Finally Tried the S2 Line

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by JTroska, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Dave Adams

    Dave Adams New Member

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    I took my guitar to a local Guitar Center to have it properly set up (the rest of the way). While there I tried a 2016 S2 Standard 24 Satin through a Princeton Reverb amp. It sounded quiet with no noise. The guitar tech there properly adjusted the truss rod (I was close but still had a slight bow in the neck). In addition, he set the string height and intonation and adjusted the springs on the tremolo to work with the lighter gauge strings I had put on the day before (GHS 42-09 set). The guitar plays wonderfully now and I tried it out through the Princeton Reverb amp in the store and it too was quiet--which means I have a guitar cable going out!

    I'm going to enjoy this guitar now and get used to playing it. I was quick to dismiss it based on a bad bowed neck and bad setup from sitting 2 years unused (from recent e-Bay purchase) . I am beginning to see what all of the love is for these fine instruments.

    Best regards,

    Dave Adams
     
  2. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Happy endings rock!
     
  3. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

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    +100!

    Having never played an S2 prior to ordering my RL Vela, I acted on a wing and a prayer (and PRS is the only brand I’d ever do this with). Instantly, I was SO impressed. The fringe benefit was that my S2 not only played as well as my core models, but looked fantastic with its 100 year old wood. S2 should not be thought of as a compromise.
     
    dogrocketp likes this.
  4. Screamingdaisy

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    Agreed.

    From a distance the SE's may look more like a Core, but the S2s perform more like a Core.

    IMO, the S2 hit's the mark on a "working man's guitar" where they sacrifice some of the bling but retain most of the performance.
     
    garrett and dogrocketp like this.
  5. Russ73

    Russ73 New Member

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    I have 3 S2s and a Core, the S2s play as well although the finish feels different but anyone else notice that standing up the S2s kinda hug your body a little better like a S style, they are really ergonomic without the carves...
     
  6. dogrocketp

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

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    I have SE, S2, CE, and other core. Each has a different sound, neck, and visual appeal. I got an S2 custom 22 to use as a workhorse, but couldn't bond with the neck carve. It's the only PRS I've EVER played I that my thick fingers didn't bond with. When I lowered the pickups and raised the pole pieces, it kicked derrière. The trem was fine, and everything else was great. To me, it's more like...do you want grey poupon, French's or horseradish mustard? It's on eBay, and someone is going to get really lucky if they like the neck carve.
     
  7. Screamingdaisy

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    The only thing I didn't like about my first S2 (Standard 24) was the neck angle. Being a flat top guitar the neck stuck straight out of the body like a Fender instead of having a Gibson like layback angle.

    I don't really consider that an "issue"... more of a personal preference.

    The S2 neck carves I like. They feel more Core-like to me than the SEs. With the SE I don't dig the small fretwire, which is ultimately what lead me to sell mine for an S2.
     
  8. John Beef

    John Beef Opaque

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    Interesting... You could blindfold me and put either my Santana SE or my Core Custom 22 in my hand and if I couldn't feel how heavy it was, I wouldn't know which was which.
     
  9. Screamingdaisy

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    I found the differences pretty obvious. My fingers would drag on the SE fretboard and made getting under the strings for bends harder. Nothing I couldn't adjust to, I just prefer the bigger fretwire.
     
  10. Dave Adams

    Dave Adams New Member

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    Tried a different cable and was still getting the 60Hz hum through the humbuckers at home. I finally took the new strings off and pulled the pickguard/pickup assembly today. I found some bad solder joints on the 3-way switch, but the main culprit was the input ground on one leg of the volume pot that is also grounded to the pot metal case. I resoldered it using my pro grade Kester 60/40 solder and will try the guitar out soon after putting new strings on it again. The pickups installed are G&B from Korea. They may be wound to PRS specs, but I gotta say after being in electronics for 30-years and building my own tube amps for 10-years, the quality of the solder work was poor at best--a really hurried up job in Korea, in my opinion. I have a 180 pfd mica cap that I might try in place of the 180 pfd (cheap) ceramic disc cap on the volume control (middle and outer wiper lugs). I was surprised to see bare wood (no grounding foil or paint in the entire pickup cavity--only a small bit of foil under the pot and switch controls behind the pick guard? I still love how this guitar plays. I find I'm playing it more unplugged because of the poor sound through my amp. Hopefully the re-soldered ground lug on the input ground wire and volume pot does the trick. If I still get a bland clean sound out of this guitar I will pull the G&B pickups and put a set of Duncan pearly gates in and change the wiring schematic. Haven't figured out what the two resistors are on the push/pull switch--possibly some kind of dropping resistor to eliminate electrical noise when changing to single coil mode?
     
  11. Dave Adams

    Dave Adams New Member

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    Follow up:

    After re-soldering the input ground lug on the volume pot to case lug (case to pot lug had bad solder joint) the hum is gone :) The G&B pickups sound just fine in this guitar. My "clean sound" is back to where it should be. I picked up this NOS 2015 ST Standard 24 in mint condition. If not for the bad solder joint on the volume pot of this guitar, the original owner may not have sold it and it might not have come to me so reasonably priced (e.g. $700 plus shipping). I think this guitar is very well made, and if PRS saves some money by not assembling the pickup assembly in the US, then it is (now) fine with me. This guitar just fits and feels right--very pleased and hard to describe how the feel of this guitar is. The G&B zebra humbuckers are going to stay in this guitar. It took some fine adjustment to the pickup height to get the tone and (tremolo chime) just right. -Dave Adams (a.k.a. Swaptronics fuzz pedals).

    If anyone else out there has a problem with 60Hz hum and a popping sound when you touch the pickup height adjustment screws with your hand while picking/strumming--then pull your pickguard assembly and check the solder joint from the input ground to the volume pot where the lug is bent up and soldered to the metal case of the pot. I had a very thin and weak solder connection on mine causing my initial hum issues. :)
     
    DreamTheaterRules and bodia like this.
  12. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    I love a happy ending! Enjoy that thang!
     
  13. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

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    By any chance were the values 1.1k and 2.2k ohms? Those are the same used in a DGT but I wasn’t aware of them being employed in the SE line. Regardless, those are to sweeten the single coil tone, not mitigate noise, and highly recommended with the right pickups. Otherwise, that’s not a stock wiring job.
     
  14. Dave Adams

    Dave Adams New Member

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    I didn't happen to Buzz them out with my Fluke meter to check the values, but they are probably similar to what you indicate.

    My guitar is an S2 Standard 24 Satin model.

    It was made in the Stevensville, Maryland factory but the pickups and pick guard are assembled and made in Korea.

    Dave
     
  15. dsenoj

    dsenoj Old dude in a PRS T-shirt

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    My S2 Singlecut Semi-Hollow has 1.1k and 2.2k resisters on the push/pull switches so I think they're standard on the S2 line.
     
  16. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

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    I saw “ST Sandard” and “Korea” and thought I’d misunderstood. I did! My bad!

    That explains a lot. And it shines light on a cool, albeit stealthy, trend in PRS electronics. It’s not just for DGT anymore.
     

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