PRS SE Custom 22 Review 2022 – Before You Buy

PRS SE Custom 22 – Best Guitar Under $800?

Reviewer: Teemu Suomala

Sound
Playability
Overall Quality
Value For Money
Versatility

Summary

Pros
-High-quality pickups deliver superb sound
-Wide thin neck shape ideal for high-speed technique
-2.066”(52.5mm) string spacing feels really comfortable for both hands
-Meaty neck with wide-thin neck shape great for larger hands too
-PRS have added the coil-split feature to these new models
-Really versatile
-Overall quality and value for the money are great
-Looks beautiful(oh those birds!)
-Comfortable to play

Cons
-High price, out of budget for many
-Some might notice a small lack of clarity in tone
-Wide-thin neck shape is not for everyone

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

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I have been checking out this guitar for some time now… Because this one is a really interesting option for intermediate guitar players and advanced players…let’s find out why!

PRS SE Custom 22 specs:

Body type: Solidbody

Body wood: Mahogany

Top material: Flamed Maple

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)

String spacing (measured from the bridge, E-e): 2.066”(52.5mm).

Nut material: PPS Plastic

Pickups: 2x PRS 85/15 “S” Humbucker, with coil-split

Pickup switch: 3-way

Bridge: PRS Molded Tremolo

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Author: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I also noticed that most guitar websites don’t do a really good job, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website. I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as Songsterr, Musicnotes, GuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar. I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog(I guess that went the right way…).


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PRS SE Custom 22 Review

Sound

Another sound demo for you:

YouTube video

This guitar comes with 2x PRS 85/15 “S” Humbucker Pickups. Tones with these are really stable and articulate.

The older version of PRS SE Custom 22 had PRS 85/15 “S” Bass(neck) and Treble(bridge) Humbucker Pickups.

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’s side.

When it comes to cleans, I like the balance this guitar has tonally. Nothing sticks to my ear badly, but this guitar still avoids sounding dull.

For me, these pups offer great versatility from gentle cleans to mean and fast metal riffs.

How tonewoods should affect the sound of hollow body guitars under $1000
  • Body wood: Mahogany
  • Top material: Flamed Maple
  • Neck wood: Maple
  • Fretboard material: Rosewood

To me, tonewoods are definitely not the biggest factor when it comes to solidbody electric guitars. Pickups have to biggest impact. But I would pay some attention to body woods too.

Some people may notice that the tone still lacks a bit of brightness and character(I did), that’s true, but it’s nothing too bad. Personally, I could detect that only by first hearing somebody saying it and then listening very carefully to this potential flaw in mind.

Also, 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.

Also, previously PRS SE Custom 22’s didn’t have a coil-split feature…but now they do. And this is awesome! It doesn’t sound like a Strat but adds a ton of versatility into your arsenal. Points for PRS for including this long-wanted feature to SE Custom 22!

Playability

photo reveals how prs se custom 24-08 wide-thin neck shape compares to modern c
How wide-thin neck shape compares to Modern C.

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 and fast shifts are easy.

With the wider neck, some lower strings below the 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 really 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 still, the combination of comfortable wide-thin-neck and relatively flat 10” radius make both fast and slow playing comfortable. So, this might not be the easiest guitar to handle for everybody, but it for sure is comfortable.

I think that the playability of this guitar fits best for rock, metal, and progressive music overall. Great for both, 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.

PRS SE Custom models I have tested stay in tune well and everything you get seems to be high-value for money stuff.

Of course, sometimes lemons slip through. SE Custom guitars can be bothered by typical new guitar issues like:

  • Dust inside pickup switch
  • Uneven frets
  • Poor setup
  • Some scratches

I didn’t find any major complaints, but if you face those, contact the seller. You almost always get the things sorted out nicely.

Looks

Classic PRS looks. You either like it or not. I like all the color options and oh boy I love those bird inlays and flamed maple looks. I have only tested PRS SE Customs, but hopefully, I can get this PRS to my own collections soon.

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Summary

Pros:

  • High-quality pickups and tonewood deliver superb sound
  • Wide thin neck shape ideal for high-speed technique
  • 2.066”(52.5mm) string spacing feels really comfortable for both hands
  • Meaty neck with wide-thin neck shape great for larger hands too
  • PRS have added the coil-split feature to these new models
  • Really versatile
  • Overall quality and value for the money are great
  • Looks beautiful(oh those birds!)
  • Comfortable to play

Cons:

  • High price, out of budget for many
  • Some might notice a small lack of clarity in tone
  • Wide-thin neck shape is not for everyone

The tone has that crunch and crispiness needed in rock and metal. Clean tones 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 versatility, high value for money, and is looking for a guitar with 2 humbuckers, this guitar is definitely a great option.

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FAQ

Where PRS SE Custom 22’s are made?

PRS SE Custom 22’s are made in South Korea.

What does “SE” stand for in PRS models?

SE means= Student Edition.

Does PRS SE Custom 22 have a real bone nut?

No. SE Custom 22 has PPS Plastic-nut. If you want to learn more about PPS plastic, check this article.


Alternatives

Versatile Big Brother – PRS Se Custom 24-08

Pros

  • Sounds awesome (PRS TCI-tuned “S” Humbuckers)
  • 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 gives you 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 2022 – Buyer’s Guide

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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 2022 – 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 in 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 2022 – Before You Buy.

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Conclusion

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

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

I wish you all the best and keep rocking!

Teemu Suomala

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