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SE so why an S2?

S2 594 is a big step up in terms of wood quality. The workmanship is also excellent. I appreciate the USA quality paint (nitro) and non veneers. I can feel a difference between the two. They resonate differently. I can’t tell you if it’s due to the finish or wood quality. But it’s there.

To me the s2 is phenomenal for modders that want USA quality but want their own version of electronics/hardware. People complain about the steep cost of the s2 new. What I don’t hear is people complaining how much a new core has gone up as well. Asking somebody for $4.3-5.2k is simply too rich for most of us. It’s either used markets or going down a line. S2 serves that. If you can mod a guitar you can approach core level for a fraction. A modded SE won’t feel core like with the poly finish and cheaper woods. SE are still great guitars and incredible values. I’m not speaking ill of them. But a difference in quality will exist no matter how hard you try. For some it’s absolutely worth it. For others it’s not. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.
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There's tons of discussions on here about se vs s2. I'll say, I used to be strong in the se camp, and then I picked up my s2 Vela.. Now I get it. I immediately see, feel, and hear the difference between the two lines anytime I go into a music store.

I love my se Cu24 30th floyd. Modded as far as you can go with the bones provided. It's a absolutely killer killer guitar. Stock, it was great, too. I actually called the guy the next day to thank him. I've since moved my Indo se Cu24 for core, and haven't thought twice, but thats another discussion. I've said it before, if I was to do my PRS journey over I'd start with a s2 standard without a doubt.

There's a difference on paper and in real life between the lines. The biggest factor is budget because both lines are quality. Enjoy the guitar that works for you. There's always more.. and make no mistake, PRS are VERY addictive that multiply like Gremlins.

If one really wants to know the difference the best advice I have is buy one. Try another model on your list. With very little patience there's stellar deals on used s2, and then make the decision for yourself instead of reading opinions on the internet. Nothing beats getting to know a guitar at home through your rig. If you can't tell the differences, move it, and enjoy the se line. Heck, keep it, and still enjoy the se line. There really is no wrong choice..
I bought a 594 McCarty SE shortly before my S2 Vela. I also have a core McCarty I bought new in 2007. The S2 Vela has the same feel of quality as the core McCarty, and it has a greater range of sounds. The core MC is special though.
I have grown to really like the 594 SE, though it did have a couple issues to sort out. Great neck though and the pickups have a really nice growl to them. Value for money is definitely great.
Yeah pretty much been said over and over but an S2 is like a core, solid woods etc and I think that really makes a difference over an SE. I dont like 3 piece or whatever bodies and 3 piece tops with 3 piece necks.

They're tremendously well made.
Thanks everyone.
Im leaning towards a vela. As stated you cant get that in SE form.
I have learned to stay away from the truly expensive guitars as I just dont play them as much.

Good call!!! Velas are amazing. Be careful though, once you roll a vela it won’t be your last ;)

Vela semihollow was my first foray into PRS back in April, now I’ve found myself with 4 PRS lol
Correct, When you watch blind tests and the testers cannot tell the difference, you have your answer right there. Just paid $1419 (Australian ) for a new SE SAS, that is enough for me at the moment, I don't think my wife would be happy at $6,000 for a core.
I have tried a couple of very nice SE 594s at my local, and while they looked and sounded good, they were all considerably heavier than my S2 594.

The SE DGT was a little better weight wise.