PRS SE CE24 Standard is the Best Deal on a New Electric Guitar?

Posted: May 11, 2024
The PRS tremolo stayed in tune with heavy dives and subtle tremolo usage.  Priced at $499 the PRS SE CE24 Standard is an incredible value

Photo provided by PRS Guitars

PRS, Paul Reed Smith Guitars, have a reputation as some of the best American made and import guitars on the market today.  Over the years I have owned more than my fair share of PRS guitars from their higher end electrics to their acoustics. (PRS is also building great amplifiers and pedals now as well.)  But I was caught off guard by their resurrection, the CE was originally released in 1988, of the budget priced PRS SE CE24 Standard released this year. 

Guitar Thrills got one in for review and it’s one of those guitars that you just don’t want to stop playing.  Let’s go over some of the features.  The body is constructed from solid Mahogany.  The top is carved in what PRS is calling a shallow violin style with a beveled cutaway for access further up the neck.  The instrument reviewed had Satin finish Charcoal paint job which is subtle and classy at the same time. Other color choices include Turquoise or Vintage Cherry, also in a Satin finish.  Like the CE of the past this is a bolt-on neck with 24 frets and a 25” scale length.  The neck is a wide thin shape, made of Rosewood wood with PRS Birds inlays and a 1 11/16” width nut.  The PRS CE24 Standard has a PRS patented Tremolo with individual string adjustments and PRS designed sealed tuners.  The pickups are 85/15 “S” with a Volume control, Push/Pull tone control and a 3-way toggle. 

The Push/Pull tone allows you to split the humbucker pickups into single coil configurations delivering six different pickup settings on one guitar.  Playing wise the neck is a bit wider than usual, but it compensates by being flatter instead of rounded in the back for your hand.  In humbucker mode the pickups sound big and fat with plenty of bass.  Switching over the split-humbucker single coil mode I was able to coax some S-Style and T-Style sounds, even playing some chicken pickin’ licks and of course some Southern Rock.  The PRS SE CE24 Standard has a very modern tonality with more of an edge that works really well with distortion and overdrive pedals.  Compared to some budget priced instruments the PRS guitar has incredibly precise fretwork and feels great and plays fast.  The satin finish back of the maple neck adds to that attack also. 

Playability and sound wise the PRS SE CE24 Standard can fill void of several guitars in one guitar thanks to the expanded electronics.  The PRS tremolo stayed in tune with heavy dives and subtle tremolo usage.  Priced at $499 the PRS SE CE24 Standard is an incredible value in a well-crafted electric guitar.  And it includes a PRS SE gig bag.  You can upgrade to the non-standard CE24 to gain a gloss finish and maple veneer top but why? I prefer the Satin finish, so it doesn’t show smudges or dings and bumps as easily.  Plus, it allows the guitar to breathe and resonate more.  If you’ve always wanted a PRS but couldn’t afford the higher end models, then it’s time to buy the new PRS SE CE24 Standard guitar and see what everyone is talking about.  I don’t know how PRS delivers a guitar that plays, looks, and sounds this good at a price we can all afford?


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