Talk to me about the SE Paul's Guitar...

Aahzz

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Nov 12, 2012
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So, whilst waiting for my semi-hollow Vela to sell, I'm exploring options for another guitar to complement the Vela I'm keeping. I've mainly been considering other S2s, unless a screaming deal on a used Core falls in my lap, but I'm also poking at the SE Paul's (or maybe the Zach Myers, but I'm not sure about the scale length). I'm assuming the pickups in the SE Paul's are standard size, from the looks of it, so easily replaceable if I don't like them as opposed to the Core Paul's. Other than that, anyone got impressions or advice on these that they can pass along?
 

Tullfan

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Sep 30, 2021
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9
Howdy! I was really interested in a SE Paul’s guitar and all of the pickup switching options offered with it. I went to John Mann’s place and got to try one out. Much to my surprise, I did not dig the sounds and overall feel and sound that the guitar and pickups gave me. It was very sterile and clinical to me, like it had all the right parts and engineering on paper, but when I played it, I could not connect, like it had no soul for me. It felt like a guitar designed by an engineer, to be played by an engineer, and a guitar that an engineer would really appreciate. That is the definition of Paul and Paul’s guitar I say, I can see why he likes it. The colors to me were not the best, but to each his own. In the end, I bought a used CE-24 and I highly recommended you get that on your list of possibilities too, they are amazing and in that ball park price used. That’s just one guys opinion here, so take it for what its worth;)
 

Aahzz

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Nov 12, 2012
Messages
5,419
Howdy! I was really interested in a SE Paul’s guitar and all of the pickup switching options offered with it. I went to John Mann’s place and got to try one out. Much to my surprise, I did not dig the sounds and overall feel and sound that the guitar and pickups gave me. It was very sterile and clinical to me, like it had all the right parts and engineering on paper, but when I played it, I could not connect, like it had no soul for me. It felt like a guitar designed by an engineer, to be played by an engineer, and a guitar that an engineer would really appreciate. That is the definition of Paul and Paul’s guitar I say, I can see why he likes it. The colors to me were not the best, but to each his own. In the end, I bought a used CE-24 and I highly recommended you get that on your list of possibilities too, they are amazing and in that ball park price used. That’s just one guys opinion here, so take it for what its worth;)

I appreciate the input. I've owned quite a few CE-24s over the years, I agree they're great guitars - but probably not what I'm looking for at the moment :).
 

chicagoslim

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Apr 13, 2021
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Bowling Green, KY.
At one point, I went to buy a Bernie Marsden. Tried the Bernie along with a couple of Zach Myers. I came home with the best ZM. A few months later, while I was shopping for an S2, a guy handed me another Zach Myers. It was indeed, better than mine. I bought it and sold my old ZM. The moral is: try as many guitars as you can, before buying. Some guitars just stand out above others. I would put my ZM up against the Gibson and Heritage semi's that I have owned. I also played a Paul guitar, while I was shopping for a S2 Custom 22. It was also a great guitar. If I were a fixed bridge guy, I would take a serious look at the SE's. YMMV!
 
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Aahzz

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Nov 12, 2012
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5,419
At one point, I went to buy a Bernie Marsden. Tried the Bernie along with a couple of Zach Myers. I came home with the best ZM. A few months later, while I was shopping for an S2, a guy handed me another Zach Myers. It was indeed, better than mine. I bought it and sold my old ZM. The moral is: try as many guitars as you can, before buying. Some guitars just stand out above others. I would put my ZM up against the Gibson and Heritage semi's that I have owned. I also played a Paul guitar, while I was shopping for my first S2 Custom 22. It was also a great guitar. If I were a fixed bridge guy, I would take a serious look at the SE's. YMMV!

I wish I had more options to try locally. I have a GC about 5 miles from my house, but they're one of the lower end stores, and rarely have even a ZM, much less a Paul's - they usually have one or 2 SE CU24s and that's it. Willcutt is only an hour south, but they're still curbside only, so can't try. There are a couple other local dealers that generally have a couple on hand, so I'm thinking a day-long dealer odyssey is at hand...Third Rock had a couple when I was in last week, Cincinnati GC usually has a few...there's a local chain called Willis and I may have to bite the bullet and go in there, the staff in the one closest to me has always been a bit of a turn-off.
 

chicagoslim

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I wish I had more options to try locally. I have a GC about 5 miles from my house, but they're one of the lower end stores, and rarely have even a ZM, much less a Paul's - they usually have one or 2 SE CU24s and that's it. Willcutt is only an hour south, but they're still curbside only, so can't try. There are a couple other local dealers that generally have a couple on hand, so I'm thinking a day-long dealer odyssey is at hand...Third Rock had a couple when I was in last week, Cincinnati GC usually has a few...there's a local chain called Willis and I may have to bite the bullet and go in there, the staff in the one closest to me has always been a bit of a turn-off.

Aahzz, I've been driving to Moore Guitars (120 miles), in Evansville. I'm not sure how far they would be for you. They are a big PRS dealer. That's where I played the Paul, and it was sold in a couple of days. They have had few S2"s, this year. I watch their web-site, because they keep it up tp date. Many of the guitars that I've been interested in, sell in a day or two.

I'm in Bowling Green. I have a feeling that we are probably 4 or 5 hours, apart. I wish that I had more people in the area, to swap and try each other's guitars. I have one guy in town, and we had each bought a couple of guitars from each other. But, we have exhausted each other collections.
 
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Broseph

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Feb 18, 2021
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'Merica
I do love me the ZM if you have wiggle room to upgrade the tuners (a must) and pickups/pots (especially if you want to split). I prefer picking up the ZM over my s2 594 that was over 2x the cost. So many great PRS guitars to choose from! Cheers on your search. As others have said you may want to book a day to take a drive to a big guitar store and give it a go. Even if you leave with none that day at least you’ll have a better idea.
 

KYGuitarMan

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Jul 22, 2021
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26
I wish I had more options to try locally. I have a GC about 5 miles from my house, but they're one of the lower end stores, and rarely have even a ZM, much less a Paul's - they usually have one or 2 SE CU24s and that's it. Willcutt is only an hour south, but they're still curbside only, so can't try. There are a couple other local dealers that generally have a couple on hand, so I'm thinking a day-long dealer odyssey is at hand...Third Rock had a couple when I was in last week, Cincinnati GC usually has a few...there's a local chain called Willis and I may have to bite the bullet and go in there, the staff in the one closest to me has always been a bit of a turn-off.
I had a SE Paul's when they first came out and returned it. At that time, I thought the neck was too thick. I liked the pickups, switches, and overall quality. I agree that the colors aren't the best. Nevertheless, I wish I would have kept mine. I've been looking at them again, but supply is very low and colors even more limited (PRS dropped fire red).

I agree with Chicagoslim that Moore Guitars in Evansville, IN is an excellent dealer. Melody Music in Bloomington, IN is as well.
 
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Daveporter33765

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Aug 18, 2020
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Florida
I have both the SE and Core versions of the Paul’s Guitar. I use the SE version for live gigging and the Core version for studio work.

They are both excellent guitars in my opinion. The build quality of both versions is absolutely superb. Both versions are capable of producing a wide range of high quality tones that are very well suited to playing jazz, blues, country and classic rock.

I have played professionally for over 50 years. During that time I have owned or played guitars made by all the major manufactures; both of these Paul’s guitars are some of the best guitars I have ever been fortunate enough to play.

If you can find a way to try either, or both, of these Paul’s Guitar versions I predict that you will find them great guitars too.
 
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