Since the first time I laid my hands on a guitar I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different brands and models to get the perfect feel and sound to accompany my projects. I wish I had stumbled upon the PRS SE Standard 24 a lot sooner, because this guitar has all of the perks at an affordable price point.
The PRS SE Standard 24 is a sleek and elegantly designed solid body electric guitar that can take you from the very basics, to absolutely rocking the stage. Whether you prefer the mellow sounds of the blues or to rock and roll all night marinated in distortion, this Paul Reed Smith delivers.
If you’re like me and enjoy pushing the limits of any amp or pedal, you’ll be glad to know that the PRS SE Standard 24 carries a crystal clear sound that’s sure to impress any audience.
Keep reading to learn more about this great (and affordable) guitar. Time for a PRS SE Standard 24 review.
Quick Look: PRS SE Standard 24
Physically, the PRS SE Standard 24 is very well-made, with a solid mahogany body, gorgeous finish, and attractive PRS signature mother-of-pearl bird inlays. The 24-fret maple neck is sturdy and comfortable, with a rosewood fretboard and high-quality hardware, allowing your hand to easily glide from fret to fret thanks to the smooth material. It comes equipped with the PRS tremolo bridge and of course a whammy bar.
The sound is clean, with crystal clear highs and lows that are warm without being muddy, even with distortion.
The only downside is that the guitar can slip out of tune a bit easier than other PRS guitars when you get a little carried away with the whammy bar. However, it’s a small problem that usually happens after excessive use. So, just be sure to tune your guitar before you hit the stage, and it’s nothing to worry about.
Reasons To Choose a PRS SE Standard 24
The PRS SE Standard 24 is affordable, versatile, and easy to play, making it ideal for beginners and experienced players alike. It strikes a balance between aesthetics and playability, and has that comfortable feel of a quality guitar, with it’s carved body and great neck. The neck pickup emphasizes the strings’ harmonics and provides warm sultry notes.
Not to be left out, the bridge 85/15 “S” pickup highlights the sharper notes, giving a thinner but still pristine sound that blends quite well when both pickups are engaged.
When played through clean channels, the PRS SE Standard 24’s solid mahogany body produces a warm and vintage tone overall. With its wide thin profile, the maple neck offers a comfortable grip that shouldn’t tire new players’ fingers like a thicker neck.
I enjoy how balanced it feels to hold, and the neck is smooth and easy to play. The hardware wasn’t an afterthought, as is typically the problem with many less expensive guitars. It’s well-constructed and doesn’t feel cheap. Well done PRS!
It models itself on the foundational design of the Custom 24, which is PRS’s quintessential model. It was the first big model that PRS made public and is known for its quality. For a fraction of the price, you still get that PRS quality construction and design. What’s not to like about that?
The PRS SE Standard 24 is an all-mahogany solid body guitar, which means it has a single piece of mahogany running through the instrument’s middle. This type of construction is known for delivering a warm tone with more bass than other guitar bodies, and the SE Standard 24 is of course no exception
What guitar players love in an all-mahogany body is that it produces a sound that has more punch than other materials. And great sustain! It’s therefore great for playing loud rock and metal. The sound is balanced, smooth, and hits the right notes.
I personally find mahogany guitars like the PRS or Les Paul ideal for heavy sounding music, like a lot of you out there do, but since it’s a heavier more dense wood these guitars tend to weigh a little bit more than average. Not this model though. It’s about 7 pounds, and really well balanced, so it actually feels great playing standing up. Love it!
The SE Standard 24 also has a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard, giving it an overall brighter tone that’s still rich and full. These features create an instrument ideal for anyone who wants a guitar that can cut through the mix and still deliver plenty of warmth and sustain.
PRS-Designed Standard Chrome Tuners
The PRS SE Standard 24 comes with PRS-designed standard chrome tuners installed.
Not much to say here. It’s a reliable system that allows for easy and smooth tuning, feels good on your fingers, and doesn’t complicate changing strings. Unless you go crazy on the whammy bar this thing stays in tune really well, which is of course how we like it. If you’re really into dive bombs and excessive whammy bar wailing there are more sturdy solutions out there.
The PRS SE Standard 24 comes with a rosewood fretboard on a comfortable 25-inch scale length. Paired with the neck shape, it is truly an excellent choice for comfort. And the fretwork is flawless. Super-smooth and even. Intonation and action is bang on right out of the box, and I can’t help but feel that shimmer of quality around PRS in general, and this guitar in particular.
A rosewood fretboard on a guitar is aesthetically pleasing, and while looks aren’t everything, they can be the deciding factor. It has a darker hue and a more robust feel than maple, which seems to give it a jazzier sound. Rosewood offers a warm sound that’s perfect for evocative and moody music while maple is better suited for pop, giving great clarity on the high notes but sounding otherwise punchy.
Rosewood is also highly durable, making it a reliable work horse for any musician.
The PRS SE Standard 24 has, yup you guessed it, 24 frets. It’s always nice to have those extra two frets, especially if the ergonomics of the guitar allows for easy access. And this one does!
I have to say, 24 frets give my playing some breathing room. Having four full octaves to play with offers a little more versatility. However, 24 or 22 frets is not something that makes or breaks a deal for me, it really isn’t. I have several guitars in my collection with 22 frets, and I honestly never play them and go “oh man, I wish I had an extra two frets right now”. On the contrary, I quite like a shorter neck for the sake of playability and comfort.
However, the slightly shorter 24 fret scale length on this guitar (25″ compared to 25,5″) makes for a beautiful alternative for someone like me. What can I say, it’s getting really hard to find something about this guitar I don’t like.
Some musicians might not use the 23rd and 24th frets, but with rock and metal, they’ve snuck into my playing more and more.
There has been no sacrifice for hardware on this guitar for the sake of price.
Modeled after the 85/15 pickups on the PRS 30th anniversary edition guitar , the two 85/15 “S” pickups provide clean highs and distorted sound without being muddy.
I personally enjoy adjusting the cut-off frequency with the tone knob to create my own unique, signature sound. So needless to say, guitars with individual tone control like this one are appealing to me.
No matter your playing style, these pickups have a warmth and clarity that swims underneath the notes, even when playing with gain or crunch. The bridge pickup has of course more bite and edge, but again with a surprising clarity. There’s a special mention for the middle position. Funk players, you’ll love it! The more I played the funkier stuff, the more I enjoyed flipping to this spot, engaging both pickups together for a balanced sound that almost had a Telecaster whine or edge.
Even though the clean sounds are impressive, it’s really when you crank up the distortion this guitar shines, with that growling punch that is so satisfying. Almost Les Paulish, if that makes any sense. Hard rock and metal are both very suitable options for this guitar. It was indeed what I was hoping for, and PRS delivers.
Push/Pull Tone Controls
Love this feature! I have a Les Paul Studio with push/pull knobs on it, and I have come to really like it. Once you explore all the options afforded with this feature you’ll realise exactly how incredibly versatile this instrument is.
It turns your humbucker into a single coil when you pull the tone knob, and opens up for some truly interesting sonic options.
Between the 3-way toggle switch and the push/pull function, you get six different pickup configurations to play with, all of which audibly vary the brightness or depth. And of course, with an individual tone control you can adjust each setting with superb articulation.
Exploring all these options is a ton of fun, and it almost feels a bit overwhelming at times. Althogh the single coils didn’t quite deliver the “Strat twang”, they were still a delight for some of the more clean sounds, especially in the middle and neck positions. I do prefer the humbuckers though, with their balanced sound. They just had that pleasant warmth that fits classic rock.
3-Way Toggle Switch
I know what you think. It’s just a toggle switch, right? You’d be correct of course, but it’s constructed so well that it deserves mentioning.
Although I love strats I do find the toggle switch to be too close to the bridge pickup and therefore interfering with my picking hand. Not a big deal, but annoying nonetheless. This toggle switch is much better placed, not in the way but still easy to reach. Easy to use on the fly.
Who Should Buy It?
PRS SE Standard 24 is a solid guitar for the price it carries. No question about it. Appreciation for this fine instrument will span from beginner to professional.
It’s perfect for someone learning to play who wants a reliable instrument that can take a beating but doesn’t necessarily want to spend too much money on it. Or someone curious about the Paul Reed Smith (PRS) brand but can’t afford one of their higher-end models.
Like the tonal chameleon it is, it will do well in just about any genre of music. Talk about versatility! It’s a guitar that works in a variety of genres but is capable of the bite needed for hard rock and metal music.
It’s very comfortable and easy to play, which should speak to all and any player out there. The body is surprisingly lightweight, making it suitable for beginners or players who like lighter guitars without sacrificing sound.
The PRS SE Standard 24 compliments those looking to upgrade their instrument, with stunning looks and great finish. Not quite up there with their more high end models, but still a gorgeous looking guitar.
Another thing that is quite striking about this guitar is reliability. It truly feels like a guitar you could take on the road and rely on to be there for you no matter what. Like a great friend.
By now I don’t think it’s a secret how I feel about this guitar. I really like it. Not that there aren’t other guitars out there with the same qualities, because there are. But finding great sounding guitars that look the part for a reasonable price tag will always have a special place in my heart.
If you’re looking for a high-quality guitar that won’t bust the bank, I highly recommend checking out the PRS SE Standard 24.