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Review: PRS SE Angelus Custom Guitar gives luxury style for an affordable price

Editorial Staff

PRS SE Angelus Custom Acoustic has a gorgeous design

PRS Guitars exudes quality with this custom acoustic guitar

Paul Reed Smith guitars may not be a household name like Gibson or Fender, but with the level of quality offered at such a modest price, I see no reason why PRS guitars shouldn’t be cited as being among the best in the business.

The PRS SE Angelus Custom is made with very high quality materials and hardware. Crafted from solid rosewood for its back and sides, and solid spruce for its top, the Angelus produces a warm, full tone that resonates beautifully throughout the body, and envelops the room. The large C-shape also helps achieve a high level of sustain to whatever notes you may be playing, which can really make for some emotionally-charged, harmonious solo work. The nut and saddle are made from bone, and the tuning pegs are custom designed for this model. With its superior action, playing this instrument can seem more like gliding across a riverbed, rather than a fight against the upward force of the strings—especially down toward the lower frets.

In addition to its fine craftsmanship, the Angelus includes a built-in pickup, which includes three bands of EQ for bass, middle and treble, as well as an anti-feedback loop. This makes plugging in and playing fast and easy. And with a built in tuner to go with it, you’ll never have to worry about this guitar sounding out of tune. A must-have for an instrument with such great recording and performing capability.

When you sit down with the guitar, as with Gibson or Fender and especially CF Martin, you feel as though actual research has gone into designing the optimum tool for playing music. The guitar begs to be played, and when it is, the crisp, clean, full tone of the instrument just envelops the senses. Its high quality materials ensure dependability, reliability, and a value that will only increase over time. Whether you’re blues oriented, jazz oriented, or classically trained, this guitar is versitile enough to exquisitely compliment whatever style or styles you feel most comfortable playing. It’s a musical instrument to use for every version that acoustic guitars can be used for. There’s a magnificent balance between the bass, treble, and middle frequencies which blends effortlessly together during play. You’d really have to try hard to make this guitar sound bad.

While the sound of an instrument is always the most important, it doesn’t hurt to have an aesthetically pleasing piece as well. Even when sitting on the guitar stand, with no one using it to create beautiful sounds, this guitar commands attention. It just looks amazing. The Angelus features PRS’s signature mother of pearl bird inlays and headstock design, which is almost just as fun to look at and admire as it is to play.

Not surprisingly, some people are wondering if the SE’s (made over seas) hold up in comparison the the American-made ones. As Dave Weiner, who opened for Steve Vai, said, “If they didn’t hold up, I certainly would not have used them in the Vai show…. It performs absolutely flawlessly.”

For anyone looking to buy a very high quality guitar, but who isn’t looking to spend a ridiculous amount of extra money just for brand recognition, the PRS SE Angelus Custom is without a doubt a top choice for professional musicians and amateurs alike. This instrument delivers the crisp, warm, full tone that you’d expect from a guitar retailing for twice its price, and uses high quality materials to ensure its long lasting reliablity. On top of that, its stunning design along with its gorgeous bird-shaped inlays captures the attention of anyone in its presence. This is surely a guitar that any musician would be proud to own.

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