Do all PRS S2 models basically sound the same?

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FuengiFuengi Frets: 1991
There are a couple of nice looking S2s in the classified section ATM. They all appear to be dual humbucker guitars with coil split in various different shapes, so Gibson type tones rather than Fender? 

Is there any particular difference between the Starla / Single Cut / 22 / Mira in terms of tone? 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 48570
    All two-humbucker PRSs basically sound the same :).

    OK, I would be the first to say that in detail they don't - I had two identical ones other than one being a Custom and the other a Standard, so one had a maple body cap and the other didn't, and I could tell them apart even in a recorded mix... but realistically, no-one is really going to notice other than you.

    I currently have a Hollowbody I and an original Swamp Ash Special in the workshop, which are about as different as two PRS models can be, but in practical terms if they're both on one of the plain humbucker settings it's hard to tell them apart through any sort of overdriven sound. (Though much easier clean.)

    The original Starla does sound a bit different, but not that much - I haven't played an S2 so I can't comment on that.

    Buy the one you like the look of best.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 6451
    edited January 1
    The Starla has different pickups - a hint Gretsch about them rather than the usual PAF style.

    The finishes make quite a bit difference.  I much prefer the satin ones.   It's possible the thin finish lets the wood vibrate more freely than the thicker poly finish on the normal ones.  Once it's got a few months of playing on it, the neck feels lovely with the satin finish as well.
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  • HeadphonesHeadphones Frets: 553
    I'd suggest that the bolt on CEs are somewhat different, distinctly brighter and snappier than most other PRS offerrings. 
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 1991
    edited January 1
    That does make things simple! I quite like all the models but really like the satin finishing. Thanks all.
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  • grungebobgrungebob Frets: 1819
    The starla and vela both have the same bridge pickup and it sounds very different to the S2 standard 24, but the Standard 22 sounds different again due to number 7 pickups. 

    I prefer the starla pickups, they work best for clean and dirt. 

    The 24’s pickups are typical PRS mid focused, the 22’s sounded most like an SG with Burstbuckers to me. 
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 6635
    The S2 Vela has one humbucker and one Dyna-Sonic style single coil. 

    My S2 Singlecut has Oil Cit Winterizer II pickups. Sounds Firebirdish. :)
    Be seeing you.
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  • StefBStefB Frets: 787
    I have a 2010 Core Custom 22 Semi Hollow with 57/08s and it sounds VERY different to my 2018 DGT with stock pickups. 

    I played both on NYE, DGT in our first set, CU22 in the second and the CU22 is by far the better sounding guitar of the two, a fuller, richer, more detailed sound all round. Good though the DGT is, particularly it’s neck and playability, tonally it is a bit disappointing in comparison. 
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 1991
    There are an awful lot available used  :/

    The odd Core model around at just over used S2 prices, they worth going for instead?
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 3120
    To most people in the world all electric guitars sound exactly the same.
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 6451
    Fuengi said:
    There are an awful lot available used  :/

    The odd Core model around at just over used S2 prices, they worth going for instead?

    I actually preferred the sound of the Satin S2s that I had to the Core models.  Most of the PRS I had were older models (early 90s to 2008) and I know the newer pickups are better.

    I do think the really thick maple cap is detrimental to the tone though.  The Gibson I have now definitely sounds better.  The top carve on the PRS is very deep, so the maple is very thick where the bridge anchors - much thicker than on a Les Paul.

    To my ears, the PRS Standard with an all mahogany body does sound better than the Custom with it's thick maple cap.
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  • WindmillGuitarsWindmillGuitars Frets: 477
    tFB Trader
    @Fuengi I obs have a bit of a vested interest in this conversation - however to be objective, I've owned a LOT of S2's over the years. They're great guitars - wonderfully built and a great sound straight out of the box. Most of the nuances have been described above detailing the differences between models / pickups. The MIRA I have available is wonderfully light and resonant - combined with the coil split of on the humbuckers it makes for a really flexible guitar
    Windmill Guitars - Official stockist of Fano Guitars, Kithara Guitars, Eastman Guitars, Victory Amplification and Supro. 
    (The artist formerly known as Anchorboy)
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 1991
    Anchorboy said:
    @Fuengi I obs have a bit of a vested interest in this conversation - however to be objective, I've owned a LOT of S2's over the years. They're great guitars - wonderfully built and a great sound straight out of the box. Most of the nuances have been described above detailing the differences between models / pickups. The MIRA I have available is wonderfully light and resonant - combined with the coil split of on the humbuckers it makes for a really flexible guitar

    Cheers @Anchorboy good to hear your thoughts. Going to try a few S2s out as soon as I get an opportunity to see which I like best.  
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  • stonevibestonevibe Frets: 4347
    I think one guitarist can pretty much make most guitars sound the same anyway.
    How much does it weigh? & Does it play like butter?

    You can now read my insane guitar ramblings daily here http://www.gearnews.com

    https://www.instagram.com/jefstone/

    My store
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  • grungebobgrungebob Frets: 1819
    Get a satin vela and be done with it.  Fantastic guitars. 
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 1991
    grungebob said:
    Get a satin vela and be done with it.  Fantastic guitars. 
    That might be the one, I looked at one in Andertons a couple of years ago and rather liked it. Need to rule out the 22 though.
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 1991
    grungebob said:
    Get a satin vela and be done with it.  Fantastic guitars. 
    Out of interest, why do you rate the Vela so highly?
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  • grungebobgrungebob Frets: 1819
    edited January 3
    Fuengi said:
    grungebob said:
    Get a satin vela and be done with it.  Fantastic guitars. 
    Out of interest, why do you rate the Vela so highly?
    There’s nothing it can’t do. The pickups are exceptional at clean/grit and filth. They are very articulate and the guitar just stays in tune and plays amazingly. All the sounds are usable including the coil split/tap. 

    I had a gloss one and a stain S2 24, I had to sell off most my stuff but a Satin Vela is the first guitar I’ll buy back when I can. 
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 1162
    I can only comment on the S2 Custom 24. The original pickups sounded too focused and metal for me. I replaced them with the classic JB (bridge) and Jazz (neck) which was an improvement. It plays nice but it's still not quite there though and in terms of sound.

    My HSS Strat sounds so much nicer even though the pickups are nowhere near as powerful.

    It's not a competition.
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 6451
    I can only comment on the S2 Custom 24. The original pickups sounded too focused and metal for me. I replaced them with the classic JB (bridge) and Jazz (neck) which was an improvement. It plays nice but it's still not quite there though and in terms of sound.

    My HSS Strat sounds so much nicer even though the pickups are nowhere near as powerful.


    That's probably the reason it sounds better.

    I think PAF style pickups with a DC resistance in the 8kOhm area have a nicer sound than a hotter pickup like a JB.

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  • nickpnickp Frets: 175
    edited January 5
    Personally the 2000s vintage CU24 that I bought a year or so ago is a lovely instrument to play, and the exceptional playability helps with any study/improvement stuff becasuse it's so playable all the way up the neck.  I'm with @stratman3142 ;; in that I find the pups a bit bright (focussed is probably a good term) and lack the butter that I'm after.  When xmas is over and i can steal a few hundred from the pot I'm going to buy a couple of alnico 2 based pups from Ash to put some warmth and salted devon in the sound   Might make the coil split sound less effective but I've got the strat for that anyway

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  • cm01cm01 Frets: 245
    crunchmanTo my ears, the PRS Standard with an all mahogany body does sound better than the Custom with it's thick maple cap.
    I agree 100% - my ‘86 Std sounds superb... I’ve had a few standards and they’ve all sounded better than the maple topped PRS’s 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 48570
    cm01 said:
    crunchmanTo my ears, the PRS Standard with an all mahogany body does sound better than the Custom with it's thick maple cap.
    I agree 100% - my ‘86 Std sounds superb... I’ve had a few standards and they’ve all sounded better than the maple topped PRS’s 
    Yes, my Standard was much my favourite of the two as well. The Custom did have a more focused sound which was better for certain things though.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • DominicDominic Frets: 7227
    Like Sex.........if you close your eyes at the critical moment it will physically feel the same irrespective of partner
     The Starla is better looking so it turns me on more in the first place
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  • BrizeBrize Frets: 3666
    Dominic said:
    Like Sex.........if you close your eyes at the critical moment it will physically feel the same irrespective of partner
    Nope
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  • guitargeek62guitargeek62 Frets: 2090
    Brize said:
    Dominic said:
    Like Sex.........if you close your eyes at the critical moment it will physically feel the same irrespective of partner
    Nope
    Agreed, absolutely not!
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 1991
    Dominic said:
    Like Sex.........if you close your eyes at the critical moment it will physically feel the same irrespective of partner
     The Starla is better looking so it turns me on more in the first place
    As ever, we've probably got beyond the required answer at this point.  :s
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  • ChuckManualChuckManual Frets: 679
    grungebob said:
    Get a satin vela and be done with it.  Fantastic guitars. 
    Seconded.

    I've got a satin Vela and it's great. The neck pickup, clean, especially.
    Not much of the gear, even less idea.
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  • With the new S2 594 just announced, at least now you can have an option to choose an S2 that’s a shorter scale length. 
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  • chrisj1602chrisj1602 Frets: 1501
    With the new S2 594 just announced, at least now you can have an option to choose an S2 that’s a shorter scale length. 
    They look very nice, £1800+ though.
    Chris.
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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 1456
    I want that new singlecut! Don’t normally like the PRS sc shape but it looks right with a tailpiece & bridge rather than single stoptail.
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