Review: PRS SE CE 24 Standard Satin

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


Review: PRS SE CE 24 Standard Satin

Words by Christopher Hockey

PRS SE CE 24 Standard Satin | Electric Factory | RRP enquire for pricing

Within a second of picking up the new PRS SE CE 24 Standard, I was in heaven. The neck on this new very affordable model from PRS is absolutely to die for, as smooth as it gets and an incredibly comfortable shape to boot. It’s the kind of guitar that just makes you want to play for hours, not even bothering to plug in, just enjoying the tactile experience of a really solid, comfortable instrument. 

As a huge fan of satin finishes, any time I pick up a guitar and it doesn’t stick to my hands, I’m a happy camper. In fact, gloss finishes, particularly on the neck of a guitar, have always been somewhat of a mystery to me. I can’t stand having more resistance than necessary hindering my fretting hand, so I’m always on the hunt for those smooth, naturally finished guitars that just seem to glide. 

Read more gear reviews here.

The CE model has been a well loved part of the PRS line-up since 1988, bringing the snappy response and sturdy build of bolt-on construction to the brand’s repertoire. The SE CE 24 Standard Satin is one of the most affordable CE model to date, part of PRS’s entry-level, Indonesian-built SE range which has been lauded for its impressive build-quality for years. 


Featuring a mahogany body and a maple neck, PRS haven’t skimped on tone woods for this guitar. Thanks to its beautiful satin finish, it’s immediately noticeable before plugging in that this guitar is incredibly loud and resonant, making it feel very lively and exciting to play. The sturdy bolt-on neck of the CE is incredibly ergonomic, featuring a generous 24 frets, 25” scale length and a 1 11/16” nut width. The wide, thin shape of the neck is perfect for both rock solid rhythm playing and full tilt shredding, everything you expect from a PRS guitar. 

The CE’s Rosewood fretboard is adorned with PRS’s famous bird inlays and features a very comfortable 10” radius, capping off the ultra-playable neck in style. However, PRS’s signature sprinkling of avian ornamentation is the extent of this instrument’s flamboyance. Featuring a no-nonsense, stripped-back aesthetic, the SE CE 24 sports nickel hardware and simple black controls, consisting of single volume and tone pots and a three way toggle switch. This particular guitar was finished in a subtle Vintage Cherry colour but PRS have also announced tantalising Turquoise and Charcoal options. 

The SE CE 24’s double cutaway body provides fantastic fret access and features a very comfortable ‘shallow violin’ top carve. Thanks to a thoughtfully rounded-off neck join, I had no trouble at all playing right up to the 24th fret. Overall, the subtle, no-frills construction and ultra-smooth satin finish of the guitar lends itself to an incredibly comfortable and resistance-free playing experience, one that players of all levels will appreciate. 

Upon finally plugging it in, the SE CE floored me right away. For a budget instrument, this guitar really roars and has some seriously impressive sustain. I was particularly taken with the guitar’s coil-tap function, which produces extremely realistic single coil tones via a push/pull system. The SE CE’s 85/15 “S” pickups are very open and natural sounding, allowing for picking dynamics to really shine through and have a big effect on volume. 

PRS SE CE 24 pickups

Designed with a natural, even response in mind, the 85/15 pickups in this guitar produce some truly great tones. With a surprising amount of heft in the bottom end, as well as plenty of midrange grind and sparkling highs, the SE CE 24 can handle everything from spanky country tones to the sludgiest of heavy metal riffage. 

The bridge pickup sounds bright, articulate and bell-like with a pronounced, plucky midrange and the neck pickup is warm whilst retaining enough high end shimmer to cut through. When tapped, both pickups get astonishingly close to Tele territory, making the SE CE incredibly versatile. When pushing an amp into distortion, this guitar sounds absolutely massive thanks to its formidable bass response, and retains its dynamic range despite being firmly on the hot side of the output spectrum. 

The resonance of the SE CE 24 is matched by its jaw dropping sustain. I had my very own personal Spinal Tap moment holding a note on this guitar that would have impressed Nigel Tufnel himself. When paired with distortion this guitar really does become a monster in the best way, bringing its shred-friendly neck into sharp focus. But this isn’t just a heavy metal machine! 

PRS have always prided themselves on the versatility of their instruments and this one is no exception. The SE CE can do almost anything tonally, comfortably traversing genres with ease. The effectiveness of the coil tap feature really cannot be overstated, thinning out the sound in a really pleasant, funky way and basically making the SE CE two guitars in one. 

I’ve always thought of PRS’s, particularly these double cutaway ‘S-Style’ models, as being ‘jazzy metal guitars’; equally at home in a smokey club in the hands of an elder virtuoso as they are having the life shredded out of them by a long haired sweep picker. That’s because these instruments are built for performance, and for those who value it over all else.

The no-frills design of the SE CE 24, in all its simplicity, along with its flash-free satin finish, is evidence of an instrument that is built with this ethos. It feels brilliant to play, it sounds fantastic in every tonal situation, it does exactly what a guitar should do and it doesn’t put up a fight. 

To have such an efficiently designed, versatile guitar with this level of build quality in the modest SE price range is a brilliant thing. As an instrument that could conceivably be somebody’s first guitar, the sheer attention to detail within this model is fantastic. This, combined with the beautifully stripped-back simplicity of its design, makes the SE CE 24 Standard Satin a brilliant choice for any player. And boy does it feel good in the hands! Gloss is so 2023. 

For local enquiries, visit ELFA.