Posts tagged ‘SE’

21/10/2019

Testipenkissä: PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple

PRS Guitarsilta on ilmestynyt kesällä Euroopan markkinoille tarkoitettu erikoispainos firman SE Custom 24 -mallista. Erikoismallin nimi on PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple Neck (899 €), ja se on saatavilla neljässä todella kauniissa värityksessä.

Custom 24 on PRS Guitarsin koko malliston kivijalka, johon perustuu valmistajan suosio. Paul Reed Smithin ensimmäiset, käsintehdyt sähkökitarat olivat käytännössä kaarevakantisia versioita Gibsonin 1950-luvun Doublecut Les Paul Specialista, ja muistuttivat Hamerin Sunburst-mallia. Herra Smith kuitenkin tiesi, kun perusti oman yrityksensä, että hän halusi kehittää täysin oman sähkökitaramallin.

Ja tämä oma malli oli juuri PRS:n Custom 24, joka yhdistää erittäin onnistuneesti tiettyjä ominaisuuksia Fender-sähkiksistä (mm. kaksisarvinen runko, sekä vibratallan toimintaperiaatteen) Gibson Les Paulin liimakaulan, mahonkirungon ja karevan loimuvaahtera kannen. Custom 24:n 25 tuumainen mensuuri on lyhyemmän Gibson- ja pidemmän Fender-mensuurin välissä, kun taas soittimen paranneltu vibratalla, sen funktionaalinen lapa, syvälle viistetty soololovi, sekä sellaiset kosmeettiset seikat kuin lintuotemerkit ja ”valereunalisoitus” olivat täysin Paul Reed Smithin omaa suunnittelua.

PRS:n suosittu SE-mallisto (SE = Student Edition) tehdään Etelä-Koreassa, ja siellä tehdään myös uudet Special Edition -mallit. Roasted Maple -kitaran rungon rakenne on PRS:lle perinteinen yhdistelmä mahonkipohjasta ja kaarevasta vaahterakannesta. Kustannussyistä SE-kansien vaahtera on tavallista sorttia, johon on liimattu näyttävä viilu loimuvaahterasta. Lähes kaikissa PRS-kitaroissa on ns. valereunalistoitus, jossa kannen reuna on jätetty petsaamatta/värjäämättä. Sen jälkeen kun värikerrokset ovat valmiit, peiteteipit poistetaan ja koko runko saa ylleen vielä kirkaslakkaa.

Se mikä tekee uusista erikoismalleista erikoisia on soittimien kaula:

Tavallisen mahonkikaulan ja palisanteriotelaudan sijaan Custom 24 Roasted Maple -malleissa käytetään lämpökäsiteltyä vaahteraa kaulassa ja otelaudassa. Lämpökäsittelyn idea on saada melko tuoreeseen puuhun vanhan ja paljon soitetun puun ominaisuuksia.

Otelautaan on siististi istutettu 24 medium-kokoista nauhaa, sekä mustat versiot PRS:n kuuluisista linnuista. Sulavasti muotoiltu satula on tehty itsevoitelevasta muoviseoksesta.

Custom 24 Roasted Maple -kitaran kaksi humbuckeria ovat uusimmat SE-versiot PRS:n amerikkalaisista mikrofoneista. Uusissa 85/15S-mikeissä on keraamiset magneetit, ja ne tarjoavat valmistajan mukaan erittäin maukkaan sekoituksen kuumasta lähtösignaalista ja mehukkaasta soundista.

85/15S-mikit on yhdistetty kolmiasentoiseen kytkimeen, sekä master volume- ja master tone -säätimiin. Tone-potikasta löytyy lisäksi vielä nostokytkin mikrofonien puolitusta varten.

PRS:n patentoitu vibratalla on selvästi jykevämpi ilmestys kuin 50-luvun perinnevibrat. Kampi painetaan paikoilleen, ja sen liikkuvuus nylonkauluksessaan säädetään pienellä kuusiokoloruuvilla.

Luonnollisesti PRS:n laadukas SE-pussi kuuluu myös Custom 24 Roasted Maplen hintaan.

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Oikeastaan ainoa pieni kritiikkikohta on testisoittimen paino. Vaikka tässä ei todellakaan liikuta 1970-luvun Les Paulin sfääreissä, tämä yksilö oli kuitenkin selvästi painavampi kuin mitä odotin.

Työnjälki, viimeistelyn laatu ja soittimen hyvät tehdassäädöt ovat tehneet PRS SE -malliston kitaroista niin suosittuja, eikä Custom 24:n uusi Roasted Maple -versio poikkea tästä linjasta. Viimeistelyn ja nauhatyön laatu on erinomainen, soittotatsi tehdaskielillä (.009-satsi) hyvinkin nopea ja vapaa nauhasärinästä, ja kitaran kelluva vibrato toimii moitteettomasti.

Vaikka olen tehnyt jo pitkään työtä soittimien parissa, pidän yhä PRS:n kaulaprofiilien nimiä hieman sekavina. Roasted Maple -mallin kaulaa kutsutaan firman toimesta ”Wide Thin Carveksi”. Minusta tämä kuulostaa 1990-luvun erityismatalilta Superstrat-vauhtikauloilta, vaikka todellisuudessa SE Custom 24:n kaulaprofiili onkin pyöreä, hieman ovaali ja keskikokoinen.

En tiedä onko asia todellakin näin – vai onko se vain korvieni välissä – mutta väittäisin, että vaahterakaula tuo tähän malliin pienen ripauksen tuoreutta diskanttiin. Akustinen sointi tuntuu pikkasen enemmän Strato-maiselta kuin tavallisesti PRS-kitaroissa.

Nojaan tavallisesti soundin kannalta enemmän matalatehoisten humbuckerien suuntaan, mutta minun täytyy myöntää, että PRS:n tehokkaat 85/15S-mikrofonit soivat yllättävän dynaamisesti ja maukkaasti. Volume-säätimeen on lisätty oiva treble bleed -kytkentä, joka takaa, että soundi pysyy tuoreena myös silloin, kun volume on säädetty hiljaisemmalle. Humbuckerien splittaus lisää vielä enemmän soundivaihtoehtoja menoon.

Ensimmäinen soundiesimerkki esittelee PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maplen puhtaita perussoundeja. Klippi alkaa puolitetuilla mikrofoneilla:

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PRS:n erikoispainos SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple Neck on todella hyvä lisäys firman SE-mallistoon. Jos olet aina halunnut edullisen PRS-kitaran, mutta olet vaahterakaulojen fani, Roasted Maple -malli on tarkoitettu juuri sinulle!

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PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple Neck

899 € (topattu pussi kuuluu hintaan)

Maahantuoja: EM Nordic

Kiitos DLX Musiikille testisoittimen lainasta!

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Plussat:

+ työnjälki

+ soitettavuus

+ monipuolisuus

+ soundi

Miinukset:

– testiyksilön painoSave

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24/09/2019

Review: PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple

PRS Guitars have recently introduced a Europe-only special edition of their SE Custom 24 model – the PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple Neck (price in Finland: 899 €), which is available in four very tasty finishes.

The Custom 24 is the foundation of PRS Guitars’ model range and the starting point of the company’s success story. Paul Reed Smith’s first handmade guitars were basically carved top, humbucker-equipped, deluxe versions of Gibson’s late-50s Doublecut Les Paul Special, not unlike Hamer Sunbursts. Mr Smith knew, when he started his guitar company, that he wanted to come up with a guitar that was truly his own brainchild.

This guitar was the PRS Custom 24, a model which fuses certain Fender elements (the double cutaway body and the vibrato bridge) with the glued neck, mahogany body and general aesthetics the Gibson Les Paul was known for. The 25-inch scale lies halfway between Gibson and Fender, while the improved vibrato, the straight string pull headstock and many cosmetic touches, such as the bird inlays, the deep treble cutaway chamfer, and the faux binding, were all Paul Reed Smith’s own designs.

PRS’ successful SE (= Student Edition) range is made in South Korea, which is where the special edition models come from, too. The Roasted Maple’s body stays faithful to the original by combining a contoured mahogany back with a carved maple top. To keep costs down the beautiful quilted maple front is a thin veneer on top of a plain maple top. The faux binding is achieved by masking the top’s rim prior to colour staining. The masking tape is then removed before the final clear coats are applied.

What makes this special edition special indeed is the neck:

Instead of mahogany topped with a rosewood fretboard, the Custom 24 Roasted Maple uses thermo-treated (aka torrefied or baked maple) as the material for both the set neck and the fingerboard. The theory behind the pressure cooker-type thermo treatment is that the heat and steam applied turns new wood into wood that closely resembles decades old, well-seasoned wood in terms of its look, and more importantly, its physical properties.

The fingerboard sports 24 gleaming, medium-sized frets, as well as black versions of PRS’ famous bird inlays. The smooth and well-cut nut is self-lubricating for optimum return to pitch.

The Custom 24 Roasted Maple’s twin humbucker’s are the newest SE-version of PRS’ US-made pickups, called the 85/15S. PRS promises that these ceramic pickups deliver an excellent mix of high output levels and juicy tones.

The 85/15S pickups are connected to a three-way blade switch and a master volume and master tone. A push/pull-switch in the tone control splits both humbuckers into single-coil mode.

PRS’ patented vibrato bridge is much chunkier than vintage designs, and it also features a push in arm with adjustable tension.

Naturally, PRS also includes their high-quality SE-gigbag with the Custom 24 Roasted Maple.

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The only small gripe I have with the review sample, is the guitar’s weight. Mind you, we’re not talking 1970s millstone Strats or Les Pauls here, but this particular guitar is heavier that I would have expected.

The workmanship, the quality of the finish, and the set-up puts PRS’ SE models in a league of their own, and the new Roasted Maple-version of the Custom 24 is no exception. The finish and fretwork are flawless, the action (with the supplied set of .009s) extremely slinky, yet completely buzz-free, and the floating vibrato works smoothly and without any tuning hiccups.

Even after all these years in the business I still find PRS Guitars’ neck profile names highly confusing. The company calls the carve on the Roasted Maple guitar a ”Wide Thin” neck. To me this always sounds like an early-Nineties super flat Superstrat neck, when in fact the SE Custom 24’s neck profile is slightly oval, well-rounded and of medium depth.

I don’t know it’s only my mind playing tricks, but to me it sounds like the maple neck adds a tiny bit of zing to this guitar’s acoustic tone. There’s a tiny amount of added ”Strattiness” in the mix, if you like.

Although I tend to be more in favour of low-to-medium output humbuckers, I have to admit that the PRS 85/15S units sound rather juicy, in spite of their high output. Thanks to the volume control’s treble bleed circuit you can really use the Custom 24’s controls to their fullest effect, without compromising your tone. The option to split the humbuckers for more wiry tones is an additional plus.

The first clip is an example of the PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple’s basic sounds. It starts off with the humbuckers split:

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The special edition PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple Neck is a worthy addition to the company’s SE-range. If you’ve ever fancied a mid-priced PRS with a set maple neck, here’s your chance.

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PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple Neck

899 € (including gigbag)

Distribution: EM Nordic

Thanks to DLX Music Helsinki for the loan of the review guitar!

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Pros:

+ workmanship

+ playability

+ versatility

+ sound

Cons:

– review guitar a little bit heavy

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17/09/2019

PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple – the Kitarablogi-video

10/09/2019

PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple – Now on Soundcloud

PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple

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21/08/2019

Testi tulossa +++ Working on a review +++ PRS SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple

Maahantuoja: EM Nordic

06/11/2012

Classic Guitars, part 10: PRS Custom 24

In the mid-Seventies both of the guitar industry’s giants – Fender and Gibson – had lost their innovative edge and much of their corporate prestige. Both companies had been taken over by large corporations, and profit margins started to push quality control into the background.

Many discerning guitarists were starting to subscribe to the notion of ”They’re not making ’em like they used to”, which left the doors wide open to Far Eastern copy guitars, as well as to small boutique makers.

PRS Guitars, just like Hamer Guitars, took Gibson’s classic solidbody designs as a basis for their ”modern vintage” models.

With PRS Guitars it all started with a young Paul Reed Smith converting one spare bedroom at his childhood home into a workshop in 1975. By the next year he had already moved into a small workshop in Annapolis, and started attracting customers such as Ted Nugent and Peter Frampton. His first guitars were based closely on the double cutaway Gibson Les Paul Special, but featured humbucking pickups.

A few years down the road Paul Smith added fancy flame maple tops into the mix, and he managed to sell four of these guitars to Carlos Santana. Santana’s signature PRS models are still based on these original guitars.

But Smith wasn’t satisfied with simply producing refined versions of past Gibson-classics, so he set out to develop the ultimate solidbody guitar.

By 1985 Paul Smith had finalised his vision and started his own production facility. At the NAMM shows of 1985 Smith unveiled the PRS Custom 24 – the model that has defined the whole brand to this day. The new guitar ingeniously combined the best features of a Gibson Les Paul Standard and a Fender Stratocaster, as well as including many of Smith’s own improvements – not least the smooth and reliable PRS-vibrato and his own (Schaller-made) locking tuners.

The PRS Custom 24 combines Gibson-style materials and construction with a Fender-like outline, balance and (in most cases) a vibrato bridge. Added into the mix are a middle-of-the-road 25-inch (63.5 cm) scale length – about halfway between the softer Gibson (24.75″/62.9 cm) and the harder Fender (25.5″/64.8 cm) scale lengths – as well as two PRS-humbuckers with coil-splits.

Originally the Custom 24 came equipped with two knobs and one mini-switch. The knob closest to the bridge pickup was (and still is) the master volume control, with the second knob actually being a five-way rotary pickup selector, and not a control pot. The mini-switch was called the Sweet Switch, and served in lieu of a regular tone control, by giving you a set tone with rolled-off highs.

The Sweet Switch was replaced by a regular tone control around 1989, and these days many Customs also feature a regular five-way pickup selector.

Over the years PRS have changed many details in the construction, harware and electronics of their guitars, but the Custom 24 still carries the essence of what PRS Guitars are all about – it is a beautiful, yet practical quality instrument. Or as Carlos Santana put it in an interview with Paul Reed Smith a few years ago: ”It’s a guitar that gives you no excuses not to play to the best of your abilities.”

10/09/2012

Testi tulossa – SE Angelus – A review is in the works

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SE Angelus Standard @ DLX Music

17/06/2011

Carlos Santana is my Tone God!

Last Monday Carlos Santana and his excellent band played in Helsinki’s football stadium (that’s soccer to you Americans).

Fantastic sound, great musicianship – it really was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to!

If you have a chance to see Santana on the current European tour, you should really do so  😉

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I simply adore Carlos’ lead sound.

Here’s a short bit paying homage to the man: Hairloss Manana

I recorded it using two review guitars:

• a PRS SE Custom for the rhythm parts

• a PRS McCarty for the lead

I’m not ashamed to admit I used a Behringer V-Amp2 in front of my Pro Tools -system.

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Last month I recorded this song to test a Tascam Portastudio for Riffi: Guitar (G-A-S)

I didn’t plan on recording something Santana-ish – it simply happened.

By the way, the whole thing was recorded using only real instruments (and without a click-track).

The guitar is an Epiphone Slash Goldtop through a Mad Professor Little Green Wonder into a Fender ’57 Twin-Amp reissue.