Tuesday, May 19, 2009

3 Guitars under $700

Hey guys....

I've always been a fan of gear that sounds and plays awesome, without spending a ton... I know that can especially be a concern when you're learning an instrument, or if you're short on cash, but want a great playing guitar. I thought I'd write a little post about 3 guitars that I'd recommend in the under $700 price range....here goes!

1. Paul Reed Smith SE Singlecut

Price: $665
Manufactured in: Korea
Scale: 25"
Think HN songs: "The 1 Thing I Have Left" and "You Have What I Need"

The first guitar that comes to mind in this price range is one I've actually used myself quite a bit. Paul Reed Smith has always impressed me with their quality control, and this guitar is no different. The guitar has a SOLID feel to it.... doesn't feel cheap at all. There's a great sense of weight to it, although it's not overly heavy.

The stock pickups are really quite good. They're on the brighter side, but the solid-ness of the body translates through the pickups as well, so the end result is a balanced, clear tone that can provide beefy chords when necessary, as well as soaring leads when called upon.

Incidentally, I used an SE Singlecut for EVERY SINGLE LEAD part on my "Under The Canopy" record, even though I had more expensive guitars at my disposal.... That's how much I love this guitar.

2. Paul Reed Smith SE Soapbar

Price: $499
Manufactured in: Korea
Scale: 25"
Think HN Songs: "Friend Like That" and "The Show"

This second guitar may look similar to the first, but it's an entirely different animal... The single-coil soapbar pickups on this PRS are lower output, and much "spankier" than the humbuckers in the SE singlecut. This is probably the lowest priced guitar in my list, so if cash is factor number one, go for this one!

This guitar covers a lot of ground that a Fender Stratocaster would, but with a LOT more attention to quality and playability. The scale is 25", which is a half inch shorter than Fender's scale. That means that the strings will be a little looser, and that means less ouch on your fingers. It makes for a more comfortable playing experience.

PRS's SE Soapbar guitar has been through a bit of a design change over the last year or two... While it used to be a double-cutaway design, they've moved to a single-cutaway design. If you prefer the double-cutaway design, I think you can still find them around in various places.

3. Paul Reed Smith SE Semi-Hollow

Price: $715
Manufactured in: Korea
Scale: 25"
Think HN Songs: "Everything You Ever Wanted" and "Fourteen"

I realize I'm stretching the <$700 budget on this one, but it's SO worth it. This guitar impresses me incredibly for the price tag. It's a semi-hollow version of their SE Custom... and it's built with more style, class, and taste, than I could have imagined.

The dual humbuckers are similar to those placed in the SE singlecut, but the semi-hollow body adds a distinct flavor to the tone. For those in the market for a 335-ish type guitar with a smaller body, this is it. Plus, these guitars are just so well-made.

I realize the all three guitars on my list have been PRSes, and that is simply because I believe they make guitars of much higher quality than the competition in this price range. They really are dedicated to quality at every price point.

So go out and enjoy some well-priced, well-made guitars, and have fun!

Check out prsguitars.com to learn more about these guitars, and check for dealers in your area!


Thomas said...

cool, thanks for the info

Jesse said...

hey Jon last time I talked to you I was considering the PRS SE costume Semi Hollow in black.
after playing several of them I totally fell in love with the natural finish I was hesitant getting a guitar online (cuz i like to try them out) but after playing so many of them and being assured by their amazing consistency i was able to snag a brand new still in box off e bay for $612 and free 3 day shipping!!!
(it came with a gig bag pretty nice, but i will be switching to a hard case soon

anyways I put some 11 gauge GHS Boomers on lt it sounds great through my AC15!!!

Jonathan said...

yes jesse.... great choice! the boomers are great strings as well. I know you're gonna love that guitar... aren't the gig bags great too? they put quality into everything!

Jesse said...

also not sure why but the semi hollow is available for $649 in guitar center stores for a limited time...

yeah the gig bag is really great too i dont feel like the guitar is going to break in half like I felt when i had my tele with my fender gig bag

and the GHS strings make this guitar sound BIG with a bit of overDrive (i use a BD2)

i was wandering i saw your "current tour rig" photos i noticed you had 3 delay pedals.. when before you had the dd20
why is that (also love the ibanez mod)

Ida said...

Awesome!! I like the SE Soapbar. Hollowbodies are my favorite PRS's though...
Thanks for posting this stuff..

I saw David Crowder Band at ATF and some of the guys were playing PRS and was talking to them about it.. I have to thank you and Schneck for this info cause if not I would be a hopeless wreck about this stuff!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! I am looking for an acoustic-electric..so far an Ibanez is at the top of my list. But then again the PRS looks like a good choice.

Rachel Joy said...

This makes me sad to be so darn broke... :( Oh well!!! I'll get by!!!

christena said...

if i ever get a guitar, i will definately get one of these. they're fairly cheap, but according to you and MANY other people, they're really good quality. if i ever get any money, i am gonna buy the SE Soapbar or Singlecut.

Anonymous said...

I thought they where under $700 cuz the Paul Reed Smith SE Semi-Hollow is $715

graciegirl said...

those ah some pretty strange names for geetar parts...... ih well. maybe its juss me. cool entry though!
dumb question but do you know if PRS also makes bass guitars Jon?