PRS SE Custom Semi Hollow vs.....

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by daacrusher2001, Dec 22, 2009.


  1. daacrusher2001

    daacrusher2001 Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi gang...

    I've got the urge to get a semi-hollow, would love an ES 335 but it's out of my price range right now.

    Was thinking about the following three:

    PRS SE Custom Semi Hollow
    Reverend Manta Ray
    Ibanez AS-103 or 93
    (ok, technically four...)

    The problem I have is I can't find the Reverend anywhere. And can't seem to find the Ibanez right now, although I've played some Artcore models in the past and they seem ok for the money.

    What do you guys think of the PRS SE Semi Hollow? I play largely blues and various types of rock...I couldn't find a thread on this guitar.
     
  2. redstrand

    redstrand Member

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    I dig mine...weighs nada and is easy to play.
     
  3. hackinvt

    hackinvt Member

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    Take everything I say with a grain of salt ... I'm a late returner to the guitar an am just starting out again. Nonetheless ...

    I have an Ibanez AS103NT that I stash in a frequently visited city and a PRS SE Custom Semi Hollow Soabpar at home. I like them both, but they are very different guitars. The PRS has a much lighter and more compact body and a wide thin neck. I find it great for melodic work, but am used to beefier necks for chords. I wish they made it with a wide-fat neck.

    The Ibanez is less comfortable to hold because it is much larger and heavier and cuts into my upper torso when I sit. I play it less frequently (because its in another city) and it takes me quite a while to get the tones dialed in. That said, it plays and sounds great. I find the neck more comfortable. It has a much more noticeable reverb due to the bigger/deeper hollow-body.

    The PRS is on extended holiday because I recently restrung it with 10s and the nut needs to be re-cut to accommodate the thicker strings. I haven't had a chance to take it in (and I'm beginning to miss it). Though my baja tele is getting a good work out.
     
  4. daacrusher2001

    daacrusher2001 Silver Supporting Member

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    I actually found an Ibanez last night. I didn't like it that much. To make matters worse, they also had an ES 335 which I played and really liked.

    Hopefully I can find a PRS somewhere to try out.

    Interestingly, they had an Epiphone Casino which had a nice sound and the neck seemed just right to me. I'll have to give that one another try after I find a PRS.
     
  5. daacrusher2001

    daacrusher2001 Silver Supporting Member

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    Got to spend a good hour or so with the SE Semi Hollow. The one I played was very nicely set up, light, neck was very easy to play. I liked the guitar a lot, although it doesn't have much in the way of ES335 sound.

    I thought the HB's were a little lifeless on the PRS. They weren't terrible, just didn't stand out in any way. I'll bet it would sound good with a nice set of pups in it
     
  6. fishman919

    fishman919 Supporting Member

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    I did basically the same search earlier this year. First, I recommend deciding on the body shape, size, and weight you're most comfortable with. If you like the smaller body style and don't mind deviating from the 335 style, the PRS SE SH or the Rev Manta Ray or Club King are good choices. One of the Tele Thinlines is also an option. However if you want a something closer to a 335 in a smaller package, an Ibanez AM series or a Gibson 339 are available.

    Keep in mind the PRS and the Reverends are different animals than a 335 clone. The bodies on the PRS and the Revs are carved out with a top attached, where the back/top/sides of a 335 are made of a laminate and basically constructed similar to an acoustic. The PRS will resonate less than all of these, the Revs a little more, and a 335 semi-hollow even more. The Casino will be the loudest unplugged (and can feedback at higher volumes plugged in) because it's a full hollowbody.

    Rob
     
  7. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

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    I played the PRS SE semi hollow last night for the first time. It made four significant impressions on me.

    1. First thing you notice is that it's REALLY, REALLY LIGHT. (Did I emphasize that enough?)

    2. Second thing I noticed was it felt very odd in my hands. Although it is made of wood, it felt like plastic. I'm sure some of that is the lack of weight. And some is the finish.

    3. It was very easy to play.

    4. It sounded very nice.

    Me? It is an interesting guitar that I wouldn't love initially. Whether I could get used to the feel or not I don't know. But I would suggest with this guitar more than with most others: try it first if you haven't as it won't feel like anything you've tried before. It will feel very different than the Ibanez Artcore guitars.
     
  8. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    I had a Manta Ray with humbuckers. Played and sounded great, and very good finish work. But not a 335 sound. More like a chambered ax, more toward a Les Paul sound.

    Now I have an Eastman T185 I scored from the previous poster, wrxplayer. Much better for my purposes. It's fully hollow except for a bridge post, solid hand carved woods. So more of a hollow sound than a 335, although it is the basic 335 shape (altho 15" lower bout). It screams wickedly too, handles pedals well. I'm very very happy with this guitar.
     
  9. SnoMan97

    SnoMan97 Member

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    I have a PRS SE Semi with P90's. I LOVE it. Very different than an ES335 type guitar. I have never played the other models you listed but I owned a Reverend Jetstream and the quality is top notch. Although the quality of my PRS is just as good.
     
  10. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    Kind of off topic, but a my Washburn HB35 is a full size 335 type, real nicely made & they go for little $$. I'm not even looking at 335's, this thing is that good.
     
  11. frankencat

    frankencat Lex Luthier Gold Supporting Member

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    I like the SE's and I have had a couple including the SE hollow. My problem with them is the pickups. To me they sound like crap so you have to factor pickup-replacement into the price. If it works for you then cool. I paid full pop for the hollow when it first came out (~$600) and I wasn't going to spend another $200 on pickups just to make it usable so I returned it.
     
  12. A440

    A440 Supporting Member

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    the PRS SE semi hollow is a very cool guitar, but IMO you cop more of a chambered electric tone rather than a true semi-hollow tone ala a 335.

    some reasons for this are the 25'' scale and smaller body. it's more of a solidbody tone with some air to the tone due to the canoe carve.

    I actually like the pickups in newer SE models, but that boils down to personal taste.

    a full size 335 style style guitar has a more of a woody tone due to it's shorter scale length and difference in construction.

    both very good, just different flavors...
     
  13. daacrusher2001

    daacrusher2001 Silver Supporting Member

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    I actually did like the feel of the SE SH when I played it. Just thought the pups sounded dull. They were just ok. I like how light it is...and I thought the finish was nice. Would prefer a bridge where I could adjust each string, but for $500 or so I could live with it.

    I wish I could find a reverend manta to try. There's a guy about an hour north of here that has the new Pete Anderson Rev...cool looking guitar.
     
  14. cinnamonITFC

    cinnamonITFC Member

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    I have heard that the Reverend Manta HB was actually easily as good sound + build quality as Gibson les-pauls (though obviously a different sound) but for half the money!

    Certainly from hearing clips on youtube it seems that way. Absolutely beautiful.

    From what I've heard, it would be quite a bit better than the PRS SE (which I have played, liked, but never fell in love with) for only slightly more money.

    Can anyone confirm this? (As this is only what I've been told about the Reverend, not from my experience)

    Its just annoying that they are so uncommon that virtually no-one gets the chance to play them!

    Thanks, and good question OP! I have been wondering about this for a while now.
     
  15. daacrusher2001

    daacrusher2001 Silver Supporting Member

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    going to check out some reverend's today...will post some comments later. We found a place that has several, including the Anderson model.
     
  16. daacrusher2001

    daacrusher2001 Silver Supporting Member

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    So, I still haven't checked out the Anderson model, but I did get my hands on a few Reverend set necks and bolt ons. Quick assessment...decent quality, necks seemed consistent although the bolt on necks seem a little thinner than the set necks. The frets seemed to have rough finish on the edges on all of them. Setup varied from guitar to guitar.

    Overall, the Jetstream 390 played and sounded best. They had two Warhawks, both sounded ok but one was really in need of a setup.

    They also had a Double Agent, which I didn't get around to trying.

    The thing that I noticed is none of them sound good unplugged. Sort of flat, no acoustic qualities at all, really. But, they played smoothly, the necks were straight, and the P90's sounded pretty good.

    I just wish I could try the Manta or Anderson...
     
  17. cinnamonITFC

    cinnamonITFC Member

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    Gutted about not trying the manta. If anyone else has, then let us know!

    Cheers for the update daa.
     
  18. PaddyBrumson

    PaddyBrumson Member

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    I'll take a stab at this one. I 've tried the SE Semi-hollow with humbuckers many times at the local GC. Keep wanting to get a vibe from it, but just can't. The neck is ok but the overall sound does nothing for me. I suppose it's the pups. I agree with the other comments that there is very little of that 335/semi-hollwow thing going for it. I've owned a number of Reverends including a Manta Ray 290. While the the fit/finish on all the Reverends is very high quality and the "bass contour" control is interesting, the neck wonderful, I never bonded with it. Also had a Artcore AS73 that was ok, but pretty heavy, decent but unremarkable pups, ok neck but on the whole just didn't capture any kind of semi-hollow magic for me, though they are highly regarded on the forums. I ended up spending more than I wanted when I got a used Gibson ES-339. This is the best compromise in a semi-hollow for me. Doesn't have as much of the woodiness of a true 335, but I much prefer the size and it has enough of a semi-hollow vibe to distinguish itself from a chambered lp. I also like the the four volume/tone knob setup for getting just the right sound from each pup and the two together. I'll keep trying the PRS SE Semi when I see one cause I like the idea, look and neck. Just waiting for one to speak to me.
     
  19. jadams71

    jadams71 Member

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    I will admit I have not played a 335. I have wanted to but have not seen one that has intersted me. I did buy a SE-SH and for the money it cannot be bet. I enjoy the sound it makes. Hoever, I ahve thought about putting in some other higher quality PRS humbuckers and a must have, which I will be getting is a set of locking tuners.
    The playability of the guitar is very nice and like I said in my set up it sounds really good. I have had a few friends play it and they enjoyed it as well.
     
  20. daacrusher2001

    daacrusher2001 Silver Supporting Member

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    I played the SE again, and while I like the look and playability, it still doesn't grab me. Not sure why...it sounds ok, but doesn't make me want to keep playing it vs. trying something else.

    Played a 335 again, and it has "that sound"...haven't tried a 339, but the local shop has one. I'll give it a go next time I'm there. The size of the 339 is appealing.
     

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