I’ve owned a PRS SE Custom 24 for approximately 10 years now, and it’s a really great guitar for the price. It’s well-built, sounds pretty good, and doesn’t have any of the problems that some of my cheaper guitars do.
Because it has 24 frets and a mahogany body and neck, the PRS SE Custom 24 tends to weigh just a bit more than my Squire Bullet Telecaster and Squier Affinity Stratocaster but weighs less than my Les Paul Custom which weighs 10.2 pounds.
Generally speaking, a PRS SE Custom 24 will weigh around 7.4 pounds compared to its PRS Custom 24 counterpart which weighs between 8 and 9 pounds. In addition to a stricter wood selection process, the Core series guitars have one-piece necks and bodies which may contribute to their increased weight.
There are several differences between the Core and SE PRS guitars, including the gigantic price tag. Some of the differences that lead to the guitar being more expensive are also why the Core series tends to be a bit heavier. In the next section, I’ll explain what some of these differences are, and I’ll also show you how I weighed my PRS SE Custom 24.
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The PRS SE Custom 24 – Student Edition vs Core
PRS has been making guitars reportedly since 1985, and over the last 20 years, they’ve really grown in popularity. I first remember seeing the guitars in early 2000s music videos from bands like Breaking Benjamin and other alternative-metal groups.
Apparently, this was a reputation that took a long time for PRS to shake due to the association, but I digress. The PRS Custom 24 Core series guitars come at a very high price tag, essentially making them impossible for most beginner guitarists to own.
For that reason, they came out with the SE models which are currently manufactured in a facility specially made for them by Cor-Tek in Indonesia. They used to be made in Korea by World Musical Instruments Co. Mine was made there as well.
Like most premium guitar brands, the primary reason why they differ so much in price has to do with where they’re made and the quality control, rather than the price of the wood, hardware, and electronics, although those are factors too.
Some of the differences in how the Core and SE guitars are made do contribute to a difference in weight and they are the following:
- PRS Core Series guitars have one-piece, quarter-sawn, and mahogany necks and bodies compared to SE models which are plain sawn and 3-piece.
- PRS Cores have bone nuts compared to graphite on the SE models.
- PRS Core guitars have a stricter wood selection process where someone from the company ensures the wood being used is going to work great for guitar construction
- PRS Core guitars have locking tuners and SE Series do not
- Some people say the frets on the SE are skinnier and the Core models have harder frets that are also glued on
- PRS Core guitars also have a carved maple top
- SE guitars have paper-thin veneers for the finish.
Weighing The PRS Custom 24 – Student Edition
For this experiment, I basically did the same thing as I did for my article on the weight of Epiphone Les Paul Customs and Squier Telecasters and Stratocasters. I stepped on my scale with my phone in hand and then weighed myself.
I had to do it a couple of times just to ensure that I got the same weight every time, that way I had an accurate measurement for the before and after comparison. I learned this trick from having to figure out the weight of items before sending them in the mail.
Subtract 176.6 from 184 pounds and you get 7.4 pounds. With absolute certainty, the PRS SE Custom 24 weighs approximately 7.4 pounds.
And this guitar doesn’t have any modifications to it, new pick-ups, or really any alterations other than the fact that the whammy bar is missing from it.
If I weigh the whammy bar though, it doesn’t weigh anything close to 1 pound, so it isn’t much of a contribution to the overall weight of the instrument.
So all of that is well and fine, but what about the PRS Custom 24? Also known as the Core series of Paul Reed Smith guitars? Because I don’t actually own a Core PRS guitar, I had to rely on outside sources, of which there are many.
Weighing The PRS Custom 24 – Core Series
If you have a look at many sites around the internet, you can see there are some weight variations for many PRS owners. This website says they weigh 9 pounds approximately, whereas the people on this forum say they’re usually much closer to 8 pounds.
All-in-all, I think it’s safe to argue that PRS Core Series Custom 24 guitars weigh between 8 and 9 pounds, which is about a half-pound to one full pound heavier than their much cheaper PRS SE Custom 24 counterparts.
Other users on The Gear Page corroborate this point, and a few of the members who own 22 fret models say their guitar weighed around 7.5 pounds. This makes sense considering the guitar has fewer frets and likely less material adding to the total weight.
One other user claims his whale blue PRS Custom 24 weighs 8.8 pounds which is on the heavier end. A big part of the reason PRS guitars tend to weigh slightly more than other guitar models has to do with the mahogany bodies and necks.
My 2002 Epiphone Les Paul Custom also has a mahogany body and it weighs a whopping 10.2 pounds, which is very heavy for a guitar. The nice thing about it though is that my Les Paul Custom sounds great.
Why Does the PRS Custom 24 [Core] Weigh More Than The SE Custom 24?
Ultimately, I can only infer why the PRS Custom 24 [Core] guitars weigh more than their SE counterparts from the information that’s readily available online. However, what makes the most sense is the wood and how they’re made.
PRS Custom 24 guitars have a solid, 1-piece, mahogany body with a maple top and then a one-piece mahogany body with a rosewood fingerboard. Because the Core series guitars are made from just a couple of solid, pieces of wood, they likely tend to weigh more as a result.
Paul Reed Smith has quite a bit of information and specifications on their website, and the YouTube videos I linked earlier also show you their SE factory in Indonesia. Additionally, you can see the Maryland, USA factory tour on YouTube as well.
Other Articles You May Be Interested In
- How To Set Up A PRS Guitar (Step-By-Step)
- How to Set Up a Squier Telecaster (Step-By-Step)
- How to Adjust the Action on a Squier Telecaster [ANSWERED]
- How to Set up An Epiphone Les Paul [An Illustrated Guide]
- How to Adjust the Action on a PRS Guitar (With Pictures)
Important Things to Note About the Weight of Guitars
1) There Will Be Variability Between Models
I think it’s safe to say that most of the guitars won’t have the exact same weight, although, they’ll likely be fairly close to each other. I imagine this will be the case, especially for the Core series that are made in Maryland, due to the stricter quality control.
1) PRS SE Custom 24 (on Thomann/zZounds)