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Opinions on PRS SE Custom 24 (new 2012 model)


They actually look pretty nice (it seems, haven't actually tried one).

I'm thinking of getting one of those, upgrading to USA HFS pickups, Sperzel Locking Tuners and Graphtech Tusq Nut + Saddles.

Would you consider it SIMILAR to the real Custom 24 without high quality cosmetics, wood, etc.?

Obviously it WON'T be the same, but soundwise and "playabilitywise", it may probably keep up with it.



The PRS SE are good but still nowhere near the USA guitars. The PRS SE Custom 24 with aftermarket pickups I would consider a step above a Schecter.


Every SE I've played has felt and sounded great. The value is excellent but you'll have to play one yourself to decide how close it is to a USA PRS.


I have owned and modified several SEs, and own or have owned several USA PRSi. A modified Korean SE is far beyond many stock USA guitars, and winds up feeling and sounding about as good as the average USA Gibson. It won't ultimately feel or look as good as a USA PRS, nor is it supposed to. But with a few mods it will be easily be a guitar worth playing professionally and recording. Anything beyond that is as much about cork sniffing and bias as anything else, and you can put your own price on the value of that.

Case in point: I had a really nice, and really expensive R8. I wanted a semihollow, and got an insane deal on a used SE SH. Brilliant guitar, and better once I replaced the nut and all the hardware. I was about $650 into the guitar once I was done tweaking it, and absolutely loved the result. Some time later I played a new USA Gibson 336, similar in construction and way more expensive than what I wound up with. I preferred the sound and feel of my SE. That got me thinking...

I left the store with a new SE 245. It played and sounded great stock. After a new nut, pigtail bridge, Schaller M6 locking tuners, Lollar Imperials, and an RS kit, I was up around a grand, and had a guitar that to my ears sounded better than the R8, unquestionably played better, stayed in tune much better, and I simply enjoyed a great deal more. For far, far less money. I sold the R8, and after subtracting everything that I put into the SE, I was able to pick up a used DGT with the difference.

Of course, the R8 was still a much higher quality guitar than the one that played better, sounded better, and stayed in tune better for thousands less.

Check out the youtube videos where Bernie Marsden compares his signature SE (essentially a 245) to his 59 LP. This gives you a good idea of what you will be starting with.

One major caveat: the best way to do this is to buy used, including buying used hardware, and do all the modding yourself. Don't pay anyone else to solder or glue in a preslotted USA nut. Make sure you keep all the stock parts, so you can part out the expensive bits if you change your mind in the future. A used SE on ebay goes for $350. A used SE with $400 worth of mods goes for $355.


So I was wondering what kind of nut I should use for my SE. I'm new to this sort of thing and was wondering if you had any preferences on the nut you used for you PRS.


Every SE I've played or owned has been a very good guitar, and fun to upgrade.

Consider also looking for a used CE24. They already have the HFS/VB pickups, and there are good deals to be had out there for $1000 or less. That's the way I'd go, personally.


Silver Supporting Member
bumping this thread. I played an se custom 24 yesterday, and I was blown away. It plaed, sounded, and looked absolutely awesome.

these guitars have come a long way. I'm still thinking about it...fire up the gas engine.


Silver Supporting Member
I ordered one from MF after I spent a day playing guitars at the local GC. I played a bunch of nice Gibsons, my professed lust object, but when I played the SE Custom 24, wow, I couldn't wipe the grin off my face. It actually played and sounded better than any Les Paul I played on that particular day in that particular store. It was beautiful to look at, too.
Right there I decided the SE line had come a long, long way.
Are SE guitars good for you? No clue, only you can decide that....

Now, my opinion of the SE line is that I've not played one that made me feel even the slightest desire to want that guitar. I've owned some pricey guitars & my fair share of $300 guitars. I've never played a SE I like. I'm not sure what your budget is - but I would like to STRONGLY urge you to look at getting into a used CE24 (which I see go below $1,000 often). For my money, nothing compares to a genuine Maryland made, USA PRS.

I'm thinking of getting one of those, upgrading to USA HFS pickups, Sperzel Locking Tuners and Graphtech Tusq Nut + Saddles.
I would think that this would add up pretty quick & get you into that $1,000 range, as I'm not just trying to tell you to spend more & more & more & more....

EDIT - just saw this & have NO AFFILIATION, just showing this $900 CE24 for price reference only.
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Silver Supporting Member
I have 3 core mod PRS's and 2 SE's. I like the neck on the SE Custom 24 over any other guitar I own. Easily. The SE's aren't Core models. But I think the SE's rival most other US base brands out of the box.

The SE's I feel are fine stock as well. One I have never even swapped the PU's on (SC245). Much less I hadt consider PU's upgrades. When people swap PU on even $4K guitars, it's hard to make the argument those are needed upgrades. Usually preferenced upgrades.

Darth Gain

I bought an SE Custom 24 last summer and having playing it stock before any mods. So far it' a great guitar for the money, get a set up and the nut looked at, tuning stability was an issue before that, the stock pickups are not very good, neck is okay, but the SE HFS is a sad attempt at a JB. Okay with distortion, but shrill at the top end when playing clean. Fit and finish is excellent at this price point.

I tend to prefer USA made guitars, but after comparing it to a S2, I didn't see why it cost about double the SE, especially since the hardware is more or less the same, apart from the tuners. The SE was a no brainer, if you have pickups lying around you are pretty much set, Gotoh 406C tuners are direct drop in w/o mods and aren't terribly expensive along with replacement nuts. One day, I give in and cough up for a Core CU 24, but not a S2 unless they seriously upgrade the hardware (USA pickups and bridge) to at least give an attempt at relative value.

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