PRS SE Custom 22 Review 2021 – Before You Buy

PRS SE Custom 22 – Best Guitar Under $800?

Sound
Playability
Overall Quality
Value For Money
Versatility

Summary

Pros
-High-quality pickups and tonewood deliver superb sound
-Wide thin neck shape ideal for high-speed technique
-Long scale length over 22 frets for extra wide fret spacing
Cons
-High price, out of budget for many

This Custom 22 churns out its own delightful blend of thick, warm lows, kicking mids, and smooth, silky highs.

Anyone seeking to play out or record seriously will find this axe to be a great fit for all sorts of genres

4.7

How PRS SE Custom 22 sounds:

YouTube video


I have been checking out this guitar for some time now. This one is a really interesting option for intermediate guitar players. Especially if you want to rock with it. Why?

PRS SE Custom 22 specs:

Body type: Solidbody

Body wood: Mahogany

Neck wood: Maple

Neck shape: Wide Thin

Scale length: 25”

Truss rod: Yes

Fretboard material: Rosewood

Fretboard radius: 10”

Number of frets: 22

Nut width: 1.687 inches (43mm)

Pickups: 85/15 “S” Bass Humbucker (neck) and 85/15 “S” Treble Humbucker (bridge)

Pickup switch: 3-way

Bridge: PRS patented tremolo (molded)

photo reveals the Owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Reviewer: Teemu Suomala

Playing guitar since 2009. Mainly focused on electric guitars, although plays acoustics too. Started this blog in January 2020.

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PRS SE Custom 22 Review

Sound

This guitar comes with  PRS 85/15 “S” Bass(neck) and Treble(bridge) Humbucker Pickups. Tones are really stable, and articulate sounds from low to high really well.

Especially modern rock and metal are the perfect fit for this. Classic rock tones come out nicely too, but the balance is a little bit on the modern rock tones side.

A mahogany body gives a tone of warmness and darkness. Maple top adds some brightness. Some people may notice that the tone still lacks a bit brightness and character(I did), that’s true, but its nothing too bad.

Clean tones are really clear and stable too, and you are able to play really gentle riffs with this one too.

And melodic lead tones, ones like Santana uses are very natural for this guitar, so if you are into this kind of stuff, oh boy, you get a ton of value out of this guitar.

Overall, the tones are really solid.

But I would add one thing. Coil-split feature. That would add so much colder tones and overall versatility that I can’t even imagine. But sadly, you are not getting a coil-split feature with this axe, but it still mages to be really versatile instrument.

Sound demo of the 2020 model:

YouTube video

Playability

The neck is wide but thin, this makes moving your thumb at the back of the neck very easy. Especially barre-chords come out naturally. With the wider neck, some lower strings below 15th fret are a little bit hard to reach especially with my tiny hands. So having this kind of wide and thin neck has its pros and cons. It’s not the easiest to play, but it still manages to be comfortable.

The fretboard radius is 10’inches. It has slightly less curve than most Tele and Stratocasters and it’s really easy to move your hand from fret to fret.  But this is still not one of those super easy and fast necks but of course, if you got the skills, you can play fast with this one. I just don’t think that this is necessarily made with fast playing in mind.

I think that playability of this guitar fits best for rock riffs and solos. Of course, the tones of this guitar are really versatile, so you can do pretty much anything with this axe.

Quality

These SE Custom models are made in Korea. PRS SE models are known for their good quality control, and this is no exception. The overall finish and the details are really solid, PRS pickups are really durable and high in quality too. Stays in tune well and everything you get is high-value for money stuff.

To be honest it’s really hard for me to find any complaints about the quality.

Looks

Classic PRS looks. You either like it or not. I like both color options and oh boy I love those bird inlays. Hopefully, I can get this kind of PRS guitar in my collections soon.

Summary

Pros:

  • High quality
  • Good valuer for money
  • Comfortable neck
  • Nice rock sounds
  • Clean tones are gentle and clear
  • Looks beautiful(oh those birds!)
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • The wide neck can give some people trouble
  • The sound could be brighter and have more detail in it
  • Coil-split would be an amazing feature

The tone has that crunch and crispiness needed in rock(and in metal). Clean tones still are gentle and clear without being too dull. Quality is high and the guitar is really comfortable to play. You should note that the neck is slightly wider than in most electric guitars(it’s thin tho).

For a person who loves rock and is looking for a versatile guitar with 2 humbuckers, this guitar is definitely worth the money.


Alternatives

Versatile Big Brother – PRS Se Custom 24-08

Pros

  • High-quality pickups and tonewood deliver superb sound
  • Separate coil-split for both humbuckers adds versatility
  • Wide thin neck shape is comfortable
  • The scale length of 25′ over 24 frets for extra-wide fret spacing(hitting wrong strings is made hard)

Cons

  • High price, out of budget for many
  • Quality control sometimes lets lemons slip through

Separate split coil switches for both humbuckers ensure 8 different pickup configurations. This ensures you with versatility that is really hard to beat.

You can check the full review of this guitar from this article: 5 Best Wide Neck Electric Guitars for Fat Fingers in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

Check Price on


Great Budget All-Rounder – Fender Player Telecaster HH

This one is an excellent all-rounder with one of the best split-coil tones I have heard. Modern C neck shape ensures easy playability, and the affordable price makes this guitar a really interesting choice. I definitely recommend that you check this guitar out. Really high value for money.

You can read my full review of this guitar here: Fender Player Telecaster HH Review 2020 – Before You Buy.

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If You Want to Play Metal – ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000

I tried this for the first time in a music store nearby, and it has been one of my favorite guitars since. This guitar is just gorgeous. It handles everything, but it’s made for heavy riffing. A pleasure to play and listen. It offers great value for money with high quality and stunning tones. 

This EC-1000 isn’t as versatile as other guitars mentioned on this post, but when heavily distorted tones are needed, it is my go-to choice.

You can read my full review of this guitar here: ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000 Review 2020 – Before You Buy.

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Conclusion

If you are looking guitar with 2 humbuckers and want to play rock with it, look no more! This is an excellent choice. You get great tones, high quality, and comfortable playability with this axe.

If you are into cold and spanky single-coil tones, there are better options available for you. For example, Fender American Performer Stratocaster HSS which was mentioned above.

I hope that this review helped you out! If you have any questions, leave a comment down below. Feel free to share this post too.

I wish you all the best and keep rocking!

Teemu Suomala