9 Best PRS Guitars in 2020 (The Complete Buying Guide)

If you have been playing or studying about guitars for a while, it is very likely that  you have heard or even maybe played a PRS guitar before. The brand makes amazing guitars for all tastes and genres and types and all their guitars have some or the other unique feature that really sets them apart from other guitars. The guitars normally feature a wide neck and great pickups. In this article, we will discuss some of the best PRS guitars you can buy. 

The company was started in 1985, by Paul Reed Smith, whose initials form the name of the brand. Based in Maryland, the main factory started out with a few models in the earlier days and ever since then the guitar brand has gained huge popularity due to their amazon build quality and sound and now some are also imported which are more affordable with little to no compromise in quality. So let us not waste any more time and start discussing some of the best guitars by PRS right away.

If you are still confused about what kind of guitar to buy or if you are just a beginner, stick around till the end because we also got some simple tips and tricks for you to implement before you buy the best guitar for beginners

List of 9 Best PRS Guitars

PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Angelus AX20E Acoustic/Electric Guitar

PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Angelus AX20E Full Size Single Cutaway Acoustic/Electric Guitar with Hard-Shell Case

If what you are looking for is a powerful acoustic sound, this guitar is the perfect choice for you. This guitar has amazing specifications and has received some great reviews from the users from everywhere. This guitar is perfect for both fingerstyle and picking. The guitar comes in two designs for you to choose from. This guitar is probably the best acoustic guitar from PRS.

If you are new at playing guitar, you can easily go with the Angelus Cutaway design for excellent playability and sound. If you want a deeper sound, you can go with the Tonare Grand. Which is especially preferred by fingerstyle players. Not only in terms of acoustic, the guitar also performs exceptionally well when connected to an electrical setup. It has the Korean Fishman GT1 electronic  setup inside that gives it that unique sound you can only get from PRS guitars. Although, this guitar is somewhat expensive, it is still a fairly good option for beginners as this guitar is perfect for various sorts of styles which gives the player enough room for experimentation.

Apart from performance, the guitar is also an absolute winner when it comes to looks. The top is made of a good quality spruce and the rest of the body has a mahogany finish that gives the guitar excellent sound and vibrations. The guitar also features a smooth ebony fretboard that also aids in increasing playability of the guitar as a whole. The headstock design is also a very unique trademarked design. 

Overall, this guitar is a great option for anybody who’s looking for a great acoustic sound and smooth experience. This guitar also has a pretty reasonable price point and thus is a good option for beginners too.

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Pros

  • Reasonable price.
  • Great acoustic sound.
  • Perfect for electrical setups too. 
  • Spruce and mahogany body.
  • Design options available.
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Cons

  • Not the most economical guitar.
  • Might require some manual adjustments initially.

Paul Reed Smith SE Zach Myers Signature Electric Guitar

Paul Reed Smith SE Zach Myers Signature Electric Guitar (Trampas Green)

This guitar was designed by PRS and Zack Myers of the rock band Shinedown. This electric guitar is undoubtedly one of the best options in the product line. If you are a fan of Zach Myers or Shinedown in general, this guitar is  a must-have. What makes this guitar so amazing is the scope for optimization. The PRS SE 245 humbuckers give you enough flexibility to modify your sound according to your taste. This is a great feature to have when you are just a beginner and are discovering your style.

For the professionals, this guitar has that rustic and dynamic sound you normally expect from your electric guitar. The guitar can give you that classic Zach Myers sound as well as the PRS touch makes the guitar extra smooth and easy to play. 

In terms of build and looks, the guitar has a semi-hollow mahogany body with a maple top and a single f-hole that gives the guitar very balanced midtones. The guitar is comparatively lightweight and thus a good fit for traveling. The guitar also features an extra wide neck for smooth performance and better grip. This guitar is an excellent option if you want to play chords or even if you are planning to use it for a guitar solo. All you need to do is make a few minor adjustments and you are good to go.  

This guitar is a perfect option for anyone who is looking for an amazing and smooth vintage sound and versatility. The price point also makes the guitar one of the best guitars for beginners who are just looking for their first guitar.

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Pros

  • Reasonable price point.
  • Co-designed by Zach Myers.
  • Dual humbucking for deeper and modifiable sound. 
  • Semi-hollow body resulting in a lightweight build.
  • Adjustable stoptail bridge.
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Cons

  • Moderately expensive.
  • More powerful options available.

PRS SE Custom 24 Electric Guitar

PRS SE Custom 24 Electric Guitar (Charcoal Burst)

If you are looking for an excellent mid range electric guitar, this is definitely one of the best options for you out there. The SE Custom 24 has been a favourite of a lot of guitarists, both amateur and professional. This guitar has all the best features you would expect from a Paul Reed Smith guitar like the dual humbucking and the wide amazing neck for comfortable playing. 

One of the best features of the guitar is undoubtedly the 85/15 S humbucking pickups. They are an upgraded version of the original vintage pickups and provide a clearer sound than their predecessors. Just like the previous guitars on our list, this guitar is also an exceptional choice for people who are looking to discover their style as this guitar also provides you a lot of flexibility when it comes to adjusting and fine-tuning your sound. The guitar lets you choose from a variety of tones with the help of its three-way switch and push pull tone knob. This lets you practice a variety of styles without compromising quality. 

The guitar has also won a lot of hearts when it comes to design. The guitar has an iconic mahogany body with a flame maple top and the iconic maple veneer that gives the guitar an iconic and exquisite look. The guitar features a longer fretboard with 24 fret, unlike the last guitar on our list. This makes the guitar an excellent choice for a wide variety of styles ranging from the blues to rock and roll or metal. Although this model could be a bit expensive for beginners and we do not recommend them this model. However If you’re an amateur guitarist with a taste for guitars like the Telecaster, this is a perfect option for you.     

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Pros

  • Great and loud sound. 
  • Amazing maple veneer finish.
  • Great for trying out different styles.
  • Reasonable price. 
  • Wide neck for excellent playability.
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Cons

  • Moderately expensive.
  • Not recommended for beginners. 

PRS CE 24 Electric Guitar Amber Stain

PRS CE 24 Electric Guitar Amber Stain

If the last guitar on our list is not enough to satisfy you and you want to take our sound quality to an ultimate level, maybe you would want to upgrade to a PRS CE from an SE. While the two guitars may look and feel the same to a layman, there is a huge difference when it comes to price and performance. One of the first things to know about PRS is that not all of their guitars are made in the USA itself. Some are made in Maryland itself while some of the components and guitars are also imported for South Korea. The ones made in Maryland are the CE range where the imported ones are termed as SE.

The difference between the two guitars is definitely a subject of debate. While some users say there is no noticeable difference, a lot of users have found the CE proving a much better quality. The SE, although is no joke and is still a very good guitar for both beginners and amateurs and best for rough use. It is also much cheaper than the CE and thus very affordable. The CE however, has a much higher price point than that of the SE but the sound quality is unparalleled. There are however, certain downsides too. The guitar can be a bit expensive for beginners and not the best option for people who are looking for a good guitar for traveling. 

Apart from these differences, the guitar is almost identical to the last guitar on our list in terms of specifications. We believe the best  way to choose between the SE and CE is to weigh your requirements. While the SE is undoubtedly a great choice for a wider audience, we recommend the CE for more professional uses like recording or concerts. But chances are, if you’re a professional, you already know this. But if you’re still beginning your guitar journey, we recommend that you choose an SE.

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Pros

  • Unparalleled sound quality.
  • Great build and design. 
  • Perfect for professional setups.
  • Amazing humbuckers giving a wide range of possible effects.
  • Made in Maryland.
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Cons

  • Expensive. 
  • Not the best option for beginners.

Paul Reed Smith Guitars ST24VC SE Electric Guitar

Paul Reed Smith Guitars ST24VC SE Standard 24 Electric Guitar, Vintage Cherry

Another great installment in the product line from PRS, this guitar gives the amazing playability and sound you would expect from a classic PRS guitar. The special quality of sound is due to the S2 tremolo that the guitar features and flaunts. The guitar is designed and built in the Maryland factory too and guarantees high build quality and amazing design.

One of the key features of the guitar is the PRS S2 HFS Treble and Vintage Bass pickups that provide excellent clarity and  depth to the sound. Just like any other PRS guitar, this guitar also gives you the option of choosing from a variety of genres and compliments each almost flawlessly. The guitar  is an excellent option for beginners and amateurs alike. 

Another notable feature of the guitar is the PRS S2 locking tuners, that are unique about this guitar. The guitar is an excellent option and arguably better than the CE or the SE when it comes to the vibrato tailpiece. The guitar has an extraordinarily deep and wide range of sounds and an excellent choice for beginners. One of the few drawbacks of this guitars horver, is that the guitar is moderately expensive, making it a bit challenging for some people to buy one but if you can afford it, the guitar is definitely worth the money. 

And last but not the least, the guitar also has an amazing mahogany body with a wide, classic maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. The guitar also has a cherry red glossy finish and the best thing is that there are also other options to choose from.

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Pros

  •  PRS S2 HFS Treble and Vintage Bass pickups.
  • Excellent sound quality.
  • PRS S2 Locking Tuners.
  • Mahogany body.
  • Excellent Wide Neck design for extra playability.
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Cons

  • Moderately expensive. 
  • Not great for beginners. 

PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Kingfisher 4-String Bass Guitar

PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Kingfisher 4-String Bass Guitar with Gig Bag, Natural

So far on our list, we have only discussed acoustic and mainly electric guitars. But do not worry, we also have something for you all who are looking for an amazing bass guitar. PRS has been known to manufacture quality guitars of all types and keeping up with that reputation, this bass guitar from PRS is an excellent choice for anybody who is looking for deep bass and powerful tones from their guitar. The playability and sound quality, just like most other PRS guitars, make the guitar a powerful and suitable option for both beginners and amateurs alike. 

One of the key features that makes the guitar really stand out are the dual pickups and the resultant tone. The two pickups provide very different effects which when put together give you a deep and clear acoustic tone that can be easily modified according to your preference. Out of the two pickups, one is a 4B treble while the other is a 4B bass pickup. The guitar also features two volume control and a tone control knob for you to find the right balance and sound that you are looking for in your guitar.    

The guitar is a 4 string and provides amazing quality and is also an amazing product in terms of build and looks. The materials for the guitar have been carefully chosen to give the guitar an amazing sound and display quality.  The body is made of swamp ash while the neck is a maple and walnut mix with a rosewood fretboard for amazing playability. The guitar is undoubtedly one of the best bass guitars in the price range and being an SE, the guitar is also pretty affordable for most users. 

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Pros

  • Amazing bass guitar for the price range.
  • Amazing design and build.
  • Dual humbucking pickups give a balanced and powerful sound.
  • Maple neck and rosewood fretboard for faster playing.
  • Affordable. 
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Cons

  • Not the best quality.
  • Might require some initial fine tuning. 

PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN – Satin Walnut

 PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN - Satin Walnut

While the previous electric guitars on our list were mostly six string guitars and were all all rounders, we thought this guitar deserves a place on our list due to the amazing style and its unique speciality. This guitar was co-designed by Mark Holcomb, one of the guitarists from the metal band, Periphery. This guitar resonates with this classic metal style and flavors and greatly compliments the demands and tastes of metal fans. If you are looking for a guitar to play metal, this is one of the best guitars from PRS for you. The seven string guitar has a wider range of tones with a deeper bass and stronger mid tones and allows you to play your favorite riffs with a great sound.

The guitar, although being loud and hard on the amp, delivers amazing and powerful clarity which is highly expected from PRS guitars. So you don’t have to worry about your sound cracking anymore. This guitar has you covered. The guitar also features 24 frets that allows you to easily run between octaves and rock those solos that you have always wanted to. It can be noted that the guitar has been developed off of the classic SE Custom 24 model and while it has some similar features, there’s a lot of different developments that make this guitar a better option for more specific uses.

This guitar will also not disappoint you in terms of looks. This particular version has a rustic walnut look with a maple body and neck and an ebony fingerboard. Unlike most PRS guitars, this guitar has a rather thinner neck that allows you to maneuver between the seven strings very easily and without any hassle masking this one of the best guitars for metal. This also is a perfect reason as to why this guitar is such an amazing option for beginners. Although the guitar has a steep price point which might not be exactly optimal for people who are just starting out.

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Pros

  • Optimal for metal players. 
  • Co-designed by Mark Holcomb.
  • Great pickups offer immersive sound.
  • 24 frets and 7 strings allow wide octave runs.
  • Great build and design.
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Cons

  • Moderately expensive.
  • Not optimal for beginners. 

PRS Paul Reed Smith SE 245 Standard Electric Guitar

 PRS Paul Reed Smith SE 245 Standard Electric Guitar, Tobacco Sunburst

This guitar is a favorite of players who want a quality guitar for gigging or touring. The guitar offers excellent playability and style that amateurs often look for in a guitar. The guitar has a decent build quality and is fairly affordable making the guitar a good fit for all sorts of players. 

Unlike the SE 24, this guitar featuring SE 245 pickups, provides you with a deeper sound that is  often a good feature to have while playing in conjugation of other instruments. The guitar has quite a few updates over the SE 24 with the signature of Paul Reed featured on the headstock now that gives the guitar a more authentic and professional look. The guitar however, is not as all rounder as the other guitars and would only be a good fit for people having a very specific taste.   

However, there is no compromise when it comes to quality and if the sound resonates with you, this guitar can be an excellent companion for traveling as well as recording. One of the more iconic and unique features of the guitar is its ability to switch between very high to low pitch chords with smooth and clear transitions, which are also a resultant of the pickups used in this guitar that are based off of vintage pickups. 

The guitar in terms of build is a complete mahogany build with a rosewood fretboard with PRS’s iconic Wide Neck design for better grip and playability. The guitar is recommended mostly for amateurs due to the price point and the scope of  the guitar. We feel that beginners will have a better experience with the SE Custom 24 but again, that’s just our opinion and is only valid in a general case. 

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Pros

  • Features SE 245 “S” humbuckers that give it a deep and resonant sound.
  • Great design and build. 
  • Deep and vibrant sound quality. 
  • Affordable. 
  • Perfect for gigs.
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Cons

  • Moderately expensive. 
  • Not suitable for beginners. 

PRS Paul Reed Smith 103495 SE Electric Guitar

PRS Paul Reed Smith 103495 SE ''Paul's Guitar'' Electric Guitar (Amber) w/Gig B

If you are looking for an amazing and unique sound, this might just be the guitar you are looking for. This guitar is a combination of all the best features from all the PRS guitars mashed into one body. This guitar’s design is based off of Paul’s personal guitars and thus is a very popular and widely loved model from PRS. in terms of performance, this guitar is a total winner if you are looking for something that sounds vintage and classy. The TCI “S” Treble and Bass humbuckers make sure that you only get the most amazing sound possible. 

One of the key features of this guitar is that the guitar allows you to put either one or both pickups in the single coil mode that gives the guitar an extra modification and customization parameter. This technology was first implemented in this model itself and thus it has a certain uniqueness about it. 

However one of the drawbacks of this guitar is that it could be moderately expensive for some beginners as the guitar has a pretty steep price point. But if you are okay with investing the amount, it will definitely be a good investment and you can expect a very good experience with this guitar. 

As far as the design is concerned, this guitar features a carved maple top, with a mahogany body and a rosewood fretboard, that gives the guitar an amazing look and a deep dund. The fretboard also derteus a WIde neck, which gives the guitar excellent playability.  

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Pros

  • Great build based on Paul Reed’s personal collection.
  • Perfect for people looking for a deep vintage sound.
  • Perfect for gigging. 
  • Great design. 
  • Good playability.
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Cons

  • Moderately expensive. 
  • Not recommended for beginners. 

How to Choose the Best PRS Guitar?

Choosing a perfect guitar can be a tricky business, be it PRS guitars or otherwise. Now if you are a verteran guitar player, you know what we are talking about and you probably know how to choose the best guitar for you. However, if you’re still a beginner, chances are that you are still discovering and experimenting with new styles and aren’t quite sure yet as to which style fits you best.

If that is true, do not worry, we have dedicated this section tpo you and we have some tips and tricks for you that you can use to find the best guitar for you, no matter what style you prefer. 

The first job is to figure out exactly what kind of sound you are looking for. And based on that you decide what kind of guitar you want to buy. If you want to experiment with fingerstyle, maybe go for an acoustic guitar, whereas for metal, an electric guitar is more preferable. You get the idea. 

The second thing after you pick a guitar type is to look for specific specialties. Let’s say you picked an acoustic guitar. In acoustic guitar, we have six string guitars, twelve string guitars, guitars with different designs like cutaways and full body guitars. All of these have minute differences when it comes to sound. As a beginner, they may not affect you so much but it is always a good idea to get a proper guitar that is likely to suit your style later on.   

Lastly, once you have made up your mind about the exact specs, the only thing left to do is figure out a guitar that meets your requirements in your budget. It is never recommended to go over budget while buying a guitar. If you are a beginner, we highly recommend that you consult someone who knows about guitars before you buy one.

FAQs

  1. Why are PRS guitars so expensive?

    PRS guitars are built with a lot of precision that takes a lot of effort. All their guitars have unique specialties. Apart from that, a range of guitars are built in America itself and are made out of good quality raw materials which also affect the price to an extent.

  2. What is so special about PRS Guitars?

    One of the key features of the guitars are the exceptional design and quality they provide you. Also, the neck design and different humbucker options make the brand really stand out.

  3. Who owns PRS guitars?

    PRS is owned by Paul Reed Smith, who started the company back in 1985.

  4. What musicians play PRS guitars?

    Artists like Mark Holcomb, Carlos Santos, Zack Myers have been seen playing PRS guitars amongst other artists.

Final words

In this article we have talked a bit about PRS guitars including a brief history of the company and discussed some of the best guitars from the brand’s product line. We hope you liked the article and found it informative.