S2 Standard 24 vs. CE24, with conditions

What would you do if you were me?

  • S2 Standard 24 with bird inlays

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • CE24 with black satin neck

    Votes: 3 25.0%
  • Hold out/save up for a good deal on a core Custom 24-08

    Votes: 7 58.3%

  • Total voters
  • This poll will close: .


New Member
Nov 17, 2022
After I had to sell my 1992 Standard, I vowed that I would save up for a core CU24-08, it would be the nicest, most expensive guitar I'll ever own and any other guitars I bought from that day forward would be cheaper, more workhorse types of instruments.

Well, it turns out, I don't have that kind of discipline and I'd prefer to get something sooner rather than later. Plus, I've been trying to save up for a new place for years and I'd be better off focusing on that.

I do not want an SE. I had one already; it was a very nice guitar for what it was but I feel like going back to an SE after owning the early 90s equivalent of a core would be like saying I'm unworthy of the "real thing".

I like the S2 Standard; the pickguard offsets what I feel is the visual awkwardness of the asymmetrical beveled top and it gives the guitar kind of a punkish Les Paul Junior/Special kind of vibe. However, as some of you might have noticed, I'm not a fan of dots on a PRS. They did offer bird inlays as an extra cost option in 2015 and 2016; however, I guess most players/dealers were okay with the dots and for 2017 the option was dropped. So now the S2 Standards with birds have become kind of rare. I have found a few, though.

Or maybe I could save a little more and get a closer vibe to a core with a CE24. I have played them before and have liked them. Sure, the bolt-on neck will give it a different sound and the "flat violin" carve isn't as interestingly three dimensional as the arched violin the cores have*., but it has the same pickups as a Custom 24-08 (until this year, anyway) and the switching system is easier to use live than the 5-way rotary my Standard had, which I originally thought was a cool idea until I had one. The thing is, I'd strongly prefer one with a satin black neck. I feel it'd pair better with the finishes I like and feel a little bit more like a set-neck model, if not quite sound like one.

While I can't afford either of the above at the moment, I could afford them much sooner than a core. I also don't like the idea of basically being done with buying nicer instruments yet.

So what would you guys do if you were in my position? Should I find an S2 Standard 24 that has bird inlays or a CE24 with a black satin neck...or the courage and maturity to save up for what I really want, no matter how long it takes? I have seen 24-08s for less than 4K, but not too many. Plus, there is the caveat that I did play an S2 Standard 24 Satin once and it was...OK. I didn't have a lot of time with it, though.

*I know some of you might suggest a CE from the original 1988-2008 run, but I don't want anything that old.
OP I have 5 S2s, 3 of them standard 22s....I like 22 frets...used they're a steal and the carve is very comfortable...if you don't love the pups throw a JB in the bridge and you're set to rock....the CE is killer too and I bought an SE SAS for that bolt on vibe but honestly my S2s fit me more...theyre wonderful guitars...if you like a satin neck feel get the satin I think they actually sound better....can you go play the 2 anywhere??
tell people and stores you're looking and wait.
I hear a compromise in your post. I'd you're younger than 75...you still have plenty more guitars to buy, if they fill a need. Want is a " need" too. ;-)
I'm the type that says if you are going to save up, just buy 2 cheaper models and modify/upgrade them with different parts but I have around 25 electrics currently. Majority of those being heavily modified.

Babicz Bridges, Vegatrems, Mastery, etc.

All that said, neither of the guitars in the options seem like they'd need any modifications which is something I like about PRS guitars. They're already heavily modded Strats, Les Paul's, etc. Super cool!

*I voted S2 standard because I love the bird inlays!*
Guys, I thank you for the encouraging words, but honestly it would be better for me to choose one of the first two options. I really to focus on saving money to move, because though it's embarrassing for me to admit, this will be the first time I've moved out on my own (but it's not for lack of trying).
The S2 24 is the same as the SE 24 imo...and doesn't have a maple neck. For those reasons I won't buy a S2 unless it's a giveaway price. I'd sell my bolt on CE if given one. To each his own on the fugly pickguard.
I can't see paying thousands more for a core unless your situations calls for those last percentages. Otherwise make payments or a loan, if the guitar will pay for itself...either monetary or happiness.
I own and love S2s, CE24, and a core. I honestly don't think you would be disappointed with any of those options. That said, if your heart really wants a core, it will still want one even with owning some of those other fine guitars.

Since you are feeling impatient, I would buy a used S2 Standard now, as those are probably some of the best values out there (I see them fairly regularly for 5-$700) although, a bird model might run you a bit more. And then save up for the core while enjoying the S2.

Best answer is all 3 :D