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PRS 594 S2 vs. core

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by nobis17, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. nobis17

    nobis17 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    So I've watched the youtube videos, so I am well aware of the construction differences, but I finally got to play the two side by side yesterday at the guitar shop. The feel of the two guitars was almost identical. But there was a noticeable difference in the tone. The core seemed to sound warmer to my ears. I don't know if it is $2000 worth of tone difference, but it was there.

    After playing the two together, I'm seriously considering the S2 instead of the core.

    Any thoughts or opinions?
     
  2. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    The difference between the core and S2 lines, aside from construction, are the pickups electronics and hardware. The core uses all of the PRS components made in house in Maryland, the S2 uses the import versions found on the SE lineup. Honestly not the biggest difference.
     
  3. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    From what I've read quite a few players have said that the MIK PRS S2 pickups are a bit of a weak link vs. the Core series counterparts. I would imagine most of the tone difference you heard was from the pickups as opposed to the construction differences/finish differences/etc. Now the only S2 I've owned so far was the Vela, so there was no Core version to compare it to, but after a while I found the bridge humbucker to be kind of blah. Good but not great, matched the DeArmond-style neck pickup better in single-coil mode.

    If you really like the way the S2 plays - I would imagine that a pickup swap is going to get you much closer to the tone of the Core version. You may want to change out the electronics as well - unless there have been changes the PRS S2 electronics were closer to SE-grade than Core-grade. I don't believe you can buy the Core 594 pickups (the 58/15 LTs) - at least they aren't shown in the PRS online accessories store - but you can always get your choice of PAF-style humbuckers for it.
     
  4. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    IDK, I’ve only played my Core 594.
     
  5. jays0n

    jays0n Tele-Holic

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    I have a S2 Singlecut (an older one, SC250). I did not like the pickups much, they were very dark. Maybe great for metal. I swapped in some Duncan's (with new pots n caps) and it's now the guitar I play the most.

    I got the pickups used and it was not an expensive upgrade at all.
     
  6. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    The only core PRS I've owned was a McCarty with stock electronics - I found it to be too dark of a guitar for my taste, even though that was a bucket list guitar of mine for a long time. The S2 Mira that I had, I liked the stock pickups just fine, and I am not sure why I was so quick to swap them for something more vintage. Besides the fanciness of the McCarty, they were both basically equivalent in terms of their "quality" - but one was more like an SG (the Mira), and the other one more like a Les Paul Custom. I kinda miss that Mira, I played it a lot for a few years, but not the McCarty.
     
  7. nobis17

    nobis17 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    So I apologize because this might be an ignorant question. But can any aftermarket PAF style humbucker be wired as a split coil system? Also what pots would be the better choice? (I don't know a whole lot about the how-to of wiring guitar electronics)
     
  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    You can measure and swap the pots and caps to make any guitar darker or brighter. You don't need to swap pickups.
    Pots alone have a 20% tolerance range, measuring 450kohms or 550kohms for a "500k" pot, I've seen that range in as few as six brand new pots. CTS or Bourns branded pots are what you want to look for, but buy a $10 Harbor Freight/Amazon multi-meter to measure parts and troubleshoot.

    To fix tone problems:
    -Adjust pickup heights, bass/treble tip, screw poles
    -Measure and swap pots 'n caps
    -Last is swap pickups and go back to the top

    And really, if you are chasing 'darker/smoother' tones you can add more length to your guitar cable as twenty feet will be darker than ten feet. Most players are trying to get more brightness out of their 'muddy' guitar as darker is as easy as turning the tone knob down.

    .
     
  9. Jay Isler

    Jay Isler Tele-Meister

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    Had the S2 with the 85/15s pickups and didn’t like them at all. The core 594 pickups sound glorious to me but I can’t justify the price of a core. I think the S2 with upgraded pickups is the way to go.
     
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  10. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve had Core and S2. As stated, the pickups and electronics are import on the S2, and they take a few shortcuts stylistically, which some may like or not. But the build quality in my experience is right there.

    I had a Starla with swapped Fralin pickups that I kick myself for getting rid of sometimes. It was really really nice. I personally do think the pickups are lacking in the S2, some folks like them just fine.

    If you like the aesthetic of S2, then swapped electronics and pickups to your taste gets you there. They’re very close to the Core in quality.
     
  11. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    Yes; you can get PAF-style pickups that can be wired with a coil split from many manufacturers; you just have to make sure you are getting ones that are splitable (4-conductor instead of 2-condutor I think; I'm not a wiring guy :oops:). I was using "PAF" as a reference for the vintage-output/style pickups like what PRS uses on the McCarty 594s.
     
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  12. Trio

    Trio TDPRI Member

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    The core 594 pickups are better than the S2, but they're not too bad.



    [​IMG]
     
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  13. nobis17

    nobis17 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I am going on vacation this upcoming week, but I think once I return, my plan is going to be to start seriously looking for a S2 (594 McCarty singlecut in Sunburst or some other yellow). I'm going to play for it a while to see if I'm ACTUALLY not happy with the pickups, and if I am, I will put some sweet after market pups in it.

    On a side note, can I put two neck pups in (without problems) so the output numbers of both pups are similar to that of the 58/15 LTs ?
     
  14. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Afflicted

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    So far, I’m finding that the S2’s that sound the best with the cheaper pickups are the Standard Satins. Something about the satin finish on an all mahogany body give them a different character. I’ve got the new model with the 58/15S pickups and it’s got a nice, raw tone.

    One of my brothers came to town the other day and played my CE24 with the core 85/15 and my S2 Standard Satin and loved the S2 from the time I pulled it out of the case until it was time to go see our mom. He’s an incredible player, but doesn’t have much money. Right now he doesn’t even have an electric guitar. I may buy him one for his birthday next year. He’s the one family member who’s never asked me for anything.
     
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  15. nobis17

    nobis17 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    It's always good to take care of family ;).
     
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