The original PRS CE range were much loved when they were originally released back in 1988 and were PRS’s Bolt On Neck version of their core range at the time. They were offered in solid colours and with either a maple or rosewood fingerboard. The only problem was that they weren’t much cheaper than the Custom 24 model, and so PRS pulled them after a short time. The subsequent re-releases have since suffered the same fate and so maybe this time the pricing will be more in line with the PRS S2 range and therefore a significantly cheaper model than the standard line.
I myself very briefly saw a whole bunch of new PRS CE24 guitars up on americanmusical.com.The page has now been pulled though, along with all the photos so we will have to wait until the NAMM show in a few weeks to confirm the details.
Looks like they might be part of the PRS S2 range, which would possibly mean using Korean hardware to cut costs and also being supplied in a gig bag instead of a PRS hard case.
The CE range were a ‘bolt on’ guitar option from PRS, and have been re-released a few times over the years and then subsequently withdrawn again each time. I believe the last ones were all solid metallic colours like copper and silver and released back in 2006. This time, though, if the few pics I saw are correct, it looks like they may actually have tops in more traditional PRS clear colours and with some maple cap flame as well.
Bolt on neck guitars have their own sound and a lot of players really loved the CE range for this. The original first run guitars were sometimes susceptible to weak neck joins, as the PRS bodies are a lot thinner than other guitar brands and so you sometimes see older CE models with cracks around the neck join. Hopefully this will have been resolved, if in fact this new range does get released at NAMM.
There are whole threads over the web this weekend on both sides of the Atlantic with players talking about this supposed re-release of the CE24 and getting pretty excited by the supposed return.
Also, a lot of players have been asking if PRS are also going to re-release the 22-fret CE22. Some players prefer the 22-fret PRS models, as the neck pickup can then sit in the ‘sweet spot’ i.e. in the middle of the string length and so supposedly deliver a more classic neck tone.