New guy and considering a PRS.

Mike J.

New Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
270
Greetings! I'm new here and am soon to start searching for what I want to be my last guitar. (Famous last words, right?). Well, this has to be. I'm 68 and was a bass player for years. Started learning guitar around 2000 but progress for very slow due to the amount of hours I work working at the time. Finally retired in March of 2020 but things on guitar were delayed for about a year due to a family issue.

My only "gig" is at church where I've been playing bass since 2009 and also guitar since 2016. They like what I do on guitar and it's pretty much all I play there and at home these days. Doing my best to improve now that I have good time on my hands. i have a few guitars and am at the point where I know what I like and what I don't.

I've been checking out multiple video's about PRS guitars and like very much what I'm hearing and seeing! For the most part I believe I've pretty much narrowed it down to 3 guitars that I'd like to try.

1) S2 Custom 22
2) S2 McCarty 594
3) S2 McCarty 594 Thin Line.

As you can gather I'm at a certain price point that I don't want to exceed. I'm also hoping I'll have no trouble finding all three of these to try out. One big question I have is regarding the neck shapes and what the differences are.

S2 Custom 22: Pattern Regular Neck
S2 McCarty 594: Pattern Vintage Neck
S2 McCarty 594 Thin Line: Pattern Thin Neck

Is there a huge difference with each of these necks?

I need a fair amount of tones at church ranging from clean, mild overdriven and a good crunch tone. Of what I can tell the mentioned PRS guitars could pretty much cover my needs. I also like how these guitars sound using the push pull pots. Love the middle tones especially. I can think of a few uses for that one already!

One other thing. I love humbuckers but I have a problem with neck HB's. I have a LP and an Epiphone SG Pro and on both guitars the neck pickup seems to have this droney/bassey boom that makes the bridge pickup sound weak in comparison. I've done every imaginable height adjustment imaginable and can't quite get it to sound the way i would like. Generally, I have the bridge pickups tone control on about 5 and on the neck pickup the tone is on 10 and the volume is on about 6 or 7. It takes the boom away and the pickups even out, but it sounds like a pickup that's turned down. Can't get the full effect. Any problems like that with PRS's neck humbuckers?

I'm not what I would call a great player, but one who holds his own and delivers what's expected using what talents I may have to the best of my ability. I'm also keenly aware of my faults and flaws on guitar but am now doing what I can to make a huge improvement in all areas. Long way to go but now that I have the time I'm all for it! I'm just hoping to find a guitar that feels like it was made for my hands.

Any and all advice is more than welcome. Thanks and have a great day!
 
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SinSir

Mad Scientist
Joined
Sep 7, 2020
Messages
2,115
Welcome and solid choices!

All three neck shapes are different feeling, but I bounce between the three playing today. I find PRS necks are some of the most comfortable..Period. The shape thing is up to you.

What stands out to me is the the Cu22 has a trem. Decide if that works for you first. I'd also say the Cu22 would he more versatile of the three. I don't own one but I do a couple Cu24. That said of the three I'd personally prefer a 594 but if you said Cu24. I'd say that. But that's me. No wrong choice here.

https://prsguitars.com/support/article/neck_profiles

necks-newf9d72ea64ea25f1e.jpg
 
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Mike J.

New Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
270
Thank you Sir for the neck shape info! Very much appreciated! Yes, I do find the S2 Custom 22 appealing because of the bar. It's nothing that I would use a lot per say, but I was thinking since the guitar seems to versatile with the push pull that the bar may come in handy for those special moments when I do volume swells with a lot of reverb at church.

I do believe my favorite local music store has some of these models in stock. Looking very forward to trying them out!
 

LSchefman

Historical Entity
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
28,884
Location
Michigan
It's hard to suggest a neck shape - our hands and what we find comfortable are all so different. It's a very personal choice. Play them all if you can. To get an idea of the Pattern Vintage neck, any 594 will do, Core or S2.

As to the woof in a neck pickup, I find the thinner the body, the less woof. The caveat is that the all-mahogany models (which I think all the S2 CU22s are?) will have a bit less brightness compared to the CU24 S2 with its maple top, and that could give the impression of more bass.

I do a lot of recording as part of my livelihood, and I use an EQ pedal or preamp to cut the low bass regardless of the guitar I play. I like to leave room for the kick drum and bass in a mix, and there's no real reason (for me) that a guitar needs to have a lot of bass.

Nonetheless, even without the EQ, I don't find PRS pickups all that bassy. Then, too, I set up my amps for each guitar to accommodate its frequency response curve. That's always a good idea.

In other words, there isn't a final answer to the question. It's all a matter of personal preference and how you set up the rest of your gear.
 

Mike J.

New Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
270
Thanks LS for the added info. I just looked and I believe my local music store as at least 2 of the models I'm interested in. All I can do is play them and take it from there.

One question I forgot about regarding the S2 models that have just one volume and one tone control. Regardless of where the tone control is set, what's the "clarity" effect when going from the bridge to the neck pickup? I'm asking because I also have a Telecaster and wound up having a concentric stacked pot installed for the tone controls. The neck pickup is wired to the lower portion (for the tone) and the bridge is wired to the upper portion for the tone. Worked great. That way I could keep the tone lowered for the bridge and increased for the neck. Got a perfect tonal balance that way. I'm hoping with the S2 22 models that there won't be a problem when going from one pickup to the other, but I guess I'll find out.

But I did find a way to combat the woof factor with my Epiphone SG. I use a Line 6 Pod Go at church and have learned to get some great tones with it. I have presets dedicated for the bridge and middle position and other presets dedicated for the neck pickup only. As said, I've tried every imaginable height adjustment and can't get anything close to what I like when using one preset sound when going from the bridge pickup to the neck pickup. I'm looking to avoid that that problem once and for all.
 

Aahzz

Bluebeard Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
5,871
As to the woof in a neck pickup, I find the thinner the body, the less woof. The caveat is that the all-mahogany models (which I think all the S2 CU22s are?) will have a bit less brightness compared to the CU24 S2 with its maple top, and that could give the impression of more bass.

S2 Custom 22s have a maple top. It's the Standards that are all mahogany.
 

Russ73

New Member
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
404
OP of those three guitars I have 2....the S2 Standard 22 and the 594 thinline....the thinline neck is noticibly smaller than the Standard 22...plus the scale length on the 594 is a tad shorter than the 25" on the standard or custom 22....the 22 was my first S2 and is still my favorite although I'm in the midst of a honeymoon with the 595...btw there is a beautiful used Standard 22 sunburst at my local GC for 829 if youre interested ill pm you the number....
 

Jeff Belwood

New Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Stockton CA
Greetings! I'm new here and am soon to start searching for what I want to be my last guitar. (Famous last words, right?). Well, this has to be. I'm 68 and was a bass player for years. Started learning guitar around 2000 but progress for very slow due to the amount of hours I work working at the time. Finally retired in March of 2020 but things on guitar were delayed for about a year due to a family issue.

My only "gig" is at church where I've been playing bass since 2009 and also guitar since 2016. They like what I do on guitar and it's pretty much all I play there and at home these days. Doing my best to improve now that I have good time on my hands. i have a few guitars and am at the point where I know what I like and what I don't.

I've been checking out multiple video's about PRS guitars and like very much what I'm hearing and seeing! For the most part I believe I've pretty much narrowed it down to 3 guitars that I'd like to try.

1) S2 Custom 22
2) S2 McCarty 594
3) S2 McCarty 594 Thin Line.

As you can gather I'm at a certain price point that I don't want to exceed. I'm also hoping I'll have no trouble finding all three of these to try out. One big question I have is regarding the neck shapes and what the differences are.

S2 Custom 22: Pattern Regular Neck
S2 McCarty 594: Pattern Vintage Neck
S2 McCarty 594 Thin Line: Pattern Thin Neck

Is there a huge difference with each of these necks?

I need a fair amount of tones at church ranging from clean, mild overdriven and a good crunch tone. Of what I can tell the mentioned PRS guitars could pretty much cover my needs. I also like how these guitars sound using the push pull pots. Love the middle tones especially. I can think of a few uses for that one already!

One other thing. I love humbuckers but I have a problem with neck HB's. I have a LP and an Epiphone SG Pro and on both guitars the neck pickup seems to have this droney/bassey boom that makes the bridge pickup sound weak in comparison. I've done every imaginable height adjustment imaginable and can't quite get it to sound the way i would like. Generally, I have the bridge pickups tone control on about 5 and on the neck pickup the tone is on 10 and the volume is on about 6 or 7. It takes the boom away and the pickups even out, but it sounds like a pickup that's turned down. Can't get the full effect. Any problems like that with PRS's neck humbuckers?

I'm not what I would call a great player, but one who holds his own and delivers what's expected using what talents I may have to the best of my ability. I'm also keenly aware of my faults and flaws on guitar but am now doing what I can to make a huge improvement in all areas. Long way to go but now that I have the time I'm all for it! I'm just hoping to find a guitar that feels like it was made for my hands.

Any and all advice is more than welcome. Thanks and have a great day!
I just got the Thinline. It is very nice! Only 7.0 lb.
 

RickP

Established 1960, Still Not Dead
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
4,373
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
594, I like a volume knob for each pickup.
Yes sir, also great for the Phil Keaggy bowed string sound. Bridge volume on 10, neck at 0, guitar is silent. Roll up the neck volume with a pinky slightly after the picked note and, bam, perfect volume swells without the need to roll the pot all the way to 10 on each note. Only works with guitars wired this way!
 

Rod Welles

Vibrato & String Bender
Joined
Nov 9, 2021
Messages
453
Location
Seacoast New Hampshire/ S. Maine
Yes sir, also great for the Phil Keaggy bowed string sound. Bridge volume on 10, neck at 0, guitar is silent. Roll up the neck volume with a pinky slightly after the picked note and, bam, perfect volume swells without the need to roll the pot all the way to 10 on each note. Only works with guitars wired this way!
Wow, that’s an interesting concept.. thank you!
 

Sicario82

New Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2021
Messages
2
Location
North Carolina
PRS humbuckers are great. I have 85/15s in my CE 24 and they were great, both bridge and neck P/Us. The 594 is probably what you're going to be most accustomed to having come from Gibby and Epis. Like all things, a neck is a neck, you can read specs all day but you've got to play the guitar the neck is connected to in order to know if you're going to bond with it. It is all a big system that works together but a single element can't make or break it.
 

Geo408

Not a new member.
Joined
Jun 22, 2015
Messages
213
Location
Upstate New York.
Try the Custom 22, or the semi hollow custom 22 special. The pattern neck is in, what I call the “Goldilocks” zone. The Custom 24 has a pattern thin neck, (shredder style) the 594 has a pattern vintage neck, which btw is pretty substantial and is bound so it has a “G” brand feel, like the 58 LP reissue. I’m fairly comfortable with all PRS neck shapes, so I have them all in my fleet, and I feel no discomfort switching from one to the other…ymmv.
My best advice ultimately, is try them all, because scale length also comes into play. However, at the end of the day, you can’t go wrong…PRS doesn’t know how to make a bad guitar!
 

andy474x

Knows the Drill
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
4,381
Location
West Michigan
So many great guitars to choose from!

I've struggled with the woofy/bassy neck humbucker thing from time to time, too. IMO, PRS perfected the solution to that in the core line 594. On many other guitars, just like you mentioned, I'm turning the tone control up to 10 just to keep as much high end definition as possible, and although that's really all you can do (at least on the guitar itself) when you have a bassy neck pickup, that's really not the best answer, and it isn't how the 594 works, either. The 594 pickups have have a voice that's tuned to come through even when the tone control is turned way down, and the neck pickup will "cut" even when a lot of the top end is rolled off. Once that droning extra bass is gone and you don't need the tone on 10 all the time, there's a lot more you can do with a neck pickup.

I haven't yet been able to try the S2 version of the 594, but in the demos I've heard, the clarity especially in the neck pickup isn't quite as defined as the core version. However, it's probably an improvement over some of the other models in the S2 line. If you could swing a used core version of the 594, it would be the guitar of a lifetime for you, and if you really look hard, you could probably snag one for $2500-3000. That being said, I've also been in the position where there's a hard financial line in the sand, so I'm not saying it's that or nothing.

Another couple of things you could consider, are the S2 Standards, and/or a 24 fret model. The all mahogany Standards are more focused in the midrange. In my experience, the maple cap adds some sparkle on top, but also adds some deep bass to the tone. The all mahogany guitars I have (including 2 S2's) don't have an excess of bass, the neck pickups on my mahogany S2's are quite clear sounding. Also, on a 24 fret guitar, the neck pickup is positioned closer to the bridge, which takes away some bass and adds some mid and high.

Another item to consider, and I always preach how great they are, is the S2 Studio. They were a "limited" run, and out of production now for a couple years, although many were made, so you could probably find a used model, or a new old stock that hasn't been sold from a dealer yet. They have neck and middle single coils, and as someone who also has played quite a bit of praise and worship music, it would be high on my list of guitars to use for that purpose. I got mine just after I stopped playing at church (COVID and such) but if I ever start again, mine will come with me. By nature of single coils being more clear sounding in the neck position, and having an all mahogany body, as well as the middle pickup adding extra variety for the "in-between" position 2 and 4 tones, it's a stellar guitar with a lot of tonal variety. A little more jangly sounding than the 58/15 or 85/15 loaded S2's, which is often a desired thing for P&W music. But also not as thin and overly glassy sounding as a strat.

As others have mentioned, all the PRS neck shapes are fantastic. Yeah, the pattern vintage on the 594 is beefier than the rest, but it's not vastly different. PV is "bigger" in every dimension, the most prominent thing I feel with PT is thinner front to back with a slightly flatter curvature on the back, and PR is kind of like a PV or Pattern in shape, but shrunk down 15% or so. I have smaller hands, but still get along with all carves just fine. If you absolutely want the most manageable thing for small hands, Pattern Regular is probably the way to go, but otherwise I wouldn't be influenced by neck shape as much as other specs.

I know I haven't given you any good guidance as to what to actually get. I would recommend looking at something other than the S2 Custom 22, not that it isn't a good guitar in many ways, but between the 22 fret build and the maple top, it's really compounding factors that could lead to a muddy neck pickup sound. The S2 594 might do the job for you, the thinline version not having a maple cap might be even better. Or, if you want a trem, a 24 fret model and/or an all mahogany Standard model might be a good way to go. Try what you can, think about the features you want, and I think you'll be very happy with what you get!
 

aphantomvaper

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Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
1,838
Location
Illinois
Yes sir, also great for the Phil Keaggy bowed string sound. Bridge volume on 10, neck at 0, guitar is silent. Roll up the neck volume with a pinky slightly after the picked note and, bam, perfect volume swells without the need to roll the pot all the way to 10 on each note. Only works with guitars wired this way!
This turns me around on the 594 controls, thanks for the technique description! Phil Keaggy is pretty damn good!
 

Mvenuti1980

New Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Messages
59
I was able to pick up my Custom 22 10 Top used for new S2 prices. I’d check Reverb and go for a used core model and get the best possible!
 
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