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Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 Featured

Paul Reed Smith's 24 fret flagship

Price: $18 to $3111 at 20 stores
Searched Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in Reviews


Not my cup of smith featured

Sound Having been asked to do this a lot, these are my observations of owning the guitar 4 years and then ditching it 3 years ago. Of course this guitar is a major investment and holds its price pretty good, which is an upside. On the other hand "you want it" to be a good guitar for the money you have spent.

Now many people say that the PRS C 24 is the versatile jack of all trades. However for me the factory experience was less than satisfiying and I soon wished I had tested the guitar more.
Do not get me wrong the sound of the guitar is good and it can do many things, hence many people like it, but for me it can not do anything really good. The sound was to much sacrificed for the versatility in my opinion. It did not get that real thick tones of a Les Paul, but it also was no Fender or even an SG. It has no high output pickups, but they are not real vintage either. Eventually I replaced the pickups 2 times (ones for Duncans, which I cannot remember which and then for PAF Pros). While the different pickups helped to push the tone in a certain direction, the sound still had no real character of its own.

Now many people say "but Santana!". Getting the Santana tone is absolutely impossible with the guitar only. If you have the exact amp setup it will work. This is an upside of the guitar. If you have really characteristic amps and equipment it will transport that falvor very well and not color it with its own character. This is mainly the reason why I kept it for so long, as it was the guitar that worked really well with my vintage rectifier, but was horrible with the Carvins.

Also if going from clean to heavy distortion, it can handly all situations, but it wont shine in any.

All in all, nothing is more subjective than sound, but the PRS is by no means the holy grail that will satisfy everyone (it sure did not satisfy me).

Action, Fit, & Finish Now this has also 2 sides. The wood quality is what you expect from a high price guitar and the neck is amazing in quality. It is a bit on the thicker side compared to modern shred necks, but still extremely playable. The fingerboard is AAA quality and feels very nice to the touch. The frets are excellent and were well finished on the new guitar. The factory setup was a bit conservative but easily adjustable to my liking.

The front of the body also had an excellent finish and looked really good. On the back however were a few minor imperfections, do not get me wrong on most guitars I would not complain as they were not easy to spot, but for that price tag I expect a perfect guitar.

Same with the pickups rings and mounts, my Mexican Strat had better pickup setup from the factory and the Epiphone Les Pauls have better pickup rings...

The knobs and pots again were flawless. Opening the guitar to check the wiring etc. you can also see that this was well done and everything looks fine, except again minor imperfections at the edges where the cover mounts on the wood.

The trem however was the biggest minus for me. Being a vintage design I did not expect to much in terms of tuning stability, which was actually astoundingly good when mildly used. However the trem soon showed lots of wear signs (by far worse then the gold trems on the 7vwh) and it did need a large amount of maintenance and checking to keep the tuning stability as it is. When compared to other "modern vintage" trem designs this is one of the worst trems I had so far.

The G&L and Patrick Eggle (special Schaller Version) trems outperform it by far.

During the 4 years of use the finish held up OK and I had the frets polished up twice. The trem as I said looks like crap now.

All in all I had to experience that for that price tag, there are much better guitars out there, however said guitars do not have the mysterious image that PRS has.

Reliability & Durability In the 4 years of use the guitar held up pretty OK, only downside being the trem, which I had to adjust a lot. The rest of the setup was easy to keep in shape.

Customer Support They did not feel like replacing my trem... as it is "normal".

Liked about it + versatile
+ neck finish
+ overall look

Didn't like - no character
- trem
- pickups
- minor imperfections (at that price tag)
- price

Overall satisfaction:

By Tank
Feb 15, 2010
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PRS flagship featured

Sound Attached is a video I recorded a while back which does no justice to the tone of this guitar (and I'm also out of tune), but shows how versatile it is. This guitar is utterly flawless, it can do anything. Jazz, blues, rock, metal and everything in between. It can be as thin as you like or as full as you want. I tend to string this with D'Addario/Ernie Ball .9s strings, giving it a lovely bright tone, and have never tried .10s but I'm sure it would make you sound fuller. The trem system is balanced and tasteful. This guitar is like the wife you would bring home to your mother, respectful, tasteful and quaint, in comparison to my other guitars, my Road Flare Red RG550 or my JEM7VWH.

Listen to the notes I'm not playing (: (video)

Action, Fit, & Finish This guitar was flawless from factory set-up, being a pre-2004 model this was hand assembled. Beauty. Not one single flaw from factory.

Reliability & Durability After 3/4years its in need of a good set-up, but hasn't need anyone to look at it since I bought it new until now. And its been a player, so the paintwork is full of dings and belt rash.

Customer Support Never had to deal with PRS, but I suppose I could send them a Christmas card, because you do feel close to the company when you play one of their instruments. You can feel the love they put in to their instruments.

Liked about it 1. Everything. From tuners to trem.
2. Beautiful looking guitar. Finishes are excellent.
3. Expensive, but somehow you KNOW its money well spent.

Didn't like 1. Pickup rings could have been higher quality.

And thats it. Seriously.

Overall satisfaction:

By custom24
Dec 17, 2009
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The guitar of the 21st century

Sound The PRS Custom 24 is a fine mixture between a Fender Strat and a Gibson Les Paul. Due to its construction and dual humbucker fitting, it tends soundwise alittle bit more to a Les Paul, with some nice woman tone on the neck and a crunchy rhatm and lead sound on the bridge. Overall, the sound appears to be more delicately balanced as opposed to a Gibson LP. Compared to a Fender Stratocaster, the guitar cannot quite follow these footsteps. Neither does the Custom 24 offer singlecoils for a real "twangy" sound nor does it have a bolt on neck for sparkling hights. But (and this should be written in bold letters), the in-between-sound in position 2 and 4 are very useful in imitating a Strat-like sound and do so with a unique quality and a very own character. If the player can support this strenght with some heavy chicken picking it is as close as a set-neck-guitar can come to a Stratocaster.

Action, Fit, & Finish Flawless! If you open the case for the first time you will wittness the "wow-effect" that PRS is always talking about. The guitar does eben smell very good and unique! The craftsmanschip is superb and offers a very good equivalent to the money spent.

Reliability & Durability Absolutely reliable workhorse that I am using since 2006. Strings are the very only things that broke from time to time on this fine instrument. These guitars should last forever!

Customer Support Only dealt with the German distributor of PRS. Very nice people! I requested a tremolo part since mine tended to make strings brake after a while. The PRS distributor (Musik Meinl) sent me a new string bracket for the tremolo FOR FREE.

Liked about it Stunning look
Superb craftsmanship
Good price-performance-ratio (you pay for what you get)

Didn't like Some ugly plastic parts on theis beauty (humbucker frames on the body, locking screws on the headstock)
The PRS case is very heavy
No guitar strap included

Overall satisfaction:

By Hind
Nov 29, 2010
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A nice all rounder

Sound HFS Treble and Vintage Bass pickups in my one, coupled with the thin but solid body brought out some nice tones. Very good high end and good low/mid range mix helped it cut through heavier sounds with a bit more brightness, chords are very articulate I found. Only downside was can get a bit muddy when the gain cranks up into more modern territory.
Clean and lower range OD stuff it really shines, can cover pretty much all ranges of sound.

Action, Fit, & Finish Set up to perfection, very low action but not so low that bends, whammy dips or harmonics were affected. Nothing at all wrong with the guitar and no adjustment needed. Flawless!

Reliability & Durability Had the guitar for about 3 years now, nothing has gone wrong so far, surprisingly built like a tank for something so thin it feels like it could take more of a bashing than a les paul. Only issues were the prs tremolo bridge sometimes knocking things out of tune but was remedied with a thorough once over and set up.

Customer Support Only time ever dealt with them was for a finish imperfection I caused in the lacquer. Paid the delivery costs to distributor to get it touched up which was great.

Liked about it Love the fact it's not a fender, not a gibson, is something completely different rather than in between. Scale length coupled with a great neck and finish make this probably the best all-rounder I've played.

Didn't like Would prefer some slightly hotter pickups in the guitar, maybe alnico IIs or evos

Overall satisfaction:

By alex.p
Jun 29, 2010
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