So, it showed up - honestly just minutes after my previous post. I heard a rumble, looked outside "damn, that's a fedex truck, not a UPS one." While I was watching a UPS truck pulled up in front of the FEDEX one. Buying this guitar was a bit of a leap of faith. I've played about 3-4 SE 245s, and liked the feel and balance but had some concerns about the chunkiness of the neck. Interestingly, I felt like the S2 singlecut has worse balance - the longer scale length or something, it just didn't feel quite right. About half the SE 245's I played had a neck that was a little too chunky for my tastes, but I decided to chance it anyway. First reactions - goodness, this guitar is gorgeous. It's blacker than I expected - rather than feeling like a red guitar with a dark burst finish applied, it feels like a black guitar where some of the blackness has been taken away to reveal red underneath. Very cool. The neck is ... chunky, particularly up near the headstock. That's going to take some getting used to, although after playing on it for an hour I'm already warming up to it. It's very comfortable but it's just not quite what I'm used to, although I like it a lot further up the neck. Both my Strat and my acoustic are 25.5 scale lengths so there's definitely some adjustment there. Tonally this guitar is very dark. I like it, but, again, it's going to take a little getting used to (my other guitars are a strat and a Breedlove, which is a pretty bright acoustic). It sounds GREAT dirty, which is part of what I wanted it for - my Strat often just feels a little anemic dirtied up. There's definitely going to be some tone-dialing-in going on. After about 20 minutes I found a clean sound I really liked, and, honestly, I really love the les-paul-style layout - so much ability to sculpt and control the tone by adjusting the relative volumes of the pickups. But I do a lot of clean, finger-picked stuff, and while I did find a sound that really worked for that, I had to look a bit - there were a couple of places where it sounded to muddy. In some ways, that's a function of how much character this guitar has. Strong tonal choices were made here, and that's kind of what I wanted - a strat can just feel very generic (and honestly so did some of the PRS S2s I tried). The flip side of that is figuring out how I work with those choices is going to take some work. Finding good bridge pickup tones is important to me, and the early returns are promising. I never use the bridge pickup on my strat - it's just too brittle. Rolling off a little bit of the highs here helps, and, of course, I can also go mid-position and turn the volume on the neck most of the way down to thicken it up a bit. So I'm not calling it love at first sight, rather, my first hour with this is more of a promising first date.