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PRS CE Series Guitars

kleydj13

Member
Messages
1,607
I've been scouting Criagslist lately looking to sell off a few of my strats and pick up a PRS. I've always loved PRS quality, looks, and flexibility. I found one for under $1000 and its a 1998 CE 24 in pretty great shape. Its got a dark blue finish, a maple bolt on neck with rosewood finger board, and original hardware.

I'm wondering what the deal is with the CE series. PRS doesn't sell them anymore and I'm just making sure it isn't a low end model in disguise. What have been your experiences with PRS CE guitars? How do they stack up to other PRS' (McCarty, Custom...) ? Do you think a PRS CE 24 for $1000 is a good deal or should I look elsewhere to maximize my money? Thanks.
 

natevi

Member
Messages
298
Serch for a Custom 24 with a set neck or browes TGP for a PRS. If you can save up and buy a PRS McCarty or a Custom 22. Just buy one with a set neck.
 

Buzzkill

Member
Messages
55
The bolt-neck ones are every bit as good as a custom 24. Yes, it comes with a bolt on neck, but it sounds just as good and to some people, it sounds better. I had an early ninety's example with the short heel and it was AMAZING. The tenon even extends under the neck pickup like the set version. I wouldnt regret buying one if it sounded good and was in good condition (for the right price, too, of course).
 

uberpict

Member
Messages
508
Alex Lifeson preferred the bolt-on neck of the CE's. They are every bit as good as the set-necks, for sure. I had a CE-22 goldtop and really loved it but had to sell it for emergency funds.
 

Spider-Man

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,793
Serch for a Custom 24 with a set neck or browes TGP for a PRS. If you can save up and buy a PRS McCarty or a Custom 22. Just buy one with a set neck.
I disagree with this. The implication is that the CE is inferior to a Custom 22, Custom 24. or McCarty. As far as quality, tone, and playability, the CE series is every bit as good. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise because they would be wrong. And I have owned plenty or set neck PRSi myself so I speak from my experience.

But the CE's sound different than the set neck models. You may or may not like the tonal differences. Personaly, I prefer the tones from the CE series over the Custom 22 or Custom 24. The tremolo and the bolt-on maple neck feels right at home to a Strat guy like me. And the low end seems to have more "snap" and clarity than the set neck guitars, especially when using the neck pickup.

$1000 for a nice CE is about right.
 

bdegrande

Member
Messages
1,034
They typically sell for $1000-1200 plus shipping on eBay. They would have been higher a year or two ago, but the recession has depressed prices in the used market all around. It is still a good deal, but not the great one it would have been.

I actually prefer a bolt-on neck if done properly, it avoids using glue and is easier to repair, and PRS has very good quality control. The CE series may be a low end series by PRS standards (no fancy top or bird inlays). but it has good pickups, locking tuners, and a 5 way switch. No complaints with my CE22.
 

Cussion

Member
Messages
1,465
I owned a yellow quilt-top PRS CE 22 a few years ago.
It was a great sounding guitar with a very "handbuilt feel". Didn't really compare it to a Custom or McCarty, though..
 

halorealm7

Member
Messages
4,559
Serch for a Custom 24 with a set neck or browes TGP for a PRS. If you can save up and buy a PRS McCarty or a Custom 22. Just buy one with a set neck.
Not at all. The bolt maple neck brings something else to the table and they are every bit as slick as the set neck. PRS did not cut corners simply because it is a bolt-on neck. I have a 96 CE24 and a $1000 is about what I would ask for with case.
 

wilerty

Member
Messages
1,136
I have both set neck and bolt-on neck PRS and one is just as good as the other ... only different sounding. Others here have described the differences well.
 
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auburn-grad

Member
Messages
1,002
I've had one of the CE-22 models.....and I thought it was every bit as good as the set neck models.....the only difference to me was the the 'pretty-fied' wood tops....and that kind of stuff doesnt matter to me.
 
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klnol

Member
Messages
91
I LOVE my 97 CE24. I've tweaked it a bit, dropped some Duncans in it and swapped the tuners. I bought mine with the thought that the bolt-on neck sorta put it between a strat and a les paul. Not sure about that, but I love the guitar. Check the Birds and Moons forum. I've seen good players for $800. Good luck!
 

fenderball

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,594
i had a '94 ce 22...
liked the body (had some nice flame and binding) neck and the build, could not really get into the sound...pu'p position 5 was cool, kinda dirty...the other 4 were just ok to me...

ultimately sold it but it is a good guitar, no doubt
 

kleydj13

Member
Messages
1,607
i had a '94 ce 22...
liked the body (had some nice flame and binding) neck and the build, could not really get into the sound...pu'p position 5 was cool, kinda dirty...the other 4 were just ok to me...

ultimately sold it but it is a good guitar, no doubt
I was wondering if someone would bring up the pickup selector thing. Its definitely different from the standard switch. I wonder if one is able to switch as quickly. I guess I just wonder what reason PRS chose to use the rotator over the switch.
 

halorealm7

Member
Messages
4,559
I was wondering if someone would bring up the pickup selector thing. Its definitely different from the standard switch. I wonder if one is able to switch as quickly. I guess I just wonder what reason PRS chose to use the rotator over the switch.
There are good tones to be had with the 5 way and yes you can get very adept at changing it. Like anything else, it's just a matter of using it daily.
 

In Absentia

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,771
I've been scouting Criagslist lately looking to sell off a few of my strats and pick up a PRS. I've always loved PRS quality, looks, and flexibility. I found one for under $1000 and its a 1998 CE 24 in pretty great shape. Its got a dark blue finish, a maple bolt on neck with rosewood finger board, and original hardware.

I'm wondering what the deal is with the CE series. PRS doesn't sell them anymore and I'm just making sure it isn't a low end model in disguise. What have been your experiences with PRS CE guitars? How do they stack up to other PRS' (McCarty, Custom...) ? Do you think a PRS CE 24 for $1000 is a good deal or should I look elsewhere to maximize my money? Thanks.
Any chance of getting a pic? I've been searching for a certain CE that I got rid of a long time ago, and it is the same year as the one you are looking at, and the color sounds similar.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,312
I've had an '87 CU24, EG3, '90 CU24 and an '89 CE-24 maple/alder, and the only one left is the CE.

The bolt-neck gives it a little more push on the attack, which suits the styles I play.

Construction is every bit as good as the Customs, and the top on mine, while not a "10" is really nice. It's got a 50's LP subtlety that's just right.
 

teletran1175

Member
Messages
1,700
Not at all. The bolt maple neck brings something else to the table and they are every bit as slick as the set neck. PRS did not cut corners simply because it is a bolt-on neck. I have a 96 CE24 and a $1000 is about what I would ask for with case.
It's hard to beat that quartersawn maple neck. PRS certainly did not scrimp on the CE.
 

Mcclassic

Member
Messages
798
1000 is the aroudn price on those, if it is great condition and some flame and of course, plays good that is a very decent deal.

I have several of both CE and set neck and quality speaking they are equal, the construction is differente and the tone, may be different but not bad just another slight variation.
 

Spider-Man

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,793
I was wondering if someone would bring up the pickup selector thing. Its definitely different from the standard switch. I wonder if one is able to switch as quickly. I guess I just wonder what reason PRS chose to use the rotator over the switch.
I'm not a fan of the PRS rotary switch or the tonal options that it provides. YMMV. I had a CE22 that I converted to 3-way switching. The 3-way did not quite sit in the rotary switch body contour correctly. Didn't PRS offer a kit at one time for proper conversion?

Also, McCarty switching was available on the CE as an option so there are some out there with 3-way switching if the rotary is not your thing. The CE I have now came from PRS with the 3-way switch.
 
Messages
910
The CE's are excellent guitars. I've had a CE-22 for 10 years now. Yes, it's different than a Standard or McCarty, but not inferior. Like everyone has said, PRS did bolt-ons right. The set neck PRS's are more "les Paul" like, while the CE is more "Stratty". The rotary switch seems "weird" at first, but you get used to it pretty quick.

$1,000 is about right for a used one. Maybe a little more if it has a maple top.
 




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