Played the new $499 SE CE Standard Today


Still got the ol' tagger on it
Oct 28, 2017
Spent an hour playing the new SE CE Standard today, and was impressed! A lot of guitar for $499! Playing it felt really familiar and comfortable. Not to start the "is an SE really a PRS" debate again (lord help us!), but this guitar felt just like a PRS should. Sure, the satin neck, and the barely finished waxed feel to the body was different to the beautiful gloss finish of a Core, but the essence was there. Everything in it's right place, the body carves, the familiar neck profile. Pickups sounded perfectly good (in both full HB and split modes), action was great, and tuning was, well... SE out of the box stable - i.e., good enough, but going to need a proper setup, and needs to break in for a good few weeks of playing. The construction was solid, but the only thing that felt cheap to me was the satin finish lacquer they use on the light maple neck. It just looks cheap to me (I generally stay away from too pale maple), and is the same way necks on many lower-end Squiers, Jacksons, Ibanezes, etc. are finished. Minor gripe. But on the string side, the fretboard was a relatively dark rosewood with nice grain, and the frets were highly polished, with the fret ends nicely dressed and rounded - no winter fret sprout to be seen - just a joy to play.

I hope PRS sells a ton of these. I played the charcoal grey, but they also had the dark cherry red, and turquoise in stock. With the turquoise being relatively transparent, the 2-piece body was a bit distracting, with uneven slabs of wood. Other than the lack of PRS bling factor, I couldn't imagine why somebody starting out wouldn't buy this guitar, or even someone who has years of experience wanting something to grab and jam with, or as a base for modding.
Played one today unplugged finally. Found one in my local GC. Pretty good I gotta say. I haven't said that about new SEs. I felt it was a great guitar period, never mind it being $500 bux...I thought for that money it's a REAL gamechanger. Good job PRS SE team!
I have one and love it! Sweet guitar at a great price! I may be wrong but I don’t think there’s much out there in this price range to compete with these guitars. If there is, feel free to enlighten me.
I really wish PRS would do a little better at matching the grain/colour of the multi-piece bodies and necks. It’s not a big deal with opaque finishes and veneer tops, but I’ve seen quite a few with transparent finishes where the two or three-piece bodies are distractingly mismatched.

Necks, too… there were quite a few SE Custom 24s a few years ago with roasted maple necks and fretboards, and one of the laminations or the headstock “ears” would be noticeably more brown.