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Thread: How about an S2 CE?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Brad737's Avatar
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    How about an S2 CE?

    What do you all think? I think PRS would sell a metric buttload of S2CEs. If they can build a set-neck with birds for $1300, I believe they can sell a bolt-on for $999. How about this for a spec?

    Alder body
    Maple neck, rosewood board, birds
    SE HFS/ Vintage Bass pickups
    Trem
    Limited colors
    Pattern neck option since Wide-Fat is dead
    Maple top option?

    I want the 1st candy apple red one.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    I mean, of course I'm into it... but I don't think that adding four screws and a milled aluminum neck plate is gonna be $300 cheaper than a few squirts of wood glue.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Bring back the real old-style CEs. The S2 carve is IMO ugly, and the CEs had a lot of class, and tone for days (if a bit on the bright side).

  4. #4
    Senior Member Brad737's Avatar
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    I think you may be surprised. There's a LOT of sanding, polishing, and buffing that goes into set neck guitars. Add in the time for glue to set, it's a lot more labor-intensive. It's the cost of labor that makes up the price difference, not the difference in price between glue and screws.


    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    I mean, of course I'm into it... but I don't think that adding four screws and a milled aluminum neck plate is gonna be $300 cheaper than a few squirts of wood glue.
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  5. #5
    Almost was a FG22 owner.. WEDGE's Avatar
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    For me it would have to be a core CE. The price of a clean used one is less than a S2 is.
    ​Secretary of Crackwood Addiction

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    Senior Member VHTStark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WEDGE View Post
    For me it would have to be a core CE. The price of a clean used one is less than a S2 is.
    This here. Also a good reason why I think if they did a CE re-issue it should be an OG style one. There are lots of the mahogany body/rosewood board CE-22 and CE-24's floating around at good prices. A core line CE with an alder body and maple fretboard option? Now we're talkin'!

  7. #7
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad737 View Post
    I think you may be surprised. There's a LOT of sanding, polishing, and buffing that goes into set neck guitars. Add in the time for glue to set, it's a lot more labor-intensive. It's the cost of labor that makes up the price difference, not the difference in price between glue and screws.
    I apologize for sounding snarky in my post, it was late and I should've worded my response differently, please forgive me.

    I am kinda curious about the difference in labor costs when PRS made bolt-on neck guitars like the CE and EG though. I guess I understood it more with other brands that would use shims and that had questionable craftsmanship, but with the CE, SAS, and EG the tolerances are so tight it kinda doesn't make any sense too me.

    On the late-model CE project I had the neck was so hard to shimmy into the neck pocket, I mean, it was so perfectly cut out that I could pick the guitar up without screws and wiggle it around with zero chance of the body falling off! Impressive.

    I do see the cost in labor decrease when you are able to finish the parts separately, especially when sanding and buffing the neck-joint area, but is the difference in price that much? If I recall, by the end of its run the original EG had a MSRP higher than $999 back in the 90's when they were discontinued because PRS stated that they were losing money on every guitar... and that was in 1990's money.

    I would love to see the bolt-on PRS make a comeback but wonder if it being a budget model is possible. I have always been curious between the pricing difference of the SAS and the CE, and understood that along with the extra pup and the difficulties of working with swamp ash that it made some impact on cost, but... How much of it was a conscience marketing strategy? There wasn't too big of a price gap between the more recent Studio and Swamp Ash Studio which used a bolted neck, was there?

    I'm seriously into the change in feel of a bolt-on PRS and would love to see something show up again in PRS's lineup.

  8. #8
    PRS Convert FennRx's Avatar
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    they can't handle making S2 Singlecuts or SE Zach Myers.

  9. #9
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FennRx View Post
    they can't handle making S2 Singlecuts or SE Zach Myers.
    Squirt

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brad737's Avatar
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    No need to apologize. I didn't take it as being snarky.


    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    I apologize for sounding snarky in my post, it was late and I should've worded my response differently, please forgive me.

    I am kinda curious about the difference in labor costs when PRS made bolt-on neck guitars like the CE and EG though. I guess I understood it more with other brands that would use shims and that had questionable craftsmanship, but with the CE, SAS, and EG the tolerances are so tight it kinda doesn't make any sense too me.

    On the late-model CE project I had the neck was so hard to shimmy into the neck pocket, I mean, it was so perfectly cut out that I could pick the guitar up without screws and wiggle it around with zero chance of the body falling off! Impressive.

    I do see the cost in labor decrease when you are able to finish the parts separately, especially when sanding and buffing the neck-joint area, but is the difference in price that much? If I recall, by the end of its run the original EG had a MSRP higher than $999 back in the 90's when they were discontinued because PRS stated that they were losing money on every guitar... and that was in 1990's money.

    I would love to see the bolt-on PRS make a comeback but wonder if it being a budget model is possible. I have always been curious between the pricing difference of the SAS and the CE, and understood that along with the extra pup and the difficulties of working with swamp ash that it made some impact on cost, but... How much of it was a conscience marketing strategy? There wasn't too big of a price gap between the more recent Studio and Swamp Ash Studio which used a bolted neck, was there?

    I'm seriously into the change in feel of a bolt-on PRS and would love to see something show up again in PRS's lineup.
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  11. #11
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FennRx View Post
    they can't handle making S2 Singlecuts or SE Zach Myers.
    ?!?!

  12. #12
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    To my mind, an SE or S2 guitar is like an Epiphone or a Squier; they are not "real" PRS guitars. -Except for the Mira and the Starla, don't the "S" models simply mug at being PRS' better-made guitars? I suppose the S2s are different from the SEs in pretty basic ways (except in being a "cheap PRS"); the S2s are US-made machines and have a different body carve (IDK about their tone). -Again, I think that the S2 carve is ugly in comparison to my CE-22 or my Hollowbody II or a Santana (which to my eye is a gorgeous carve, perhaps even more attractive than their other carves) but it does serve to differentiate their relative monetary value; the SEs are simply cheap knockoffs, AFAICT, though made by (a company approved by) PRS, to PRS's designs and specifications, and set up in the US.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I dislike that my CE-22 cost more than any SE model, but that it has "dot" fret markers. CEs -both 22s and 24s- are IMO characteristically wonderful instruments as far as tone, looks, and quality of materials and construction, and I don't dislike the "dot" markers, though I would prefer moons or birds. In a way it is a (seemingly) fitting simplicity in design, matching the general public's image of and ideas about bolt-on-necked guitars... though the blazing blue figure of its lovely carved face denies the neck's simplicity and cries out for and deserves some nice real paua/abalone birds or moons.
    Last edited by Felix; 03-26-2014 at 10:35 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    To my mind, an SE or S2 guitar is like an Epiphone or a Squier; they are not "real" PRS guitars. -Except for the Mira and the Starla, don't the "S" models simply mug at being PRS' better-made guitars? I suppose the S2s are different from the SEs in pretty basic ways (except in being a "cheap PRS"); the S2s are US-made machines and have a different body carve (IDK about their tone). -Again, I think that the S2 carve is ugly in comparison to my CE-22 or my Hollowbody II or a Santana (which to my eye is a gorgeous carve, perhaps even more attractive than their other carves) but it does serve to differentiate their relative monetary value; the SEs are simply cheap knockoffs, AFAICT, though made by (a company approved by) PRS, to PRS's designs and specifications, and set up in the US.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I dislike that my CE-22 cost more than any SE model, but that it has "dot" fret markers. CEs -both 22s and 24s- are IMO characteristically wonderful instruments as far as tone, looks, and quality of materials and construction, and I don't dislike the "dot" markers, though I would prefer moons or birds. In a way it is a (seemingly) fitting simplicity in design, matching the general public's image of and ideas about bolt-on-necked guitars... though the blazing blue figure of its lovely carved face denies the neck's simplicity and cries out for and deserves some nice real paua/abalone birds or moons.
    I could be totally wrong here, but from your post it kind of sounds like you have not played an S2. Seems pre-judgmental if that is the case, as they are really spectacular guitars and do PRS proud. As for SE's, personally I think it's kind of a stretch to refer to them as "knockoffs" given what that term implies. No offense, but it sounds like you haven't done your homework. A question to ponder: Is a Porsche Boxster that is manufactured in Finland (by a contract manufacturer) any less a Porsche than a 911 manufactured in Germany? To my way of thinking the answer is no, but if you answer yes then maybe you have a natural bias regarding these things that can't be overcome regardless of the evidence.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    To my mind, an SE or S2 guitar is like an Epiphone or a Squier; they are not "real" PRS guitars. -Except for the Mira and the Starla, don't the "S" models simply mug at being PRS' better-made guitars? I suppose the S2s are different from the SEs in pretty basic ways (except in being a "cheap PRS"); the S2s are US-made machines and have a different body carve (IDK about their tone). -Again, I think that the S2 carve is ugly in comparison to my CE-22 or my Hollowbody II or a Santana (which to my eye is a gorgeous carve, perhaps even more attractive than their other carves) but it does serve to differentiate their relative monetary value; the SEs are simply cheap knockoffs, AFAICT, though made by (a company approved by) PRS, to PRS's designs and specifications, and set up in the US.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I dislike that my CE-22 cost more than any SE model, but that it has "dot" fret markers. CEs -both 22s and 24s- are IMO characteristically wonderful instruments as far as tone, looks, and quality of materials and construction, and I don't dislike the "dot" markers, though I would prefer moons or birds. In a way it is a (seemingly) fitting simplicity in design, matching the general public's image of and ideas about bolt-on-necked guitars... though the blazing blue figure of its lovely carved face denies the neck's simplicity and cries out for and deserves some nice real paua/abalone birds or moons.

    Felix...The SE and the S2 line's are ways to penetrate different market segments and offer quality instruments at a variety of price points. That simple. No knockoffs etc....

    The Ce-22 is a wonderful discontinued instrument. Maybe some day they will bring them back. If I recall correctly the dots are abalone on mine...the SE line uses a different material. There are CE's in the wild with birds.
    -Bob

  15. #15
    Also don't forget that some of us in the market buying guitars are not enamored with birds and fancy carves, we just want a good bare bones guitar with dots that plays and sounds great. To me PRS knocked out a bunch of home runs with the S2 Mira, Starla and Single Cut guitars, and have introduced their build quality to buyers who might never otherwise touch one. Now that I own an S2 I'm planning on in a year if not sooner picking up another Mira, likely a real one, or a Starla or Single Cut.
    Last edited by NomadMike; 03-26-2014 at 01:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NomadMike View Post
    Also don't forget that some of us in the market buying guitars are not enamored with birds and fancy carves, we just want a good bare bones guitar with dots that plays and sounds great. To me PRS knocked out a bunch of home runs with the S2 Mira, Starla and Single Cut guitars, and have introduced their build quality to buyers who might never otherwise touch one. Now that I own an S2 I'm planning on in a year if not sooner picking up another Mira, likely a real one, or a Starla or Single Cut.

    This is an extremely good point. I'm betting this sums up the strategy pretty well.

    Simpler carves etc, which would not have as much of the "lawyer stigma" that is inarguably attached to the core models in many circles.

    Also more affordable. There is now a direct stepping-stone path to the core models, where before there was a big gap between the SE and the core models. Which also means that first-time prospective buyers will not have to choose between a pretty expensive core model, or what COULD be perceived as the squier of PRS.

    Whether it will work or not, I don't know. I hope it will.

    For the record, I actually REALLY like the S2 carves for some reason

  17. #17
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gball View Post
    I could be totally wrong here, but from your post it kind of sounds like you have not played an S2. [...] As for SE's, personally I think it's kind of a stretch to refer to them as "knockoffs" given what that term implies. [...] Is a Porsche Boxster that is manufactured in Finland (by a contract manufacturer) any less a Porsche than a 911 manufactured in Germany? To my way of thinking the answer is no, but if you answer yes then maybe you have a natural bias regarding these things that can't be overcome regardless of the evidence.
    No, I have not played an S2; I said I didn't know what they sounded like. I simply think that they are ugly. Shallow of me, huh?

    As for the word "knockoff", well, you are right. It is a downmarket offering (or w/e), definitely not a knockoff.

    Porsches being made under contract in Finland? I'm going to opine that they are indeed Porches. Compare this to Lamborghinis, which are -though Italian in origin- IMO German cars, made by Audi with (mostly) Audi parts. And to continue the automotive analogy, remember that Enzo never called a 6-cylender car a Ferrari, nor did the Cavallino Rampante prance upon their noses; instead the Italian colors were their badge and he called them Dinos (after his son and racing driver Alfredino, who liked 6-cylinder engines for some reason), reserving the family name for cars with 12 cylinders (and, beginning with the 308 GTB, 8 cylinders).

    You can push an analogy only so far; I think talking about cars was a mistake. How about Gibson and Epiphone, Fender and Squier? I guess I'm saying that PRS guitars are special and beautiful and toneful; they are devalued by a same-name lookalike with a price point well below the prime examples, and it is actually worse if they perform as well or almost as well as a US PRS; if so, what is the point of buying domestic*? -And there go German Porsches and US-made PRS guitars.... Now, I am not prejuduiced against Korean guitars; I have a gorgeous cobalt violet flamed maple guitar made by Saehan; it sustains for days, and it sounds as good as it looks - though I did replace its own pups with SDs.

    Quote Originally Posted by NomadMike
    Also don't forget that some of us in the market buying guitars are not enamored with birds and fancy carves, we just want a good bare bones guitar with dots that plays and sounds great
    That is very true, and there are many plain-Jane tone-machines which are easily able to smoke a mere pretty pretender.

    *This is a real question. If the S2s are so good, why would I want to buy a US-made PRS?
    Last edited by Felix; 03-26-2014 at 06:00 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    I'm saying that PRS guitars are special and beautiful and toneful; they are devalued by a same-name lookalike with a price point well below the prime examples, and it is actually worse if they perform as well or almost as well as a US PRS; if so, what is the point of buying domestic?
    You know, this point was beaten to death on the old PRS Forum at least 14 (or more) years ago when the SEs were announced; I have yet to see any evidence whatsoever that PRS' core guitars have somehow become devalued. In fact, their production has grown steadily since that announcement and the introduction of the SEs.

    I like the S2s' look, but never mind that; I don't currently own one, as I have concentrated mostly on core models since my first PRS in '91 (one Private Stock inexplicably strayed into the fold somehow).

    Despite Squiers and Epiphones and whatever else, plenty of US Fenders and Gibsons are made and sold, so this industry model clearly works, and evidently doesn't dissuade very many people from getting the USA, top-line goods from the Big Two.

    I'd add that since the SE was announced, the Private Stock program has also grown, and thousands of custom made guitars have been produced for buyers who don't give a rat's behind that PRS also lends its name to less expensive and even overseas models. Go figure, huh?

    As for Enzo, the man tried to work a deal with Ford to buy his company that almost happened. So he wasn't all that worried about the sanctity of the brand.

    I think you can safely put to rest your worry that PRSes have somehow become devalued. They haven't.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 03-26-2014 at 05:57 PM.
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  19. #19
    I was in the market and after getting the Mira went out and compared it to Fender and Gibsons at that price point and didn't see something matching quality wise until about $1,800.
    Oh well, I'm more than happy with adding the S2 to my small collection of plain Janes.

    One thing to remember is that Gibson is grabbing up market along damn near every price point with various US made SG and Les Paul models, while PRS has been keeping to the somewhat high end with the core models and the low end with the SE models. The customer for a mid-price quality made US guitar was left out in the cold by PRS. The S2 line may not make many Core and SE guys happy but you may not be the market they care about bringing into their customer base.

  20. #20
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    As for Enzo, the man tried to work a deal with Ford to buy his company that almost happened. So he wasn't all that worried about the sanctity of the brand.
    Yes, I thought about mentioning that, as a matter of fact! -That is right about when he started calling non-12-cylinder engined cars Ferraris; the man was obviously in his dotage!

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I think you can safely put to rest your worry that PRSes have somehow become devalued. They haven't.
    We will never know how well PRS would have done without calling the SEs PRS guitars; probably you are right (obviously the brand is holding its own!), but there is a lot of resistance to these dressed-up little darlings in the guitar market. If PRS had perhaps branded its Korean guitars differently, used a different carve or carves, and produced a recognizably different machine with good ergonomics and better-than-average -but not terrific- tone, how might things have turned out differently? I have repeatedly come across the impression that PRS guitars are somehow pretentious, even from industry execs and producers, and the S2s are I think a source of a lot of this. My opinion is not that deeply considered, but I do have a lot of circumstance behind that opinion.

    That said, I'll bet that that asymmetrical carve on the S2 is comfortable... probably a lot more so than their "signature" (or maybe "typical", or "classic") flared-rimmed-carved guitars, which seem to wear on my forearm somewhat.

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