Aren't CEs part of the core line? MIA and not PS or S2? I know cores are better. I'm just saying that SEs are so well made that I wonder how much better? That McCarty DC 594 was far and away hands down the best guitar I've ever played. Magical. As mentioned above. As for frets and nuts on S2s, no idea. Finish thickness? In the grand scheme of everything and all factors, how much does that really affect tone? Negligibly at best, I would expect. I can understand how one piece of wood will vibrate better than many glued together. When I'm in the zone, I feel my SE vibrating like crazy. I can't imagine how a core or PS model would act.