Does the S2 line help PRS or devalue them?

les_paul

Member
Messages
969
Personally I'm a fan. I'm not one to take out a $4000 guitar. I had a sweet Santana 10 top but couldn't bring myself to gig it. I bought an S2 Mira semi and found the playability and quality similar overall so I sold the Santana.

Does the S2 series just allow players to dip their toes in before taking the plunge or does it prevent the sales of higher end PRS instruments?
 

PaisleyWookie

Member
Messages
8,479
Someone in the market for a $1600-$1700 guitar isn’t necessarily also in the market for a $3700 guitar, and just going cheaper.
I think the S2 offers something good in the range where it’s American-made, better quality than the SE line with better fret material, at a fair price. But at the same time, it’s not going to hurt the feelings of someone who spent $4K on a violin-carve CU24.
 

specialidiot

most likely to seceede
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,678
I say it helps the overall PRS product. It's an entry level and they are very good and play way above their price point.

SE line is like a gateway drug to S2 and core models.
 

JPIndustrie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,362
I've always wanted a 594 ...

but I wanted a working guitar, one that I can take out to gigs and practice in the city in a gig bag

But I have not been happy with Gibson QC in the last 10 years.

The S2 594 provided that answer; PRS in its playability and wood selection, while being competitive with the Les Paul Studio and SG Standard.

That guitar is a way better tool for the job, while allowing me to keep my $3000+ CS 58 reissue at home. I'd have the same reservations if upwards of $4K left my bank account for a Core guitar but at more or less half the price, the S2 strikes the best balance between performance and cost.
 

Joe Tuladhar

Member
Messages
69
Helps. Otherwise they wouldnt have anything between the SE and CU lines. I have a 594 and a S2. The 594 is the luxury car to garage well and drive carefully, the S2 is the everyday commuter that is still fun to drive, but you are not going to stress if it gets a ding or two.
 

JoeYello

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,846
I don’t think it devalues them at all. It’s at a different price point and it will open PRS to more potential buyers.

We don’t know what it costs to make these guitars. Do they have a higher margin because they are using cheaper materials? It’s possible that at the end of the day these guitars may be making the company a good deal of money.
 

RC Mike

Member
Messages
359
PRS is very Apple-like in their product lines and pricing. There’s always something just one step up that tends to move people towards a higher price-point than they had initially wanted to be at. It’s not an easy thing to design, to make products that are just different enough to keep the low-end functional and representative , while having each step up just ever so slightly more desirable.

To do that across a large range of models makes it even more impressive.
 

RC Mike

Member
Messages
359
We don’t know what it costs to make these guitars. Do they have a higher margin because they are using cheaper materials? It’s possible that at the end of the day these guitars may be making the company a good deal of money.
You get a glimpse of the cost in the ability to negotiate with dealers. 20% off MAP isn’t uncommon. PRS employee guitar costs for their employment anniversaries give some indication, too.

In the end, the cost of a guitar is far more than the materials and labor. Design, facilities, marketing, distribution... It all adds up. That said, I‘m sure the profit margins are quite healthy.
 

Barquentine

Member
Messages
2,066
I have an SE Bernie and an S2 Singlecut (2016 model). Both have upgraded pickups and the Bernie has upgraded tuners. They both play beautifully and sound great. They've killed any desire I might have had for core models. I can't imagine liking them £3000 better than my guitars.
 

Anklelocker

Member
Messages
130
I have an 05 CE24 that is Core-like and an S2 Standard 24. Honestly, I prefer my S2. I did swap out the S2 pickups with Bareknuckles, but I like the playability of the S2 better than my CE.

I will say that the HFS bridge pickup in the CE is the best sounding pick that I, personally, have ever used. As others have stated, I would be afraid to gig a Core CU24. One ding and I’d be heartbroken...those things are a work of art.
 

hackenfort

Member
Messages
1,666
I’ve never been a fan of the S2 guitars of I couldn’t afford a standard core model is but an SE and upgrade the electronic, which Imo are the weak spot in the S2 also.

seems they have so many models to choose. Something will appeal to almost everyone
 
Messages
4,025
I own an SE and an S2 and both are really good guitars. Changed the pickups in the S2, but that’s mostly due to my preference for hot bridge pickups.

The SE and S2 lines are priced where I’m still comfortable gigging with them. Triple the price and I’d probably be more worried about wear and tear, and if it were stolen or irreparably damaged, replacing a $3500-$4000+ guitar is more problematic than replacing a $1000-$1500 one.

I chose my S2 Standard 24 instead of a CE24 mostly based on the Pattern Regular vs Pattern Thin neck, and the recommendation of my guy at Sweetwater, and really couldn’t be happier with the guitar, since installing the DiMarzios.
 

Barquentine

Member
Messages
2,066
I have an 05 CE24 that is Core-like and an S2 Standard 24. Honestly, I prefer my S2. I did swap out the S2 pickups with Bareknuckles, but I like the playability of the S2 better than my CE.

I will say that the HFS bridge pickup in the CE is the best sounding pick that I, personally, have ever used. As others have stated, I would be afraid to gig a Core CU24. One ding and I’d be heartbroken...those things are a work of art.
Which Bare Knuckles ? I've got Rebel Yells in my S2 Singlecut and Abraxas in my SE Bernie. Love them.
 

Mad Wombat

Member
Messages
1,549
I bought one of the first S2's when they came out in 2013. When I heard about them, a core model was out of my reach - but I certainly did want one. I wasn't so keen on an SE model for whatever reason.
Then they announced the S2 series and I thought this was something I could handle.

Yeah, they have import parts and they streamlined some of the manufacturing processes (I won't call them shortcuts, because that implies lower quality), but otherwise they're made the same as the core models. But I think they have their own appeal. Well made, good looking, fair price.

I still have my S2 Cu24. I just rechecked the setup and it's near perfect and plays great. Great fret work out of box - relief is .008", action is ~0.060 - 0.070", no buzz anywhere, no noticeable wear after 7 years.
The only issues were a crackling volume pot (fixed with a shot of contact cleaner), and the pickups needed some pole-piece adjustment.

Anyway, bottom line is they've made a product that pulls in customers who would otherwise pass on either core model prices or perceived beginner instruments.
 

skeeterbuck

Member
Messages
1,668
I recently purchased a 2015 S2 Standard 22 used on Reverb. I'm still in the "honeymoon" phase at a week in and so far the only thing I'm not to overwhelmed with is the pu's. The overall build quality is much nicer than the SE models I've tried and buying used I was able to get it at half of what they normally sell. For me that was a no brainer purchase. :bonk

The S2 line is like the Mexican line for Fender. Filling the price point between the Squires (PRS SE Line) and American line (PRS Core Models). In my case it didn't prevent me from purchasing a higher priced PRS model as I just wasn't going to drop several grand on a PRS.
 
Last edited:

jvin248

Member
Messages
5,519
.

PRS did a good job targeting the price point and manufacturing features of the S2 line.
-MIA body and neck.
-Scarf joint headstock to improve strength over one-piece Core necks (which are already better than Gibson due to their basic design)
-Shared pickups+electronics with SE. They realized, like a few posts above already, that so many buyers like to swap pickups "just because they can swap pickups", that they fill the S2s with an inexpensive system to keep the guitar's price point low, the guitar works well stock, but those who need to change things can.
-Some hardware sharing.
-Unique designs from Core and SE so very few overlap questions.

Overall ... they made a Goldilocks Guitar.


I'd still challenge them to work at eliminating exotic rain forest woods, at least at the S2 level. Switch to local "Grown In America" lumber. Players don't "need" rain forest wood -- if they think they do "for tone" then players can "play just a little bit better" and avoid the environmental baggage and impact of 2.5 million new guitars every year. PRS should market their craftspeople skills more than the woods -- "every employee is a custom shop employee" kind of thing. Fender continues to sell a lot of guitars with local woods -- so it's possible. It might be fun for Paul to go around tapping employee foreheads "listen to that tone!"

.
 

TTHX

Member
Messages
508
I never understood the thought of a company making more affordable and more accessible guitars for a greater audience "devaluing" them.
 
Messages
114
Agree with helps. It covers a different market demand segment between SE and core, and serves as a gateway drug to cores for some people. No different than any other major manufacturer out there. Just like private stock caters to yet another demand segment.

Choice is good for us, it's good for them.
 




Trending Topics

Top