PRS SE Tremonti Custom

Alter Bridge man's signature guitar updated for the UK

The original PRS SE Mark Tremonti was launched back in 2003 as a pure 'n' simple rock guitar with the added kudos of Mark Tremonti's seal of approval.

While a great guitar, it's also a world away from its USA-made counterpart, which has since been upgraded with a thinner neck and an up-routed vibrato. Cash-strapped guitar players have been awaiting an updated SE version ever since, and our patience has finally paid off.

"While the flamed maple is a veneer, it's carved and sat on a maple cap fixed to a thick mahogany body, so you get all the tonal benefits"

Sat next to an original SE Mark Tremonti, the Custom's plush vibe is much closer to a USA PRS. While the flamed maple is a veneer, it's lightly carved and sat on a maple cap fixed to a thick mahogany body, so you get all the tonal benefits of a full-spec PRS without paying through the nose for it. The maple has even been masked off to create a natural binding effect, just like the USA version.

There's a vibrato this time around, too, complete with up-routing on the body. This means the vibrato gets a good amount of upward movement when you pull on the bar - not quite to Floyd Rose standards, but more than enough for some flashy tricks.

You also get a wide thin neck profile to play on, which is much improved over the original when it comes to playing blistering lead lines up and down the immaculate fingerboard. Playability is superb and the setup faultless, as you'd expect.

Sounds

"It would have been a stretch to hope for USA-spec Tremonti pickups, but the pair of SE 245 humbuckers deputise ably"

It would have been a stretch to hope for USA-spec Tremonti pickups, but the pair of SE 245 humbuckers deputise ably. Fingerpicking the intro to Alter Bridge's Blackbird through a clean valve amp sounds fantastic, with the neck and middle positions providing plenty of low-end plumminess and just the right hit of sparkle when you pop the higher strings. The bridge gives you more bite - perfect for clean leads that coax your amp into the early stages of crunch.

But with Mark Tremonti, playing clean is only half the story, and you'll soon ramp up the gain for some high-octane rock. While the SE 245 humbuckers are happy to handle anything you can throw at them, we do wonder if the more modern-sounding Vintage Bass/ HFS combo of the SE Dave Navarro might have been a little closer to Tremonti's signature sound.

As it stands these are still excellent pickups, certainly well suited to hammering home huge riffs with the thickness and warmth that single-cut fans adore.

MusicRadar Rating

5 / 5 stars
Pros

One of the most compelling SEs we've played. Excellent pickups. Veneer does the business looks-wise.

Cons

Vintage Bass/HFS pickup combo would sound more 'Tremonti'.

Verdict

The SE Tremonti Custom is one hell of a guitar, not just for Tremonti fans but anyone who's interested in a slick shreddable single-cut that doesn't resort to the excesses of design that can often plague more 'metal' guitars.

Available Finish

Black Cherry (as reviewed), Grey Black

Body Style

Single-cut solidbody electric

Bolt-on Neck

No

Fingerboard Material

Rosewood

Guitar Body Material

Mahogany

Hardware

Chrome

Left Handed Model Available

No

Neck Material

Mahogany

No. of Frets

22

Scale Length (Inches)

25

Scale Length (mm)

635

Circuitry Type

2x volume, 2x tone, 3-way pickup selector

Pickup Type

2 x PRS SE 245 humbuckers

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.