PRS continues to expand their electric guitar line with the new CE 24, featuring traditional bolt-on neck joint.


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This guitar is part of Paul Reed Smith's attempt at attracting guitarists who prefer the feel and response of bolt-on neck guitars, while still retaining the distinctive appeal and build quality that has made the brand popular.

It's interesting how the bolt-on neck design, which is found on so many electric guitars, is not a familiar sight on the PRS lineup. Looking at their current catalog, the CE 24 is just one of two bolt-on neck models, the other one being the Brent Mason signature.

The original PRS CE was introduced back in 1988, and is only now making a come back after nearly a decade of being out of production.

PRS Founder Paul Reed Smith said, "After 30 years of guitar making, we’ve learned a lot, and we have used all that knowledge to update our original CE bolt-on model. Most notably we updated its sound by adding our new 85/15 pickups which have more musical high end than the original 'HFS' pickups, and we also made it slimmer so it is very comfortable to play."

The company starts out the official description of this guitar by recognizing the legacy of bold-on neck guitars in rock and roll, and I think that it is nice of them to allude to the Strats and Teles that inspired the CE 24's bolt-on neck design. As expected, the CE 24 is not just another clone, rather it is as PRS as it gets, carrying over the company's distinct double cutaway shape, arched top design, and their brand of aesthetics, hardware and build quality.

The guitar starts off with the tried and tested PRS combination of mahogany body, and ached maple top. It follows the elegant curves that made the brand famous, along with the nice wood grains that show through the finish. As mentioned, this one has a thinner body than the original, and as a result is expected to be lighter. Available finishes include Amber, Dark Cherry Sunburst, Grey Black, McCarty Tobacco, Ruby, Trampas Green, Vintage Sunburst and Whale Blue (natural binding, toned nitro finish on necks).

What sets this guitar apart from their line of instruments is its bolt-on maple neck. It doesn't stray from the familiar 25" scale length that PRS have turned into their standard, and it features a 24-fret rosewood fretboard. PRS stuck with the wide and thin neck profile instead of going for the usual narrow maple neck builds of other manufacturers.

Instead of taking my word for it, it would be better to have Paul himself talk about the new PRS CE 24. Check out the two videos below:

Giving this guitar its voice is a pair of PRS 85/15 pickups, and the name of the pickup actually meant that the company wish they had this sound back in 1985, but only developed it in 2015. These pickups are routed to a three-way toggle switch, a volume knob and a push/pull tone knob that increases the available tones to six sounds, including single-coil style tones. The 2nd video video shows the various sounds that this guitar is capable of, you an share your opinion on how it sounds below in the comments section.

Other features include PRS-Designed Tremolo, and PRS-Designed Locking Tuners, For more information on the new PRS CE 24, you can head over to PRS Guitars.

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Older PRS CE 24 is better quality than new ones

I purchased a 2003 CE 24 rather than a new one. In my opinion, buy an older one if you can find one. The build is much better than the new ones. My CE 24 has the same specs as a Custom 24 Core; that is, all American parts. It has a brass trem block; brass saddles; 1 piece maple neck (new ones are 5 piece); recessed back plates; 1/2" Flame Maple cap; violin carve (deep carve); and I prefer the Vintage Bass and HSF but, tone is subjective.

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