PRS SE Standard or SE Custom? Which is more value for money?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by AncientCandy, Feb 19, 2017.

?

SE Standard or SE Custom?

  1. Fine to go with SE Standard

    82.4%
  2. AVOID SE STANDARDS, go with SE Custom

    17.6%
  1. AncientCandy

    AncientCandy New Member

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    While i'm choosing which PRS to go with, i've noticed that SE Standards and SE Customs seem mostly identical, although Custom is 2x more expensive then Standard. I've noticed that they have different pickups, Custom has 2x 85/15, Standard has one HFS and one Vintage Bass. Also countries of production differ: Customs are from Korea, Standards are from Indonesia. I'd like to hear some opinions, how different the pickups are, how different would 2 guitars sound? And how dangerous it is to order an Indonesian one, i mean, is the production quality really way worse than Korean?
     
  2. Big Eric Bee

    Big Eric Bee New Member

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    Well, the few SE SC Standards I've tried at my local GC have felt very nice. And the workmanship looked fine. Also have tried one SE Santana Standard and the same thing applies.

    Would recommend you do some searches on the forum. There are a lot of opinions out there on the SE Custom vs Standard.

    As to the pickups, I've never worried about them as I tinker with my guitars so the pickups usually get replaced, or at least get new magnets installed.
     
  3. charliefrench

    charliefrench New Member

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    I have both and have no regrets at all.

    Why do you think the SE Standards made in Indonesia might be inferior?
     
  4. dogrocketp

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

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    I`ve owned both. While the Standards are tremendous bang for the buck, I think the SE`s are a better quality product. I think that as you go up the PRS line, they just keep getting better. That being said, I believe that the SE Standard is much, much better than anything within $200 of it. THe big question, is how much are you going to play it, and how long are you going to keep it? If you keep your guitars forever, buy the very best guitar you can afford. All of my current PRS have been bought used, and every one of them is outstanding, from my SE to my Core.
     
    Elliot likes this.
  5. AncientCandy

    AncientCandy New Member

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    because i read people's commentary that mentioned how indonesians have worse quality control at their factory
     
  6. AncientCandy

    AncientCandy New Member

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    thank you for the reply!
     
  7. charliefrench

    charliefrench New Member

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    Well, different people will have different experiences and expectations. My experience is between the two SE models that I own the Indonesian made Standard 24 is superior to the Korean made Custom 22 in every way, and the Custom 22 is still a great guitar - I play it often. My Standard 24 is one of the most resonant electric guitars that I can remember playing. It sounds beautiful even unplugged. I had to change the tone pot but this is an easy and cheap fix. No big deal.

    It is fair and reasonable for you to question if there are QC differences between the two factories but please consider that sometimes people can be really cruel when documenting their experiences. That guitar, having travelled 10,000 kilometers to reach them "had a loose strap button so I sent the turd back" or "this guitar sounds nothing like John Mayer!"

    EDIT: Both guitars were bought used.
     
    #7 charliefrench, Feb 20, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  8. AncientCandy

    AncientCandy New Member

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    i see. okay then, thanks for your help!
     
  9. grausch

    grausch New Member

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    I remember seeing a Chapman / Anderton's video where a silver PRS SE Standard 24 was his favourite of the blind-test guitars.
     
    horax likes this.
  10. Django's Stache

    Django's Stache New Member

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    Sorry to resurrect this, but I'm about to get a Santana and am trying to decide between Korean-made vs Indonesian-made. I'm primarily concerned with the construction of the neck and body, as I'll be replacing the tuners, bridge, and pickups eventually. I've played an SE at GC but can't find a Standard and there isn't much on the web comparing the two.

    So how is the (physical) feel of the Standard compared to the SE? Is the neck up to par with the rest of the outsourced PRS fam?
     
  11. dogrocketp

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

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    One of the guitars is all mahogany, the other has the maple cap. I think the finish and fretwork on both should be similarly good. The quality control on both will be good. Once again, I believe that the more you spend, the better the PRS guitar. I know this is just my opinion, but I`ve owned all the way from Standard to core. By the way, I still have 5 Korean, along with my USA PRS.
     
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  12. bodia

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

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    I'll second this! If I was choosing, I'd go Korean. Simply for the maple cap.
     
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  13. Django's Stache

    Django's Stache New Member

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    Is the cap thick enough to really make a tonal difference? Or do you recommend it just because it looks so badass
     
  14. bodia

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

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    Just that classic hog body maple cap sound. There will be difference in the hog only standard as far as tone. How much, depends on what you're playing. Something clean would lend to some difference. Cranked to 11 through Marshall stack, not so much.
     
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  15. dogrocketp

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

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    The SE`s actually have a 3 piece top. There`s the mahogany base, a layer of maple, and then a beautiful maple veneer. There`s definitely enough maple to make a difference in the sound.
     
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  16. benh1972

    benh1972 New Member

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    The first PRS SE I bought was an SE standard 24 in translucent blue - that was about October or so last year.

    A few months prior to that I bought an Epiphone ES 339 pro, which looked really good at the time.

    I've since got an ex demo SE singlecut trem in black, as well as an ex demo 245 tobacco sunburst.
    The singlecut trem could do with a new tone pot, as it cuts out the pickup when I turn it down, but is otherwise fine.
    The 245 is a beautiful guitar that looks & plays great & sounds wonderful - in fact they all sound at least great.

    Meanwhile the 339 had the bridge replaced due to buzz from the wire retainer, the push pull vol pot went, I replaced the switch, & then - mind you this was a cascade of problems when I went to get the bridge & some cut outs from the neck pup sorted at a guitar tech - the neck pup north coil went out, meaning that my 18 month old guitar had an epic fail.

    Needless to say, I'm looking to trade in the Epi at the guitar store as is, rather than spend any more on it (it's already cost half as much as it cost to buy).

    Meanwhile the SE standard - which came at around the same price as the Epi is going strong & has needed nothing more than strings & occasional truss rod adjustments.

    The only thing wrong with SE standards is that they don't look as nice as the SE customs & others.
    That said, the 2018 model is a marked improvement from the 2015 model I've got!
    I'd almost buy one to get the binding on the neck & body alone!

    Realistically though, with the current models (I'm talking 2018), the only real difference between the standards & custom is the country they're built in, & the maple cap with veneer over the top.
    How much tonal difference does that make?
    Apparently that's like questioning someone else's religion, so I'll leave it at that, but the pickups are the same.
    Oh & for some reason the standards have the neck binding which only comes with the exotic tops in the custom range.

    I clearly spend too much time drooling over the SE line looking at potential next guitars online!

    I contemplate upgrading all my other guitars from time to time, & some of them may be swapped out at some point.
    the PRS SE's will not be at risk of being swapped out for anything better, as no one has made a better guitar that I want & can afford!

    So long story short, there is nothing wrong with an SE standard, & you'd be hard pressed to find anything matching it in build quality & tone from another guitar maker within $200 new.
    YMMV
     
  17. benh1972

    benh1972 New Member

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    Not really.
    I'd be more dubious about the quality of China made guitars than Indonesia.

    My Ibanez Gio GAX 70, my Squiers (Affinity strat HSS, Standard strat, & thinline tele) as well as my PRS SE standard 24 are all Indonesian, & haven't given me any grief.
    My Epiphone ES 339 pro from China though; lets just say it makes a better decoration than playing instrument.

    Besides all that, unlike some manufacturers, PRS won't tolerate low quality instruments affiliated with their brand.

    That's why it took 15 years for the SE line to get the PRS signature on the headstock!

    They're very strict about quality control, & not just in their core, private stock & S2 lines.
    You can't say the same about some other brands in either their cheaper or main lines, or in some cases both!

    PRS would cancel the contract if the Indonesian or Korean factory were frequently selling unacceptable quality guitars, whereas other brands would just accept a certain proportion of crap goes out the door, & call it a cost saving -less spent on quality parts & less spent on monitoring the quality that gets out of the factory (even though it can mean they lose otherwise brand loyal customers for life)!
     
    #17 benh1972, Dec 13, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  18. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Silver pants make me wanna dance.

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    I think I need to buy one to find out.
     
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  19. benh1972

    benh1972 New Member

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    You won't be sorry; in fact if you're like me, it'll just encourage you to buy more PRS SE guitars!
     
    sergiodeblanc likes this.
  20. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Silver pants make me wanna dance.

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    Gee, I hope not. I don't want to become addicted to PRS guitars.
     

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