When PRS introduced its SE Series in the late Nineties, SE stood for “Student Edition.”
Somewhere along the way that changed to “Special Edition,” but with the recent expansion of the SE line to 19 different electric guitar models (in addition to SE acoustic guitars, basses and amps), PRS should consider changing the meaning to “Something for Everybody.”
A perfect example of that is the new PRS SE “Floyd” Custom 24.
Introduced at the same time as flagship PRS Series “Floyd” Custom 24 model, the SE version offers an affordable alternative with a similar general vibe and design for players who can’t afford to drop more than three grand on a guitar.
FEATURES: Introduced in 1985, the Custom 24 is one of the greatest classic guitars of the past three decades. While many players love the original design of the PRS Tremolo featured on the Custom 24 all of these years, there is a legion of guitarists who are equally devoted to the Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo.
While the PRS SE Torero model previously came equipped with a Floyd Rose tremolo, this is the first time a classic PRS model has offered a Floyd.
True to the original Custom 24, the SE “Floyd” Custom 24 has a 25-inch-scale neck with 24 frets and a mahogany body with a maple top (although on this version the flame maple is a veneer instead of a solid slab).
Pickups consist of an SE HFS Treble and SE Vintage Bass, and the controls include a three-way blade pickup selector (instead of a five-way switch), master volume control, and master tone control with a push/pull coil-splitting function. The nickel-plated hardware consists of PRS-designed tuners and a Floyd Rose 1000 Series double-locking tremolo.
PERFORMANCE: I strongly feel that, in terms of feel, playability and tone, the SE “Floyd” Custom 24 is better than the early versions of the Custom 24 that PRS made in the Eighties. With its Wide Thin neck profile and Floyd Rose tremolo, the guitar is certainly “shred worthy,” but its looks and tone will equally please vintage-minded players.
Paired with a high-gain amp, the SE humbuckers can produce aggressive metal tones, but the guitar can also go in an entirely different direction through a clean amp setting with the coils split, which delivers bona fide country twang and bluesy bite. This is an impressively versatile instrument that can handle the roles of three or four different models and in most cases outperform them.
STREET PRICE $879
MANUFACTURER PRS Guitars, prsguitars.com
A Floyd Rose 1000 Series double-locking tremolo is offered as an alternative to the original PRS tremolo featured on the standard PRS Custom 24 models.
The SE HFS Treble, SE Vintage Bass and coil-splitting function provide an impressively versatile range of tones, from metal to country.
THE BOTTOM LINE: If you’ve always loved the look, playability and tone of a PRS Custom 24 but couldn’t part with your beloved Floyd Rose, the SE “Floyd” Custom 24 is the guitar of your dreams.