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.
|Neck||Bound Maple, Set-In Neck With Double-Action Truss Rod|
|Fretboard Inlays||Pearloid PRS Bird Inlays|
|Neck Shape||Wide Thin|
|Nut||1.69” Synthetic Bone|
|Frets||24, Medium Nickel|
|Bridge||PRS Tremolo, Molded|
|Treble (Bridge) Pickup||85/15 “S” Pickup With Alnico Magnet|
|Bass (Neck) Pickup||85/15 “S” Pickup With Alnico Magnet|
|Volume Control||Single, 500 K|
|Tone Control||Single, 500 K With 0.022uf Capacitor, Push-Pull Pot Splits each Humbucker To Single-Coil|
|Pickup Switch||Blade, 3-Way|
|Weight||7 Pounds (approximately)|
|Manufactured and Assembled||Korea (some parts from Indonesia)|
|Case||PRS SE Gig Bag|
|Strings||D’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?
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
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 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 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.
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.
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
The Alnico 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.
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
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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?