PRS SE Singlecut
The PRS singlecut has lodged its name in electric guitar`s venerable history as a phoenix- one to disintegrate under legal coercion, only to rise from its ashes, more captivating than ever. Upon its resurgence, PRS has expanded its offerings to include a singlecut model in the Student Edition family, an affordable unit with very little compromise. Read on, please.
Construction/ fit/ finish
Unlike the secondary offerings by popular brand names of its established models, the SE Singlecut isn`t about a cost-cutting exercise by PRS, exclusively. What we have here is an immaculately constructed guitar, entrusted to South Korea`s World Music Company to manifest PRS` fine guitar philosophy. Everything about the SE here screams WELL MADE! Absent are the minor glitches, sloppy lift-off marks, hardware burrs & finish/ stain blots to render this guitar guilty of QC ineptitude.
The SE body isn`t quite a reflection of the US counterpart, namely due to the absence of a solid maple top. In place of it, is a gorgeously flamed laminate, the tell-tale sign of its existence is the inclusion of a surface edge body binding, a masking technique of sorts, not employed on the American Singlecut models. The carved top is also less pronounced & the overall body depth isn`t as massive either.
The neck profile is an attempt to mimic the American`s wide-fat specifications but upon handling, it feels shaved. A sensible account for this would be an issue of balance to the body`s (slimmer) proportions. However, it is substantially fat & grab-worthy, the overall feel off which is liberally compounded by the lacquer overcoat.
There is nothing short of superb in this department.
Tone/ In use
If you are expecting a typical bass-inclined, Les Paul drone, it is likely that this would be your initial encounter with a PRS. Despite its Les Paul resemblance, the SE Singlecut has no obligations to replicate a Les Paul tone & this can be heard quite markedly upon plugging in. What the SE Singlecut offers in its bridge humbucker voicing is a strong bass response in addition to midrange clarity. There`s nothing too excessive in the upper frequency end either, everything is pleasing. Over at the neck, the midrange gets a polished treatment, what you will hear is an above-average reproduction of a PAF-type tone; all vintage & limited muffles. This guitar adapts to clean & driven settings impressively, with the bridge pickup outperforming its neck counterpart in the latter department.
It is pleasing to note that the bridge`s rounded edges give maximum picking hand comfort but those of us who are used to the tune-o-matic design will find chugging/ palm muting more challenging. The strings are made to sit flush with the bridge`s top hence limiting the break-angle of which muting techniques become more convenient. The rosewood grade is also excellent, possessing a healthy hue of brown & displaying no excessive open pores.
The nut, however, needs more lubrication. Despite being graphite, as indicated by the manufacturer, & displaying competent incisions, there are evidences of choking & the overall retention of tuning stability isn`t quite top notch.
The SE Singlecut is economy at its best; an affordable, gorgeous guitar, nothing too compromising in every aspect. Is this model merely a cosmetically enhanced Tremonti SE? The thought of it does feed this reviewer`s perception but the SE Singlecut offers a different voicing drive-wise. While the Tremonti SE was bent on reciprocating fierce overdrive (by virtue of the endorser`s reputation), the SE Singlecut offers avenues to sound vintage & intimidating drive-wise. There will be a sizeable number of players who will not hesitate to spend $50 more for this guitar to avoid having an endorser`s markings on their guitars & more convincingly, to own a more visually pleasing unit.
Please do not approach this guitar with a Les Paul copy mentality, it is quite unique in its own turf, there are other copy models to satiate your strictly Les Paul` concerns. The introduction of this guitar isn`t about to snub other competitors at their roots, players who are after a particular bass honk would give the SE Singlecut a re-evaluation before finally parting with their funds.
A highly recommended guitar for beginners & seasoned players alike.
- Simple design, sturdy fit & top class finish
- Not a one-trick pony, tone-wise
- Functional tuners
- Player-friendly overall mass
- Nut needs more lubrication
- Out-of-the-way pickup toggle switch
- Compensated intonation bridge ridges limit string gauge applications
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Have fun and I hope you've found this guide useful. If you've learned something or you have further clarifications, feel free to drop us an email. We'll love to hear from you!
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