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PRS S2 Nitro Durability (IME it's not)

dmhi11

Member
Messages
274
Just out of curiosity....

I bought a 35th Anniversary S2 about 4 months ago brand new. after about 3 months I noticed that the area around the strap pin was getting rough, and up by where my fore-arm rests as well. I took it to my dealer to discuss as I've never had this issue on other Nitro guitars before. Anyway, after being told I was abusing my guitar (I take good care of my stuff so that's a whole other conversation) we were able to buff out the finish where it was starting to flake etc.--very tiny spot, but enough to notice and call into question how well this finish was going to work long term...

Anyway, it's been a month from the buff, in the interim I switched to using only rubber jacketed cables and NEVER use nylon straps with this guitar. Anything rough will likely cause additional wear. It has started to reappear despite the fact that I'm babying it constantly. Even starting to question my gig bag, but I have a really nice Gator Pro Go it travels in, or a high end Gator HSC depending on the situation.

So, here-in lies the issue. I'm familiar with nitro wear, and I don't mind a guitar that wears gracefully--but at this rate it'll look like SRV or Rory Gallagher's guitar pretty damn fast.

Anyway, it's bugging me--but I thought I'd ask here if anyone else has had these issues with the guitars post nitro transition.
 

Golem

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,060
Can you take some pictures of it and and share them here? Nitro is a finish that reacts to other chemicals and gassing can affect it. But without seeing what it looks like, it's a bit hard to say.
 
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dmhi11

Member
Messages
274
Can you take some pictures of it and and share them here? Nitro is a finish that reacts to other chemicals and gassing can affect it. But without seeing what it looks like, it's a bit hard to say.
The roughness is something that is barely visible to the naked eye currently. it feels like a nick in the finish but it's only on the sharp angle at the edge of the guitar, not in the bevel or anything like that.
 

John C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,834
For some reason I thought only the satin finished S2s were nitro and the gloss finished ones were that poly finish PRS used on the Core models prior to their change to the nitro finish a couple of years ago. PRS isn't very good about putting up full specs on their website so I could be wrong. I've only had one PRS S2 - a 2018 Vela, and was definitely PRS's poly finish like the older (i.e. pre-"Core") PRS guitars I had owned in the past, but they certainly could have moved the S2s to the current Core finish.
 

Cheddar Kung Pao

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
4,104
PRS switched to a nitro over acrylic basecoat on core guitars in 2020. My Special Semihollow had this finish and my experience was similar to yours OP.

my total amateur opinion (worth absolutely nothing) is that the nitro is much softer than the acrylic basecoat so it can get damaged very easily, like a cotton ball on a rock.

my 594 Graveyard and Paul's 85 have what PRS calls "vintage nitro" that they say will check/crack over time. So far that finish actually seems more hardy to me, and i think it feels and sounds better too.:dunno
 

dmhi11

Member
Messages
274
I believe all of the S2 guitars are using nitro now. I know the 35th Anniversary model did--which is the guitar in question.
 

Strummerfan

Member
Messages
5,099
It was my understanding that Nitro guys wanted the lack of durability of Nitro finishes. There's a reason poly is the go-to in this day and age, easier to work with, less environmental and health impacts, and more durability. Nitro is old tech, things have improved since the 50's.
 




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