SE CU24 x S2 Std Satin 24 - (Which Should I Buy?)

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Leonardo Caruso, Aug 21, 2017.

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SE Custom 24 x S2 Standard 24 Satin

Poll closed Aug 28, 2017.
  1. SE Custom

    1 vote(s)
    9.1%
  2. S2 Standard Satin

    10 vote(s)
    90.9%
  1. Leonardo Caruso

    Leonardo Caruso New Member

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    Hi guys. Hoping not to create a thread that already exists. Looked in forum and couldn't find the answer to this.

    It's my first time at this forum and it will be my first PRS too. And I'm really in need of help to decide if I should buy a SE Custom 24 (2017 Trampas Green) or a S2 Standard 24 Satin Finish (2017).

    I have played all the available PRS Models in stores (S2 Custom 22, SE Custom 24, SE Standard) and think all of them are very good, but it's noticeable that the finish quality of SE Std is inferior than the Custom S2 and SE, so I'm going to one of these.

    Said that, I've really enjoyed the S2 Custom (but in Brazil, it's price it's close to $4.000 due to import and logistic taxes).

    I now have te opportunity to buy either a S2 Standard 24 Satin Dark Cherry Sunburst (for about $999) or a SE Custom 24 Trampas Green (for about $759), but I need to understand some points before (unfortunately I can't go to a store and just test them, I will buy online):

    1) Is the fret finish of the S2 Custom better than the S2 Standard (will I notice any difference in quality considering it's the same pattern)?

    2) Does the sound of the S2 Custom have great difference to S2 Standard (because of the top wood finish)?

    3) Is the fret finish of the S2 Standard better than the SE Custom (will I notice any difference)?

    I'm looking for a guitar that feels good (it's not bad finished and do not feel poorly made) and can handle some mods in the future and still be a great guitar.

    Don't think about reselling, so this is not a strong argument for me (market value US x Korea). And not worried about the pup's, cause think they are the same and are easy to upgrade.

    Hope you can help me: should I get the SE Custom or the S2 Standard Satin?

    Thank you, guys.
     
  2. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    My advice is to buy the best guitar you can afford. Both guitars you are looking at are very good. The S2 is better. Buy it.
     
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  3. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    I own an older SE Custom 24, and a Satin S2 Custom - I would also say go for the S2, unless there's something specific that draws you to the SE. As far as feel goes, both neck carves are comfortable, the fret work is always good, the main difference in feel will be the satin finish on the S2. The finish on SE's is extremely hard to wear out, but the thin satin nitro on the S2's wears itself in quickly (in a good way). My S2 neck lost its satin feel and started to naturally polish itself to more of a gloss within months. But, it's a thin nitro, and IMO isn't intended to be bulletproof like modern finishes. The S2 satins will wear and "relic" over time, like vintage nitro guitars, and I think PRS intended that. Same with pick wear on the body, I've got some pick marks in the finish, and eventually players with a heavy right hand will start to wear through the finish down to the wood. Which, IMO, is going to look awesome! But if you want that pristine PRS finish, the SE would be the way to go, I've gigged the heck out of my SE's and they still look practically brand new.

    Although the fret work on both is excellent, one nice thing about the S2 is that it has the USA fret wire, which is much harder and should last a lot longer without needing fret leveling and eventually a refret. As far as the rest of the hardware, the trems are identical, and the electronics I've always found to be good on both. The S2 phase II locking tuners are really awesome though, and an improvement over the SE tuners. Also, the S2's come ready for standard 10-46 strings, whereas the SE comes stock with 9-42's, and you will have some intonation problems with the SE if you go to 10-46's (or larger) without having someone work on the nut.

    The S2 neck is slightly smaller feeling than the SE. I would estimate that both necks are probably about the same depth front to back, but the SE feels slightly flatter on the back, due to having more width, whereas the narrower S2 is a little rounder on the back but just smaller feeling overall. Extremely small differences, but I feel it. I have smaller hands, so while I enjoy both necks, the S2 shape is my favorite.

    The most important difference, I think, is in the neck wood - maple on the SE vs mahogany on the S2. Personally, I'm more a fan of mahogany necks, maple can be too bright and snappy for my ears. Although some love and prefer maple. I would recommend starting with this choice, as the sound of the guitar can make you love or hate it. Pick the S2 if you like the warmth of mahogany neck guitars, the SE if you like the snap of a maple neck. Les Paul vs. Strat would be an exaggeration, but a good illustration.

    It's really quite remarkable that PRS is selling a USA made guitar for so close to the price of SE's. IMO the S2 satin is a better guitar at its core than the SE, but not so much so that it would be worth choosing the S2 if you really wanted the maple neck or the blingy finish of the SE. Pick the one that you'll like the sound and finish of, and I think you'll be very happy.
     
  4. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    SE CU24 x S2 Std Satin 24 - (Which Should I Buy?)

    Answer? Yes!
    Kidding, kinda like the Satin
     
    Leonardo Caruso likes this.
  5. garrett

    garrett Lurkin'

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    Nothing at all wrong with the SE, but the bump up in materials of the S2 is worth the minimal extra money in my opinion.

    Fret-wise, the S2 gets the same wire as on Core guitars, which Paul has talked of how they source extra hard material, where as I'd assume the SE is just your typical wire. Fretwork has been immaculate on all the PRS guitars I've had, SE, S2, or Core.

    I also like that the S2 wood goes through the same drying process as Core guitars. I'm certain the SE guitars use great wood too, but it isn't going to be dried quite the same way. S2 will be be a one piece body, while the SE will be multi-piece.

    A lot of people like the satin finish on the S2. It is thin and I hear it makes for a very resonant guitar. The finish on SE guitars I've seen is very nice, but it is thick.

    You also get the great Phase II locking tuners and USA nut on the S2.

    Sound-wise I would expect the S2 to be a bit more mid focused, and the SE to be brighter sounding. But with all the differences adding up, I couldn't say for sure.
     
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  6. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    Having moved from SEs up to an S2, I voted S2. While the SE is a great guitar the feel of the S2 is just "better". I feel like the neck and frets are light years better....not that there is anything wrong with the SE - it's a quality guitar, but the S2 just feels more "upscale". My S2s are all Standards. With the guitars in the S2 line I really dig the all mahogany construction and the rock-n-roll look of the pickguard. The tuners and nut are nicer to have than the stock SE parts. With the S2 Standard you usually lose the birds, which could be a big deal but the S2 birds are just white plastic anyway. Mine have dots and I prefer that - adds to the "stripped" vibe.

    Anyway, you'll be happy either way - just the S2 is just a little bit nicer when you really get into it feel and construction.
     
    Leonardo Caruso likes this.
  7. Screamingdaisy

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    Not better, but different. The finish on the S2 Custom is designed to be smooth, shiny and hard wearing. It takes a more labour to produce that look, which is built into the price of the guitar. The Satin finish is cheaper to apply. It has no grain fillers, minimal sanding. It's not as hard and starts to show wear relatively easy. The end result should be a guitar that ages more like a guitar from the 50s and 60s, rather than a more modern guitar that tends to look new forever if you take care of it.

    Yes. In my opinion the Customs have a faster, brighter attack than the Standards, which are a little bit rounder/more mellow.

    In my opinion, yes. This is the main reason I sold my SE and bought an S2. I didn't really like the smaller fretwire used on the SEs and preferred the feel of the larger fretwire used on S2 and Core series guitars.

    One thing to consider is that the S2s come with a PRS nut and locking tuners, which will keep your tuning more stable than the SE's nut and tuners.

    IMO, PRS did a good job with the S2. They sunk their money into producing a really good chassis... neck, frets, tuners, body, etc, while reducing costs on finish, electronics, manufacturing processes, etc.
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    You guys all know the correct answer is "both."
     
  9. Leonardo Caruso

    Leonardo Caruso New Member

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    Hi guys.
    Sorry for taking too long to answer you. I've been busy at work.

    I really appreciate all your opinions. I'm really interested in these mellow X bright difference and how the feel of the neck is.

    I Can tell you that I'm more a LP guy than Strat, but I'm looking for a guitar that is versatile and can be a companion for the next year's for gigs, playing alone or even recording different music styles.

    Thank you again.
     
  10. Leonardo Caruso

    Leonardo Caruso New Member

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    I wish I could buy both and a core too. :D
     

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