PRS SE guitars have just announced seven new guitars for release in December 2018. The ever-popular US brand makes these guitars under licence in Korea, winning new fans through the years. What’s special about the new 2018 SE range? We took a look at the specs and finishes on offer.
PRS SE 2018
Full disclosure: I own a number of PRS models, including some Core American-built models, S2 and, of course, SE models as well. Without gushing too much or appearing overly enthusiastic, I think the SE range is a very well-thought out, well-built and usually very well-priced series of guitars. So what have they got in store for us in 2018?
SE Standard 24 Multi-Foil
Using a finish that’s reminiscent of one Paul offered back in the 1980s, this new Standard 24 looks a little bit like a Rainbow Trout! The PRS SE Standard 24 Multi-Foil (or Multi-Metal back in those days) will certainly turn heads with its iridescent metallic finish.
The model is loaded with a pair of 85/15 “S” humbuckers and a 3-way blade switch with push/pull tone control, There’s also get the PRS trem, which is smooth and stays in tune nicely. I have a PRS SE Ace Signature single cut and I was amazed at how good these SE trem systems are. I honestly thought they would be nowhere near as good as the ones my US-made Custom 24. But I will state for the record that I was wrong, as they are really well made and do a great job.
RRP – GBP 825
This is an interesting one: a 7 string with a 26.5″ scale length and a Wide Thin neck. Again, it has 85/15 “S” pickups, but they’ve been reworked to fit a 7-string guitar. They also have coil-taps on each pickup. A PRS-patented moulded 7-string tremolo is also part of the package. If it is as good as the regular 6-string version then it could be a lot of fun to play.
RRP – GBP 825
SE Chris Robertson
Black Stone Cherry‘s Chris Robertson uses an SE Series guitar for his work. The new SE Chris Robertson is a single cut guitar with a mahogany back and maple top, with flame maple veneer. Its scale length is 24.5″, with 22 frets. It also has a Wide Fat mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard. It comes loaded with a P90-style Soapbar in the neck position and a 57/08 “S” humbucker in the bridge. That’s a nice combination, I think, and one many players will enjoy, especially with the PRS wraparound tailpiece which will should be great fun to riff with.
This guitar looks like a good instrument on paper. The simple three-way toggle switch and independent Volume and Tone controls for each pickup appeal to the Luddite in me; I like simple.
RRP – GBP 799
If you are on a budget and need a good, solid guitar you can gig and record, I think you should be checking these out. SE Standards have 85/15 “S” pickups with pretty versatile switching systems complete with coil taps. The rosewood fretboards also have fretboard binding, which is a bit of a premium feature considering this is their lowest budget model. These may be little details for some, but I think that they make these models a good buy for the many players out there on a budget.
RRP – GBP 475
SE Custom 24 – Exotic Veneers and a Lefty
At the other end of the scale, PRS are launching a new set of SE Custom 24 models with fancier tops. A left-handed model has also been announced, which will please all my South Paw friends.
PRS has added two new veneer options: a spalted maple and a zebrawood. If you fancy something a bit more exotic, then these should do the trick, with both the veneers coming finished in a Vintage Sunburst.
Each SE Custom 24 comes with a Wide Thin maple neck, 24 frets, and a 25” scale length. And then there’s the PRS tremolo, which I like. They are all loaded with a pair of 85/15 “S” pickups controlled using a 3-way blade switch and push/pull tone control for coil tapping.
RRP – GBP 799 and GBP825 for left-handed
All these new models should be available by December this year.