PRS offers a rare behind-the-scenes tour of the SE Cor-Tek guitar factory in Indonesia

Best electric guitars: PRS SE Custom 24
(Image credit: Future)

We've talked to a few guitar techs and repair experts over the years, including Monty's Guitars' Matt Gleeson and Flat 5 Guitar / Architects and Devin Townsend tech Martyn Evans, and both remarked on how consistently well setup and finished PRS's more affordable SE electric guitars are. Something we've always been impressed by too. 

But it's unusual to see inside an import guitar factory like PRS uses for its SE electric and acoustic guitar models – until now. 

SE guitars have always been produced via a successful partnership with Cor-Tek Corporation (of Cort guitars fame) at an Indonesian factory in Surabaya. But an increase in demand meant PRS and Cor-Tek needed to branch out with a brand new 90,000-square-foot facility in the Mojokerto region of East Java (not far from the original factory in Surabaya), with the ambitious aim of increasing production while raising standards had to deliver in reality. Now in a new video PRS has given us a look at an SE factory and how it meets its own high standards.

As a guitar player and consumer, I don’t see a lot of transparency in the import guitar business, and we have never wanted the SE Series to be that way

Jack Higginbotham, PRS Guitars

Frankly, we just love seeing how guitars are made, and 500 are made every day at this new facility. A lot of work goes into it, with the constantly evolving processes that we see in the video. Design starts in Maryland, and PRS supplies the components too, maintaining constant communication. Cor-Tek's facility is really an extension of PRS. 

“As a guitar player and consumer, I don’t see a lot of transparency in the import guitar business, and we have never wanted the SE Series to be that way," From day one, we have always shared the pride and accountability with our overseas partners,” says PRS Chief Operating Officer Jack Higginbotham. 

“We’re very proud of the relationship we’ve built with PT Cort on every level. We’re all dedicating a significant amount of time and energy into building the best guitars we can, and we wanted to convey that care and dedication, in part, with this video.”

PRS SE Silver Sky

(Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin)

We're really pleased to see a company showing this kind of thing, as our own visit to Fender's facility in Corona, California really gives insight into the level of specialised work that goes into producing a guitar. It gave us a new appreciation of our own instruments! 

PRS SE started in 2001 following a suggestion from Carlos Santana for a more affordable signature model that his younger fans could buy. It's come a long way since with an ever-expanding catalogue of models available, including last years John Mayer Silver Sky SE additions. 

For more PRS videos check out the PRS Guitars YouTube channel.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.