The local shop was having a Fender event tonight, so I went to check it out, whaddya know, two spankin new SE Paul’s Guitars on the wall! I had to try them. I didn’t expect them to be vastly different than other SE’s, other than the pickups, but you know, curiosity. Out of respect for the event, I waited for it to end before I plugged in. But even before that, there is something very different about these SE’s (or at least the two on display). They were much, much lighter than any other SE I’ve ever played. I picked up a few other SE models to see if I was imagining things, but no, there was a huge difference! And man, did those things ring forever. On a level I’ve never heard from an SE, honestly I think they rivaled my core Mira for resonance, and that’s saying something. Everything else was spot on too, electronics felt and worked well, finish was top notch, setup and playability was excellent. There were a few things I didn’t care for as much, aesthetically, the 408 rings on regular HB’s were a little clunky and odd, and I’m just not one for vintage tuners, but I would happily deal with those things in light of the guitar as a whole. Plugged in, the pickups sounded nice, hard to really judge without playing through my own rig, but I liked them. The coil taps did have a slight output drop, but what they didn’t do was thin out more than they should, as many true coil splits often do. These days I usually just embrace the variety of pickup that comes in a guitar, and if it’s humbuckers, then I’m going to rock that tone and not worry about coil splits. But these, I could see myself being very happy with. So, overall, I’m still blown away by the resonance of the two Paul’s guitars I played. They’re very easily two of the best SE’s I’ve laid hands on (and I’ve played a lot of ‘em). The bones of a much more expensive instrument are totally there, and I liked the rest a lot too.