My 16 year old son saved some dough and wanted to upgrade his Squire Strat. The typical teenager rocker wannabe, he was wanting to go the humbucker/LP/SG route. He had two bills, and I thought I would throw in some help for an axe that wouldn't limit him as he got better. He played a bunch of Epi LPs and SGs in the $400 range, which both of us found to be average at best. Nothing spoke to him, if you know what I mean. Went to Fat Sounds and played the new PRS SE Soapbar II. I was very impressed. Wrap around bridge, twin soapbars, high quality fretwork, a soft v set neck (!), flawless finish, good intonation, all pickup combinations sound good, and the best part - you can hear the mahogany! All this plus a decent PRS gig bag for $419. Even to my son's youthful ears, he could hear the wood. It reminds me of a cross between a melody maker and a SG with P90s. Although I'm a Strat guy, I would gig with this guitar with no mods, no hesitation. Heck I'm envious! One caveat: They had two identical SE Soapbar gits to pick from, and one of them had a little excess glue in the neck joint and was noticably heavier. They both had great necks and sounded similar, but as with most low end gits, its best to check them out personally. Do you remember a time when a guitar "spoke" to you and you had to have it. What a blessing to have it happen to someone you love and see it happen before your eyes. It was a big step for him to becoming a "musician" - hearing tone and making a decision with his ears and hands as opposed to what rock stars are playing. Is there a message in there somewhere? Peace, Scott L.