SE Standard vs SE Custom

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by MichaelCycle, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. MichaelCycle

    MichaelCycle New Member

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    I created an account just to ask this question. As far as I can tell, both lines are made in the same factory, and the only apparent (to me) difference is that the custom has a maple cap and a flame maple veneer. Where does the big price difference come from? Is it worth it to spend the extra on the custom? Which one should I buy?
     
    #1 MichaelCycle, Jan 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
  2. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    There’s enough of a difference between a standard and a custom model to carefully evaluate both. An all hog guitar is a spectacular thing, but a different animal than the snap and definition of a maple topped guitar. If it’s a first guitar, it won’t matter that much, but if you’re looking to add something specific to your available sounds, do the research.
     
    #2 Boogie, Jan 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  3. Acnestes

    Acnestes "If I can do it, it's not art." - Red Green

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    I have an SE Custom 24 with no maple cap. Solid mahogany with a rosewood veneer.
     
  4. Tim S

    Tim S King of the barre chord

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    Thank you for pointing out an exception to the rule. I’m not sure how it helps the OP, but I guess it gives us an education.
     
  5. Tim S

    Tim S King of the barre chord

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    If you are buying used, *some* SE Standards have a Wide/Fat neck (it depends on the model & year). SE Customs usually have Wide/Thin necks. So there’s something else to consider.
     
  6. Acnestes

    Acnestes "If I can do it, it's not art." - Red Green

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    The OP's original post indicated that they were laboring under the misconception that the cap was the difference between the Custom and the Standard:
    I hoped to help the OP by noting that if there is a defining difference between the Standard and the Custom, that isn't it. More likely there is no hard and fast rule.
     
  7. NBW

    NBW New Member

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    The customs have prettier tops. I have owned both. I don’t know that the maple “cap” one might call it veneer isn’t super thick. Perhaps a more experienced player might be able to feel/hear the difference.

    I got my custom because it was prettier and I got a great deal, so I sold the standard. You can’t go wrong with either, it’s more a matter of budget. I would look at the used market. You can buy them all day at Dave’s https://davesguitar.com/products/paul-reed-smith/type/electric/ at really pretty excellent prices. Customs cost $100 more than standards and the fancy “limited” tops go for an extra $70 above that.
     
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  8. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    Maple cap and veneer are two different things, the very thin veneer being on top of a much thicker piece of maple.

    I would like to see some pics and info about the rosewood veneer with no maple underneath. I thought all the veneer top SEs had a maple cap. I remember checking out the rosewood veneer Cu 24 at Sweetwater when I was there one day, and thought they had a maple cap under the rosewood.:confused:
     
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  9. Kdogg788

    Kdogg788 New Member

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    Well yeah the cap and veneer are the biggest and really only physical differences between the Standard and like 90% of Custom 24s, but the biggest advantage of the Customs is choice. You get much more variety in color and finish. Also necks can be different. I like the plain neck on my SE Custom 24 more than the pained finish that goes on the Standards. Those feel sticky to me and I didnt really like it when Ive tried them out. Also some Customs are made in Korea such as mine is. Some people seem to think that the Indonesian made guitars are inferior.

    -k
     
  10. Acnestes

    Acnestes "If I can do it, it's not art." - Red Green

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    Here you go!

    [​IMG]

    It was the fact that it said it was a rosewood top that grabbed my attention, as it was something different from the usual maple plus veneer When I ordered it from Sweetwater, I asked them specifically if it was actually a rosewood top, which the website said (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...stom-24-sweetwater-exclusive-natural-rosewood) or a veneer, and "my engineer" assured me it was an actual rosewood top. I looked really closely at the pics on the site and thought, well, maybe, but didn't really believe it because of the price. But, I bought it in any case and I really like it.

    Look closely at this pic or any on Sweetwater's site and you'll see it does not have a "cap", which you can see in the cutaway on most SE Customs - it's a veneer over solid (3 piece) mahogany, which I told Sweetwater and suggested they change their website as it was unintentionally misleading. All the other SE Customs stated that they were veneer over a maple top. I suppose technically you could say it has a rosewood top, albeit a very, very thin one.

    It's a really nice, sweet sounding guitar! I really like that it is solid mahogany rather than the usual body.
     
  11. Plugske

    Plugske You plug it in, it turns you on.

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    @MichaelCycle ,

    Besides of the maple top and veneer, the Customs also come with a maple neck. Like said it is also the variety of choice in colors finishing that is a big difference.

    I recently had a SE Standard, Indonesian made, but exchanged that for a SE Custom which was Korean made. Both guitars looked well build and could not find any flaws. The mahogany neck feels a bit different than the maple neck, could also have been the finish on it. I exchanged it because the Custom gave me more of a bang than the Standard did.

    Try them out both and compare in real life the color options and see which one speaks to you.
     
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  12. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    Thank you, that is too cool! I wonder if there are others, or just the rosewood version?
     
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  13. Plugske

    Plugske You plug it in, it turns you on.

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    I also had a look at the Sweetwater site and I must say that they are very inconsistent with their description. They are speaking about rosewood cap, rosewood veneer and rosewood cap veneer. So which is it?

    Personally I find it strange to put a rosewood veneer on to a rosewood cap. You also do not put a layer of gold on top of real gold.

    Leaves us with a couple of options. Either it is all mahogany which is carved out to give it a cap look and the rosewood veneer is on top of that, or it has a rosewood cap but than there shouldn't be any veneer on top. Last possibility is that the body is a regular custom. The top is also mahogany, therefore you can not see that it is a separate top and the rosewood veneer is on top of that.

    The only way to know for sure is to give a shout to the customer service I guess.
     
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  14. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    .....or cut the body in half and look at the innards. :eek:
     
  15. Plugske

    Plugske You plug it in, it turns you on.

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    That would also be an option but if you really want to go down that road, take a saw with you to Sweetwater and do it before you buy it. Just to make sure. :D
     
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  16. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Put simply, different manufacturing costs hence different prices.


    Unlikely to be rosewood cap, but saw away!

    Remember to post pictures or it was a balsa wood cap!;)
     
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  17. Acnestes

    Acnestes "If I can do it, it's not art." - Red Green

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    Much easier to take the pickups off and look down the screw holes, which I did when I put the wood pickup rings on. :) No cap. Veneer on mahogany.
    You can see it in the cutaway - on SE's with a cap (at least the ones with a transparent finish) you can clearly see the join between the (1/2")cap and the mahogany body and often between 2 of the 3 the mahogany parts. On this guitar, the join between the mahogany pieces goes all the way up to the veneer.
     
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  18. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Where’s the fun in that, get the saw out!;)
     
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  19. 68reissue

    68reissue New Member

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    What a beauty!

    I have two SE Custom 24s, and I chose them because of the maple cap (I’m a clarity nut when it comes to tone) and the unbound neck. I don’t like binding on the neck for some reason, and the Standards have bound necks
     
  20. Acnestes

    Acnestes "If I can do it, it's not art." - Red Green

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    I don't know which guitars you were looking at but this one only mentioned a "rosewood top", no mention of caps or veneers. I didn't mention it before but it's Korean, btw.
    I did send an e-mail to "my engineer" and suggested they should change the description on the website, but that was before Christmas so it doesn't seem to have made any impression. Caveat emptor!
     

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