New Member
Feb 23, 2015
I own a PRS SE Custom 24 which I bought 6 months ago. I havev not tried the Custom 24, but I am very please with the looks, action and sound of my guitar. I play it through a Blackstar HT 60 Stage amp and several pedals. The sound is awesome, and I wonder if the difference in price, approx £2000 would give me a marked improvement.
You'll get a carved top instead of beveled. You'll get a belly cut contour on the back. You'll get a full piece of figured maple instead of a veneer. You'll get a US made trem. You'll likely get a better piece of rosewood, better hog on the back, locking tuners, and better quality controls. The pickups will be of a higher quality. The fit, finish, and materials will be an improvement but you have one of the very best guitars built for under $1000 so it won't be as drastic as moving from a squire affinity or epi to a core prs.
There are definite differences, but they're up to you as far as comfortability and what you like for sound is concerned. For example, a friend of mine was looking at a Gibson Firebird and an Epiphone Firebird - the Epiphone actually sounded better and was more comfortable so he went with it and bought a Gibson Hardshell case for it.
If you're happy with your SE, just enjoy it!

Yes, there are numerous improvements with a Core model, but the differences in value are not directly relative to the cost of the instrument. Instead, the differences are incremental. Little things here and there. And those increments cost.

Worth the extra dough? Absolutely, to the right player.

But you have to be the judge of whether that's worth it - to you.
You can get a very drinkable bottle of wine with a screw on top for $10. Or you can get an exceptional bottle of wine for $50. Is there a difference - yes of course. Is the difference worth it - only if you have the palate to be able to discern the difference.

You can buy a 1 caret diamond engagement ring for $1,000 or you can buy a 1 caret diamond engagement ring for $25,000. Is there a difference - yes of course. Is the difference worth it - only if you have some experience with diamonds and can the difference.

Same thing with PRS SEs made in China and PRSs made in Maryland. Of course there is a difference but not everyone is going to be able to tell the difference. It will be those people who have been playing for a while and who have developed the ability to hear the difference and the ability to see the quality difference who will appreciate why the real PRS guitars - the ones made in Maryland - cost more. The SEs are fine guitars for many people and if you like yours then you should stick with it. But when you get to the point in your playing that are are starting to hear the differences among different guitars you should try a Maryland made PRS and make a decision if you are willing to pay the extra price for the higher quality guitar. You get what you pay for.
I've been very impressed with the PRS SEs I've tried and think you've got a great guitar. Regarding differences, I think every PRS guitar is the best the company can build given its price point.

With that, like most things there is the law of diminishing returns, so things like spending more time carving a top and using higher grade wood typically increase the cost at a higher ratio than the improvements in tone and playability. Thus, in short, there is an improvement, but, say I don't think a $5K PRS won't be ten times better than a $500 PRS (that is a subjective statement).

More importantly, I don't think a properly set up SE would ever hold someone back, and there's no need to feel you need a more expensive guitar to get where you want to go musically. However, a guitar is a creative tool, and part of its appeal is its ability to inspire a musician to continue playing and exploring. For some that guitar is something like a PRS SE, for others its more akin to a PRS core line. The trick is finding that one and hopefully having the means when it shows up.

(Personally, the guitar that inspires me most right now is a 2008 Mira, and I like it better than some significantly more expensive guitars I tried. It just seems to fit).
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Peregrine - Unless something has changed I don't believe any PRS guitars are made in China. The SEs are made in Korea.
Thanks you for the reply.
I played pro in the 60's and my last guitar which I sold when I started a working career was a 69 Goldtop Les paul.
I started playing again after retiring (now playing an an R&B band) but unfortunately couldn't afford to go for the PRS hence the thread. If I am lucky to come into an inheritance or win the lottery I will go for the American made PRS.
I have had both, there is a difference between them. For me, the difference is worth it, but that is dependent on personal preference.
I have 2 SE's, a core, an S2, and a Tremonti artist pkg on the way...I go thru spells with each, where I don't put it away for a bit to grab another...each one kinda inspires me differently at different times...that being said, there is definitely a quality difference, however, especially when upgraded to match the core line model pickups, string gauge, etc., the line blurs even further...tone wise, my upgraded Tremonti SE custom sound very close to my '02 Tremonti core line (when u take into account the tone diff in the updated Tremonti pups and a hard tail vs trem) fact currently, the SE Tremonti is my "go to" (sure that will change again in a few weeks when the artist pkg arrives--ETA 4/15/15)
Did I hear / read once Paul saying you're buying $2000 pickups and getting a free guitar?

I have both SE and core. If SE is all you can afford be satisfied it's a darn good guitar.

Cores however are a very expensive and slippery slope. One that I was happy to fall down but it meant my guitar collection got a lot smaller almost instantly. Plus it could could lead to harder drugs such as Private Stock.

I have an SE Singlecut that sounds amazing with the Earthquaker Devices Tone Reaper fuzz pedal I have when using the neck pickup. I've A/B'd it to my core SC245 with 57/08s but there is just something special about the SE that I can't quite quantify - which makes me very reluctant to sell it, even though I kinda need to.