Core CE24 vs newer CE24... what say you?

henryjurstin13

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Aug 14, 2013
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I've always turned up my nose at the 24 frets, because I was in love with the neck pickup tone of 22's as well as the feel of the wide-fat necks. Fast forward to this week, and I randomly picked up a CE24 Semi-Hollow, and I was hearing a strat-like quack out of the split-middle pickup position. It floored me. I was literally not expecting that at all.... and to top it all off, that satin maple neck felt amazing! Wasn't too wide-thin skinny at all, I loved it!

I've been back to that store to play it for a 2nd time.... obviously, I'm interested. I've always been a fan of the core body curves, and that carve on top. What should I know about older CE24 vs newer CE24 (and CE24 semi hollow)?

prs-ce-24-sh-side_1200x.jpg


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LSchefman

Hears Tones
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I'm basing this only on having the Special Semi-Hollow; I really like what PRS does with the semi-hollow body, so I would go with the semi-hollow one in your first post.

This isn't to say the older ones are bad at all; it's the airier tone of the semi-hollow that would drive my choice. Either way, it's hard to go wrong.
 

cjlloyd

Not vintage yet
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Mar 8, 2021
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If you’re concerned that it’s not on the same level as a “real” core model, you can buy either a replacement bridge or a bridge upgrade kit from John Mann and you’re basically set. None of the other changes they made to reduce costs (shallower carve, scarf joint, bolt on construction, tuners, non-recessed back plates) is of any detriment to quality or playability whatsoever. Everything else is the same as what you get on the core line - same pickups, same nut, same frets, same electronics, made by the same people in the same place.
 

henryjurstin13

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I'm basing this only on having the Special Semi-Hollow; I really like what PRS does with the semi-hollow body, so I would go with the semi-hollow one in your first post.

This isn't to say the older ones are bad at all; it's the airier tone of the semi-hollow that would drive my choice. Either way, it's hard to go wrong.
I think this is more like my thinking... I'm a sucker for an F-hole too! I've always loved those thicker, carved maple tops - but, I don't think I'd miss it too much.
 

SamIV

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I recently ordered a new CE 24 solid body. It played ok, sounded great, and was built well. It just did not floor me for an almost $2000 guitar. But I am cheap. I returned it. About a month after that I ran into a used 98 CE24. Bought it. It just felt better to me. Preferred the 85/15 pickups over the HFS/VB in the 98 model though. So there’s that to consider. Depends on what style of music you play.

My 98 model needs a pickup change according to my tastes, has a few dings and normal play wear for an older guitar. There are those that prefer the feel of the newer model. Different top carve and satin back of the neck. If you like the new semi-hollow, doesn’t matter what we think. Buy what makes you happy. And don’t be a tight azz like me.
 
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henryjurstin13

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I recently ordered a new CE 24 solid body. It played ok, sounded great, and was built well. It just did not floor me for an almost $2000 guitar. But I am cheap. I returned it. About a month after that I ran into a used 98 CE24. Bought it. It just felt better to me. Preferred the 85/15 pickups over the HFS/VB in the 98 model though. So there’s that to consider. Depends on what style of music you play.

My 98 model needs a pickup change according to my tastes, has a few dings and normal play wear for an older guitar. There are those that prefer the feel of the newer model. Different top carve and satin back of the neck. If you like the new semi-hollow, doesn’t matter what we think. Buy what makes you happy. And don’t be a tight azz like me.
My guitar friend tells me I’m sooooo tight/cheap all the time. I like to think that I just enjoy a good deal!

I think the F hole & neck outweighs the carved top…
 

Aether

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Another vote for the CE semi-hollow. I also upgraded the bridge to a Mannmade and swapped out the 85/15 pickups for 57/08. While I’m fine with them on my Custom 22, the 85/15 set was a bit too bright/harsh for my tastes in conjunction with the maple bolt-on neck on the CE.
 

Aahzz

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I haven't owned the semi-hollow, but I have owned both old and new CE24s. I actually preferred the newer, I like the feel of the satin neck, and I like the feel of the shallower top carve.
 

Fullmoon 1971

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You seem to have already decided on the semi hollow, that blue one is beautiful. Although if it was me I'd go with a older CE for all the same reasons @bodia stated. I've tried a few of the modern CE's but prefer the overall feel of the older ones. though it's a solid mahogany body (no maple cap) my 06 CE24 is one of my goto guitars (I did swap out the ceramic magnet on the HFS for a Alnico 8 one - all the power but mixed with alnico sweetness).

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good luck with whichever you decide.
 

dogrocketp

I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!
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I’ve had an older CE24 for many years. I think the new semi hollows are fine guitars. Even though they’re both CE24’s, there’s a lot of differences. My 2003 is thick and heavy, and sounds like it. If you like the sound of the Semi Hollow, I’d buy it. There’s not really any such thing as better, just different. What you like is automatically better……………for you. And it is blue……..
 

GuitarJammin

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What say me? I've really liked the older CE24s I've had the chance to own and play. I never really got along with the modern iterations. I picked one up from GC just to give it a go...and I returned it...I'd pick up a few in stores from time to time. I prefer the older ones over the new ones most definitely. I could see someone else going the opposite direction...so much is on the player's translation of it all.
 

Tullfan

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Sep 30, 2021
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I want to show support for recent model CE-24’s! I have a 2020 that is just amazing to play and see. A true wonder to behold, don’t rule one out…….
 

henryjurstin13

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Aug 14, 2013
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Pickups/wiring question:

I believe the older ones with the 5 way rotary, allowed you to have inner coils or outer coils.... so, on the new ones - what's selected on the middle coil split position? Inner or outer? Would it be worthwhile to add a mod to select the other coils? I really, really liked that middle/split sound - very quacky, similar to a strat in position 2.
 
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