PRS S2 Opinions

Wesman61

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,293
I'm looking at the S2 Custom 22 and 24. Preferably a used one or with a big discount on a new one from MF or the like. I currently have 2 SE's and a Godin LG. I figure I can get about $700 clear on the 3 guitars plus I have some other misc stuff I plan to sell anyway. I should be able to clear a grand. I can throw in the difference in cash. I also have a Strat I will be keeping.

Although I like having more than one of the same type of guitar I only need one dual humbucker guitar. I can get all the dual hum tones I want from the SE Custom 22 I have. I'm just wondering if selling 3 budget guitars to get an S2 is a worthwhile move. I've never played any PRS's other than SE models. All 3 of the HB guitars are in great shape and sound pretty good, so I'm not sure how much of an upgrade an S2 would be.
 

Synex7254

Member
Messages
993
I'd personally stick with your existing SE's. I like my S2 Singlecut but if I had to choose between it and my Bernie Marsden SE....I'd keep the Bernie. The S2's are nice but if you need to scrap together cash and sell a bunch of gear just for one....I don't think they are as much of an upgrade as you might think.

Also the SE's aren't really budget guitars IMO. They are pretty good for their price point and most that have them may just upgrade the pickups as I did.
 

Faded

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,146
Many people dont feel the S2 is that much of an upgrade over an SE. Im in that camp.

The hardware and pickups on the S2 are the same metric asian made stuff that goes on the SE line. It's ok, but doesnt quite live up to the 'Maryland Made' tagline they give those guitars in the marketing materials.

Also you should be able to pick up a pre owned S2 in like new condition from Daves Guitar Shop for well under a grand.
 

RolandKorg

Member
Messages
4,178
I haven't tried an SE Marsden.
I did quickly try some SEs (Tremonti, Cu24/22, 245), and then an S2 Cu 22 or 24(?). I did feel like there was a difference in feel between the SEs and S2, and that quick experience was a deciding factor for me. I thought the S2s felt more like the American Core line—a step in between the SE and core. Not a huge step, but enough that i'll pay the difference.

This, though, was before the 2017 models were out, and i do believe the 2017s have better pickups. But, my feelings about the S2 weren't even related to sound. I just preferred the feel. That all said, though, i don't think i'd do it if i couldn't try it out first, to be sure it was of value to you. Are you buying from a store with a return policy?
 

Wesman61

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,293
I'd personally stick with your existing SE's. I like my S2 Singlecut but if I had to choose between it and my Bernie Marsden SE....I'd keep the Bernie. The S2's are nice but if you need to scrap together cash and sell a bunch of gear just for one....I don't think they are as much of an upgrade as you might think.

Also the SE's aren't really budget guitars IMO. They are pretty good for their price point and most that have them may just upgrade the pickups as I did.
Many people dont feel the S2 is that much of an upgrade over an SE. Im in that camp.

The hardware and pickups on the S2 are the same metric asian made stuff that goes on the SE line. It's ok, but doesnt quite live up to the 'Maryland Made' tagline they give those guitars in the marketing materials.

Also you should be able to pick up a pre owned S2 in like new condition from Daves Guitar Shop for well under a grand.
After posting this I discovered that the S2 line uses an import bridge. That's really disappointing. Has me thinking that I might not be as happy with my "upgrade" as I thought I might be.

This, though, was before the 2017 models were out, and i do believe the 2017s have better pickups. But, my feelings about the S2 weren't even related to sound. I just preferred the feel. That all said, though, i don't think i'd do it if i couldn't try it out first, to be sure it was of value to you. Are you buying from a store with a return policy?
I just watched a video about the 2017 models. I'm impressed by the demo. Especially the tone of the 24. My main SE has Pearly Gates though and they sound great.
 

Faded

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,146
The 2017 models still have the same import hardware and pickups like the SE line.
 

Sensates

Member
Messages
821
I have mixed feeling about the S2. To me, they have a much better playing feel and neck stability than the SE, but the electronics in my S2 CU24 crap out faster than my China made guitars costing under $100. They can be easily replaced, that's true, but a guitar costing this much shouldn't have something that bad. Definitely left me a bad taste for PRS.
 

Chicago Slim

Member
Messages
4,117
I own core, S2 and SE models. In many ways, the SE's look prettier than an S2. As a matter of fact, the core models that I own are plain models, that later became S2's. You can spend as much upgrading an SE, as you would pay for a higher level guitar. The hardware on the S2's, are a better quality, than what you get on an SE. A wrap-around bridge on an SE is cast zinc. The bridge on an S2 is aluminum, like the core model. You can upgrade an SE to an after market Wilkinson aluminum bridge for $35. Now when you get to tremolo's, the SE and S2 use the same Trem. They are more expensive to upgrade. People will sometimes just upgrade the saddles.

I tend to buy core models, when I want a tremolo. I tend to stick with wrap-around bridges, for SE's and S2's. Your best value might be a used core line. SE, S2 and core models, all tend to depreciate. A used core model or S2, will likely hold it's value.
 
Last edited:

Zalu

Member
Messages
562
I just picked up an S2 Standard 22. One of the satin ones for a good discount. It's honestly great! I got it with the intention of becoming my #1 guitar and it's definitely in that spot. It's got a better neck profile for my hands than the SEs and it just plays and sounds great in general all around. For what I paid for it, definitely worth it. If I had to pay full price, I don't think it would have been worth the money and would have probably returned it and got something else instead.
 

Wesman61

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,293
Last night I played the SE that has a trem and Pearly Gates for awhile. It's really a decent guitar in great shape. Gets all the tones I need. Thinking about just selling the other 2 dual HB guitars and using the money for other things. Like a decent delay pedal for starters.
 

duhziner

Member
Messages
517
I don't know anything about these 2 lines, but was interested in picking one up. Which of the SE or S2's have the thickest neck?
 

LTigh

Member
Messages
884
I don't know anything about these 2 lines, but was interested in picking one up. Which of the SE or S2's have the thickest neck?
Having owned an S2 and several SEs (before realizing that I just wasn't bonding with any of them-- played my beat-to-hell franken-partscaster more than any of them, so I sold them all save my first SE and gave that one to my nephew), Imma say the Marsden has the thickest neck of all of them. The hard-tail Tremonti has a thicker neck, but not nearly as thick as the Marsden. Also, gonna have to go with the sentiment that the S2 isn't THAT much of an improvement over the SEs, but having something made in Maryland wasn't really a priority of mine, so I really couldn't justify the $300-$400 price difference (plus I was poor as hell living in Colorado, so it made getting the S2 Custom 24 really, REALLY painful). Plus the HUGE difference between the S2 and the Core series (I would noodle on my buddy's 10-Top quite a bit when I had the chance, now THAT was a religious experience).

Huh. Considering my shift in tastes towards single-cut shorter-scale set-necks, maybe I shouldn't have gotten rid of the Marsden.
 

bricel24

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,187
The S2's are great guitars but as some have stated which I agree on, it's not much of an upgrade from the SE's. I personally own an SE Bernie Marsden which I would not think of selling (yet) and have done some mods to it - fantastic guitar! I also have a core P22 that I enjoy a lot as well. I read that you have a budget of about a grand or so. You'd find used core Custom 22/24 or a McCarty or even CE22/24 examples for about less than $1500.

Not saying you SHOULD skip the S2, but given you have a pretty good budget for a used PRS I'd look into a core model. Otherwise nothing wrong with the SE either.
 

Chicago Slim

Member
Messages
4,117
I have an SE Zach Myers that I really like. But, it's really just a chambered SE 245. I was considering getting a second Zach Myers to modify. Instead I bought a used S2 Singlecut semi-hollow, with Seymour Duncan pickups, for 1K. It's a real thin topped semi-hollow, like an ES137 or ES335. PRS semi-hollow core models start at around 4k. So, the S2 was in my price range.




 
Last edited:

Synex7254

Member
Messages
993
Your best value might be a used core line. SE, S2 and core models, all tend to depreciate. A used core model or S2, will likely hold it's value.
Very good point. A used CE is night and day better than an S2. I got a 2005 CE22 with Dragon II pickups for under $1100 with a hardshell case and it's a beautiful guitar.
 

TTHX

Member
Messages
508
I currently have an S2 22 satin and it's excellent. I've also had an SE 245 before that I sold. I played a bunch of SEs and other S2's in the shop to decide which to get. The necks on the S2 in my opinion are much nicer. The rolled edges and shape feel great. So easy to play imo. Although I wish they came with the wide fat shape cause I like a thicker neck. I think the satins are worth it.
 

Duffy Pratt

Member
Messages
2,943
Got an S2 Vela and love it. In general I think the necks and fret finish on the S2s are a cut above the SEs. Also, there is nothing comparable to the Vela in SE or Core lines. But I would have bought a Standard 22 S2 satin before any of the SEs. The difference in the neck makes it worth it to me.
 

Birchi

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
143
I had a S2 CU24 that I never really bonded with. The finish is really thick poly that just felt cheap to me. I haven't tried the newer satin models, I might like those better.

I have one of the new CE's now, it is a much nicer guitar that follows more of the core trends, with the exception of the Korean bridge which really bugs some folks.

I think a used CE (new run or original) would be a better bet. Heck, you can get a new CE for 1700 or less if you try.
 




Trending Topics

Top