Prs SE quality?

Mike Burch

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Mar 4, 2020
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I picked up a 2021 Zack Myer, plays great everything looked ok, I didnt even plug it in, too noisy in the store to tell much. Got home had a wicked buzz, found one cold soldier joint. Thought I had found it, Nope the guitar still wasnt grounded. Back to GC they arent authorized repair, so they are ordering another one. The mechanical parts of the guitar are great, finish is great. There where at least 2 problems with the wiring and the bridge pickup was at least a 1/4 inch high, front was high but not as bad. I was overall pretty disappointed, my past experience with the se line has been very positive. I have a Indonesian se24 standard and a Korean made 245 both great. Are you guys seeing more quality issues lately? All of these items should have been caught by QC
 

shimmilou

Established in 1963
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Mar 15, 2018
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PRS SE quality is top notch, but nobody is perfect. I have had a few with wiring problems, fixed myself. No doubt in my mind that PRS guitars probaby have the lowest return rate of any major manufacturer, based partly on the fact the PRS himself has talked about the extremely low return rate.
 

Mattldm

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Feb 22, 2020
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I also recently had a bad experience with an SE. lots of things wrong with it... I was able to fix them all but they shouldn’t have made it to the customer on a $1000 guitar. It turned me off to that guitar so much I sold it in less than a month
 

Draconomics

Celebrating 16 years of crappy tone
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I had kind of a not so good experience with my 35th SE last year. When she came...well, let's count the ways:

- lifting 4th fret
- problem areas on several higher frets
- tuners not tightened
- nut binding
- corroded strings
- A string would not intonate

Lots of little things. It took about a month to get her into a good playing state I was satisfied with. It needed a full setup, spot leveling, and replacements for the saddles. That solved the intonation issues. I don't count it against PRS SE quality really, I think alot of those issues are byproducts of climate acclimation and these guitars probably being stuck on a freighter much longer than usual (alot of our ports on the west coast have been backed up severely). Cant explain the A string not intonating with the stock saddle, that one has me confused. My PG I got earlier in the year was basically perfect.
 

Mattldm

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I had kind of a not so good experience with my 35th SE last year. When she came...well, let's count the ways:

- lifting 4th fret
- problem areas on several higher frets
- tuners not tightened
- nut binding
- corroded strings
- A string would not intonate.

mine was also a 35th anniversary and had many of the same problems you listed. Plus poor wiring and gobs of solder all over the switch so it was shorted out and wouldn’t switch, all pickups on all the time.
Really disappointing for an anniversary model to be getting to customers in that state. Neither the dealer I purchased it from nor PRS opened the box and did any kind of QC or it wouldn’t have left the factory. Blame covid? Maybe, but still bad for a $1000 guitar to end up in customers hands like that.
 

Draconomics

Celebrating 16 years of crappy tone
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mine was also a 35th anniversary and had many of the same problems you listed. Plus poor wiring and gobs of solder all over the switch so it was shorted out and wouldn’t switch, all pickups on all the time.
Really disappointing for an anniversary model to be getting to customers in that state. Neither the dealer I purchased it from nor PRS opened the box and did any kind of QC or it wouldn’t have left the factory. Blame covid? Maybe, but still bad for a $1000 guitar to end up in customers hands like that.
Interesting. I was under the impression PRS checks every one that comes through. Who knows how covid has affected the system of checks they have. Its still a good chunk of coin for a guitar that is not in a good state. Being a tinkerer, all I really spent was my time. I was gonna replace the saddles and tuners anyway, and the nut is just a given.
 

CrimesAgainstMusic

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Feb 18, 2021
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Is it "Legit" to sell a returned guitar ... as new ?

Does GC actually do this ? To me, I would think a "Return" would be a notch below a "Demo", and should sell for less ...:rolleyes:
 

RallyFanatic

Perpetual musical mid-life crisis
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New England
Is it "Legit" to sell a returned guitar ... as new ?

Does GC actually do this ? To me, I would think a "Return" would be a notch below a "Demo", and should sell for less ...:rolleyes:

I agree, but this is likely what happens when they offer a 45 day return policy. What is more concerning is when I ordered a guitar new online and a used one showed up.
 

Draconomics

Celebrating 16 years of crappy tone
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I agree, but this is likely what happens when they offer a 45 day return policy. What is more concerning is when I ordered a guitar new online and a used one showed up.

Its part of why I like ordering new stuff from Sweetwater. Being able to see the exact guitar before you buy helps tremendously. I don't trust GC anymore with anything.
 

Frank McNerney

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Oct 19, 2018
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THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT - about guitars

I see the QC complaints on this forum a lot more than in my own experience and the experience of other SE owners I have talked to.

I find it interesting the way this thread quickly went to a rant against GC. (another topic that shows up frequently)

Whats the lesson here? It's obvious. - if you buy something from GC you need to do your homework.

I'll admit it's cool to be able to walk in a store and pick up a bunch of cool guitars and have that hands on experience.
I'll admit that they have a huge inventory (and usually lots of PRS's). ETC. ETC

BUT ... they also have all kinds of issues that are enumerated repeatedly on this website and among guitar players in general

UNFORTUNATELY - most of us don't come to this forum until we've already picked up their first PRS - often from GC, often happily, often enough unhappily.

PASS IT ON
 

Draconomics

Celebrating 16 years of crappy tone
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THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT - about guitars

I see the QC complaints on this forum a lot more than in my own experience and the experience of other SE owners I have talked to.

I find it interesting the way this thread quickly went to a rant against GC. (another topic that shows up frequently)

Whats the lesson here? It's obvious. - if you buy something from GC you need to do your homework.

I'll admit it's cool to be able to walk in a store and pick up a bunch of cool guitars and have that hands on experience.
I'll admit that they have a huge inventory (and usually lots of PRS's). ETC. ETC

BUT ... they also have all kinds of issues that are enumerated repeatedly on this website and among guitar players in general

UNFORTUNATELY - most of us don't come to this forum until we've already picked up their first PRS - often from GC, often happily, often enough unhappily.

PASS IT ON

Last time I walked into my local GC...well, I made sure to wear gloves first, and earplugs. Anyway, last time I went I don't remember many PRS axes there, if it all. Mainly the usual suspects: Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, bunch of pointy thing with several layers of juvenile grime on the fretboard. I don't blame the employees much, I think they try to make the best of a bad company, but never expect QC there to be anything other than a turd festival. I have finished many setup jobs they were asked to do, and seemingly didnt. I doubt they would have any issue taking a used instrument, spraying windex all over it, and listing it as new.
 

SinSir

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Sep 7, 2020
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It's common practice for GC to sell returns as new. It's common practice for lots of goods. I don't like it anymore than the next guy, but on that note I've probably bought a new shirt that someone returned too. I know it's a big difference between a shirt and guitar but returns are tricky business. You have to offer a return period but at the same time a business needs to make a profit, something GC seems to missed by the BK.

I find GC typically have an ok PRS selection for CE and below but core is where they really come up short. I'm lucky enough to have two GCs near me with the high-end glass room. My favorite local GC doesn't though. That's OK CME down the road is far better all the way around!

I'm in the camp that's chalking up these recent SE issues mostly to covid. Rather that's shipping delays, manufacturing shortages, or just cause covid has really screwed us up in more ways than getting sick. I'd also guess if you went to another brands board QC issues are up across the board, especially the import lines.
 

Mike Burch

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Mar 4, 2020
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Update, Guitar Center had another Zack Myer shipped in from another store. They claim to have checked the guitar out. I brought the guitar home, same annoying buzz as the previous guitar. It would be hard to hear in a loud music store. Its about like the noise of a single coil. I dont think this is a GC problem, as much fun as it seems to be to bash them. I got a really good deal on the guitar and they have made every effort to correct the problem.
After a bit of poking around the bridge isnt grounded. That was the reason the first guitar was returned. So, 2 prs se zac mayers have made it thru QC with problems and i happened to be that unlucky or they have a issue at mfg and qc.
 

Draconomics

Celebrating 16 years of crappy tone
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Update, Guitar Center had another Zack Myer shipped in from another store. They claim to have checked the guitar out. I brought the guitar home, same annoying buzz as the previous guitar. It would be hard to hear in a loud music store. Its about like the noise of a single coil. I dont think this is a GC problem, as much fun as it seems to be to bash them. I got a really good deal on the guitar and they have made every effort to correct the problem.
After a bit of poking around the bridge isnt grounded. That was the reason the first guitar was returned. So, 2 prs se zac mayers have made it thru QC with problems and i happened to be that unlucky or they have a issue at mfg and qc.

Interesting. So the bridge isn't grounded. Is the ground wire to the bridge just not there or is it a bad soldering job and it fell off?
 

Mike Burch

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Interesting. So the bridge isn't grounded. Is the ground wire to the bridge just not there or is it a bad soldering job and it fell off?

There is a solid wire and a stranded going into the body towards the bridge. The stranded is soldered to the pots and grounding the solid wire does nothing. You can run a jumper wire from ground to the physical bridge and it's perfect. I am assuming it's not grounding in the body at the bridge inserts. Short of doing a complete disassembly I can't verify any beyond that.
 

Draconomics

Celebrating 16 years of crappy tone
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There is a solid wire and a stranded going into the body towards the bridge. The stranded is soldered to the pots and grounding the solid wire does nothing. You can run a jumper wire from ground to the physical bridge and it's perfect. I am assuming it's not grounding in the body at the bridge inserts. Short of doing a complete disassembly I can't verify any beyond that.

That has to be factory QC or somebody tried to remove a bushing and forgot to ground it (again, used being sold as new). My guess is the end of the wire is not making proper contact with the bridge stud bushings. It might have gotten pulled out or not properly unsheathed to make good contact. Regardless of how it happened, diagnosing it would require a full teardown and removal of a stud. That sucks.
 

bodia

Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved
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Is it "Legit" to sell a returned guitar ... as new ?

Does GC actually do this ? To me, I would think a "Return" would be a notch below a "Demo", and should sell for less ...:rolleyes:
I traded a SE Holcomb at GC towards a Freidman ASM-12 speaker (for my Kemper). They listed it at $899.99 (MSRP), and NEW. I think I got $300 (or maybe $350) towards that ASM-12
 
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