PRS SE SeriesBuying Guide

Exploring Paul Reed Smith's Affordable Line of Guitars and Basses

Since its establishment in 1985, Paul Reed Smith has fostered a solid reputation in the guitar world for producing high-quality, high-end, and handmade electric guitars.

Over the years, PRS models have become favorites among players like John Mayer, Carlos Santana, Mark Tremonti, Dave Navarro, and many more. But PRS standard models, as well as private stock guitars, often command hefty price tags and can be unrealistically hard some players' wallets. Enter: the PRS SE Series.

The "SE" stands for "Student Edition," and the line is full of classic Paul Reed Smith models—both of the standard and custom variety—at more budget-friendly price points. These guitars keep costs down by keeping manufacturing overseas, in Indonesia and Korea, and using less-expensive woods and building materials than their American-made counterparts.

All of the models in the expansive SE line retain the vibe and signature playability of the standard PRS line and represent a great value, especially for those looking to get into Paul Reed Smith on a budget. Scroll below to find the right model for you.

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Custom Series SE Models

Paul Reed Smith Custom Series SE models are the step between a Standard SE and a main-line PRS model. As compared to the Standard SEs, they feature slightly upgraded finishes—like a maple cap and veneer where the Standard SEs feature all-mahogany bodies. The SE Custom 22 features 22 frets, while the Custom 24 features 24.

SE Custom 22 Models

SE Custom 24 Models

Standard Series SE Models

As aforementioned, the SE Standard series of guitars feature all-mahogany bodies and, by comparison, are more affordable than the Custom SE variants without sacrificing tonal quality or playability. The SE Standard 22 features 22 frets, while the Standard 24 features 24.

SE Standard 22 Models

SE Standard 24 Models

SE Signature Models

Being a stalwart of quality in the guitar world, it's no surprise that so many players have been eager to partner with Paul Reed Smith to develop their own artist signature models. Below, we've collected some of our favorites, with include the SE Zach Myers, SE Mark Holcomb, SE Bernie Marsden, and, of course, a whole slew of SE Santanas.

SE Signature Models

SE Santana Signature Models

Specialty SE Series Guitars & Basses

In addition to the classic Standard/Custom 22 and 24 lines and the copious signature models, the PRS SE Series also features a variety of special guitar and bass models as well, like the 7-string SE SVN, the SE 277 baritone models, SE Singlecuts, the SE variant of Paul's Guitar, and more.

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