PRS SE Custom 24 Quality Control

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Richard Irby, Feb 13, 2021.

  1. Richard Irby

    Richard Irby New Member

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    I'm getting back into playing after not doing so for several decades. It seems like PRS is the guitar of choice for so many folks and I'm really intrigued. I can't afford to put a mint into my first guitar and have been investigating the SE line but was curious about the quality control. Is a PLEK worth the investment? Of course, a PLEK would be more than a third of the cost of the SE itself. Maybe I should suck it up and go for an S2. On that topic, how's the quality control on S2s? I appreciate any constructive input. I've tried to do research elsewhere online, but you never know when someone's being paid for their favorable opinion or, conversely, might have a bone to pick with PRS. Thanks!
     
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  2. Draconomics

    Draconomics Celebrating 15 years of bad tone

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    I'll do my best to answer.

    I own four SE guitars. Two from Cor-Tek Surbaya, one from Cor-Tek China, and one from World Music Korea. So, IMO the quality control is universally great. Its at the point where if I can about blindly trust that sig on the headstock; I know I'll be getting a quality instrument. While chance kinda dictates lemons are to be expected, I have yet to come across an SE I didn't like. That said, a couple things to keep in mind if and when you buy: SE guitars are checked at least twice. Once at the overseas factory, and again at the factory in Maryland. They also make a very long journey through a multitude of climates and temperature shifts, so issues will pop up from time to time. Case in point, my 35th ani had a lifted fret. It seems these are pretty isolated things among SE owners, at least here. With the SE line, you are about guaranteed to get a great instrument that is fun to play and well made, and no... Paul did not pay me for that plug....at least not in conventional money (Nutella will make me say anything).

    PLEK....nah. While I like the idea of the PLEK job, don't see much reason to PLEK an SE. I don't think they need it honestly. I did do spot leveling on all of mine, but that's more like me being anal and fine tuning the setup. I did'nt have to do it. On the Paul's Guitar SE I bought last year, it was already setup with 4/64" action, no buzzing period, straight from the factory. After my leveling adjustments, its down to 3/64". That's it. So, I wouldn't see a PLEK job making any more drastic of an improvement there.

    On the S2...yes, they are worth it and I've never heard a peep about shoddy QC on them. Its hard to choose between SE and S2 given the option, in many ways the S2 is basically what an American made SE would be like. I honestly can't choose between them, though IMO, based on the ones I've seen and played, SE's look aesthetically superior.
     
  3. 68reissue

    68reissue New Member

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    I have two SE Custom 24s and an S2 Satin Standard 24, so here’s my take:

    My SEs are really great, although I did install SE locking tuners and Core nuts on both. The guitars were perfectly nice before I did so, at least as nice as anything in their price class. The fretwork on both guitars is excellent, and I wouldn’t even think about shelling out the money to have them Plek’d.

    I think the way to ensure you get a great SE is to buy from a really good dealer. I bought both of mine used, had them shipped to me, and never had a problem.

    The S2 is, of course, a bit nicer than the SEs. It feels more pro-level (the satin finish is extremely well done), although mine shares the same pickups and trem system as my SEs. The switches feel more solid. Is it worlds better? No. I play the SEs more, because I love the wide-thin neck (the S2 has a pattern regular neck). Also, the maple cap on the SE gives it a bit more high end.

    Appearance-wise, the SEs are a bit flashier with the flame veneer.

    You really can’t go wrong either way.
     
    #3 68reissue, Feb 13, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
  4. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    I also have each type. One of my best friends has a plek, is known for his fret jobs, and feels that it is an oversold marketing hype on American PRS. Personally, I don’t believe any guitar should be modified before you’ve lived with it for a month. Draconomics gave a great explanation. I have modified my SE’s over the years. Do you want to just buy a guitar and keep it, or jump down the rabbit hole searching for tone? If you like to buy once, buy right, and then not sell, I would suggest a used S2 from someone reputable. Here’s what I’ve changed on my S2’s............wood tip on the tremolo. Done. And they were in gig rotation with my core. To me, they’re the biggest bargain in guitardom.
     
  5. aphantomvaper

    aphantomvaper New Member

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    I also own the same spread, two from Indonesia, one from Korea (2017) and a Camo SE from...2004...and a S2 594 DC.

    These guitars all came perfectly playable out of the box and fantastic. There is no reason to Plek an PRS unless you really want to :). Nothing wrong with PLEK, and the result will be fine but you could spend the money on a higher end PRS too. Just the old $.02

    Post pics of what you decide please!
     
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  6. Draconomics

    Draconomics Celebrating 15 years of bad tone

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    This. I want to add you can find killer deals on used S2s almost anywhere. Ive seen S2 standards as low as the $600 range on the used market. On that note....if you are willing to step up on the financial investment, look at the used CE market. They retail for two grand, BUT you can nearly always find one used for around $1300. That puts us right in the hood of SRPriced high end SE and midrange S2 models, and the CE is basically value incarnate. They look awesome, they play awesome, are truly pro level, and not going to kill your wallet. If its good enough for Alex Lifeson, its good enough for me.
     
  7. Richard Irby

    Richard Irby New Member

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    Wow, that's just the confirmation I was looking for! Good point on the climatic changes. I also didn't know the overseas guitars actually came through the MD shop. Thanks for taking the time to reply!

    Well, I thought I had replied to an individual post (still figuring the forum mechanics out), but at any rate - thanks to you all for the great insight and considerate replies!

    We're due to pay our house off end of next month and them I'm pulling the trigger. That'll give me a decent amount of time to contemplate all of this great food for thought! I'll definitely come back and post pics. Thanks!
     
    #7 Richard Irby, Feb 13, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
  8. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Welcome to the fold. Beware, the slope is slippery!
     
  9. Draconomics

    Draconomics Celebrating 15 years of bad tone

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    No kidding. Get ready to say "bye bye" to your money! Lol
     
  10. Duvupov

    Duvupov New Member

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    There's an interesting YouTube video from a guy who has QC control issues with the PRS SE 35th anniversay. Then gets a replacement and that one also has flaws!

    Makes me wonder if all that bragging about very good quality control is a bit too possitive. I also wonder if the import guitars in Europe get the same quality control like the ones that are sent to the US?

    I can't post a link because I'm a new member but the video is easy to find if hou search for PRS quality control.
     
  11. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    Not interesting at all, unless you are a troll. You point out 2 examples of issues, and make a statement like that?
     
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  12. Duvupov

    Duvupov New Member

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    Not a troll. I made no statements, just asking questions. Guy gets two guitars in a row with QC issues. I find that quite remarkable since PRS is known for very good QC. I was wondering what the general opinion on the forums is on that video. Is it a coincidence or are that kind of QC issues common at this price range on the import guitars?
     
  13. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    If it wasn’t you, why bother? Nothing possssitive here.
     
  14. aphantomvaper

    aphantomvaper New Member

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    We intend to prove that the ppppppp prosecution's case is circumstantial and and and and, oh, and, uh coincidental.

    Thank you.
     
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  15. Draconomics

    Draconomics Celebrating 15 years of bad tone

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    I saw that one too. Here's the deal....we have an odd situation. Right now, considering all these ports are hopelessly gooned, all the freighters coming from Asia are just sitting out there doing nothing. So, imagine we have shipping containers full of guitars, just sitting there....for days on end...in cold salty sea air. All that sitting in this cold, moist environment, while considering they are made in Indonesia, a warm, humid, tropical climate, well....that's a recipe for disaster. The people at PT Cort are actually quite skilled, its difficult as all else to churn out the amount of guitars they do in a short amount of time. PRS in America can afford to take their time, more or less, and that's what you pay for. Same deal with China, they can make great stuff if given the budget and time, which is why PRS SE acoustics and hollows are the bomb.

    Dunno if you read my older osts on here about my 35th, but I too had issues, and I'll grant those things required some effort to iron out, but I know the reason for it. I dont fault PT Cort or PRS QC, though there were some things that made it through three checks that kinda have me scratching my head, but its just being gooned by physics again.
     
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  16. cjlloyd

    cjlloyd Not vintage yet

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    Nice to see a sensible response
     
  17. Duvupov

    Duvupov New Member

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    Yes, thanks for the normal response!
     
  18. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Here’s my take on SE quality that 0 people asked for:

    I don’t really buy SE’s anymore, simply because I’ve finally reached a point in my life that I can afford the Maryland made instruments. I have a few SE’s at home that aren’t going anywhere, but I’ve found even better value in S2 and Core. I pick up an SE or two at the local shop fairly regularly, to try out pedals and amps, and just kinda see what’s going on in SE. Their stock is mostly SE and S2, and that’s fine when I need a guitar to try out other gear.

    I’ve yet to pick up an SE that has any kind of obvious flaw. They’ve all played great, no electronics issues, nothing. That being said, I’m sure there are occasionally flawed instruments - these things happen with high volume production.

    Now, another “that being said,” have y’all tried any of the new Fender stuff? My local shop is a premier, or whatever they call it, Fender dealer, and even the guitars they get have noticeable issues that would make the front pages if they happened on an SE. sharp fret ends, messy tinted lacquer on fret ends, bad setups, etc. I’m not saying they’re terrible instruments, but I could probably put any SE in the shop up against an American Fender in an objective comparison, and the SE would have an easy win. But people don’t expect Fender to be perfect, so I think they get a pass.

    So, yeah, I can believe someone on the internet got two SE’s in a row with QC issues, but I don’t believe those issues are widespread. I would order an SE from a reputable dealer without hesitation.
     
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  19. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob New Member

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    I only bought my first PRS last year (an SE C24), and within the year I owned three! I’ve also got an SE P20e and a ltd edition WL core C24.

    My SE C24 is a fine instrument, and I’ve said many times (so one more won’t hurt) that having played an S2 C24 and a CE24 I wouldn’t part with the cash for either of them over an SE C24. All three share many of the same components, and the differences between them are negligible.

    Anyhoo, in terms of quality I think the SE guitars are unmatched in their price range (in terms of the instruments I’m familiar with). Mine has some of the nicest frets I’ve seen on a guitar at this price point. Sure, it needed a setup out of the box, but that isn’t a quality control issue it’s more of a personal preference.

    I see comments on the internet complaining about playability etc of guitars out of the box and them being put down to QC, but to me this is not the case at all. It’s like buying a new car and complaining that the driver’s seat was set too far back for comfort... You buy the thing and then you set it how you like it.
     
  20. Draconomics

    Draconomics Celebrating 15 years of bad tone

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    Exactly. The fretwork on SE guitars is top notch. Generally, almost 95% of the time I hear about someone having a problem with one its usually a truss rod adjustment away from being fixed. ANY guitar will need setup work and tweaking, that's just the way of the world. Its ridiculous to expect a guitar you order online, coming from halfway around the world, to be setup to your personal taste by default.
     
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