PRS SE Custom 24 - can't find the sound

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by RockyMtnGuitars, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. RockyMtnGuitars

    RockyMtnGuitars Member

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    So I don't like my new PRS...

    Last week I ordered the PRS SE Custom 24 "Rosewood" Sweetwater-specific color. I'd been wanting the guitar for a long time based on playing similar ones about a year ago at GC and then reading up on the, too. When it arrived last week I was really excited.

    Now - not so much. It's "jangly." I suppose that's a pretty interesting description coming from a "Tele guy" like me regarding a humbuckered guitar, but that's the only word I can come up with. I lowered the high E string sides of the pickups and that sort of helped. I've messed with EQ a bit on the one amp of mine that has it. The pickups also seem muddy, though I've played with their heights a bit. I've played through my two practice amps and my Fender Super Champ X2 and just can't seem to find the sound I want. Played with / without pedals in the Super Champ, too.

    Sweetwater, of course, has a 30 return but I'm reluctant to give up on what should be a very good guitar.

    Cleans are okay (not great). Driven/distorted sounds are really where I'm disappointed. I've A/B'd it next to my Epiphone Tribute+ and I get much better tones from the Trib+.

    Can anyone suggest a change of settings? Radical changes to the pickup heights?
     
  2. tzd

    tzd Senior Member

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    Perhaps it's the rosewood top that is giving it a jangly sound, as rosewood's tone is said to be pretty bright.

    I have a 2015 model PRS SE Custom 24 with Floyd Rose, and it sounds really good distorted, in fact I think it sounds better than my Charvels distorted. (How the neck plays/feels, however, is another matter). My SE's pickups are HFS/Vintage Bass, which is different from the 85/15 you would find in this year's model SE Custom 24.

    I think you should probably return it and try a different one. I really like the Guitar Center Exclusive SE Custom 24 in Cherry Sunburst, neck binding and Ebony fingerboard.
     
  3. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    The SEs are usually pretty fat sounding guitars. I agree with tzd - send it back. No sense in trying to make it something that it's not. Again, I agree with tzd - the GC Exclusive is a BEAST. I had one as my main guitar before I moved up the PRS food chain. It was a looker and it sounded PERFECT.
     
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  4. jc2000

    jc2000 Senior Member

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    If you don't love it, send it back.
     
  5. Custom53

    Custom53 Senior Member

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    I recently bought a 2015 PRS Custom24 from a friend of mine.. I was originally looking to buy a SE Custom24 but he offered it to me for a great price and I couldn't turn it down. I can't post pictures because Photobucket won't let me anymore. But I had the same problem when I bought mine. USA Core Model, but I could never get the sound that I liked from it. I kept playing the Les Paul's because they sounded better. Until a couple of weeks ago, I started playing it through another one of my amps. My JCM 2000 TSL.. All of a sudden it sounded Great...! Not sure what happened. Was it the amp or just my ears...!?!?!? But it has become my Number One now..
     
  6. Victek

    Victek Senior Member

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    I haven't played a new SE Custom 24 with the 85/15 pickups. I have an older SE Custom 24 with the HFS pickups that sounds great so maybe the pickups are the issue? Is it possible to play other SE Custom 24 guitars locally so you can get a comparison? In any case I wouldn't keep the one you've got if it doesn't inspire you.
     
  7. RockyMtnGuitars

    RockyMtnGuitars Member

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    Thanks - I'm strongly considering returning it. I feel the same as most of you - if it doesn't turn me on now it may never do so, and it's too expensive to use as an ornament.
     
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  8. a Mad Cow

    a Mad Cow Senior Member

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    I find it very typical for cheap pickups to sound like crap, from all "mid range brands". I would put some real USA prs pickups in it.
     
  9. Victek

    Victek Senior Member

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    Not sure what you mean by mid range brands? I have a number of affordable guitars ( <$700 ) and the pickups sound quite good to me, so I guess it depends on ears and expectations. In any case I wouldn't keep a brand new guitar that didn't sound good to me. Upgrading it down the road to sound even better is a separate consideration.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  10. xeizo

    xeizo Senior Member

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    Hmm, I was considering that model but went for the Tribute + instead, what sealed the deal for me was a comment on another forum which said "you can't make it sound like a LP". I like the LP sound but thinks Gibson are too expensive for me, the Tribute + seems like the closest one can get for a cheap price(real Gibson puppies and wiring in the T+). The T+ was also cheaper than the PRS SE.

    The demos of PRS SE I've seen on the Tube have been mostly trash metal shredding, maybe the puppies are tuned in that direction? Or just cheap.

    I like classic rock to harder modern progressive rock so I hope the T+ will do in my case. I hope you sort out your tone problems.
     
  11. RockyMtnGuitars

    RockyMtnGuitars Member

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    Yeah xeizo I agree there. My Trib+ is awesome and I love it. Different sound from the PRS but a great guitar.

    For everyone else on this thread - the PRS is headed back to Sweetwater tonight :(

    Replacement...
    Strat? Hollowbody? SG? Yet another Tele? Not sure...
     
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  12. xeizo

    xeizo Senior Member

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    If you don't own a Strat you should have one, it's the Swiss army knife of guitars can make a whole lotta interesting sounds. Also a challenge as it is harder to play(than most/all LP:s) :)
     
  13. warmachine

    warmachine Senior Member

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    First try lowering the pickups so they sit maybe 1/8" above the pickup ring height. Start playing and give the pickup adjustment screws a 1/4 of a turn to raise either side until you get into the ballpark of a town you like. If it gets better but maybe muddy with distortion, then Lower the pickup a little and raise the pole piece screws to fine tune. Very few of my passive pickups sound better close to the strings. Only exception is my P90 guitar.
     
  14. Victek

    Victek Senior Member

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    I'd say don't give up on PRS yet. If there's a local shop where you can play a few I think you will find that the sound problem was limited to the particular model you had (maybe even that specific guitar). Mail ordering guitars is always iffy.
     
  15. Britbender

    Britbender Senior Member

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    I had one, hated it....sold in 2 weeks.
    Sounded dull and stale...
     
  16. Victek

    Victek Senior Member

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    When you say you "had one" do you mean a PRS guitar? Are you writing off the whole brand based on one guitar you had?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  17. Britbender

    Britbender Senior Member

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    I had a prs 24, very limited run (1/20 iirc). And yes, i totally lost interest in them after that, didn't like the feel, pickups were hard to dial in, an it had a "rotary" pickup selector (wtf).
    The trem system was good though....

    The zack M. signature one seems nice, but thats about it for me.
     

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