Another help with with the differences between SE, S2, CE parts question

DrunkenGarbageCan

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Still kinda a PRS noob so maybe I can get some guidance....

If I understand correctly, the S2 has the same hardware as the SE (Korean parts).

Is there a difference between the tuners? I believe these are Phase II tuners (please correct me if I am wrong). Were the Phase II tuners every modified or changed slightly? Were Phase II tuners ever made in the US or always Korea? - A friend has an new CE 24 semi hollow and a few year old CU24 SE. Maybe it was an optical illusion, but the SE tuning post looks a little thicker and has a little less waist than the new CE tuner

Are the saddles on the SE / S2 zinc or brass or pot metal or ???? I can't seem to find an answer

The saddles on the CE 24 look different than the S2. One has sharp corners, one has rounded corners. Are the CE saddles made in Korea? Why are they different corners? Is part of it USA made and part Korea? What material are the CE saddles?

I see one of the "selling" points of the CE is that it has a steel block. Yet, I see people saying that the CE comes with Korean trem. Is the trem from a CE the same as the SE/S2? If it is the same and the SE, S2, CE all share the same steel block, what is the big "selling" point (think this was from a Sweetwater vid)

Sorry if these questions sound anal retentive (I am just wired that way). I am just trying to figure out what the heck is on each model (emphasis on the CE 24 semi).
 

SinSir

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The S2 is basically an American made SE. The difference being the import tuners are lockers on the S2. The big difference for the newer CEs are USA pickups. The woods used for CE/S2 come from Maryland as well.

The trem is pot metal. It's a good trem and plenty serviceable as is. For me personally I don’t like the saddles asthetically and prefer brass tonally. John Mann has an upgrade kit for the block and saddles if you prefer brass too.
 

Uncle Bob

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I see one of the "selling" points of the CE is that it has a steel block. Yet, I see people saying that the CE comes with Korean trem. Is the trem from a CE the same as the SE/S2? If it is the same and the SE, S2, CE all share the same steel block, what is the big "selling" point.

What difference does it make where the parts were manufactured? Either way, the trem is the same on the SE as the CE, and various other bits too. The CE’s selling point over the other models is a proper solid maple cap (as opposed to a veneer on the SE) and a bolt-on neck. The neck is really its USP.

If you want something ‘all American’ you’re going to have to stump up for a core.
 

DrunkenGarbageCan

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To me, the difference isnt the country the parts were made, but the quality.

Maybe I worked with bean counters too long, but I want to balance what I am paying for vs the quality of the item. If for some reason, if I need to sell or part it out, am I going to take a bath ($ wise) or come close to breaking even?

The maple cap on the CE I saw was not really anything to write home about (esp on a $2K+ price tag). The veneer on my kids SE was a piece of art at almost a 1/3 of the price. I might be wrong, but don't the SE have a maple cap with the veneer?

I think what really "bothers" me in general is rise in the price of guitars (new and used) overall and not just PRS. A year or two ago, I could have bought a used Core CU22 with case for about $1500. Now I can get a used S2 with gig bag for a little less. In the same time period, I vowed to my kid I would not pay near a grand for a new Korean (Wylde) guitar, but somehow he suckered me :0 doing almost the same for a new Indo SE.

I am starting to think that some of the larger names may be having a Fender USA / Fender Japan moment like in the 80s. The import stuff is getting SO good, that the justification to buy USA is more built on status than value (in some cases)

Like I said, I worked with bean counters too long. Ultimately, I just want some sort of balanced cost vs benefit. That is why I was interested in what models have what part, not trying to stir stuff up
 
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Uncle Bob

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Yes it does have a maple cap, just not a flamed one, hence the veneer.

There are no bad guitars in the PRS range, so personally I’d just play a bunch of different guitars and go with the one that makes you happy.
 

SinSir

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Yes it does have a maple cap, just not a flamed one, hence the veneer.

There are no bad guitars in the PRS range, so personally I’d just play a bunch of different guitars and go with the one that makes you happy.

Do we really know what's under the veneer? It could be any maple grain, right? The process for building an SE is they all get a veneer and none of the wood is graded Iike in Maryland where there are multiple tiers.
 

SinSir

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To me, the difference isnt the country the parts were made, but the quality.

Maybe I worked with bean counters too long, but I want to balance what I am paying for vs the quality of the item. If for some reason, if I need to sell or part it out, am I going to take a bath ($ wise) or come close to breaking even?

The maple cap on the CE I saw was not really anything to write home about (esp on a $2K+ price tag). The veneer on my kids SE was a piece of art at almost a 1/3 of the price. I might be wrong, but don't the SE have a maple cap with the veneer?

I think what really "bothers" me in general is rise in the price of guitars (new and used) overall and not just PRS. A year or two ago, I could have bought a used Core CU22 with case for about $1500. Now I can get a used S2 with gig bag for a little less. In the same time period, I vowed to my kid I would not pay near a grand for a new Korean (Wylde) guitar, but somehow he suckered me :0 doing almost the same for a new Indo SE.

I am starting to think that some of the larger names may be having a Fender USA / Fender Japan moment like in the 80s. The import stuff is getting SO good, that the justification to buy USA is more built on status than value (in some cases)

Like I said, I worked with bean counters too long. Ultimately, I just want some sort of balanced cost vs benefit. That is why I was interested in what models have what part, not trying to stir stuff up


If your looking for value to dollar in PRS the SE line is their "value" line. Solid quality guitars. As said $1k for a guitar isn't a budget priced guitar, it should be quality no matter where it's made for that price.

For me I find the real value is in the secondary market with some hunting and patience. Reverb is becoming the worst place to buy for a consumer. Sure there's a good selection but good prices are harder to come by and better be quick when they do come up. It's weird, there were starting to be some good deals again but lately they seem to be creeping back up. I'm sure it'll drop again or maybe it's coincidence with the models I watch.

Either way circling back, In general I don't think PRS makes a bad guard. You really can't go wrong either way. Figure out which one works for you in your budget and enjoy!
 

Uncle Bob

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Do we really know what's under the veneer? It could be any maple grain, right? The process for building an SE is they all get a veneer and none of the wood is graded Iike in Maryland where there are multiple tiers.
Is that like wondering if the light in the fridge actually goes off when you shut the door?
 

DrunkenGarbageCan

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If your looking for value to dollar in PRS the SE line is their "value" line. Solid quality guitars. As said $1k for a guitar isn't a budget priced guitar, it should be quality no matter where it's made for that price.

For me I find the real value is in the secondary market with some hunting and patience. Reverb is becoming the worst place to buy for a consumer. Sure there's a good selection but good prices are harder to come by and better be quick when they do come up. It's weird, there were starting to be some good deals again but lately they seem to be creeping back up. I'm sure it'll drop again or maybe it's coincidence with the models I watch.

Either way circling back, In general I don't think PRS makes a bad guard. You really can't go wrong either way. Figure out which one works for you in your budget and enjoy!


Yeah, I really would rather buy used than new. The only reason I bought my kids SE new was we had a 20% off coupon and he really loved it (plus a used one was about the same price). This was the first new guitar I bought in probably 5 years

I am more of a Fender / G&L person and will admit, I have NO idea what wood grades or # of pieces are lurking under the skin. Likewise, I look at some of my old MIM strats hardware compared to even the new USA stuff and the MIM stuff looks better (you can actually read the word FENDER on the saddles).

Maybe because I am an "old" guy, seeing some stuff like hardware get downgraded while the price goes up makes me grumble. However, I will admit that some of the older hardware was probably way better quality than it needed to be, but that was just how things were done back then, and justified the prices.
 

SinSir

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Is that like wondering if the light in the fridge actually goes off when you shut the door?

The light goes off just as Maple has grain.

Look at the wild variances of the S2, some have great tops others including some CEs not so much. The SE top under the veneer is more than likely not 10 top like the wood veneer, but It wouldn't surprise me one bit if it varied widely like the S2. That's how wood grain goes.
 

GarrettIvo

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I am starting to think that some of the larger names may be having a Fender USA / Fender Japan moment like in the 80s. The import stuff is getting SO good, that the justification to buy USA is more built on status than value (in some cases)

It's kinda always been that way. Especially for those of us NOT from the USA.
 

Uncle Bob

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The light goes off just as Maple has grain.

Look at the wild variances of the S2, some have great tops others including some CEs not so much. The SE top under the veneer is more than likely not 10 top like the wood veneer, but It wouldn't surprise me one bit if it varied widely like the S2. That's how wood grain goes.
I agree with you, I was just making a poor attempt at humour :)
 

Daveporter33765

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I have a Core Ten Top Paul’s Guitar that my wife recently gave me as a gift that she paid $4,600 for. I also have the SE Paul’s Guitar that I have owned for about a year that I paid $900 for. They both look amazing (lots of prominent grain), they are both constructed very well and they both sound amazing. There is a difference in the sound of each one, but not enough for it to be noticeable in a mix, especially when one is playing live. I only take the Core version to recording studios; I take the SE to all live gigs due the risk of theft. Is there an overall quality difference between the two, yes, but not $3,700 worth in my opinion. I think the SE line of PRS Guitars has the best quality/price ratio and best overall value. I recently bought a PRS Hollowbody II Piezo and went for the SE version; it is another fantastic guitar at a great price point.
 

chicagoslim

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The more you look into the hardware, the more confusing it becomes. SE's don't use locking tuners, where as most S2's, do. I currently own core, S2 and SE guitars. Even the core models use imported hardware, as does Gibson and Fender. PRS changes their source for hardware, that is why they don't state (or guarantee) where it comes from. Most changes to new guitars are an improvement, and that tends to come with a price increase.

My advise is to play as many guitars as you can, and judge them in comparison to other guitars, at their price point. I used to play all core guitars. Now, I tend to put most of the use on my S2's and keep my (fewer) core guitars, at home in the case.
 
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