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PRS SE Angelus Custom - Acoustic-Electric Reviews

5.0 stars based on 17 customer reviews
  • from West Chester, PA August 11, 2014Music Background:
    Amateur Musician

    PRS SE Angelus Custom Acoustic-Electric

    I took delivery just a few days ago and can't put this guitar down. The SE Angelus Custom is beautifully constructed and flawlessly finished. It has incredible tone and is remarkably even across the full range. It sustains like nobody's business and will only get better as the woods age. The neck is a very comfortable size and shape and the fretboard is smooth and extremely playable. I can't speak for the electronics as yet but I expect the same quality in that aspect. The guitar arrived set up perfectly.

    It is clear that these guitars are manufactured to PRS' exceptionally high standards. The detail is impeccable and the moment you pick it up you know you are holding a very well built guitar.

    The guitar was back ordered a few months ago but it was well worth the wait. As has always been the case, dealing with Mac Hatton at Sweetwater was a pleasure. He kept me updated on delivery promises from PRS (apparently these guitars are in great demand and I now know why) and was, as always, fully invested in providing the very best customer service. Mac is a great guy and the reason I do business with Sweetwater.

    Everyone has their personal preferences. This one is a great fit for me. If you are considering this guitar get out there and test drive one if possible. This is a beautiful instrument at a price you won't find from any other guitar manufacturer for this level of quality.

    Most folks work hard for their money and getting good value is imperative. The PRS SE Angelus Custom is a great value. Top quality craftsmanship at a very fair price. Kudos to PRS for providing an instrument of this caliber at a price more players can manage. And a great extra.... it arrives in a very nice PRS hardshell case.

    Thanks Mac and Sweetwater for the great service!

  • from United States August 3, 2014Music Background:
    weekend jamer

    Nice guitar for the price

    Purchased this guitar in Dec,2013 and wanted to wait a few months to give my review. The guitar definitely gets better with age.I can imagine after a few years of ageing it will sound even better. Easy to play,great electronics, picture perfect finish on mine and lightweight.Great guitar for the price.I purchased the matching PRS strap and highly recommend it also. Sweetwater has the best customer service as I had an issue with the case. They followed up immediately and the customer service at PRS took care of my issue and I couldn't ask for any better service.

  • from Fair Oaks, CA July 29, 2014Music Background:
    Semi-pro folksinger, guitar and banjo player

    PRS SE Angelus Custom -- WOW!!!

    First, a little background. Never having acquired a guitar on-line and sight unseen before, I made this purchase with great trepidation. A.J. Becerra recommended the guitar, and although he had previously earned my trust with equipment purchases, I felt like I was really going out on a limb here. Also note that I own a 1971 Martin D-35, and any new guitar would immediately be subjected to comparison with my old "wooden mistress." Right or wrong, that's just the way things are in my world.

    When the new PRS SE Angelus Custom arrived, I examined it scrupulously, looking for flaws of any kind. Finding none (really...ZERO flaws!), I tuned it up and strummed it with a pick. WOW! The sustain was truly amazing, and the tonal characteristics were far, far better than one would expect from an acoustic guitar at this price point. I then went through a few tunes and was very impressed with its playability. The action was low and smooth, intonation up and down the neck was spot on, and there were no buzzes or other unwanted noises.

    At first, the guitar sounded very bright and a bit twangy to my ear, but recall that I was used to a very old Martin dreadnaught, which naturally has a darker, mellower voice. But the more I played the Angelus, the more it "settled in." By the second day, the twanginess went away. It still sounded bright, but it was beginning to mellow a bit. By the third day, I was hooked, and I really love playing this guitar now. Its sound and playability are quite extraordinary. In my opinion, it sounds and handles as well as any high-end acoustic guitar.

    The PRS electronics setup is superb. I sounds great with my old Fender Acoustasonic amp, and also with my partner's Marshall acoustic amp. Durability also looks good at this point; the new Angelus has been through several rehearsals, a gig, and a recording session. The case already has a few scratches, but the guitar is holding up well.

    The bottom line: I couldn't be happier with this guitar, and I am very grateful for A.J.'s advice and assistance in purchasing this guitar. Well done, A,J,!

  • from Pittsburgh, PA October 20, 2013Music Background:
    Intermediate Guitarist

    Best Acoustic for the Price

    For the price you simply cannot get anything better. It is gorgeous and it plays amazing right out of the box. I always get my guitars set up or with acoustics I might have the saddle shaved, There was no need when this guitar came out of the box. It feels and plays like an electric. The ebony fretboard feels fast and smooth. I had never even picked one of these up and took the recommendation of my Sweetwater agent Charlie Davis (who has never steered me wrong). I highly recommend this to anyone who likes the feel of an electric for an acoustic.

  • from Hillsdale, Mi USA October 18, 2013Music Background:
    Pro musician

    Wonderful guitar

    Went to sweetwater (great store) and tried many guitars. For the money this was the best playing and sounding. I'm very happy and blessed. Been playing 45 + years this is a amazing guitar.

  • from Conneaut Ohio September 19, 2013Music Background:
    20 years of gigging and recording

    This guitar begs to be played !!

    This guitar plays as good or better than my Gibson Songwriter. This is the third guitar I have Purchased from Sweetwater,as usual , perfect set-up.Best customer service ever. Guitar was in perfect tune.

  • from Lima Ohio July 17, 2013Music Background:
    Lead Worshipper


    I am not the greatest guitarist but, I have played acoustic for over 20 yrs and find this to be the best playing and sounding guitar I have put my hands to!!! I have played Martins and always wanted to own 1 just didn't want to part with 2 grand for a decent one made of all wood. I called my rep at Sweet Water inquiring about the SE Angelus Custom after reading the reviews. After Andy listened to me for a little while as i relayed to him what I was looking for he said this guitar was perfect for what I need. He said come in and play it and you decide, you wont be disappointed... He was right... Wow best 1000 bucks I ever spent and would do it again in a heartbeat... 2 thumbs up on this beautiful piece of craftsmanship. BTW did I say I bought this without playing it; just from reading the reviews and watching YouTube videos of people playing one, caused me to sign up and order my guitar. I took it from the box excited to get it and at first strum I knew this was going to be a life long friend: Thank's Sweet Water, Awesome!!!!

  • from Cheshire, CT June 30, 2013Music Background:

    This shouldn't be possible

    If it were possible for the big 3 (Martin, Taylor and Gibson) to outlaw this guitar, they likely would do so. It proves, unequivocally, that an amazing instrument can be had for under a grand, and be made from the same materials used to create the 2 and 3K acoustic electrics hanging on the walls of guitar stores throughout the land. Having owned many a Martin and Taylor (and still do) I have to shake my head and acknowledge that were it not for the thrill of the hunt or perhaps a desired change in color or shape, it would not be necessary to purchase another acoustic electric guitar going forward. It won't get any better. Plugged in or unplugged, pick it up, close your eyes and play it. The SE Angelus becomes indistinguishable from guitars costing three times as much. The ebony fret board, a shade narrower than what might normally be expected on a full sized acoustic, invites easy play and transition from those more acustomed to playing electric guitars. Mine needed just a small tweak in the action via a truss rod adjustment to make the playability near perfect. Don't worry, finger style players, (of which I am one) there's plenty of room to do your thing.
    The pre-amp that comes with the Angelus does a wonderful job of creating a lush acoustic fullness, enhancing what is already acousitc bliss.
    Bottom line, if you can get past the "made in Korea" label on the back of the headstock and are in the market for the sweetest acoustic electric in the land for under a K, look no further. Paul Reed Smith knew what he was doing when he created this line of SE guitars.

  • from S.F. Bay Area April 25, 2013Music Background:
    50 years of recreational playing

    Best Bang for the Buck around

    I've been playing guitar for 50 years and have owned many instruments. The play-ability, tone and voice of this guitar are among the best I've ever heard. Unplugged it's loud, and rings with such resonance that it keeps up in any acoustic mix. Plugged in it sounds linear, exactly like it's unplugged voice but with adjustable volume. I've never had such applause when performing as I get with the new SE Angelus. My next guitar purchase will likely chosen from the upscale American Angelus offerings. I love the Korean SE, it's affordable, and made to the highest quality I've ever seen in an acoustic guitar. It's just perfect for me in my daily and outdoor playing.

  • from McKinney,Texas April 9, 2013Music Background:
    Long time picker and avid jammer!

    Awesome Instrument!

    These guitars are almost impossible to find in local stores so I was unable to try one out before buying from Sweetwater. After doing considerable research and reading reviews I bought one. No buyers remorse here!

    Straight out of the box it was in tune and ready to play. This is a quality built instrument that sounds and plays like it should cost a lot more money. I have to believe that the natural tone woods will only sound better with age. I normally play a vintage Martin, but this one is going to see a lot of playing time. Way to go PRS!

    This is the second time I have purchased a guitar "blindly" and both times relied on Ryan for input. He is great and I had total confidence in buying from Sweetwater. The service is first rate and I would not hesitate to buy from them in the future... why pay more when you can get a great deals on the instruments you really want.

  • from Warren., MI April 3, 2013Music Background:
    Performing Guitarist and DJ

    The perfect Acoustic/ELectric

    What a fine instrument. I looked at Taylors and Martins and kept coming back to this beauty. The action is perfect the finish heavenly and the sound is clear and loud. A perfect guitar for performing and it looks professional on stage. WOW thank you PRS and Sweetwater for getting it to me in tune and flawless.

  • from USA March 10, 2013Music Background:
    Former pro, avid hobbyist now. Life got in the way!

    Hard to Tell from American Angelus

    I am lucky enough to have a PRS Angelus Private Stock. It is a wonderful guitar. Immaculate and the tone is big, bold, really full. When I was picking it up from my dealer, I saw the SE version with electronics. I took them both into the acoustic room. Almost identical tone. And really beautifully built as well. Slightly thinner neck at nut and front to back, probably better flatpicking, but hey, it is amazing. I bout it as well for my "leave out for playing" guitar while the PS sleeps in the case. Rational mind says I should have just bought the SE. Mindblower. Oh, and I own Martins, Taylors and 2 beautiful Bourgeois guirtars already.

  • from Mission Viejo, CA December 24, 2012Music Background:

    Beautiful Guitar!

    When you first lay your hands on this guitar, you will be blown away with the quality and appearance. This is a beautiful guitar. Clearly the price is missing a digit. I have a small collection of Martin and Taylor guitars and this fits in very well. The sound quality is well balanced with a "punchy ring" I usually only hear in more expensive guitars. I am very happy with this guitar out of the box and I can't wait to hear it age.

  • from United States October 20, 2012Music Background:

    Great guitar, great value

    PRS have done a commendable job in recreating their premium line of guitars in an affordable line more within reach of most of us working stiffs. This guitar plays and sounds as good as a Taylor 614CE I previously owned, it really feels and looks like a guitar that typically costs twice as much from other guitar companies. With the narrow neck width it plays more like an electric so it's probably more suited for flatpickers, but you can play some fingerstyle as well. Onboard preamp with tone stack, tuner works well. I love how it sounds plugged in, but it should be noted that this guitar is really loud unplugged. PRS designed these guitars to project outward from the soundhole and it shows. Beautiful spruce top, rosewood back/sides, mahogany neck, and ebony fretboard with bird inlays gives this guitar a really premium vibe. For the price I would argue this is as good a guitar as you can get.

  • from Minnesota January 16, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist -- 24+ years of playing guitar, teaching, studying and learning all there is about this amazing instrument

    Unsettled but pleased with it

    This guitar was a tough one for me, but it was love at first sight. As players we all trust PRS and believe, no matter what, the guitar we'll buy will be great. To a point, this one certainly is. It's beautiful in functionality and design. It sounds very good both plugged in and unplugged. The build quality is just fine, it all fits neatly together and the gloss is immaculate, which we've all come to love about PRS guitars. The neck shape is familiar to the other PRS SE guitars, it's got the birds, low action and a smooth transition up and down the neck.

    This guitar sounds very balanced and enjoys a lighter touch which returns it's sweet melodic charm back to the player. If you play hard and push the guitar, the sound gets muddled and stressed as the low action creates buzz and makes for a complicated edgy projection. Using light to moderate strumming as well as fingerpicking makes this guitar sing nicely. Keep in mind this acoustic electric is a mid priced acoustic first and foremost with a hundred bucks worth of electronics thrown in. Then you'll add a hundred or so for the name and there you have it. It's a tad more expensive than other guitars in this quality range but you get what you pay for (read my first 2 sentences).

    Tell me what this compares to in terms of sound, I can't find one locally???

    I'd compare the balanced tone to that of the A series Yamaha guitars which is a compliment as Yamaha makes a great guitar in this price range. Nothing about a Yamaha blows me away (might just be the name) but I'm always pleased with them. I've never played a nice one and said I didn't like it. They are just great, boring guitars to me. Nothing sets them apart, I need more in terms of name, cosmetics, design...something to get me hooked. That's what PRS has done with this SE line-up. It's all about the birds!

    That being said, this guitar is very clean inside and out, the tone wood is beautiful, carries a comfortable body shape and I think the headstock looks fabulous. The appealing stature of this guitar coupled with it's melodic tone won me over instantly. Overall I'm very happy with this guitar as it does what I wanted it to do...sound good, look good, feel good, play good and it's got the birds which I've always wanted! It's also under $1000 bucks.

    One negative I'd give this guitar is the book matched spruce top. The wood is re-sawn and flipped like a book, matched up perfectly and the two sides are joined together to make the spruce top. Not all spruce is completely clear in this grade of wood so you can get some shadowing effect on the top as it transitions across the face. Some tops look better than others so choose carefully and Sweetwater takes amazing photos of each guitar. I got a perfect top on mine but I was patient and waited for the right one. Also, inspect the wood grain on the Rosewood back and sides. Some have a darker color which hides the grain. It's a give and take in this price range but in no way effects the sound enough to matter. Some guitars just look better than others in my opinion. They all play great so I'm just being overly picky with my purchase. I love the shadowing but I wanted a clear top like the one pictured. I was surprised PRS allowed this shadowing to go out the door but producing these guitars must be pushing the financial boundaries of the company and I'm sure they are picking out the finest pieces they can to make these. This is merely cosmetic and makes every guitar unique.

    I give this guitar 4 1/2 stars because it's slightly overpriced which I happily accepted. If each top was completely clear, had eye popping grain patterns across the sides and back then this guitar would cost $4000 dollars. However, there's nothing much under a $1000 dollars that looks and plays like this guitar. This is alot of sound and quality for the money. Thanks PRS for making one of their guitars available to everyone (standing ovation!).

  • from Lafayette, IN USA February 5, 2014Music Background:
    somewhere between hobbyist and pro, playing since the early 90s.

    Nice Axe

    Overall, a very nice guitar, especially in this price range. Impeccable set-up from the crew at Sweetwater, low, even action. The neck is very comfortable for both chording and fleet fingered scales. While not as bass heavy as my Martin DM, the tones come across as quite well balanced and the electronics sound very transparent. The cutaway make higher runs much easer. Fit and finish was excellent (even better than some of the $4000 Gibson electrics I've owned). Nice hardshell case is included. Picked this one up as a demo, and haven't regretted it a bit. Couldn't even find the "flaws" that the ad spoke of, so that will give you an idea of the level of integrity here. VERY pleased overall.

  • from Missoula, MT October 7, 2013Music Background:

    PRS SE Angelus Custom - Review

    Upon arrival noticed that the binding on the corner of the case was pulling away from the case itself. Looks like the adhesive wasn't spread evenly through this area. The Guitar itself look wonderful, and sounds incredible. I don't like to buy guitars without playing them first and took a leap of faith with this guitar. Intonation is spot on, and tone is really wonderful. Full bottom end and mids, without an overly bright top end. The resonance from the body of this guitar is pretty amazing.

    Electronics sounds pretty good, and on board tuner is ok. I can get a more accurate tune with other tuners that I own. Overall, really like this guitar and at this price point, it is a really good deal. This is also my first order with Sweetwater, and I am impressed with the level of customer service.

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