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PRS SE vs S2 Custom Guitars


Krosen11
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Hey everybody. I have only been playing for 2 months but, being a gadget guy and loving to get new stuff, I keep finding guitars to drool over. My latest obsession: PRS guitars. I went to a GC yesterday to get some lemon oil for my 1st ever restringing of a guitar (my Gibson SGJ), and while I was there, I played 2 S2 Custom 24's, a S2 Mira, a SE Santana, and a used SE Custom 22. Of those, the 22 felt the best to me for playing, the Mira was the best to hold (so light! so nice!), and the 24 is the most beautiful. My question is this: I have been reading online to try to find differences between the SE and S2 series, and I only seem to be able to find comparisons between the S2 and Core series. I know that the S2's are made in Maryland and the SE's are made in Korea, but what are the other differences? What other features does the S2 series have over the SE's to justify the $500 price difference?

 

On a seperate note: the used SE Custom 22 had a flattop, which really put me off for some reason. I thought all PRS Custom guitars had a maple cap (or a not flattop)? Could someone clarify that for me? Because if that is the norm, then maybe I will get it!

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I was torn between a Tremonti SE and a S2 Singlecut.  I compromised and got a Core singlecut limited edition.  :grin:

God, I wish that I could do that... But I can't for many reasons, one being that I'm in college, another one being that I already have 2 guitars (1 for each month of playing!  :) ), and, by extension, the fact that such a beautiful instrument doesn't deserve my crappy playing! Most of what I'm doing is research for the next time in the (hopefully not to soon...) future, when I buy a PRS. Plus, at my current stage of beginning guitar, I'm really not a fan of singlecuts (can't access above, like, the 16th fret without contouring my hand).

 

Did you ever get to play the two of those? Was there a big difference between the two? Or were they both so close that you said "To hell with it, I'll just get the super premium version of this  :cool: "?

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Krosen - I believe that's basically the difference between the SE and S2. I was looking at them online (too lazy to drive 25 miles to the nearest GC), and looked up some Youtube video reviews of them, and essentially, it comes down to where they are made, and the colors.

 

Ever since I found out how much Steven Wilson loves the PRS's, I've wanted one. I'm playing my son's Ibanez SA260FM right now with RS, but I want my own guitar, and I guarantee you it WON'T have a tremolo bridge/whammy bar. I can't imagine what sadist ever thought that was a good idea! Just about time I get the strings broken in and stable with the tremolo bridge, it's time for new strings. 

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dengwms, on 21 Feb 2014 - 11:33 PM, said:Krosen - I believe that's basically the difference between the SE and S2. I was looking at them online (too lazy to drive 25 miles to the nearest GC), and looked up some Youtube video reviews of them, and essentially, it comes down to where they are made, and the colors. Ever since I found out how much Steven Wilson loves the PRS's, I've wanted one. I'm playing my son's Ibanez SA260FM right now with RS, but I want my own guitar, and I guarantee you it WON'T have a tremolo bridge/whammy bar. I can't imagine what sadist ever thought that was a good idea! Just about time I get the strings broken in and stable with the tremolo bridge, it's time for new strings. 

Haha, I guess I don't feel that way about tremolos because I haven't had to restring my MIM strat yet. Changing the tuning is a b****, though, which is why I use my SG for RS. But if that is really the only difference between them, then the SE wins hands down. At least American strats have upgraded pickups, on top of other differences to justify the cost!
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Yeah the primary price difference factor is the labor cost since the S2 series are made in the US where labor costs are a lot higher. I have a ~15-year-old SE Santana that I use for E flat and it gets the job done. I'd have to imagine the SE quality has skyrocketed from those early models since nowdays you can get all kinds of amazing instruments for dirt cheap.

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God, I wish that I could do that... But I can't for many reasons, one being that I'm in college, another one being that I already have 2 guitars (1 for each month of playing!  :) ), and, by extension, the fact that such a beautiful instrument doesn't deserve my crappy playing! Most of what I'm doing is research for the next time in the (hopefully not to soon...) future, when I buy a PRS. Plus, at my current stage of beginning guitar, I'm really not a fan of singlecuts (can't access above, like, the 16th fret without contouring my hand).

 

Did you ever get to play the two of those? Was there a big difference between the two? Or were they both so close that you said "To hell with it, I'll just get the super premium version of this  :cool: "?

I played the SE.  It was beautiful.  The S2s were not yet released when I tried them, but I was operating under the "its more expensive for a reason" philosophy.  I ended up getting the core because I was looking around the web one night and my wife saw it and agreed that it is the most beautiful guitar she had ever seen and she decided that I should have it.  Probably helps that she was trying to rationalize wanting to buy a $6000 ring.  I think I made out better on the deal.  Sure, her ring cost a ton, but I have a MD made PRS limited edition. :-D

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  • 1 month later...

All the PRS guitars (not SE) are made with the same wood, on the same CNC machines and assembled, painted, setup, etc. by the same factory workers.  So if you were blind folded and handed a $1600 one or a $3600 one you wouldn't really be able to tell much difference.

 

That said, different models have different pickups and wiring setups but 20 mins with a soldering iron and you can put whatever you want in a guitar. :D

 

I however, really dig that semi hollow PRS SE (Custom?)  I must say they have really come up in quality in the last 4 or 5 years.  But I'm trying to sell sell sell my guitars down to less than 10 so my wife and I can buy a house.

 

My goal for my next build is a semi hollow telecaster with maple body, redwood top, purple heart neck and maple fretboard.  I love the way a single coil size humbucker sounds in the bridge of a tele.  Something about the way it's slanted gives it such a mean tone.

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