Another SE bargain
I can’t imagine how you could buy the SE Angelus guitar and feel like you didn’t get your money’s worth. This axe would not be ashamed visually, tactilely or sonically, playing alongside Martins, Taylors and Gibsons that run easily two or three times as much money. I realize that online Customer Reviews all have to be taken with a grain of salt, but I am confident that ninety-nine out of a hundred of you (or better) will agree with my opinion that follows.
The SE Angelus has a surprising number of nice touches of subtle beauty, visually balanced appointments and choices of woods, styles and colors as the gallery photos will show you, so I’ll only describe the less obvious features here. The neck is made in three pieces with the joining at the heel and just below the head, allowing for good strength while minimizing any waste of wood. The finish is a flawless polycoat that, while not “nitro”-thin, is much thinner than you’d expect and evenly applied so it doesn’t seem it would cause any significant sound issues. The case that comes with it is easily solid and plush enough, and uses four sturdy latches. The SE Angelus even comes with the excellent D’Addario EXP strings installed. In all cases, where cost has been minimized, it clearly has been done in the most unobtrusive way possible, and the overall affect is pretty, but functional and not showy.
With the narrower waist than a Dreadnought, the Grand Concert body sits comfortably on your thigh and seems thinner than it is. The frets are a nice height and width for strumming and lead playing, and the neck width and thickness/shape is comfortable too. The action is pretty nice, and I checked the intonation at the 12th fret using a tuner to find it was spot-on perfect on all six strings. At no place did I detect a buzz all the way up the fretboard on all strings.
At first strum, you realize how lively the sound is; the solid top and back woods certainly have much to do with this, and it doesn’t seem that the poly finish hurts it any. The Mahogany body makes it “delicate-sounding,” and the bass notes are not as deep as a Rosewood Dreadnought would be, but the tone is pure and smooth and the strings ring and sustain with a beautiful tone that is detailed and yet warm. (And I think it’ll “age” into an even more pleasing sonic palette.)
Like all of the PRS SE guitars, this one offers value far beyond what the price would tell you to expect. It’s hard to go wrong with any of the PRS SE series, including this very nice acoustic!