PRS SE (How do they do it?)

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Headshok, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. Headshok

    Headshok Member

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    I find it unbelievable how PRS can produce some of the most perfect instruments in their core line, some of the most perfect instruments in their S2 line, and even with the SE line, they are generally lauded for great playability and quality as well, at that price point. I just received an SE 245 made in Indonesia as a gift and it is fantastic for the money. Perfect finish, perfect fretwork, electronics that actually work and great pick-ups (no need to swap). It seems that at every price point, at least to me, they have the best quality product for the money. I know some do not like PRS sound and ergonomics. That is not really what I am talking about, although I love their tone and ease of playing. I am referring to just the sheer perfection of the builds. Fretwork, finish, set-up, and really the whole package. It is as if they actually check to see what companies are building the best products at that particular price-point and contract with them. Now, this SE 245 I have is nothing fancy and the finish, (platinum) is kinda boring comparatively speaking. But, how are they able to achieve such consistent quality across all their line?
     
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  2. Brian N

    Brian N Member

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    They have machines and stuff.
     
  3. Heinz57Pep

    Heinz57Pep Member

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    You said it yourself:

    "It is as if they actually check to see what companies are building the best products at that particular price-point and contract with them."
     
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  4. Headshok

    Headshok Member

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    So do every one else, yet their quality levels are not anywhere near as tight. Maybe these companies that are producing these instruments have really good QC. Now, I know that Epi and Squier have gotten their act together lately but I have never seen one of those that is produced to the actual level of quality that PRS gets on their SE line. It just amazes me the level of quality these guys are producing.
     
  5. james...

    james... Member

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    They do what all the really good overseas makers are doing.

    -Cut corners on things that players don't care about
    -Prioritize quality on parts of the guitar that can't be quickly modded (body/neck construction, fretwork, hardware.)
    -Create designs that can be easily replicated in a quality and fast manner.

    Go look at higher end ESP LTD stuff. It's right up there with PRS SE.
     
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  6. Headshok

    Headshok Member

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    If I were managing some of the other companies, I would do the same thing. The SE line is awesome. Not just at the price point but really good across the board. And at the price point, I think they blow every other budget guitar out of the water even though the others have done some really good stuff lately.
     
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  7. Heinz57Pep

    Heinz57Pep Member

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    Not if it wasn't cost-effective to do so. Not all companies have the same standards, values or business goals.
     
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  8. Headshok

    Headshok Member

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    I was actually going to edit and say that LTD is right up their. They are really good instruments. This SE cost $250.00 brand new. The shop owner had two that were 2015 models. One was a Standard 22 and the other was the SE245. They were both good. My kids asked me which one I wanted (they got it for me), and I told them the SE245. This thing plays excellently and sounds really, really good.
     
  9. aussie_owner

    aussie_owner Member

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    PRS does have (mostly) excellent QA and build quality, but even PRS is not immune to serious screwups. The worst brand new guitar I ever bought was a PSE SE Angelus Custom from Sweetwater - chipouts all over the fingerboard, glue smears from poorly done fingerboard repairs, scratches all over the body, etc. Should have never left the PRS factory, let alone been sold to a customer.

    That being said, I totally agree the SE line is amazing for the money, especially if you buy a used one. My SE Singlecut Korina is one of my favorite guitars of the 19 that I own.
     
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  10. Bucksears

    Bucksears Silver Supporting Member

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    I can only attest to the ones I've played in the store, and they're phenomenal for the price.

    As far as consistency/quality goes, I keep reading the same thing when it comes to overseas manufacturers: they're only as good as they're taught. Not surprised that PRS has been able to put out a quality, affordable guitar.
     
  11. james...

    james... Member

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    Ibanez Premium line is proof of this too. The J Craft people spent a great deal of time in the Premium factory training those workers before they started it up. As a result, the Premium line is 90% of what the Prestige is.
     
  12. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    It's all about the company and its priorities. Great stuff "can" come out of China et.al. (ahem, Apple), and junk can be produced stateside. Who's running the show is what ultimately determines QC and customer satisfaction. Point of origin and materials are factors, but not sole determinants.

    And to the OP, I cannot agree more wholeheartedly: the PRS SE line is a phenomenal bang for buck, bar none, without excuse. Whether they are to one's taste is not the question, but that they are stellar instruments at their price point is, to me, undeniable.

    Edward
     
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  13. Whittlez

    Whittlez Member

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    I bought the Anniversary PRS SE Custom 24 for $400 from Sweetwater and it is simply a ridiculously good guitar

    It's not 'good for the money'

    It's just damn good

    I saw an interview with a guy from the Korean factory they use and he said PRS actually went to the factory and in person presented their (US MADE) guitar, and discussed in person how they wanted the factory to nmake them etc

    According to the factory rep, no other U.S. cOmpany took the time/effort to meet extensively in person and lay down exactly what they expected etc

    When you consider the QC, the elegance, the workmanship etc it's pretty amazing you can get a great brand new set neck guitar for $400 (or could)

    At no prior point in history has such quality been available at such a price

    Nobody has to pay big $$$ for guitar quality these days

    I have no problem paying for expensive guitars (relative to PRS SE) to get certain things but I don't kid myself
     
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  14. SoundsGood

    SoundsGood Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree with the OP. The joy I have been getting from my SE 245 soapbar has been awesome. I played that thing for two hours last night. (Sorry Neighbors.)
     
  15. aliensporebomb

    aliensporebomb Member

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    One thing I notice with the SE line is if you run your hands up and down the fingerboard you don't get those cheese grater frets that practically take your hand off compared to some more expensive, some prominent named companies. I found it interesting that an SE I saw yesterday was several hundred dollars less than another instrument that cost noticeably more but had lots of fret issues.
     
  16. Headshok

    Headshok Member

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    Several that I have had over time were just perfect. I had a Budweiser Edition PRS SE that was awesome. I had an Ibanez Premium RG with a hardtail. It had the most perfect fretwork I have ever touched with exception of my TMG Dover (but that is an expensive, hand finished guitar). This SE 245 is supposedly the lowest line with PRS but the overall worksmanship blows anything else in I have seen under $1000.00 away. What surprised me most were the pickups. I had an Epi SG and a Squier Cabronita at one time. The SG pickups were muddy and bland. The Squier pickups were terrible. However these pickups on this little SE 245 sound remarkably PRS like in that they are open, articulate, airy with good lows and really smooth highs...no haunting mids though (J/K)..I do not need to replace anything on it.
     
  17. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    The quality of the PRS offshore (USA) manufactured guitars should point out something important to those that think that products built overseas are junk or inferior. Regardless of where a product is manufactured, the quality of the product is the responsibility of the main company. In most cases the parent company designs the product and develops the QC procedures, and it is their responsibility to ensure quality products are sold under their name.

    For example, Marshall took a bit of grief over some of their amps built in India or China. But these amps were most likely designed by the same people that designed the well regarded UK built amps. The poor overall designs and particle board cabs were specified by the UK designers that specified Baltic Birch ply for the UK amps. So they were responsible for the poor quality amps. The thing that was up to the offshore builders was the quality in how the products were assembled; in that regard every one I have seen has been exceptional. So blaming China or India for the crappy amps is misplacing the blame.

    So the PRS offshore instruments are so good because PRS insists on it and puts processes in place to ensure consistency.
     
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  18. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    How do they do it? Cheap labor........
     
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  19. mikealpine

    mikealpine Gold Supporting Member

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    One thing that I have found with some of the SEs, including one I own with a Spalted Maple top, is that they don't seem to be as resonant unplugged as some of the higher priced models. I realize that unplugged resonance translating to "better" plugged in sound, in itself, is a debate, but even my tech thought the guitar sounded a little dead. I don't know that they use the same caliber of materials on the SE, and not just the caps. I'm NOT stating that as a fact, just a supposition. That being said, I put in a set of David Allen pickups (Mustangs), and the guitar sounds really nice. Unless I play it side by side with a much higher end model, it is hard to tell a huge difference and justify spending so much more. The value they offer at that price point is really excellent. From a practical perspective, they sound good, look good, and if I ding it at a gig, I'm not necessarily as upset as I would be for a more expensive instrument.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
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  20. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    The SEs are excellent guitars in every respect. The people who make them pay attention to detail and perfection like no other Asian producer I've seen. It appears Paul works a great deal with those folks to maintain that level of quality and performance.
     
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