PRS S2 VS CE 24 (Comparison)
Our pick: The PRS CE 24
The downgrade going from the CE 24 to the S2 Standard (the S2 series) is fairly significant. We'd recommend putting up the extra money and getting the CE 24, which will give you nicer pickups, nicer hardware, and a carved, figured maple top.
In this comparison we're looking at two PRS guitars that are more on the affordable side of the PRS pricing spectrum: The CE 24 and the S2 Standard. Keep in mind that the S2 is a series of PRS guitars, which includes the following:
- S2 Standard
- S2 Custom 24
- S2 McCarty
In other words, you have the S2 McCarty which is not the same as the regular McCarty.
But for this comparison, we've narrowed it down to the S2 Standard VS the CE 24.
We'll look at these two guitars to see how they stack up against one another and show you why we recommend the CE 24 as the better value of the pair. If you're trying to decide between the two of them, you've come to the right place for your answer.
PRS S2 Standard VS PRS CE 24 (quick comparison tool)
If you don't want to read on into the detail sections below, use these charts to make a quick comparison between the S2 and CE 24. You can also use the Sweetwater buttons to shop for these guitars, which helps support our work at no extra cost to you.
For questions about the guitars, drop those in the comments section below and we'll help out as much as possible.
PRS CE 24
PRS S2 Standard
S2 and CE 24 Specs Side by Side
You can notice a handful of differences between the S2 and CE 24, the most notable of which is that the S2 omits the top piece entirely. This costs you a significant quality feature, as well as the aesthetics of the PRS body carving which relies on that top piece.
Solidbody (CE 24 doublecut)
Solidbody (S2 doublecut)
PRS Patented Molded Tremolo
PRS Molded Tremolo
PRS 85/15 Humbucker
PRS 58/15 "S" Humbucker
PRS 85/15 Humbucker
PRS 58/15 "S" Humbucker
1 x master volume, 1 x master tone (push-pull coil tap)
1 x master volume, 1 x tone (push/pull coil-split)
PRS CE 24 Details
In our CE 24 VS Custom 24 comparison, we actually recommend the CE 24 over the Custom 24 because of it being such a high-value option. It also keeps a lot of the features of the high-end PRS guitars like the 85/15 humbuckers, the patented PRS tremolo, Mahogany body, Maple top piece, and the distinguished carving.
With the exception of the Mahogany body, all of those things are missing in the S2 Standard.
In the CE 24 you're getting what we would consider a "mainline" PRS guitar and not a stripped down economy version.
While there's nothing wrong with going to the PRS economy guitars, the CE 24 gives you enough extra that we believe it's worth the added cost.
PRS S2 Standard Details
The S2 Standard is more in line with the SE series, which are made as an economy line in the PRS factory in South Korea. While it's not entirely certain where the S2 is manufactured, it's about $900 cheaper than the CE 24 and leaves out a lot of the things we like about that model.
One of the biggest letdowns - which we mentioned already - is the lack of a top piece on the guitar's body.
This is how the PRS SE guitars are built.
Instead of a carved maple top, you have a single piece of wood without any binding or definition.
Having that top piece is a trademark of nicer PRS models, and the S2 is definitely a lower-tier option without it.
Other downgrades include the pickups, hardware, and internal wiring.
Our Summary: Which one?
For those reasons, we'd recommend paying the extra $900 and getting the CE 24, which is a real-deal PRS guitar. That's not to say the S2 doesn't have value, but it doesn't drop quite low enough in price to justify all the downgrades.
We like both these guitars, but in a direct comparison, we recommend going for the higher-value option in the CE 24.
Do you have questions about the PRS CE 24 or the S2 Standard?
Perhaps you've owned one of these guitars and would like to share your story.
Either way, you can get in touch via the comments section below. We always respond to comments and they're a good way to add information and context for future readers of this article.
So we'll see you there.
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