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There are a ton of guitars available on the market from a variety of different manufacturers.
If you were to ask almost anybody what was the best guitar for music production and recording, they would likely direct you to a few different models, including Fender’s Stratocaster, the Gibson Les Paul, the Fender Telecaster, or another expensive guitar.
Assuming you don’t have thousands of dollars to drop on a guitar simply for your home studio, I have a more affordable option for you.
In terms of overall value, price, and quality, the best guitar for music production and recording is the PRS SE Custom 24, however, there are certainly a few more that are worth looking into.
With that said, I’m not saying, by any means, that the PRS SE Custom 24 is the best guitar on earth.
What I am saying is that if you’re looking to add some guitar parts to your music, and don’t want to spend a ton of money (and really if you’re also a serious player), then the PRS SE Custom 24 from ZZounds is a great move.
The PRS SE Custom 24
I actually bought my PRS SE Custom 24 a few years back. I think it was back in 2013 when I first got it – around 8 years ago.
I own a few different guitars, including an ESP Eclipse-II from 2006, a 2002 Epiphone Les Paul Custom with EMG pick-ups, a Fender Acoustic, and a nameless Nylon String guitar.
When it comes to tracking guitar parts, the PRS SE Custom 24 is actually the most versatile and the most conducive to quality guitar recordings in a DAW, specifically, Garageband, but I imagine other DAWs too (how to connect your guitar in my guide).
The issue with the ESP Eclipse-II is that it sounds like the type of guitar that’s meant for metal, so when I try to record clean guitar with it, it just doesn’t have the timbre and style that I want it too.
The Epiphone Les Paul Custom is pretty dope. However, I currently don’t have it in my possession.
Additionally, both my Les Paul Custom and Eclipse have active pickups, which is actually not that conducive to recording with an audio interface like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 from Amazon because they tend to run a bit hot.
I combat this by turning down the pick-ups by just a little bit, which is a trick I learned from my favorite guitar teaching website, JamPlay (get your first month for $1 dollar using the coupon code “1buck“).
The Best Features Of The PRS SE Custom 24
1) 24 Frets
Having 24 frets on your guitar is one of those things that I never really cared about for years, but when I found myself wanting a bit more range, especially when tapping and using other techniques, I found myself wishing that I had a 24-fret guitar.
To be honest with you, it was Was Hauch’s solo in Periphery’s “Mile Zero” from the band’s second album that made me go out and purchase a PRS SE Custom 24.
I wanted to learn how to play it, and I realized his guitar on that track had 24 frets.
Regardless, for a relatively cheap guitar, the fact it has 24 frets on it is dope. It’s not uncommon for the 24th fret to be a bit difficult to play too due to their relative size to the rest of the guitar, in addition to the style of the guitar’s design.
However, the PRS SE Custom 24’s double-cutaway is conducive to playing the guitar at the highest position.
2) The Versatile Sound
As I mentioned already above, the PRS SE Custom 24 has a pretty versatile and adaptable sound that can mold to almost any kind of genre, whether it be jazz, blues, funk, metal, rock, hip-hop, and so on and so forth (Blue Cat’s Axe Pack amp sim from Plugin Boutique makes it even easier).
In terms of all the guitars that I own, this one is the most versatile, and I honestly feel quite lucky that I purchased it and not something else.
When it comes to metal, the Epiphone Les Paul Custom and the ESP Eclipse-II shine, for sure, and are far superior, but when I want something with a little less boominess and warmth, I go for the SE Custom 24.
The PRS SE Custom 24 has a nice clear mid-range that responds well to EQ (my guide) and the higher strings are bright.
I find that this guitar has a lot more “twang,” to it, so to speak, so if you want a guitar sound that’s similar to the style of John Frusciante from Red Hot Chili Peppers, then this is going to be much closer than a Les Paul.
It makes it a nice option for people who like to strum a lot of chords, rather than a single-note melodic style.
Due to its versatility, this is a great option for music producers who want an all-around guitar that doesn’t hurt their bank account like one of the more expensive options out there.
In the case that you don’t have a budgetary limitation, I would argue that the Fender Telecaster, however, is probably the most versatile guitar ever made, so you could grab one of those if you wanted too.
I haven’t included a sound sample, because a lot of what a guitar sounds like is determined by the amplifier and accompanying gear/set-up.
3) The Price
The PRS SE Custom 24 is the right price, which is about half to one-third less expensive than the other guitars that most people would commonly suggest to you.
As I just mentioned, if the price is no big deal to you, you could easily purchase something else, but assuming you’re not made out of money, the PRS SE Custom 24 is going to be a great option.
Similar to my ESP Eclipse-II, the PRS SE Custom 24 is extremely light-weight and easy to carry around, so if you do want to take it on the road, it’s not going to break your back.
Truthfully, this isn’t the most important quality of the guitar, considering you likely plan on using this in the studio, but it’s a solid selling point in my opinion.
5) The Style and Design
Not only is the guitar versatile in its sound, but it’s also incredibly versatile and stylish in terms of how it looks.
It’s funny because when I first purchased my ESP Eclipse-II, I thought it was easily one of the best looking guitars out there, and don’t get me wrong, it looks dope, but it’s too “metal.”
Around 12 years later, and my tastes have changed a lot since I was a teenager. The PRS SE Custom 24 has more of a “mature” look to it, so to speak, and I feel less like a teenaged metalhead when I’m seen with the PRS SE Custom 24.
The finish on this guitar is very glossy and clean. It responds very well to a good cleaning every once in a while. While one could say that about any guitar, the type of finish on this makes it look pretty dope when it’s nice and clean.
6) Adjustable Bridge For Each String
One of the aspects that I like about this guitar is the bridge. Unlike my ESP Eclipse II and my Epiphone Les Paul Custom, each string is held in its own adjustable saddle.
So if I want to bring down the action just a tiny bit, I can do it without affecting the other strings so much.
This is a very nuanced but convenient feature that I really enjoy.
On my ESP Eclipse II, I often find that the low-E string needs to be brought up just a bit, otherwise there is too much buzzing, especially considering I like to have a relatively straight fretboard.
PRS SE Custom 24 Specifications
Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo
Pickups: PRS 85/15 “S” Neck and Bridge Pickups
Bridge: PRS Tremolo Bridge
Body Wood: Mahogany
Top Wood: Flamed Maple
Neck Wood: Maple
Cons Of The PRS SE Custom 24
1) Some People Don’t Like The Pickups
Personally, I’ve never found anything wrong with this guitar, but some people have described the sound as being “sterile,” due to the pickups in it.
I think this is a natural consequence of the relative versatility of the pickups, which, depending on how you look at it, can either be a huge plus or a big con.
In other words, while I think the versatility of the guitar is fantastic and it’s exactly why I purchased it, other people wish that the pickups leaned more one way or the other, rather than being relatively balanced.
2) Volume Knobs Can Get In The Way
On occasion, I notice that the knobs can get in the way of my right hand while I’m playing, which is something that takes getting used to.
After you’ve played it for a long time, you’ll figure out how to adjust your hand so that you’re not bumping into the volume knobs every once in a while.
I think it’s worth emphasizing though that it doesn’t happen that often, but it can happen, especially if I’ve been playing my other guitars a lot more and my hand and technique have gotten used to it.
YouTube Video Review
All-in-all, I would argue that the PRS SE Custom 24 is easily one of the best guitars to pick up for your home studio, assuming that you’re just in the market for a versatile, fantastic quality guitar that can be used for almost any genre.
In other words, if you have room for just one guitar in your set-up, I would grab this one and not a more expensive product.