I'm a BIG Fan!
I contacted my Sweetwater rep, Andy, and told him that, as I beginner I was ready to take the step and upgrade from my Epiphone LP 100. But it was going to take a while of savings until I could afford the Gibson LP Studio. He turned me onto the PRS SE line, and gave it his endorsement, assuring me I'd get all the LP quality, and-then-some, at half the cost. Sweetwater even honored a guitar promo from a competitor, so it was even more discounted.... how awesome?!
So when the guitar arrived, I was blown away by the PRS quality. Nobody makes tops like this, and get compliments on the beauty of the guitar from experienced musicians. W/ the Guitar Gallery, I was able to pick out a unique top that almost looks like qulited-tiger-stripes. When not played it hangs on the wall as a work of art.
The feel of this thing is like nothing else. I have fat/long fingers, so the wide-fat neck appeals to me. Before I played w/ 10s strings, but I gave the stock 9's a try, and now, that's my go-to string size. These strings on the rosewood fingerboard is blues-bendy-heaven. The belly-cut back allows the guitar to hug your body while you play... not box feeling like some LPs I've tried. It's heavy, but that's what I was looking for - a big-warm sound machine. The knobs are switched from what I was used to (uppers are the downs and downers are the uppers)....but that wasn't a big deal-just something to get used to. I read complaints about the nut being too sharp, but I don't notice any issues there.
I give it a 4.5 instead of a perfect 5 for two reasons. One, the stock tuners are good, but not great. I tune it up everytime before I play, but it's not bad enough to merit changing them out. It'll hold tune just fine during your session, so not a big deal, but maybe some day I'll do lock-o-matic, we'll see. Second is the stock humbuckers. Again, good but not great. I played them just fine for 6 months, but was looking for a little warmer-boastier tone. Perhaps that's just personal preference, and no fault of PRS, but I changed them out for Gibson Burstbucker Pros (find them barely used and cheap on Craigslist, as LP users look to changeout their stock pickups). Now it gives that loud LP sound, with better look and feel, for a fraction of the cost.
This guitar can play anything, unless you're a metal-shredder, which I am not. Blues, Rock, Classic Rock, even Reggae.....it's all sounds great. I love this thing - it is the perfect upgrade for a beginner who is decidedly serious and looking to move to intermediate playing (pricewise), but qualitywise it's just a great guitar - PRS has perfected quality guitar construction in the midrange price. I would feel very happy to gig w/ this thing if it ever comes to that. I've had this guitar for about 8 months, and I have no plans to purchase anything else anytime soon. I'm content!
Thanks to Andy and Sweetwater for making it happen. Buy this guitar.... you will be a happy customer as well.