What’s the difference in cost?Absolutely. So let’s talk about that and compare:
• Epiphone 59 Les Paul Reissue:
Gibson Bluesbucker 2 and 3 pickups- together with vintage wiring/volume and tone controls, and CTS pots the sound is unmistakably that of a good Les Paul. The hardware (mostly Switch Craft) is solid and robust. The VOS matte finish looks vintage and feels good to the touch.
• PRS McCarty 594 SE:
58/15 SE pickups - they weren’t bad but were a little dark, and lacked definition.
Electronics/switchgear - this where I had some problems. The input jack clip did not make solid contact with the cord jack. The taper on the controls was nonexistent. I considered rewiring and replacing the pickups as well as the tuners as some recommended on this board. In the end there was too much to overcome.
I have owned 8 PRS guitars, and this is the first one that was a bit of a letdown. I did not expect it fully measure up to my core or S2 models, but I was disappointed that it did not measure up the the Epiphone which sells for the same price.
The biggest shortcoming with SE’s tends to be the pickups and controls.
Upgrade that and you have a pro sounding guitar.