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Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Barquentine, Apr 29, 2018.
What's the general opinion of the S2 series ? Do they play and sound as good as core models ?
I have both, and both make me very happy. Personally, I wouldn't view the S2 as being "less" of a guitar - but I will say that the Core models are simply FLAWLESS. From that psychological perspective, I think if I didn't get my "Core" guitars I would always wonder and feel like my S2s were "less".
The necks are equally as comfortable, but around the interwebs you'll hear/see/read a bunch of nonsense about the scarf joint, or the necks stink because they are 3-piece. Nope. They feel great. Fret work is stellar. Fingerboards are smooth and effortless to play....
Yeah, the bevel on the body isn't as pretty on the S2, but MAN...it is well thought out. For me, gigging, it is a little more comfortable than the violin carve on my forearm - even though I LOVE the way the violin carve looks.
I tend to like solid color S2s - metallic colors - over "Custom" models with figured tops. To me, this is where the S2 falters. Don't bother with those "figured" tops. Never seen a nice one in person. That's just me though. I am spoiled. My Core guitars are all 10 tops or Artist tops.
Sound? This is more subjective. I like the way the S2 guitars with #7 pickups sound. That could be MY sound. I like 57/08 pickups in my Core guitars. I have an older Custom 22 with Dragon IIs - it's ok....cool enough to not change.
There are MY experiences. Hope you find them helpful!
I only own 1 core, and it's a pretty basic model (Mira, although it's a freaking MONSTER guitar), and 2 S2's. I thought about this for a few minutes, and I'll give the same advice I give when people ask S2 vs SE: if you have money for either, buy the guitar you want for its features, not the price point. For example, if you want a 594, get a Core, if you want a Mira, get an S2. They're all great instruments, but both lines have some slightly different offerings. I have an S2 semi hollow, and a satin standard, and you can't get those in the Core lineup.
If you do come up with a face-off between guitars with the same features in both lines, like a Custom 22 or 24, and you have the money to spare, that's the time I would say get the core. Something about the core guitars I've played feels and sounds like they're more resonant, I suspect it's the finish. And, everything you get on the core is just the best, I like everything about the S2's too, but it's very good vs best. The finish/resonance thing wouldn't scare me away from an S2 if I really wanted a certain guitar,just something to consider.
On the other hand, if you have some other gear items that you need for your rig, and you can make that happen by buying an S2, that's a great way to go. You could buy a sweet amp, like an Archon or Custom 50, with the dough you'd save buying an S2. Choices.
My SE “plays” and “sounds” as good as my 3 cores. The S2 should have no problem.
Edit - I suppose in all fairness I should mention my SE is not stock
Don't forget the used market.
Damn fine core models out there for low $.
Some like the beveled edge on the S2... more comfortable on the forearm than the scooped core top for some.
S2 can get you in at a lower price point, and the option to upgrade trem and pups later at which point you'd have a fully US model.
I'd say they play great, but haven't held one yet. I can only base the opinion on my SE, CE, and Core.
Sound is up to the beholder. I didn't like the S pups or the trem in my SE, but after switching those out, I'm pretty happy with it.
Love my S2s....comfy body...
The S2s play great. They sound different from the Core models - not second-rate - because very recipe has its own unique flavor.
There are times you might want to take a stately drive in your Rolls, and there are times you might want to haul ass in a ‘56 Ford pickup with an Edelbrock manifold, triple carbs, and headers. Both are great rides.
You just can't get those crazy beautiful tops on an S2.
The S2s are some of the best value guitars I have ever laid hands on
The Core models are works of art
It's silly to compare them. Where I live, S2s range from 2300-2900 dollars, and core models are more than twice the price, commonly 5 thousand and up. They are completely different classes of product with different philosophies, although don't ever assume the S2s are corner-cutters, the quality is well and truly there, they just use plainer tops and drop in electronics, and no carves
I think the S2 models fill a great niche in the lineup. You get that Maryland craftsmanship and quality at a great price. They play just as nicely as a Core. The only potential weaknesses are the electronics and the tremolo (which is fine really, but some people prefer the brass ones). If you do some upgrades, you'll have a sweet custom tailored guitar for far less than the cost of Core.
That said, there's something special about Core guitars. Like that dish in the top and the way they feel. The current crop of pickups are amazing.
As usual with PRS, you can't lose. It just depends on where your wants and needs lie.
Agreed, there is something special about the Cores. Although, naturally there should be. If the Vela had a Core model, I think everything I'm interested in could be covered in the Core line.
I think at some point you have to ask yourself if playing and sounding good is what you want. I only have one PRS, which is a Santana SE and I think it gives me the PRS feel I was after. I didn't think I needed to go Core or PS to get the PRS feel and sound. I believe I was right.
But sometimes you don't want just that, you want to hold in your hands the craft that goes into a Core model. It's kind of like watches, probably all of them will tell time just fine; but is it just time telling that you want? Or you want to know that what you're wearing have took hours of care and craft and is by itself a piece of art in your wrist? I think the same goes for SE vs S2 vs Core.
This is really well put. My first PRS (I have only two) was my Bernie which is a great guitar and took over from my Gibson SG as my main gigging guitar. A year ago I picked up an S2 Singlecut for a good price and it has now usurped the Bernie. It's easily the best guitar I've owned and sounds great with a set of Rebel Yells from Bare Knuckle. I have absolutely no complaints but still that doubt is there - should I save up for a core model ? I took early retirement and have a modest pension so it will take me a very long time to save up but I like the idea of having such a fine instrument.
The good thing then, is you can enjoy what you have while you save. When the time is right, you can make the Core happen. If your priorities change along the line I'm sure you'll be able to find another use for that money.