Is SE 24 playing position (fret hand) more away from your body than a 22 fret model?

ddc18

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Messages
8
I’ve been looking at my first PRS to add to my Epi/Gibson/Gretsch guitars. Doing research, I‘m after a distinctive look, easy playability, wide/thin neck. So I’m close to pulling the trigger on an SE 24-08 in translucent blue. I have a bit of arthritis and on most guitars my hand doesn’t stretch like I’d like but I do ok and play them all. What I want to avoid is a longer ‘feeling’ neck like I have with my SG. My natural playing position with the sg is about two frets further away from my body than my Les Paul. Not quite as comfortable. I can’t try one locally so itll be an online purchase. So the question is …. Would I experience that same thing with a 24 fret vs 22 or are the added frets all taken up by overlapping the guitar body and pups closer together?
 

Going Modal

I should be practicing right now.
Joined
Jul 25, 2019
Messages
991
Location
Metro Detroit, MI
Yeah, the headstock & nut are basically about 2-frets distance (the distance of the smaller 23rd & 24th frets) farther away from the body of the guitar--compared to a comparable 22-fret model. Check out this sort of slow-motion gif explanation of it (not my image or page):

You know what, though, it's funny you mention your SG--because most people don't realize that the SG's headstock & nut are farther out relative to the body compared to say, a Les Paul. I've had a couple SG's and the neck really felt "far out there" sometimes. A lot of this comfort-factor also depends on things such as, where does the guitar sit on your lap, where are the strap buttons located, etc. So it's not always just about the neck length.
 

ddc18

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Messages
8
I never stand so usually rest the guitar on my thigh in the cutaway. So the key measurement is how far from the center of the bottom cutaway to the nut. But hey, nobody measure that. Now have to decide on the 24 or my original pick, a Mark Tremonti charcoal burst. It’s 22 frets, but weighs 8.5 pounds bc of the cap. So it’s another LP weight.
 

DISTORT6

NJ Devil
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
8,990
Location
New Jersey
Yeah, the headstock & nut are basically about 2-frets distance (the distance of the smaller 23rd & 24th frets) farther away from the body of the guitar--compared to a comparable 22-fret model. Check out this sort of slow-motion gif explanation of it (not my image or page):

You know what, though, it's funny you mention your SG--because most people don't realize that the SG's headstock & nut are farther out relative to the body compared to say, a Les Paul. I've had a couple SG's and the neck really felt "far out there" sometimes. A lot of this comfort-factor also depends on things such as, where does the guitar sit on your lap, where are the strap buttons located, etc. So it's not always just about the neck length.
I notice this same thing when I switch from one of my Singlecuts or Custom22s to my Mira. The headstock and first fret seem waaayyyy over to the left.:)
 

cjlloyd

Modern seagull
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
99
I’ve always thought SG’s look a bit goofy the way the next is sort of just stuck on the end of the body and sticks out so much, and it sure doesn’t help with neck dive.

I was going to suggest a vela because the offset shape puts the horn a little more to the left, which would in turn sort of shift the the whole guitar slightly rightwards if you’re wearing a strap. Seeing as you mostly play sitting down though, I guess that’s not relevant.
 

24Fretter

New Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
53
I’ve always thought SG’s look a bit goofy the way the next is sort of just stuck on the end of the body and sticks out so much
SGs are 24 fret guitars that are usually missing the last two frets! They fill it with that plastic piece between the 22nd and the neck pickup. The SGs that make the most sense to me are the ones where Gibson actually put the 24 frets on it.
 

ddc18

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Messages
8
Settled on a SE custom 22. Arrives next week. Thx for the comments.
Whoops. Someone bought the one I wanted before I hit the button. So I’m very limited if my criteria is wide/thin neck, 22 frets and finding a color I want. I love the look of the SE custom 24 Black/gold burst but still not sure whether a 24 would feel as long necked as my SG. Sounds like some of you notice the difference 22 vs 24 but if it’s really only an inch not a big deal. And just to be crazy about it….. I measured from the nut to the middle of the bottom cutaway (since I usually rest it on my leg) . My LP is 21.5 inches and my SG is 24. What do y’all think?
 
Last edited:

SinSir

Mad Scientist
Joined
Sep 7, 2020
Messages
2,256
Whoops. Someone bought the one I wanted before I hit the button. So I’m very limited if my criteria is wide/thin neck, 22 frets and finding a color I want. I love the look of the SE custom 24 Black/gold burst but still not sure whether a 24 would feel as long necked as my SG. Sounds like some of you notice the difference 22 vs 24 but if it’s really only an inch not a big deal. What do y’all think?

None of my PRS feel as long necked as my SG. It's the one thing I don't like about my SG and why I rarely play it.
 

Rod/

Vibrato & String Bender
Joined
Nov 9, 2021
Messages
544
Location
Seacoast New Hampshire/ S. Maine
Yeah, the headstock & nut are basically about 2-frets distance (the distance of the smaller 23rd & 24th frets) farther away from the body of the guitar--compared to a comparable 22-fret model. Check out this sort of slow-motion gif explanation of it (not my image or page):

You know what, though, it's funny you mention your SG--because most people don't realize that the SG's headstock & nut are farther out relative to the body compared to say, a Les Paul. I've had a couple SG's and the neck really felt "far out there" sometimes. A lot of this comfort-factor also depends on things such as, where does the guitar sit on your lap, where are the strap buttons located, etc. So it's not always just about the neck length.
That’s a great illustration……..perfectly explains the 22 vs 24 fret model differences.. interesting enough, the 22 fret models were discontinued this year. Those are my preference being a converted LP guy….Fortunately the McCarty and DGT still have this format build…
 

BrianC

more toys than talent
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
1,315
Location
Naperville IL
There are advantages and disadvantages of both 22 and 24. I am in the 24 camp.

Why: Its not that I use #23 and 24 much at all but it allows ease of access to the high frets without changing how I hold my fretting hand. I can play in high A for example easily which is great for many songs.

With the right neck pup, I get the sound I am looking for with a 22 fret model. With the right strap, I can easily change the angle of my guitar to suit what and where I am playing. More vertical for lower frets sliding to more horizontal for upper frets. Sounds complicated but really SO simple.

Perhaps if they make a 22 fret guitar with a different neck - body attachment (more cut out) I would go 22....
 

Proteus

Tru-Arc Bridgeworks
Joined
Dec 25, 2021
Messages
214
I measured from the nut to the middle of the bottom cutaway (since I usually rest it on my leg) . My LP is 21.5 inches and my SG is 24. What do y’all think?

You mean to the narrowest part of the waist at the bottom of the guitar? Not cutaway - that would have nothing to do with where a guitar sits on the leg.

From the middle of the front of the nut (between D & G strings) to the narrowest part of the lower waist, it's 20.5" on the Custom 22 - vs 21.5" on the CU24. Another fit-and-position metric: on the CU22, the back of the bridge is 5.375" from the butt of the guitar; on the CU24, it's 6.125".
________

Unsolicited Advice Section

You don't say what colors are acceptable. In any given model year, each SE comes only in (at most) a few colors. And as the feller says, there are no SE 22s at all this year (other than the semi, which is my favorite anyway). But you can find a wider range of colors on any given model in recent previous years, and still get the Paul Reed Smith signature on the headstock (which I do like to see). Check out this site for PDFs of catalogs, in which you can find what colors were available. https://guitar-compare.com/catalogs/prs-catalogs/

As you're considering various models from a PRS-neophyte perspective, I'll mention other considerations which might ought to go into your deliberations.

Year & place of manufacture. To my way-o-thinkin', an Excellent-to-Mint 2017-2021 is just as good as a brand new one. Some guys have opinions about Korea vs Indonesia; I have no problem with either, and all other things being equal, actually prefer Indonesian. Having recently been through several dozen SEs across most models, I find the later Indonesian ones just seem to be slightly better sorted out (in ways I can't quantify), and seem to have better/stronger/more articulate pickups.

I believe the choice of which coil is active in single-coil mode has also changed in that period (though I forget the details at the moment). In broad brushstrokes, if the outer ("screw") coils are left active, the guitar's single-coil tones will have more of a Tele character; if the inner "slug" coils are active, you get more of a Strat effect.

Body Build & Pickups. You identified the first One That Got Away from you as "Custom 24-08 in transparent blue." It's worth mentioning that that if it was Trans Blue, it was in all likelihood a Standard - so all-mahogany body without the flamey maple top. The others you've mentioned are all truly the maple-topped Customs. Some thoughts come to mind.

Aside from the 22-24 fret decision, you'll necessarily have to consider that build choice (Standard/all-mahogany vs Custom/maple-over-hog) AND the pickup choice between the 85/15s which come in most models and the SE PCI pickups that come in both 24-08 varieties.

I'll say first that all the 25"-scale SEs, and especially with the 85/15 pickups, share a certain tonal profile: bright and articulate. I also come from a well-balanced Gibson/Fender background - with a major major in Gretsch over the past 15 years or so - and I find all the 25" SEs you're considering to be at least as bright as the Gretschs, and (while with a slightly different voice), nearly as bright as the clangin'est Fenders. I back the tone control on the SEs down much of the time, even in humbucker mode - almost always in single-coil, especially if clean (but, oddly, the 85/15s in single-coil mode, wide open, work seductively well with dirt).

Where I'm going with that discussion is this: I can appreciate that some ears will find a maple-over-mahogany 25" PRS too toppy in tone overall. So the all-mahogany build of the Standard really makes a just-right platform by warming/darkening that profile a bit. Not a lot - just enough to take the edge off. And, for them what find the vivid flame and extroverted colors of the traditional PRS just too BUT. It's hard to PRS and not do a nicely flamed top, and the tone controls can certainly soften the highs as well. I find myself playing the maple-toppers more than my Standard 24.

Onward to pickups: I really like the 24-08 configuration. It's not so much that the toggles let you have either pickup as a humbucker OR a single-coil, and mix-match them either way - though that's useful - it's more that the TCI pickups in the 24-08s have a more robust-sounding single coil when split. Bigger, less volume loss, more full-bodied, more like an "authentic" single-coil.

So for the pickups alone - as long as I could stand the color - I'd choose a Custom 24-08 over a Custom 24, and the Standard 24-08 over a Custom 24. However, at least for my taste, the colors are a problem - I'm just not crazy about the current colors of either -08 model has, and the 24-08s only came out in 2021, I think, so there's not a wide variety of choice in the back catalog either.

And, personally, I'd prefer an -08 in a 22-fret format. So I sidestepped the whole can't-have-it-all dilemma with the Paul's Guitar: nice flame, good colors, 22 frets, and TCI pickups. It's my co-favorite SE, along with the Hollowbody Standard (which is another whole discussion).

BUT - no tremolo. And the PRS tremolo is a wonderful thing: for those of us who haven't been along with PRS for the whole ride, a Custom 24 or 22 is probably the most distinctive and revelatory PRS, combining pickups and switching that get you close enough to both Gibsonny and Fenderesque tones - without sounding exactly like either one - and a great trem. The first time you're noodling along with a tone that sounds like a super-articulate Les Paul, and you grab a trem that feels like the smoothest, most stable Strat trem you've ever wiggled...well, you know you're not in Kansas (or Kalamazoo or Fullerton) anymore.

Given all that, I wouldn't discourage you from a Custom 22 or 24. (Unless you KNOW you don't care about tremolo, in which case I advise studying the Paul's Guitar carefully. It's pretty much a perfect guitar.)

But wait, that's not all! With your combined Gibson-Gretsch background, I'd strongly recommend considering the CU22 Semi-Hollow. It does't sound all that much different from a solid Custom 22 - but it does have a bit more body resonance and sonic mass. Compared side-by-side with a Custom 22, it won out for me. You get most of the signature PRS ingredients (gorgeous shape and top wood, 25" scale, 10" radius, articulate dynamic pickups, and the trem) - plus that extra sonic complexity of a partially hollow body. For my ears, it's the cream of the PRS Custom crop. And it's come in some gorgeous colors - including the black-gold burst (quilt even!) you like on the CU24.
 
Last edited:

ddc18

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Messages
8
Wow. Really appreciate all the input. I really wanted the look to hit me. And I wanted it in stock from my fav online shop. Next, I didn’t want something like 9.5 pounds. I actually played a 22 semihollow and love it. But not the colors. I got to see the transparent blue locally but it wasn’t as attractive as I hoped. It was lighter though. The blue custom 22 I wanted was sold right before ordering and the color of the others in stock was too light. So I decided there were more 24s available and tomorrow my 24 custom black/gold burst will be here. At 7.5 pounds it’s manageable, especially since I sit. Based on your measurement, it’ll sit on my leg like my LP. That’s great. So I got my first PRS, love the look and it’s not too heavy. I’m not experienced enough to quibble about the fine points of tone. I’m a hardware junkie. Haven’t made a mistake yet. I love all of mine and play them all. Thx again for all the input.
 

Proteus

Tru-Arc Bridgeworks
Joined
Dec 25, 2021
Messages
214
Yep, Transparent Blue is barely, and as an opaque, it's too dark for me.

Weights do vary from example to example, usually not by much - but I have two of the same model that are 2 pounds apart! When I'm playing a light guitar, I like that it's light. When I'm playing a heavy one, I imagine that denser wood sounds better. That way I'm always happy. But I'm always happy when playing guitar anyway, so there's that.

I sit when playing as well - often did when I was gigging, as I also play keyboard - and none of my guitars have cut off circulation till my leg falls off. Yet. I have a metal-bodied tri-cone resonator with tight-radius rolled edges that comes pretty close, though.

I think the CU24 comes with 9s - which work better on 25" SEs than I would have thought possible. I still prefer at least .0905s, and usually 10s. Just keep all that in mind as you get used to the guitar. I'll be interested to hear how it goes for you, first PRS and all.

Carry on!
 
Top