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Paul Reed Smith SE Custom Guitar

Don’t let the Paul Reed Smith logo on the headstock convince you that this guitar is out of your price range, too good for a beginner or novice guitarist, or for Santanaphiles only. It merely takes flipping over that headstock to know this surely ain’t Carlos Santana’s PRS. A message on the back reveals it’s “built by World Musical Instrument Co., Ltd., Korea under exclusive license for PRS Guitars.”

The SE Custom Hollowbody is simply part of PRS’ ongoing series of budget-friendly, Korean-built guitars. These axes can’t compete with the ones in the company’s revered catalog of American-made masterpieces. And they aren’t meant to. Stack an SE up against another entry-level ax in the $400-600 range, like an Epiphone Les Paul, and then you have a fair fight. The SE Custom lists for $798.

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