Opinions on PRS CE24?

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by Handsome McClane, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Senior Stratmaster

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    Hey people,

    Just discovered PRS this last year. Bought myself an SE Standard 24 and then a used SE Custom 24 - playing the heck out of both and loving the feel and tones. Somehow it's very me. So I'm starting to formulate this plan to sell some of my stuff that doesn't get much use and see if I can swing a PRS CE24. The one that goes for +/- $2K new.

    I'm interested in impressions - anyone got one and how do you like it? Does the bolt neck change the feel much from my fixed neck models? I'll probably go used, so are there good years and years to avoid? Any weaknesses or dislikes?

    Thanks for joining in.

    Gratuitous photo of a CE24:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
  2. Malurkey

    Malurkey Senior Stratmaster

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    I’ve never played one, but they’re pretty! :thumb:
     
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  3. Groovey

    Groovey Dr. Stratster

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    Ah man. Beautiful. Me never played one either. But you guys are killing me.
     
  4. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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    I have played them and the 22, which I prefer as I don’t get on well with 24. The CE is snappier and more Strat like than my Custom 22 and 24’s I’ve played. In the split coil mode it’s way closer sounding to my Silver Sky than it is my Custom 22 with both in humbucker mode. I like them but since I have a PRS bolt on and set neck already it does not fill any need for me. The bigger difference is the pickups. The PRS 85/15S pickup has never sounded good to me. The 85/15 in the core models are awesome.
     
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  5. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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    Oh and PRS heads say the early years of CE were the best, I mean like the early 90’s ones.
     
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  6. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Stratosaurus Magnificus Platinum Supporting Member

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    I have a ‘19 PRS CE24 Semi-Hollow.
    Overall, it’s the best of my meager collection.

    Sounds and plays in between the slinky Les Paul which is kind of “growley” because of the DiMarzio SDs,
    and the purity of my two Strats - The Strat Plus and the ‘04 MIA. Has an ever-so-slight woodiness of tone.

    In humbucker mode, it’s powerful too, and more trebly than the LP, the split coils do a nice job of clean - but doesn’t sound quite like the Strats. Has a better tremolo than the Strats, smoother- and stays in tune a little better.

    Quality far surpasses the Gibson and Fender.
    Beautiful Nitro finish, and the bolt neck feels as solid as the set neck LP.

    It’s only 6.8 lbs as well. I also like the single volume and tone control setup.
    Oh, yeah ( edit) - It plays smoothly and like a dream on the 24 frets with a 09-42 set.

    F8DBA2CD-5018-4DD7-AE99-FE367AB0022D.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
  7. Ferpie

    Ferpie Senior Stratmaster

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    To me a CE never looked right, not because they aren't pretty, not because they don't play or sound right, 99% of the average man wouldn't even notice it but when I think PRS it's set neck.
    On a strat it feels like a useful thing where you could swap or replace a neck but on a PRS i have a hard time seeing you ever want to make it a PartRS.

    just my own opinion though, I only have high prays over my friends CE
     
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  8. Hanson

    Hanson Senior Stratmaster

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    I actually really like the way the CE24’s look. Bolt on or set neck makes no difference to me.
     
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    I remember trying a couple and the necks were too skinny for me. Some really want that though.
    Bodies were thinner, so lighter if that is a pursuit.

    You'll want a 22 fret version if seeking more of a Strat or LP tone. 24 frets push the neck pickup back for more of an SG tone.

    .
     
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  10. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    What are the pickups in the CE24? And what exactly is the difference, if anyone knows, between the S2 Custom 24 and the CE24? Other than the set neck vs. the bolt on.

    I don't know anything about them was looking at them today after a guy who called on one of my CL listings.

    He and I got to talking and he said he has an S2 Custom with upgraded pups (57/08 pickups (USA Core Model pickups, as opposed to the 85/15 “S” import pickups that usually go on the S2 Custom 24’s) and it struck me that the S2 Custom was less than the CE?

    Looked alot like that pic Tone Deaf posted...whale blue burst, but obviously not a semi hollow.

    Now you guys got me thinking I might want to check one out.
     
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  11. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Stratosaurus Magnificus Platinum Supporting Member

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    The CE22, CE24 ( and semi ) and Custom24 have the 85/15 pickups made in USA.
     
  12. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    so the S2's have an import version of the 85/15's?

    How do the US versions of the 85/15 stack up to 57/08's? Presumably they're an upgrade from the import version..at least thats what I took from this guy, (that bit about the pickups was quoted from his email to me..)
     
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  13. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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    Yes. To my ears the imports are sterile, harsh and have odd harmonics. The 85/15 are Paul’s slightly hotter PAF. The 57/08 is supposed to be like a 57 Gibson humbucker. My favorite are the 58/15 LT (low turn). Well until I got my R8 two weeks ago and the Custombuckers took over top spot but both are very similar. You can’t buy the 58/15 LT by themselves and they only come in a few McCarty models and the Special Semi Hollow.
     
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  14. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Stratosaurus Magnificus Platinum Supporting Member

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  15. henderman

    henderman Dr. Stratster

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    the original ce has a slightly thinner painted body than the customs, you could not get a fancy maple top or bird inlays, they were all plain.

    an alder body and a bolt on rock maple neck with brazillian rosewood finger board just like another "classic electric"

    i think specs have changed a few times and they even dropped the model and then brought it back.

    i have had a '91 since the mid-late 90's and it now has stainless frets for the next 20 some years.
     
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  16. Mind Flayer

    Mind Flayer Strat-O-Master

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    Great guitars.
     
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  17. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member Silver Member

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    Good synopsis. This question came up over on The Gear Page and I did this timeline over there:

    As for the progression here is what I remember about the CEs:
    • 1988 - CE introduced as the "Classic Electric", alder body only (no maple top in 1988), some colors have the "scraped binding", particularly black ones. Maple headstock with a large decal that said "PRS Classic Electric" (PRS logo and the "Classic Electric" in a similar font). These had the Vintage Treble and Vintage Bass pickups. volume, tone and 3-way toggle switch; no coil splitting. Tremolo only, with the PRS winged locking tuners. Regular neck carve, wide-thin carve as an option. Peavey objected to the used of the name "Classic Electric" - based on their use of the name "Classic" for amps going back to the early 1970s (maybe even late 60s) so they were renamed "CE", also this is when they start using the black headstocks with the "Paul Reed Smith" script logo.
    • 1989 - CE add the maple top option, change to the 5-way rotary switch and HFS bridge pickup at some point during the year.
    • Between 1989-1994 - by this point it's rare to see one with the regular neck carve; almost all are the wide thin neck carve.
    • 1994/95 - add the CE 22 model, original model renamed the CE 24. CE 22 are always mahogany bodies (with or without maple tops) and the CE24 transitions to mahogany bodies from alder bodies (of course with or without maple top). CE 22 has either the wide-fat or the wide-thin neck carve. Both models are available with either the wrap-tail or the tremolo (both with locking tuners) but you will rarely see a CE 22 with the wrap tail, and CE24 are even more rare with the wrap tail. CE 24s with regular neck carve are also very rare, as do CE 22s with the wide thin neck carve.
    • circa 2000 - options get dropped; all CEs have maple tops now, all have the tremolo bridge, the CE 24 is only wide thin, and the CE22 is only wide fat.
    • circa 2002 - change to Phase 2 tuners
    • Circa 2006 - change back to maple headstocks with the "Paul Reed Smith" script logo
    • 2007 - last year of the mahogany body/maple top CE 24s and CE 22s
    • 2008 - CEs return to alder bodies for the final year of production available with and without the maple top
    Note that during this entire time there was only one line of USA PRS models (the first SEs come out during the 2000s); in 2012 PRS splits the USA models into "Core" and S2. The original CE models would be considered "Core" under the current PRS lineup. As such they start out with the Mann made one-piece tremolos (block and bridge plate one-piece) but move to the two-piece bridge plate/block whenever the rest of the line changed. Tuners will also change along the other models - starting with the original winged tuners (with Schaller M6 tuner bodies), moving to the revised/smaller bodied winged tuners, then to the "Phase 2" tuners that are the same size as the smaller winged tuners but now have the thumbscrew at the top of the post.

    Then in 2016 the current CE 24 model is introduced - it splits the difference between the Core models and the S2 models.

    EDIT: Neglected to mention that the CE22s of the 1990s/2000s had different pickups than the CE24s. CE22s used the Dragon pickups (now called "Dragon I" pickups) to begin with, then transitioned to the Dragon II pickups whenever the Custom 22s made that transition.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
  18. s5tuart

    s5tuart Perfecting time travel since 2525

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    I'm sure it's my loss but I've never played a PRS that spoke to me.
    CAnt knock the quality though.
     
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  19. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Strat-Talker

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    Had a 2002 CE22. It was a fabulous guitar. Fantastic pickups (Dragon 2’s) and with the rotary knob it could cover every guitar tone imaginable.

    I can adjust to nearly every neck profile with ease but that one I couldn’t dial in so I traded it straight up for a H150. Serious consideration was given to buying a 2nd ce22 and force myself into dialing in playing comfort with the neck but I decided to move on.

    I’ve played nearly everything and it was clearly the most versatile guitar I’ve ever handled.
     
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  20. chicago slim

    chicago slim Senior Stratmaster

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    The CE 24's have a Wide/Thin neck, that might be a little bigger than your SE 24's.

    I'm a long time PRS Player and I really like the Custom 22's. I have a S2, Custom 22 with 18/15S pickups, a S2, Custom 22 with Porter pickups and a core Custom 22 with MIA 85/15 pickups. They all sound very good to me. Each has certain things that it can do better. Core model guitars are a step up, but at twice the price.

    I would recommend that you try an S2 Custom 24 and a CE 24, before buying. The S2 runs a little cheaper than a CE 24. I wouldn't buy a CE 24 because of the pickups, because you might not like either version, and then you would end up changing them, for a more vintage sound. PRS pickups are high output, yet have a very clear sound. They also have a modern sound, in that compress, when overdriven. Not good or bad, but a matter of taste.

    Once again, I recommend getting out and playing as many PRS guitars as you can. Once you have more experience with PRS guitars, you will be able to buy used, with a better chance of finding a keeper. Yesterday, I tried several at my favorite guitar shop (118 miles each way), and decided on this 2019, Custom 22.

    [​IMG]

    My S2 Custom 22, with Porter pickups. It sells for less than a CE.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
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