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April 2017 Giveaway

PRS SE 245 - Tobacco Sunburst Reviews

4.5 stars based on 27 customer reviews
  • from USA February 6, 2015Music Background:
    Guitarist, keyboardist, bassist, producer, songwriter

    SIMPLY AWESOME!!!

    I just got my new PRS SE 245 today. I can't put it down. I can sit here and write a long and detailed review but I will refrain from doing so. I've been playing guitar for 25 or so years and the PRS SE 245 is an AWESOME guitar. The neck action is super duper fast, the body style is nice and detailed. I love the bird inlay. Sweetwater (Nathan Parker) thanks man for the speedy delivery. The bag of candy was a nice touch. Sweetwater will get all my business from now on. I am one satisfied customer. Sweetwater keep doing what you're doing. JP.

  • from madison, WI December 23, 2014

    Can you love a guitar?

    Yes you can. this is the best guitar I have ever owned, and I haved owned fenders, gibsons, epiphones, vox and a few others. but Not one of them played like my 245, first it is simply beautiul, It is artwork that you can play or shred with, grat for rock and will cry he blues. PRS simply the best.

  • from Tacoma, WA December 4, 2014Music Background:
    Long time student of jazz

    A Solid Choice

    Set up correctly, the PRS SE245 plays very well and gives you quite an array of diverse sounds. Using the fret board pickup and attenuating the tone gives a decent mellow jazz sound. Of course you can't get a hollow body sound ala Jim Hall from it, but the sound is nonetheless very good. After a year of playing it, I believe the guitar to be worth far more than the category the price appears to place it in.

  • from Colorado, United States December 2, 2014Music Background:
    Pro musician, 50 years in the trenches

    Phenomenal guitar

    I bought this guitar in the Vintage Yellow on impulse. I was looking at another famous single cutaway solid body guitar ( 2 of which I have previously owned) but scared by the prices. I have another PRS SE model which I love, so I took a shot. This guitar is awesome - it arrived perfectly set up and intonated. The pickups even sound great, and I am OCD regarding tone. This guitar is worth it at twice the price - I highly recommend it. And as usual my sales tech Nick Schenkel provided excellent service and got the guitar to me a day earlier than expected.

  • from Elkhart, In. March 11, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Well worth the money...and then some!

    I bought this Guitar A) based on the PRS reputation, B) I've been drooling over the SE Line for a while. I can honestly say, as a 30+ year player and owner of several other brands that cost one to two times these, That this guitar is well worth the price. The attention to detail and build quality are far beyond the asking price. It's up there with other brands I paid way more for.
    Everything from the headstock down to the strap buttons is finely done. The Finish is really gorgeous. Don't let the "wide/Fat" neck fool you, This guitar just feels right in your hands.
    The pickups are really nice sounding, with all 3 settings being very musical and useable. Even at loud volumes, with an Distortion pedal between it and the amp, I keeps your tone kind of clean (think Van Halen, Vai etc.) instead of getting muddy. By that, I mean you can hear all the notes in a Chord. And the clean tones... Amazing.
    Needless to say, the next guitar I buy will be another PRS SE Model. You cannot go wrong with this guitar, or any other SE model.
    Well done PRS, and thank you Sweetwater for the GREAT Price and service.

  • from MT March 1, 2014

    Well made and beautful instrument!!!!!!!!!

    Itís true, the PRS SE 245 craftsmanship and finish is impressive, on the sample I own I have to look very close and be very picky to find anything wrong. The joints, contours, and lines are clean and precise, the clear finish is smooth and even. I smile every time I look at it, even closely. My ďhigh endĒ Epiphone Les Paul with Gibson pickups plays and sounds great (after some work of course), but it lacks the refined workmanship the PRS exhibits.


    The string height follows the neck radius very well out of the box, the frets are well done and nicely finished. I like the mushroom head strap buttons, they are about as good as can be for securely holding a strap without using strap locks. The switches, interior wiring, and knobs look good, they feel and function well. Intonation really was good, I checked it carefully. The jack plate is durable metal, versus plastic that is used on some guitars, I like that because it will not crack like the plastic will. I also like the one piece solid bridge, it works functions well and due to the smooth shape it is also comfortable on the pick hand.


    The PRS pickups are not as hot as Gibson 490R and 498T pickups for example, and they donít distort as soon, but if you turn it and the amp up they will still get good and dirty. A little smoother and more mellow. If you want a crisp clean tone they do that very well too.


    This isnít really a pro or con per se but if you are used to Les Paul guitars you will need to get used to the fact the PRS 245 knobs arenít arranged in the same order on the PRS. The PRS knobs are actually arranged more intuitively in my opinion, but still if you play both it is easy to get them mixed up. Another thing , if you are used to Les Paul guitars is the neck radius is smaller on the PRS, it makes the Les Paul fret board seem dead flat in comparison. Just a little FYI in case you havenít noticed the specs, and you will definitely notice it in playing them.


    One thing I was not satisfied with is the strings were too high (quite a bit too high) at the nut for me, and so the playability suffered around the first few frets. I lowered the stings at the nut and widened the slots for 10ís as it came with 9ís and I prefer heavier strings. The slots were too narrow to use the 10ís. The string height (action) further down the neck was good out of the box. For what it is worth, I have setup the action/string height at the nut on every guitar I own but unlike most of the guitars this was the ONLY thing I felt should have been better. Since re-cutting the nut, it holds tune very well, the tuners seem just fine on this one.


    I have had this for 3 months now, and played it almost daily. The PRS SE 245 is a great guitar and if you are looking for something that is very high quality without spending a lot more money you probably have to look no further.

  • from Westchester, NY December 28, 2013

    Serious competion for the

    In the SW description where it says "the perfect alternative to the single-cut solidbody electric guitars we all know and love", they are not kidding. SW really needs to add "incredibly priced, top quality" right in front of "the perfect alternative...".

    Yes I very recently bought one of those "know and love" (standard) guitars which I was intending on playing at this little festival in NE over the Xmas holidays. The thing is this festival gets a little crazy in that they jam a whole bunch of bands into a relatively short amount of time, so things get a little crazy backstage...and sometimes things get damaged, broken and...stolen...in the commotion. Well the wife suggested that perhaps I don't bring my coveted "know and love..." -even though everything has been rehearsed on the "know and love. I mention the wife because she knew how much the "know and love" cost and she also knew the stolen instrument stories.

    As it turns out SW was having an incredible sale on the SE245. When I showed that to my wife as a reasonable replacement, she said to grab one quick! (My wife recognizes a good deal...and a great Xmas present). For the record this guitar is just plain phenomenal -not even for just the price (which is a steal even at regular price). Although I have to say it is not a "perfect match" for my "know and love" in that the neck is fatter (think "know and love" of the 50's) (but yes I really do like the SE's neck), plus the tone and volume controls placement is like a quarter turn off of the placement of the "know and love" (which takes a little getting used to). Also the pickup sound is not quite as thick, but that being said, I love, love, love the way the pickups sound -satisfyingly crisp and crunchy.

    The only (non) negative- I was a little freaked out by the lack of individual intonation saddles -I am a freak for intonation. But after taking about it with my sales engineer Richard Whittington -2 things he said, one -not to sweat it as PRS uses this set up on their $10k (non-tremolo bar) guitars and second -if it is not broke it is best to leave it alone. Turns out that was great advice in two respects, first the guitar's intonation was scarily dead nuts on. I'll say it again, scarily dead nuts on. Second, a replacement bridge with individual saddles (not counting installation) can be had for between $120 and $250 -providing you could even find one in stock -which I could not find. A big shout out and a thank you to Richard Whittington, who's advice saved me a whole lot of money and hassle.

    As for the "know and love", oh I do still love it, but it definitely is in competition with the SE-245 for my playing time. As for the festival, the SE-245 was totally up to the task and I have to tell you I honestly would be just as bummed now if the SE were stolen compared to the "know and love".

  • from Waynesburg Pa. December 2, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist, play the bars on weekends

    PRS SE 245

    Exceptional guitar, I caught a cherry sunburst on sale at a ridiculous price before they were all gone. This is my first PRS and I must say this is as nice a instrument as anything I have ever owned at any price. The guitar setup was perfect and played great with no tweaking . I am impressed with the quality of build as well as the sound and playability. This one is a keeper I am extremely happy with my purchase and wish I had ordered a few more while they lasted.The folks at Sweetwater did a great job and I believe I will have to keep doing business with them. I am brutally honest when I review items that I have purchased and I would definitely recommend this product to anybody looking for a guitar, beginner or seasoned player.

  • from Mn August 11, 2013Music Background:
    38 long years of playing

    Joy to Play

    I am amazed at the quality of this and the Bernie Marsden . I have the 245 set up with gibby BBPro trem & rhythm , grover locking mini rotos and a new tusq nut. Just awesome setup. The se line is quality matching any us made. 38 years of Fender deluxe strats, Gibson standards and classic customs and a list of many more. I am having a blast with the se line.

  • from Villa Rica, GA April 3, 2013

    Great guitar value

    I've owned for USA PRS guitars and love them all, so on a whim, I bit the bullet and tried this SE model and I couldn't be more impressed with the quality and attention to detail. The action is great and I played it for an hour right out of the box and couldn't put it down. All of the hardware is quality material and installed well. The flamed maple top is deeply figured and the finish is flawless even at the neck joint. The fingerboard is nicely planed and the fret work is good. The only thing that could be better is the filing of the frets on the edges, but that takes time and time costs money. It doesn't take away from the playability. The pickups are rich and throaty. I could dial in jazz tones and grit with the tone and volume controls. There is no noise in the pots or the 3 way selector; all are quiet and responsive. Unlike similar guitars in this range, the pickups are not overly hot to compensate for poor wood or construction. They are very good and very articulate. I used it through two different Vox tube amps and Fender tube amp; it purred. I'm going to cut the .09's off and go with some heavier gauge DRs, but it can only get better. The gig bag is of good quality as well. You can spend more a get a lot less, but this guitar is a great great value and I'm already shopping for my next one.

  • from Belleview, FL February 18, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist & Student

    Rockin out da Blues now!

    I am so glad to have taken this "leap of faith" on Sweetwater's Guitar Gallery & have nothing to complain about...my mouth is still open in disbelief at the craftsmanship & pure beauty of my new instrument! I got a good vibe over the phone with Gilbert J. & I felt reassured of the buying/shipping excellence experienced by other satisfied customers as well. Unzipping the extremely well padded Gig bag for the first time & seeing this gem, felt like a 'Christmas of old' for me. Thank you Gilbert & M.V.; (who did the 55 pt. evaluation)...I think I'll go play now!! :)

  • from Florence, KY USA August 28, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Couldn't be happier!

    I can't say enough about how impressed I am with this guitar! Fantastic fit, finish and playability. It sees NO time in the gig bag that came with it.
    I WANT MORE,

  • from Midwest February 28, 2015Music Background:
    Pro musician,

    Well worth it

    Great sound, nice craftsmanship, awesome finish. The only negative IMO is the wide/fat neck. Just haven't quite been able to get used to that, but nevertheless I put up with it because of the gorgeous tones this guitar produces. Sounds great clean, sounds great with overdrive. I've played Carvins for many years (very thin and comfortable necks) and also have owned various Les Pauls and Strats, but the SE 245 wins in the tone department. Worth every penny! And you can't go wrong with Sweetwater's incredibly helpful sales reps, customer service, packaging and shipping speed - by far the best in the business!

  • from Carroll Co MD December 4, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist with 20+ years playing many guitars

    Well Worth It`

    I bought this guitar a year ago and have been using this as my go to over my beloved Strat. This guitar plays beautifully, carries great tone and sustain and maintains it's flawless good looks. I wanted to wait awhile to see if the charm wore off but I'm actually selling my Strat - my former #1 for an SE Custom 24 with coil tapping. These guitars are phenomenal and I would recommend them to anyone. I paid 400.00 for this one and the same for the SE Custom 24 thanks to a holiday deal. there is no way to go wrong here. Treat yourself well and never look back.

  • from Evansville, IN USA May 10, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist - Intermediate level player and still learning

    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.

  • from Philadelphia December 28, 2013Music Background:
    Music is my life!!!

    A +++++++!!!

    A great guitar, we'll worth looking into!
    This is what the Les Paul should have evolved into...get one, and see what I mean...

  • from Anderson, IN December 23, 2013Music Background:
    30 years playing experience

    Love it. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.

    Picked up the Gray/Black version during the Black Friday sale. After switching back and forth between this and my Les Paul Studio for about a week, I think that it became clear that I like this better. Finish is perfect, pickups have a wonderful tone. Very pleased with this guitar. The only two things I can find to nit pick at the tuners are a tad suspect and I may switch them out for locking ones. But in all honesty, I would have done that anyway as I just like lockers. The other is a case. It would be nice if you could get one made directly for it.

  • from Near Pt. Roberts WA December 8, 2013Music Background:
    Hacking away at this for 50+ years.

    I'm impressed.

    I recently sold an interesting FSR Fender Tele (mahogany, chambered), and really wasn't looking for another guitar. I have an ES-335 and a Sadowsky jazz box, and thought that was all I really needed. But then I got the Sweetwater Black Friday spam, saw the ad, the price, and read the reviews, and I pulled the trigger on the SE 245 in cherry sunburst. It arrived yesterday and, so far, I am really pleased. Sounds good, plays good. Fit and finish is excellent. It took a bit of time to settle in with the 24.5" scale after playing Fender. I'll probably restring it with .011s. I was interested in a basic Les Paul-style guitar for a reasonable price and this meets or exceeds all expectations. Sweetwater service was, as usual, exemplary. Thanks David M and all.

  • from Southern California October 25, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Love it.

    I have had my PRS for a month now and I love it. Very sweet and true tones. Couldn't be happier... unless of course I played better!

  • from Maple Shade, NJ July 11, 2013Music Background:
    Musician

    PRS SE 245

    Great guitar...played it right out of the box. Only issue was that I use 10g strings. Guitar came w 9g...had to have the nut filed to accomodate the 10g. Otherwise NO complaints. Sounds GREAT through my Blackstar Club 40...Played 2 gigs with it already. Holds tune well. Recommend this guitar for intermediate to pro level players.

  • from Hartford, CT January 25, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist and Occasional Gigger

    Unbelievable Value

    Being primarily a Fender guy, I had been on the fence about picking up a PRS for a long time. A friend of mine has an American Custom. I had tried it and was not overly impressed. Auditioned an SE One once and likewise. Recently I was in a GC and tried out an SE Santana and was very impressed. Solid maple cap, nice figured veneer, and great playability with the 24.5" scale neck. I took the plunge and ordered an SE 245 from Andy at Sweetwater. I picked one from the gallery that had the figuring pattern I liked. As usual, the order was processed efficiently and I received the guitar in a couple of days. Outstanding service.

    This SE 245 came perfectly set up with a very nice gig bag. Not a cosmetic flaw to be found. The carved top/volute and natural binding are beautiful in person. Playability is excellent, with nice low action, no buzzes, and tuners that hold very well. Solid hardware and a quality feel all around, though it will take me while to adjust from the Fender scale length to which I'm used to playing.

    Tonewise, the stock pickups are very nice, though not the best I've heard. They sound a bit stiff (for lack of a better word) and don't have any real "bloom" to them. Again, perfectly fine but I will likely replace with better pickups after giving these a year to grow on me. The only other negative are the pots. Physically they are tough to grip in the heat of the moment and are not as responsive in their taper as some of my other guitars. I will likely swap these for full-size CTS pots, etc, probably when I do the pickups. But they are perfectly good for now.

    Having stated my two minor nits above, it is unbelievable how much value and quality this guitar offers for so little money. It's given me a great opportunity to try out a PRS and its unique scale neck and control layout, without forking over around $3K for an American-made PRS. Apart from a pick up and hardware upgrade, I see no reason to get an American PRS for the moment, though it has given me an appreciation for what they bring to the table. So all in all, the SE 245 is a gig-worthy, instrument with amazing cosmetics, great playability and solid tone. Highly recommended.

  • from Moses Lake, Wa. February 25, 2015Music Background:
    Have played guitar for 32 years.

    Great Value

    It would be hard to beat the value you get with this guitar for the price. This is a great guitar for a beginner or for an advanced player looking for an inexpensive alternative to traveling with their prized axe. This guitar is not going to replace a high end Gibson and anyone who says they're comparable just doesn't get it. On the other hand this guitar surpasses any Epiphone I've ever played so if Epi's are your thing you really need to check this guitar out. The pick ups are good for anything from jazz to hard rock and overall this is an extremely versatile guitar. Thanks to Sweetwater for the exceptional service, staff, prices, website and I won't buy equipment from anyone else.

  • from Santa Rosa, CA April 11, 2014Music Background:
    guitarist in local metal band. over 10 years playing

    PRS SE245

    The guitar is really ourstanding for the money. The nut is plastic, and that really blows. I'm replacing it with brass. I also upgraded the tuners to PRS locking tuners and that made a difference in tone and staying in tune. The stock pickups are junk...really buzzy and fizzy. I **** binned those right away and dropped some Seymour duncans in the guitar. Its great now. plays like a dream, well balanced and thick. Much better than any Les Paul at any price.

  • from houston, tx January 24, 2014

    PRS SE 245 and strings

    For the money, this is an excellent guitar. If you don't have enough for a real LP, and you want a step up from an Epiphone copy, this is great value. Very smooth and playable. NOTE however, that this guitar comes with and is designed for a .09-gauge string set. If you put on .10s, you will likely have tuning problems, with the strings pinching in the nut, as I did for the past three weeks. I just put some 9s back on, and the tuning is much more stable. If you want to play 10s, then you may want to think of getting a PRS Bernie Marsden (which is very similar to the 245 but comes set up with 10s). If you want that extra tone pot that the 245 offers but you still want to play 10s, then file the nut slots or change the nut altogether. Also, be sure to play around with the pickup height to achieve the desired "hotness" in the guitar signal. The 245 I bought came with the bridge pickup set so high that my poor practice amp couldn't handle the signal without becoming congested.

  • from Chicago, IL December 9, 2013Music Background:
    gigging musician

    Beware of high frets.

    This is actually the second guitar from the SE line Ive bought. The first on was the SE 24 with the double cutaway. I bought that one full price a few months ago and I really liked it. Good tone. action. Everything. I actually use it as one of my main axes for gigging. So when I saw the SE 245s on sale for $400 I had to buy a backup. The cherry finish is beautiful. Pickups and pots are good. action is low without buzzing. The guitar arrived in tune from sweetwater! My only gripe here is the frets are uncomfortably high. When running your hand up and down the neck, you are constantly bumping into the high frets, and you can hear the difference! The frets are not like that on the SE 24 so I dont know why this neck feels so diff from that one. But other than the high frets, I really like the guitar. Still a great value. Guitar seems built solid but if your the lead player, you might want to look at something else. This neck could affect the smoothness of a lead. The gig bag that comes with it is really nice too!! but FYI, If you do decide to get a hard case for it, be aware that not all LP cases will fit this thing. LP necks actually angle back slightly where this PRS neck is straight like a fender etc.

  • from IL March 1, 2013Music Background:
    Professional Sound Engineer/Hobby Musician

    Solid Foundation...

    This guitar goes out of tune very easily - plan on getting a new nut and tuners. The pickups are okay - they have a decent crunch to them. The neck pickup is very weak for distorted tones. While this is an okay guitar, it seems you are really just paying for the wood, the inlays, the prs name, and the neck scale. I'd highly recommend saving up an extra couple hundred bucks and buying something with nicer tuners and pickups.

  • from South Carolina December 27, 2013Music Background:
    30 year Hobbyist

    PRS SE 245

    Let me start by saying this is the 3rd guitar I have purchased from Sweetwater and, I will continue to make instrument purchases simply because they're truly the best in the business.
    The good - fit and finish are flawless. Weight and balance impressive.
    The bad - difficult to keep in tune, action too high, intonation is a few cents out.
    Based on the video by Paul Reed Smith saying how you can take it out of the box - check tuning - and play a gig with it was simply not the case for this instrument.

Questions about the PRS SE 245 - Tobacco Sunburst?

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