S2 Sub Par Parts?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by CoreyT, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

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    Been reading today on the forum here about the sub par parts used in the S2 line, and that they should have the same USA parts like Gibson puts on all of their guitars from the highest to the lowest model.

    I knew about the SE tremolo used on my new S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow, but have also read the pots, wiring, jack plate, and switch can also stand to be upgraded due to parts failing after awhile?

    Should I be that concerned?
    I had already planned on having my dealer take out the #7 pickups and replace them with all black non covered Seymour Duncan 59s.

    I spent around $400+ in upgrades last year on my 2012 SE Tremonti Custom at my dealer with:
    Seymour Duncan Dimebag Darrell pickups
    New toggle switch
    PRS or Switchcraft jackplate
    PRS wiring
    PRS push/pull pots
    PRS Lampshade knobs

    It will be around the same with parts and labor to do this to my new S2.
    I dig the guitar as is, but some on the site here make it sound like the S2s are really sub par and that they will fail.
     
    #1 CoreyT, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  2. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    Personally, I think people are crying wolf. I`d like to know if these are S2 owners warning about failing parts. I don`t think the company would let anything substandard out the door. I played a Les Paul Custom (Gold hardware, Ebony board, fancy binding) for 25 years. I recently took an SE standard in trade that I intend to sell. Even it`s better made than my late 60`s Gibson was. I drank the Kool Aid because of quality.
     
  3. Korina Jack

    Korina Jack New Member

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    CoreyT...your concerns are legit. $400 in upgrades? Wow!
     
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  4. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    If you "dig" the guitar the way it is, but are worried about the parts failing, why not just play the crap out of it and see if they fail or not? If they don't you won't have to put more money into your USA built (not including parts) guitar. If they do, you will know the Chicken Little's were right. I suspect you will be running the experiment for quite some time.
     
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  5. justmund

    justmund Plank Spanker

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    and if they do fail, they're covered under warranty...
     
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  6. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

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    Yes, I do dig the guitar.
    Now the pots, some have said they are not like the USA ones, but these you can turn with the side of your pinky, just like the USA ones on my 408, they are not stiff like the ones that come on the SEs.

    So when I am ready to have the Seymour Duncan 59s put in, the stock pots may do along with the stock wiring.
    Basically all the dealer will be doing is unsoldering the stock pickups and putting the new ones in and solder them back up.
    Oh, and also make sure there is a 180 pF treble bleed cap in there.
    Not sure if there is one now or not.

    Other than these concerns, this thing plays as well as my more expensive 2013 408 MT.
    In fact the Pattern Regular neck on it seems to be about the same size and feel as the Pattern Thin on my 408.
    In other words, I dig the neck, and I am thinking I am starting to like it even better than the Wide/Thin on my SE Tremonti Custom.

    Now the Wide/Fat on my ZM is OK, but my hand can get a little cramped after playing that thicker neck for awhile.
     
    #6 CoreyT, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  7. justmund

    justmund Plank Spanker

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    Yup the electronics and pickups are Korean in the S2 line. I replaced my volume pot and toggle with some US ones I had lying around, I kept the tone push-pull. No issues so far.

    Replaced my pickups with US ones too, but that was always going to happen ;)

    Funnily enough, there's a guy selling a set of S2 #7s on eBay here in Aus, for more $ you would expect to pay for a brand new set of 5x/xx!
     
  8. markintime

    markintime Wood Grain Devotee

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    Dangit! You made get up and check the feel of my S2's and SE's pots. In summation, the S2's are smooth as silk, both volume and tone. The tone pots on the SE's are super smooth and can almost spin them with a soft look (well, not really), but the pinky roll is sooo easy. The SE volume pots were also smooth but just a little, ah, I wouldn't say stiffer, but had a bit more resistance to spinning, but not at all objectionable. In fact I think they have just the right feel. Note the SE's are both 30th Anniversary models and look in my sig at the S2's, Vela and CU22 Standard Satin.

    Are the S2 electronics really Korean? These are USA, made on the same line as the core. Maybe I just don't play enough, but I can find absolutely no fault with any of mine. At all.

    Puzzled........
     
  9. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

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    Mark, thanks for checking your SE pots.
    I did just check my 2012 SE Santana, and I guess they are not too stiff, but no way as easy to spin with the pinky as my S2 or 408.

    Now the pots on my ZM are a lot stiffer than the Santana.
     
  10. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    I had to spray some contact cleaner in the volume pot of my S2 semi, and the volume and tone pots have different amounts of resistance to turning (but work fine now). My newer Satin has been absolutely perfect thus far.

    May change the 7's in the Satin, I like them for what they are but want something a little hotter and beefier, less mid honk.
     
  11. CantankerousCarl

    CantankerousCarl Occasionally Onery Member

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    The only issue I have ever had with any PRS hardware is a wonky 3-way toggle on an SE Santana I had a few years back.

    I like the feel and taper of the Core pots best, as I have read many prefer as well.

    I have also heard hard-core folks say that they find the stuff used in the Core line to be nothing special either.

    Different strokes I suppose.

    I upgraded the trem on my new CE24 to a MannMade 2000NOS. The tone and sustain on that axe were already on par with any of my other Core models; now it sustains a little longer and the single-coil tones are more pronounced. So that was a worthwhile upgrade.

    Corey, FWIW I wouldn't spend the money on proactive upgrades because you fear there might be a problem someday. If you just want to play around, or are unhappy with / chasing a different tone, then that's another thing...
     
  12. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
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    If your goal is to make the guitar a core guitar in everything but body, then a general overhaul is in order. You will end up with core parts everywhere, but an S2 carve and construction.

    I personally think that it would be better to only replace the parts that aren't working for you, if any.

    If you aren't having tone, quality or playability problems with any parts, why change them?

     
  13. Jvstrat

    Jvstrat New Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it. I had an old se I bought used back when the bodies had no carve. After years of gigging with it I never had an issue with any of the electronics. I have an S2 I just got and I'm not concerned. No way PRS will put something that's of poor quality in their guitars.
     
  14. justmund

    justmund Plank Spanker

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    The pickups are G&B, same as SE but different specs, and can be split. The rest are not SE and not Core, but somewhere in between (according to Shawn). I'm fairly certain SE and S2 electronics come from Korea, I seem to remember them being the same brand..
     
  15. JTroska

    JTroska New Member

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    I've been playing the heck out of my S2 since I bought it almost a year ago and nothing has failed. Mine has the USA fixed bridge--not the SE floating bridge. So many can't speak for that. But I slap the pickup selector often several times per song; play the volume knobs constantly for fuzz cleanup; and retune for alternate tunings mid set. And push/pull the coil splits in and out a lot.

    Pickups are a personal preference thing. And if corners are going to be cut, this is a good place to cut because everybody can replace them with their own personal pick of an ideal set. I had contemplated swapping the pickups but since discovered that I really like how the s2#7s play with my Sovtek Big Muff clone and haven't felt inclined to bother anymore. Although I have to admit all the talk on this forum makes me wonder how much better a premium pickup set would sound.

    But I'm not concerned about durability of the parts after my experience. And if something does fail at this point, I've gotten my money's worth.
     
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  16. markintime

    markintime Wood Grain Devotee

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    Hear, hear. I think it all eventually boils down to "If it ain't broke it, don't 'fix it'." Then if it breaks, FIX IT! ahahahahaha! :)o_O
     
  17. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

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    They only need what you think they need. I thought the volume pots were junk, so they're gone in favor of core pots. I thought the pickups weren't that great, so they're gone as well.

    I don't see any reason to replace anything else electronically. The jack PLATE is the same as core, but the actual JACK is not.

    I think the SE trem is a nice unit. Probably a little inferior to core, but more so that it's just different with its steel parts.

    In conclusion, take our opinions into consideration, but only do what YOU think it needs.
     
  18. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    This.

    I don't buy into the thinking that the SE parts are a giant compromise.
     
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  19. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

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    Thanks guys for the confidence in this.
    Like mentioned, this new S2 of mine may very well be the best playing guitar I have owned yet.
    It is a toss up between this and the 408, with this guitar being lighter of course.

    It is just that I have read on this site the past few days some negativity on the S2s.
    Not having any issues at all with anything on it, in fact it got its first detail job yesterday with Virtuoso Polish :D

    I think the only thing then that will be changed out will be the pickups for the Seymours I want, and I will have the shop check to see what bleed off capacitor is on the volume knob.
    I think they used an Orange Cap when I had the Tremonti Custom done, but not sure.

    I just do not understand the negativity I have been reading here lately on these, this S2 is awesome.
     
  20. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

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    PS, just got out my ZM here at work, had not got it out since last Thursday.
    All the strings were a little flat, so I take it that neck was bowed up a bit from being cooler in my locker in the breakroom.
    The room where my PC is always a little warmer, and that is where I play it.

    Now my 408 and new S2 I had out at home since Friday needed no tuning whatsoever.
    They were still perfectly in tune when I cased them yesterday.

    At home I leave my SE Santana and Gibson SG out full time during the week so I can grab them whenever the urge hits.
    The Santana pretty much stays in tune, but the Gibson will go flat or sharp if you look at it cross eyed :D
     

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