NGD: CE-24 Semi Hollow | Eriza Verde


New Member
Apr 3, 2023
I've got a variety of guitars, as my signature suggests, including a Tremonti Artist Package and a McCarty 10-top. I also have had many SE guitars, and currently have an upgraded SE SVN. I previously owned a 2004 CE-22 for a couple years, which came to me in well-loved condition. It was a fantastic guitar.

I had been turned off by the idea of a new CE-24 that cut corners (hardware, carve, neck construction, plastic birds, etc). I wanted nothing to do with the new CE-24 guitars because I feel that "corner cutting" to increase an organization's bottom line is damn near everywhere today. But after learning a lot more about the history of the CE-24 and *why* PRS decided to take these cost-cutting measures when they brought the model back in 2016, it makes a lot more sense: It seems that a CE made today to the same specs as the pre-2016 models, sold at a bolt-on guitar price, would damn near lose the company money. So in order for this model to be feasible, PRS had to make a few changes. For those of you who were like me in being very skeptical, I completely understand. I was 100% in that camp. New CE was trash. But, I have come around. Here is what I found:
  • Hardware: the S2/SE bridge. Every single report I read about this bridge on this guitar says it stays in tune just fine (and I read A LOT). So functionally, its solid, if not musically a little "weak" to some ears. This can be replaced by a MannMade bridge for a couple hundred bucks, which I will probably do (just to satisfy my own neurosis!). The tuners didn't seem to have any complaints either.
  • Carve: a flatter top carve, which many people actually prefer depending on their style. There are so benefits to this change for some people, so it is not necessarily a negative change. And the elimination of carving around the For half the cost of a new PRS with that feature, when I already own a couple of those, it doesn't bother me. I look at it as just a different shaped top than my McCarty, which satisfies my desire for that aesthetic. I also think the semi-hollow version makes up for the loss of "interesting" carve features, and makes it feel more violin-like.
  • Neck construction: scarfed neck instead of one-piece. I read this is actually more stable than a one-piece Mahogany neck. Guess what? My $5000 Taylor 814CE has a scarfed neck too. If it is good enough for an acoustic instrument like that, its good enough for this.
  • Plastic birds: I could always tell a 2016+ CE model instantly by how bright the birds were. But actually, the plastic birds don't bother me. I love how they visually pop from the fretboard. Sometimes the MOP birds on my McCarty look almost "dirty" because of their color and faint patterns.
  • Gig bag: I could see how this would bother some people. But I have a case for my McCarty, and it fits that just fine, if I ever need to transport it in a case on its own. Otherwise, I actually prefer a gig bag. I feel that the CE is less of a case queen and more of a musicians tool, and benefits from a storage/transportation solution that is less cumbersome.
Ok, on to this guitar. I picked this up new from Brian's Guitars. It arrived a couple days ago, while I was away for training at my new job. It has one of the better tops I have seen on a CE, and I have been wanting a green top/natural back PRS for awhile now. I've decided that natural sides and back is the only way to go with a PRS (my Tremonti is charcoal with natural back and sides; my McCarty is yellow tiger with natural back and sides). Any significant coloring of the mahogany detracts from the beauty of it, in my opinion, as it is a stunning wood.

With the exception of my Marshall Class 5, which I will keep forever, I have gone 100% digital. I play through Neural DSP plug-ins. I fly jets for a living, so having that ability to take all my amps with me is incredibly convenient when I am able to bring my strandberg along. I couldn't carry the Dual Rectifier, pedalboard, and 2x12 I used to have!

I've been playing it for a bit and I really like the pickups! So far it has been very versatile. The coil split doesn't quite do it like a strat...but of course it doesn't - its not a strat. Will it do the job in a pinch? Absolutely. And I will happily jam in split coil mode on this if my strat is put away.

Jazz tones are beautiful, and a preset that I have to produce clean/acoustic tones sounds nearly identical to what I was able to get with the piezo on the HBII I sold recently.

Every spectrum of dirty, distorted tones is covered very well: metal, hard rock, classic rock, crunch, pushed cleans. I am very glad PRS decided to install the real deal pickups on the guitar. I don't see myself swapping them out at this point.

Very happy with it so far! I have to leave again tomorrow for more training in Dallas, but will return next Sunday for a couple weeks at home and I will delve further into the guitar to see what it can do!



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