NeckBound Maple, Set-In Neck With Double-Action Truss Rod
FinishGloss Polyurethane
FretboardRosewood
Fretboard InlaysPearloid PRS Bird Inlays
Neck ShapeWide Thin
Nut1.69” Synthetic Bone 
Frets24, Medium Nickel
Fingerboard Radius10″
Scale Length25″
HardwareNickel
BridgePRS Tremolo, Molded
TunersPRS-Designed
Electronics
Treble (Bridge) Pickup85/15 “S” Pickup With Ceramic Magnet
Bass (Neck) Pickup85/15 “S” Pickup With Ceramic Magnet
Volume ControlSingle, 500 K
Tone ControlSingle, 500 K With 0.022uf Capacitor, Push-Pull Pot Splits each Humbucker To Single-Coil
Pickup SwitchBlade, 3-Way
Miscellaneous
Weight7 Pounds (approximately)
Manufactured and AssembledKorea (some parts from Indonesia)
CasePRS SE Gig Bag
StringsD’Addario Nickel-Wound 10-46
PRS SE Standard 24 Price$579 (street)

Keep on reading to learn more!


What Are Paul Reed Smith SE Guitars?

PRS SE Standard 24 Review – Factory processing and staining

First of all, the SE in this range of PRS guitars means “student edition.” SE guitars have been made in Korea (not Maryland) since 2001 by World Musical Instruments, who also make musical equipment for Line6 and Schecter. In addition, PRS Guitars has an alternate manufacturing facility in Indonesia.

The PRS SE Standard 24 is their most affordable guitar. It is essentially a lower-cost version of their SE Custom 24.

I bought one of the Santana SE guitars back in the 1990s because the price was too good to resist and it sounded and played awesomely! I still play it, even though I have four other much higher-end PRS guitars.

Here is a video from Paul Reed Smith Guitars, where product specialist Bryan Ewald gives you his take on the PRS SE Standard 24 and lets you hear how good the guitar sounds. I think you will really be impressed, so check it out!


Three PRS SE Standard 24 Body Finishes

The PRS SE Standard 24 guitars come in your choice of three gorgeous body finishes. You might have a hard time choosing, but you could eventually buy one in each color at the price of this guitar.

PRS SE Standard 24 – Tobacco Sunburst

PRS SE Standard 24 Review - Tobacco Sunburst Finish

Tobacco Sunburst is probably my favorite finish for this guitar.

It really shows off the grain of the mahogany body and gives the guitar a lot of class. Also, the black headstock looks so sharp with it!

If you’re a sunburst Strat guy or like a more traditional finish, then this is the color for you.

PRS SE Standard 24 Review – Translucent Blue

PRS SE Standard 24 Translucent Blue

The Translucent Blue finish is sort of the “in-between” color.

It has less flash than the Vintage Cherry but pops more than the Tobacco Sunburst.

The blue stain looks great with the cream binding and it has a matching headstock!

PRS SE Standard 24 Review – Vintage Cherry

PRS SE Standard 24 Vintage Cherry

If you like the look of a Gibson SG in Vintage Cherry, then you should take a closer look at this body finish.

It’s amazing how the color of this guitar can influence how you play it. This one just screams “Rock and Roll!”

This finish will definitely get you noticed quickly, no matter where you play.


My Guitar Lair - Features and Benefits Section

Features And Benefits

Here are some things that really make the PRS SE Standard 24 stand out from other guitars in its price range.

  • 24-fret (two octave) set-neck design
  • Pearloid bird inlays
  • Overall specs and performance are similar to the PRS Custom 24 guitar
  • High-quality mahogany tonewood
  • Both neck and body have cream binding
  • “Push-Pull” tone control to split each humbucker into a single-coil pickup
  • PRS-design tremolo system, which helps keep the guitar in tune
  • The 85/15 S pickup is similar to the traditional “core” 85/15 pickups in both design and sound.

To learn more, see How To Keep An Electric Guitar In Tune.


My Guitar Lair - Pros (Thumbs Up) Section

What I like About The PRS SE Standard 24

  • Bound mahogany body with lower horn scoop for great neck access
  • Set-in neck gives the guitar lots of resonance and sustain
  • Tremolo system is very expressive and easy to use, like on all PRS guitars
  • Extremely verstile guitar
  • Very well balanced with excellent weight distribution
  • Tremendous value for the money

The 85/15 S pickups

PRS SE Standard 24 Review – A photo of a PRS 8515 S guitar pickup

The ceramic magnet does a great job balancing out the natural warmth of the guitar’s all-mahogany body.

85/15 S pickups are articulate and warm-sounding with plenty of chime.

Both pickups sound rich and well-balanced without sounding too “out-of-phase” or shallow when used together in either humbucker or single-coil configuration

The split bridge pickup (single-coil configuration) has a lot of bite without being too harsh-sounding.

Both pickups sound great when played in through a high-gain amp or with distortion pedals. Notes remain distinctive when playing rhythm, even with complex chords.

Turning down the guitar volume cleans up the sound exceptionally well and gives the pickups a sweet acoustic character.


My Guitar Lair - Cons (Thumbs Down) Section

What I Don’t Like About The PRS SE Standard 24

What’s not to like about a PRS guitar, even a cheap one?

There’s really nothing I dislike about this guitar. Obviously, Paul Reed Smith wanted to put a very high-quality instrument into the hands of as many players as possible.

The PRS SE models have a price tag that can make owning a guitar of this quality a reality.

Sure, I can be picky and point out that the SE 24 Standard doesn’t have a contoured figured maple top with recessed control knobs, but who would expect it to at the cost of this instrument? The lack of a maple top actually makes the guitar lighter by about two pounds.

If anyone can come up with a reason not to buy this guitar, I’d certainly like to hear it.


PRS SE Standard 24 Vs PRS SE Custom 24

PRS SE Standard 24 Review – Guitar body painting

So, what’s the difference between the PRS SE 24 Standard and Custom models? The answer is not much, mainly the body design and finish. Both guitar models play great.

The SE Standard model has an all-mahogany body, while the SE Custom body has a mahogany back with a carved maple top and a flame maple veneer. The maple top makes the Custom model sound a little brighter.

The custom model has four color choices: Black Gold Burst, Bonni Pink, Charcoal Burst, and Faded Blue Burst.

If you want a maple top with a stunning-looking flame veneer, the SE Custom model will cost you about $300 more, which is well worth it in my opinion.


PRS SE Standard 24 Review – A woman holding a PRS guitar

Who Are PRS Guitars For?

PRS guitars are for anyone who enjoys playing music and wants an instrument to provide a lifetime of pleasure.

Although PRS has been known for its “high-end” guitars that are typically out of the financial reach of most players, the company has branched out into the more affordable “SE” market, targeted toward the beginning guitarist.

No matter how much you spend on a PRS guitar, you will get an instrument that looks and sounds great. An SE PRS is designed to perform magnificently and can easily take you from beginning student all the way to seasoned pro.

Even though a PRS guitar will maintain or increase its resale value, it is designed to be passed down through generations of family members. Therefore, it can easily become a treasured heirloom!


Is PRS A Good Guitar Brand?

PRS SE Standard 24 Review – A PRS Private Stock Guitar
PRS Private Stock Guitar

PRS guitars are outstanding in their overall design, especially their appearance, sound, and playability. In addition, these guitars have become internationally known for their high level of quality.

They are played by some of the world’s top players, including Carlos Santana and Al DiMeola.

In addition to building guitars, PRS manufactures a fabulous line of guitar amplifiers. These amps are designed to complement and showcase the sound of their guitar line perfectly.

What is a PRS Private Stock Guitar?

In addition to their usual line of guitars and bass guitars, Private Stock guitars are also available for the player that wants a guitar that plays like a dream and is breathtaking to behold.

They represent the ultimate in instrument design and can be purchased “as is” or custom-built as “one-off” guitars through authorized “Signature” PRS dealers.


Who Is Paul Reed Smith?

Paul Reed Smith is a master luthier who started PRS Guitars in 1985. He was born in Stevensville, Maryland, U.S.A.

PRS SE Standard 24 Review – A photo of Paul Reed Smith

However, Paul is not only an incredible guitar builder. He is an excellent musician, teacher, and mentor. The “PRS Band” has played worldwide, and Paul has also performed with Vertical Horizon, Creed, and Santana.

Paul gives music classes at Maryland Middle and High Schools and online “Music School For Aspiring Musicians” video lessons in conjunction with Maryland Hall.

For his work in guitar design and teaching, Paul was inducted into the Vintage Guitar Magazine Hall Of Fame in 2011.


Final Thoughts About The PRS SE Standard 24

Final Thoughts

PRS guitars are generally regarded as great-playing instruments of the highest quality.

Paul Reed Smith has extended the range of his guitars to make them affordable to as many players as possible without sacrificing quality.

The PRS SE Standard 24 is an amazing instrument for the money. It is an extremely versatile guitar that can cover anything from jazz to heavy metal.

It sounds great with overdrive or distortion and cleans up beautifully by turning down the volume control.

Whether you are buying your first electric guitar or you want to add a PRS to your collection, you should definitely check out the SE Standard 24.


A rock band of figures made from nuts and bolts.

Tell Me What You Think

Please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this PRS SE Standard review, have any questions about this product or want to leave your own personal review. I will be happy to help you.

  • Have you heard of PRS guitars before you read this article?
  • Do you own a PRS SE Standard 24 or another PRS Guitar? What do you think of it?
  • Are you tihinking about trying and buying a PRS guitar?
  • What other guitar do you think offers as much value for the price as the PRS SE Standard 24?

About Frank

PRS SE Standard 24

$579
9.9

Design

9.8/10

Functionality

9.8/10

Overall Quality

10.0/10

Pros

  • Sounds And Plays Great
  • Extremely Versatile Guitar
  • Tremendous Value For The Money

Cons

  • No Figured Maple Top
  • No Top Body Contour
  • No Recessed Control Knobs

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4 thoughts on “PRS SE Standard 24 Review – This Guitar Is Really Hot!”

  1. Well put together, and well done! I personally liked the review parameters at the bottom of the page, got that RPGish like feel to it. I especially like how you broke down everything from the history to its uses and even the short bio of the creator of the guitar! And I ain’t even a Guitar enthusiast here! Maybe I should get one of these one day!

    Reply
    • Hi, Nicholas

      Thank You for your comments!

      If you really are thinking about getting going on the guitar, you won’t really find a better starter instrument at a better price with all the quality the PRS SE Standard 24 gives you.

      Frank

      Reply
  2. I have loved playing guitar since I was a child and that is why I am very interested in guitars. In this review, you have clearly shown everything. I hope to get this guitar. Because the design, as well as the quality, is very good. Thank you so much for this review. This was very important to me. 

    Reply
    • Hi, Pasindu

      Thank You for your comments!

      I’m thrilled that you found my article helpful! I don’t really think you can go wrong with the PRS SE Standard 24. Hopefully, you will be able to get the guitar soon. Leave another comment after you buy it, and let me know what you think about how it plays and sounds.

      Get a good amp to play it through if you don’t already have one.

      Good Luck,

      Frank

      Reply

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