The Epiphone PR-4E Acoustic-Electric is part of Epiphone’s PR series. It features a spruce top with mahogany back and sides and a rosewood fretboard and bridge, with chrome tuning pegs.
The guitar’s spruce top is supported by vintage X-bracing, which not only supports the soundboard, but gives the Epiphone PR-4E acoustic electric guitar more volume and tonal balance than you would expect for it’s size.
Overall: (3.5 / 5)
It also comes in this pack with a 15watt two channel, ‘Acoustic-15’ amplifier, which includes a 3 band E.Q. control and chorus effect.
The pack also contains the usual accessories:
- Gig bag
- Tuning pipes
- Jack lead
- Beginner lesson DVD
A great feature of this set is the included beginner lesson DVD, which should be an invaluable resource for any beginner guitarist.
The guitar itself has a built in volume control, set into the top edge of the smaller sized, cutaway body. This gives you control over the inbuilt piezo pickup when the guitar is plugged into an amp. The guitar also has a low battery indicator- for when you’re running low on juice.
Epiphone have been making guitars since 1873, and are now a subdivision of the Gibson guitar company. They often make low-price versions of classic Gibson guitars- the Les Paul, or the SG, for example.
However, don’t think that these guys aren’t great guitar makers in their own right! They started out as a separate company from Gibson, and continue to make their own electric and acoustic guitars today. New breakthroughs from Epiphone include the ‘ProBucker’ pickup, series parallel switching, and the eSonic preamp for acoustic guitars.
Therefore, when you buy this guitar, you are not buying a cheaper version of a Gibson guitar. If anything, this is the budget version of the more famous ‘PR-5E’ acoustic guitar, which is pure Epiphone by design.
That means you get the same professional sound and quality construction as you would expect from a guitar. This isn’t just the cheap version of another guitar- no corners have been cut. In fact, the Epiphone PR-4E Acoustic-Electric guitar has been a best seller since it was first produced, over 10 years ago.
The included Amplifier
The amplifier supplied with this guitar is the Epiphone Studio Acoustic-15C, which is a 15watt amp with an 8″ speaker. The amp has 2 inputs- in case you wanted to amplify guitar and vocals at the same time. One input is for the standard 1/4 inch jack lead, and the second is an XLR connection for a microphone.
Each input has an individual volume control and you can listen through headphones using the 1/4 inch headphone input. We’re not sure why you would need a headphone socket on an acoustic guitar amp…just don’t plug it in if you want it quieter.
Even then, if you’re listening to the output of the amplifier, the guitar is still working and sounding acoustically- so you wouldn’t be silent…
- Mahogany body with spruce top
- Mahogany neck
- Rosewood fretboard and bridge
- Passive Piezo pickups under the saddle
- 5-layer body binding, and 1 layer neck binding
- 1.68″ nut width
- Volume, and phase controls
- 3-band EQ
- Premium, die-cast tuning pegs
- Chrome hardware
- 1/4″ jack output
- 8 inch speaker
- Closed-back cabinet
- 2 channels (guitar and mic)
- 2 volume controls
- 3-band EQ
- Chorus effect with speed control
- On/Off Rocker switch
- Headphone socket
What We liked
This guitar starter set features everything you need to get started and even play your first gigs. It would be especially suited to a singer who wanted to accompany themselves on stage because of the two inputs in the amp.
The amp is perfectly loud enough for a stage setting; 15watts is not the smallest size you can get, but it isn’t large. It should, however, be easily loud enough for a pub gig (provided you’re not playing with a drummer- these can be quite loud).
As far as the sound is concerned, it sounds great. The PR-5E- on which this guitar is based- has been a standard workhorse guitar for stage and studio since it came out around 1990. This guitar definitely lives up to that name.
If you’re looking for a low price guitar that sounds like a high end model, this is what you’ve been looking for. It even looks like a much more expensive guitar!
I mean, the workmanship in the joints, and construction of the body is excellent. Just as what you might expect from Epiphone. There are no dodgy glue joints, loose parts or obvious sharp edges to see.
It’s also great that the Epiphone PR-4E acoustic-electric guitar has it’s built in electronics in an easy to reach position. They are mounted on the upper bout of the guitar, just where your can see it by simply looking down.
The 9-volt battery is also easy to reach. It is located in a compartment just next to the EQ controls. This means you can easily change the battery should it fail at a gig (just make sure you pack a spare!).
What We didn’t like
One of the main complaints we have about this guitar is that there is a slight buzzing noise along the neck. This can be fixed if you know how to set up a guitar, but you shouldn’t really have to do this to a new guitar.
A bad set-up will cause anything from: fretbuzz, intonation (tuning) problems, and even dead notes along the fretboard. New guitars should really come with a good set-up and this is to the discredit of Epiphone. It could also be the fault of the Chinese manufacturing process.
Not all of the Epiphone PR-4E acoustic-electric guitars have this problem, however. It only seems to be on some of the ones shipped.
Although this guitar is fairly good value, putting it with the amplifier in a set pushes the price up just a little. If you’re not so worried about being amplified, you may want to spend your money on a higher-quality guitar.
Conclusions about the Epiphone PR-4E Acoustic Electric Guitar
This guitar is well made, and sounds great…after you’ve made sure it’s set up properly. The setup problems really are a shame because this guitar could easily be mistaken for a higher-end model.
This guitar is also pretty small- you could even mistake it for a 3/4 size guitar! Although it is definitely a full sized instrument (given away by the scale length). This means the sound is maybe less resonant than a full dreadnought style guitar, but it is easier for smaller people to get around to play.
The Epiphone PR-4E Acoustic-Electric Guitar Player Pack is definitely for you if you want a guitar to accompany your voice on stage. However, if this is not you, you won’t need the amp, and it would be worthwhile looking at another starter set.