Review: PRS Guitars' CE 24 Semi-Hollow balances the fierce and familiar

(Image credit: PRS Guitars)

One of the most underrated guitar designs ever invented, the semi-hollow electric deserves a prominent role in every guitarist’s gear arsenal. There’s a sort of just-right “Goldilocks” effect that the combination of a solid center block of wood surrounded by resonant chambers imbues upon the instrument’s tone, making key midrange frequencies more prominent and resonant, taming highs and delivering expanded dynamic range and expressive response. A good semi-hollow axe can provide acoustic-like liveliness when played clean, but it can also produce extremely massive, rich tones with distortion, making it one of the most versatile electric guitar designs ever conceived.

By pairing the bolt-on neck construction of its CE models with a semi-hollow body, PRS has developed an extremely enticing variation of the classic semi-hollow guitar. The new PRS CE 24 Semi-Hollow has a very distinct tonal character that’s brighter and livelier than most dual-humbucker semi-hollow guitars, which for many players is a very good thing indeed. With its classic PRS styling, it’s a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” that can be surprisingly aggressive when you want it to be.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.