SE's, S2's, and Custom 22's

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Neil G, May 10, 2019.

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  1. Neil G

    Neil G New Member

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    It is around the time for me to buy a new guitar, and I immediately looked to PRS. I just have a couple questions about the Custom 22's. What is the difference between the SE Custom 22 and the S2 Custom 22? I am aiming for a semi-hollow as a nice change, but what are some of the main advantages and disadvantages between semi-hollow and solid? Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. Mistykaal

    Mistykaal New Member

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    The main differences are:
    -The S2 has a mahagony neck and se has a maple neck
    -The pickups aren´t the same (S2 pickups are better)
    -The S2 is made in the EEUU
    -The gigbag is different
    -Also the maple top is different
    -And the electronics,materials etc are different
     
  3. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    I do believe the electronics will be the same. The S2 is made in Maryland. The wood selection and drying is excellent, the same as the Core guitars. The resonance of the S2's is fantastic once they're broken in. While the SE's are fine, I'd go S2 if the budget makes sense. I have both.
     
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  4. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

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    As @dogrocketp has said, the big difference is the woods and build of the guitar. Pick-ups are the same but you do get better tuners on the S2. Aesthetically, an SE probably looks 'better' but that's because it has a veneer on top of its maple cap where as the S2 will not - its maple cap is just the maple. I believe the body of an S2 is made from 1 piece of mahogany where as the SE will be a composite body.

    PRS will cure the wood in exactly the same way. The maple cap on an S2 may not be as thick or as figured as the Core (and above) guitars BUT it is cured in the same way to crystallise as much of the Resin as possible. The Mahogany body too will be cured the same.

    Fundamentally, they are very similar but the SE's are more 'showy' to look more like the Core range and obviously made under licence by the same people that make guitars for Chapman, Schecter etc before being imported. The S2 are made by PRS from woods that are cured in the same way as all other made in the US PRS guitars. Obviously some 'sacrifices' have to be made compared to a Core Custom 22 to keep it within a certain price bracket - therefore it shares things like PU's, Bridges etc from the SE range but it is a step-up from those guitars.

    Not saying the SE range is 'terrible', with S2's being 'decent', CE's being Great and Cores being Excellent or example. A better way to look at it is that in their price bracket, PRS guitars are great guitars. If you can only afford up to £800/$1k for example, then an SE is an excellent choice. If your budget can stretch out to an S2, then these are excellent choices for that money and so on as you continue up the Price brackets.

    A Core isn't necessarily 5x better (how you measure that, I don't know anyway) than an SE for example but they are better in basically every aspect. An S2 maybe isn't 'better' in every aspect over an SE but it is better. People value money and expectation differently so whether you think an S2 is worth paying that much more for it, I don't know. An SE can be 'good enough' for your needs to and maybe better financially for you as well. The step up may not be big enough of a step-up for the price in your opinion, your circumstance. At the end of the day, its your money and you have to live with your decision. In your circumstances, an S2 may well be enough of a step up, may be the Guitar and Sounds that make you never wanting to put the guitar down or maybe in your circumstance, the SE is the better buy because the extra money you save doesn't leave you in more financially precarious position or maybe that money saved can be put to buying a better amp, some new pedals etc that is 'better' use of your money.

    Really, there isn't a 'right' answer here as to which you should buy. You know your situation best, you know what you want from a Guitar in both feel and sound and its you that has to live with the purchase, not just the instrument but also the financial situation that purchase will leave you in. All I can say is that the S2 is a better instrument overall but whether its better enough over an SE for you and the extra money it will cost you, only you can decide. I would recommend that you go out and try each - see what feels and sounds better to you, decide whether the S2 is worth the extra cost or whether the SE is good enough. Buying either will still get you great guitar anyway.
     
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  5. pauloqs

    pauloqs PRS McCarty

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    If you can't afford a Core CU22, I'd say S2 CU22 all the way. SEs are great, but don't come even close, IMO, to S2s. The S2s have:
    • Pattern regular neck as opposed to the wide thin on SEs. Pattern regular is a very Goldilocks type of neck, not too thin, not too fat, just right.
    • Three piece mahogany neck - the neck itself is one piece with the heel and headstock glued in. The wood is dried to perfection. Once you set up the guitar as you like, you'll be amazed how you'll not have to make minor adjustments with drastic temperature changes.
    • Maple top with no veneer like the SEs
    • The frets are the same as the ones used in the Core models
    • Nut is the same as the one used in the core models slotted to perfection. SEs with tuning issues are normally, with few exceptions, due to nut slot pinching the strings, the exceptions are when the bridge needs adjustments. Nut on S2s tend to have rolled edges, while prior to 2018, SEs had very sharp nut edges
    • SE and S2s CU22 use the same bridge and same pickups.
    • Pots are better on the S2s
    • Fretwork on S2s are impecable
    • The fretboard edges on S2s are rolled very well giving a mouth watering played in instrument feel
    • Locking tuners that are very nice and similar to the Phase II locking tuners previously used in the core models
    • I believe fretboard edges are rolled prior to the frets being installed, however, like I mentioned before it is mouth watering comfortable.
    They do cut the cost on S2s to keep the price down by some of their production decisions, however PRS found a good recipe with the S2. The cutting cost measures do not negatively impact the playability and arguably sonic properties of the instrument itself (excluding pickups, which are really good BTW, but the USA made ones are just a bit better). The one thing I noticed is that compared to Core models, I feel like S2s tend to have a very slightly thicker finish, but I don't know if it's just my brain playing tricks on me or if it is indeed the case that the finish on S2s are just a hair thicker than Core.

    Summary: In my personal opinion, SEs are great guitars, but S2s are phenomenal. You want an iota away from perfection, Core, then once you get to Nitro finish PRSi, like PS, you get absolute perfection.
     
  6. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

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    I would agree with 99% of your post - apart from the 'Nitro' finish which I think is subjective. Nitro finish isn't bad at all and feels great too but its also not as resistant to wear as its a softer finish. I think its personal choice as to whether Nitro or the hard, but thin finish normally associated with PRS guitars - its thinner now than older models. The majority of Private Stock guitars do not use Nitro.

    Personally, I have absolutely no issue with the hard finish that PRS use and don't have problems with 'stickiness' on the neck that I hear some complain about with hard finishes. I can't think of any complaints about the finish on the necks that impacts on their Playing. That's not to say that some may prefer the feel of Nitro which again makes it a personal preference rather than something that affects the playability.

    A private stock could well be 'Perfection' with or without a Nitro finish in my opinion and its only personal preference that separates these. If you personal preference is a nitro finish, then I can see why its 'perfection' to you but I don't really have a preference, they both have their merits. If I were to have a Private Stock (or Wood Library for that matter), I would most likely go for a Solid Rosewood neck which to me would be perfection and, I don't believe are actually finished with anything - they are unfinished natural necks - again Personal Preference...

    Anyway, that's getting off topic and, as I said at the start, I agree with everything regarding the S2 vs SE guitars. If you add used into the mix, that would throw a big spanner into the conversation. A new SE vs new S2 vs used Core... I don't know what the prices are in the area the OP is in but if the Used Cores are in the same price range as the S2's and bracket the OP is looking at spending, I think that would change the discussion...
     
  7. Kdogg788

    Kdogg788 New Member

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    There's some really good deals out there on used guitars as well and the mark down on used S2 and CE is significant over buying new.

    -k
     
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  8. pauloqs

    pauloqs PRS McCarty

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    Yeah, the way I wrote was misleading. Although I do prefer Nitro, I don't miss it with my Core guitars. A lot of the PS that I've played and some Artist Package happened to have a nitro finish, which is why I wrote it. Great point on a used Core guitar. I actually got a used CU22 for less than my S2 Singlecut Semi-Hollow.
     
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  9. DickBanks

    DickBanks New Member

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    Play the ones you can afford. Don't play the ones you can't.

    Works for me. I have no idea what it's like to hear and play a Custom. I land squarely in the used S2/new SE price range. Totally works for me. Both are quality instruments.
     
  10. Kdogg788

    Kdogg788 New Member

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    I've had the opportunity to hold and play most of the line and to me (I'm not a tone connoisseur by any means), the aesthetics were the main difference as well as knowledge of where it was made if it matters to you.

    -k
     
  11. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 New Member

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    I played at least two dozen S2’s when I was in the market and every single one of them were pretty disappointing. They didn’t play especially well, even the ones that had a good setup, and felt very tight and difficult to play. Plus most of them had misaligned PG holes which caused a warped effect to the PGs. Plus the finishes were just completely unappealing to me with the exception of the crimson custom. I’d rather have, I don’t but I might some day soon, a better guitar from Korea than a HIGHLY compromised American model. I own an American Strat and although not exactly an apples to apples comparison, the S2 isn’t in the same league but yet require the same cash.
     
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  12. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    It would seem you're in the minority with your take on the S2 line. Each to his own
     
  13. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 New Member

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    Perhaps, but there is a certain authenticity to not following the herd;)
     
  14. Kdogg788

    Kdogg788 New Member

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    For me, this experience was limited to the S2 Standard base model guitars. IMO, my SE Custom 24 plays more comfortably for me than the S2 Standard base guitars that I played, although as you go up the line with better finishes and appointments they are sure to be a little better. The S2 Customs I’ve seen are just fine though.

    -k
     
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  15. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    Try an S2 with a solid top.
     
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  16. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 New Member

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    I will give them a try. I currently have a CU22 semi hollow SE on the way however I think I might be happiest with a Paul's Guitar SE. I'll play it out and see if warrants keeping or returning for the Paul's Guitar.
     
  17. Kdogg788

    Kdogg788 New Member

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    The main difference is the necks to me. The Paul’s guitar feels too thick for me. The Custom 22 Hollow has the wide thin neck that I prefer.

    -k
     
  18. robistro

    robistro New Member

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    I just brought home a used custom se 22 hollow body yesterday. (no trem) hh with a toggle, I think the year is a 2000 by the serial number. vintage burl quilt top
    I went in a couple music stores ready to buy a new one, so I pulled a Holcomb, Tremonte, and another SE from the wall and played them all and the necks felt too chunky to my liking. I preferred the neck on the used hollow body.
     
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