SE Custom 24 owners (past and present)...


New Member
Oct 29, 2023
Greetings All,
I'm a new member here, and am new to PRS guitars. I'm looking for some opinions based upon experiences of SE Custom 24 owners, preferably those with experience with the models outfitted with the 85/15 S pickups that are currently in use. Please permit me to provide a brief background to my question.

I played percussion as a kid (49 now), and have always had a very strong ear for music and rhythm. I began playing bass a few years back, and then (during the pandemic) decided that I'd like to learn guitar, since I had some time at home. I listen to a wide range of music genres, including Flamenco, 80's/90's pop, classic rock, and classical (not in that order). After doing a lot of research, I came across the Taylor T5z, which reviews and YT videos indicated was capable of everything from acoustic to HH- and SSS-sounding electric. Considering that no retailers were open to try one in person, I placed an order through Sweetwater. I paired that guitar with a Boss Katana II 100w with their Tone software package, which provides more effects options than I will probably ever know about. I was disappointed. This guitar sounds fine as an acoustic-electric, semi-hollow-type, but as for the ability to sound close to an HH- or SSS-type, not really (even with effects); it's gorgeous, but it wasn't what I thought it was going to be. The result is that I'm still looking for the sound that one will get with a LP and a Strat. This brings me to the SE Custom 24. In my living room right now is an unopened '22 SE Custom 24, which I ordered (impulsively in some respects, though after (again) reading a ton of reviews and watching all of the PRS product vids and YT reviewer vids on these guitars going back to 2022, so at the time I thought that the decision was a sound one) a few days back. I readily recognize that the SE Cu24 is not the same as an LP or a Strat, and that there will be a unique tonal palette based upon a number of factors. Before I open this box, though, I thought that it would make sense to ask those of you with experience with all three types of guitars whether you would be content using the SE Cu24 as an all-purpose to cover artists such as Brian Evans (Edge), Hendrix, Clapton, and similar, recalling that the Katana's software presents (probably) all of the effects that would be required to emulate sounds from their various works. OR... do you believe that you would be more content with two different guitars for this purpose? Put another way, would the SE Custom 24 do an admirable job covering this sort of music recognizing that it would necessarily sound slightly different. I don't want to repeat the T5z debacle by thinking that I have a guitar capable of producing the sound that I'm after only to find out that I would have been better served with a Strat-type and an LP-type, instead. I'm on the fence about this for a few reasons. I own a small manufacturing company in which precision and ethics are the foundation of the business, and in this I believe that PRS is a similar company, therefore I want to support them (as opposed to mega-brands where it's a corporate hierarchy, as I have plenty of experience with those operations). Next, I'd prefer to have one guitar where I'm handling the same instrument all the time as opposed to switching back and forth and having to adjust for different scale length and string spacing (both of my bass guitars are same brand, same year, same neck, different pickups, so I get different tone but same playability).

If I decide to send the SE Cu24 back, then I'm paying shipping, which is fine; however I'm limiting this question to this specific model because I already have one, in a manner of speaking. Rather than opening it up and then determining at some future time that I would have been better served going a different route and then being at a disadvantage with re-selling it, I'd like to make an informed decision and get the return process started if that's advisable. I readily recognize that this is all subjective and that my own opinion will ultimately be the one that counts, but some input from others would be much appreciated.

Thanks for your time, and for your opinions.
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I've said it a few time before, if I was to start my PRS journey over my choice would be a used s2 standard 24. Such killer deals pop up on the used market and a guitar I'd probably keep it.

I started the se Cu24 route. I still have my first se Cu24 because it has a Floyd, but I've also modded it to a insanely great guitar. The se Cu24s that followed were all moved for an eventual core Cu24. I still want a standard, and a s2 would be an excellent platform for modding. Yes, I'm a tweaker. :)

I even run across great deals on new s2 standards, but used some prices blow my mind. A heck of a lot of guitar for the ballpark of sale price se money.
My backup to my triple soapie is an SE CU24 with a roasted maple neck. Nothing gives you everything, but every PRS gives you something good.
Best advice I can offer is to go ahead and open it up and play it. If it's not for you, return it - yeah you'll be out the shipping, but you'll still pay that if you *don't* open it and just send it back, right?
It's a pretty versatile guitar and you might find what you're looking for, but only one way to know for sure. Let 'Er Rip!
I kept it. I wound up finding a YT video in which the guy demos a Strat, a Tele, and a LP and SE Custom 24 in split coil, "blindfolding" the viewers and playing the same riff in succession but putting the guitars in different order each time. I could tell the difference between the actual single coils and the split coils on two out of the three riffs, but the difference was very subtle and, as it turns out, I liked the sound of the split coil Cu24 more than either the Strat or the Tele, anyway. So... it's staying. I basically had a 48-hour window to determine whether it made sense to keep it, and I'm pretty sure that it had to be in the shipped box so playing it to determine whether it was the right fit wasn't really an option.

Thanks for the feedback and opinions.
I'm pretty sure that it had to be in the shipped box so playing it to determine whether it was the right fit wasn't really an option.
If you're saying you could only return it unopened, I'd be very wary of buying from that vendor again. I can't think of any online guitar vendor who doesn't accept returns on a guitar that's been tried out (obviously within a short time from purchase, and in the same condition as it was received).
I don't mind saying that I was driving myself a little nuts trying to determine which direction to go, so I don't expect to be buying any additional guitars in the next couple of years.
Well, I actually have three: SE Santana; SE 277; and the subject of this thread, an SE Cu24. Between these and two other standard tuning guitars, I'm covered.