Tried some PRSi yesterday ...


New Member
May 8, 2012
Bournemouth, UK
Since getting my Paul's Guitar I've completely fallen in love with the Pattern neck profile (again!) and have been thinking I'd like another PRS as backup / something a little different. I even started to eBay some of my other guitars in preparation for saving towards - I figured - an SC58 / Stripped 58 / SC245 type guitar.

So, yesterday I took a little trip to a couple of guitar stores on my lunch break to try some stuff. One store had a second hand SC58 Artist Pack I was keen to try and the other had a couple of the new S2 models in. I thought I'd share my experience and see what others were.

Shop #1 is my regular store: nice guys in there, they know my name (is that good or bad, I'm never sure?!) and the owners son goes to my sons school. This was where they had the second hand SC58:

SC58 (2011)
I was expecting to be blow away. And I really wasn't :(. Don't get me wrong, the guitar sounded incredible - those 57/08 pickups really are good - but the neck didn't have that slight-V feel to it like other Pattern / Wide-Fat necks I've had and the strings felt too loose, a bit weird: reminded me of the same "I can't quite place what I don't like about this" feel I had when I ordered an old Mira 245 that I subsequently sent back. Maybe a thicker gauge of string would help but I put the feel - and differences in neck shape - down to the 24.5 necks perhaps just feeling different? I also didn't rate the flame maple top that highly for an Artist Pack upgrade but I suspect the insane flame on my Paul's Guitar may be shifting my expectations there ...

SE 245 (New)
Seemed like a comparison that had to be done! Neck felt wider but I think it was really just bigger shoulders - more of a D vs a C? Good weight to it and felt very solidly built: kinda cheaper by design rather than cheaper by fit and finish, if that makes sense? There were obvious quality shortcomings vs the USA model, but overall I was impressed. Pickups were not my cup of tea at all, though: very compressed, harsh - well, modern I guess rather than harsh - but, yeh, quite a come down in sound quality vs the SC58.

McCarty (1999)
I've had a McCarty before but they had one in so I wanted to compare the neck with the SC58s. Ahhhh ... home! 25" scale, 22 fret, Wide/Fat: utterly perfect. I'm not sure exactly what changed when they moved to the Pattern necks but this felt exactly the same to me. Pickups (McCarty models) were - as I expected - okay but not as good as the 57/08s and reminded me why I played "hunt the pickup" wi my old McCarty.

Staff were friendly, more than happy to let me try things out and I left feeling a little disappointed that the SC58 wasn't for me but generally pleased I'd tried some things and had a better idea of what I wanted: basically an SC250 with 57/08 pickups ... :)

Shop #2 is a place I've not been for a while: the staff are okay but the guy who runs it can be a it rude. However, they are the main PRS dealer in my area and the only place locally with any S2 models in stock ... so I figured I'd risk it!

They didn't have the Mira I'd wanted to try anymore but they did have a few others ...

S2 Custom 24 (New)
Now here's a guitar I didn't expect to like! The 24 fret necks I've played before have been far to skinny at the nut end for my liking. The neck on this, though, was really chunky (in comparison!) which surprised me because it's listed as Pattern Regular: maybe the Pattern Regular is a bit larger than the old Regular/Standard? Also seemed to have a slight V to it ... I really liked it. This has most definitely increased my desire to try an S2 Mira!

Custom 22 (NOS)
This is where things got interesting and - ultimately - awkward. This was, on the face of it, a standard Custom 22. But - crucially for me - it had a stop tail and 57/08 pickups. Man it played and sounded good: what do they put in that wire? 57/08s, Narrowfields and 408 pickups just sound perfect to me! I said I liked it but it was a bit much (would have cost me more than my Paul's a Guitar but that was second hand) given it was NOS from 2011. They tried insisting it was brand new ... yeh, I know never out of the shop - but that's still a 3 year old guitar and I've seen better deals than they had it for. I said I needed to sell some things and if they still had it maybe I'd come back.

At this point the owner chimed in: maybe they could do a part-ex deal? Well, I wasn't sure (and said so) but I had my stuff in my car (was figuring the SC58 would have blown me away ...) so I said let's see. I showed 'em 3 guitars - one of which I wasn't sure I even wanted to sell - just to see what they said. Things got kinda frosty right away with comments like "hmm, that's kinda unplayable" (er, that'll be an SG I've played several gigs with ... yes, the action is a little higher than normal due to the roller bridge but that's a simple swap!) and "that's really the cheap model" (a 2003 Les Paul Classic with nickel hardware and BKP pickups which looks like a vintage guitar and has got many, many positive comments) and "wow, can't believe how much that is new: looks like a <<cheap ass price>> electro, doesn't it?". Now, I know they've got to make a living and part-ex is never as good as private sale prices but come on: just tell me what you'll offer and don't insult me / my gear!

Anyway, they actually made a very reasonable offer but I was hacked off with the guy by then and it wasn't a great price for the C22 (not even a 10 top) so I walked away ... he looked really mad - I thought he was gonna yell at me or something!

Anyway,I know which store will get my business ... might have to talk to them about getting some S2s in ... :)
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