“More PRS DNA than ever”: The PRS S2 Series now comes with USA pickups and wiring as standard

PRS S2 Series 2024: Now with USA made pickups
(Image credit: PRS Guitars)

The good news keeps coming for fans of PRS Guitars whose budgets don’t quite stretch to the brand’s flagship lineup of high-end electric guitars, because the more affordable S2 Series now upgraded with USA-made pickups, and the same under-the-hood wiring as the brand's Core models.

In a statement, Paul Reed Smith said it was a no-brainer to upgrade the S2 models. “This just makes sense,” he said. “We have worked very diligently on pickups for the last several years and made big strides. To infuse the S2 Series with the life that comes with this kind of attention to detail was the next logical step for these instruments.”

The S2 Series is not exactly a cheap date. This is still a US-made PRS instrument. The range was named for a second production line at the brand’s Stevensville, Maryland factory, and is still in anyone’s language a pro-quality build. 

There are a few reasons why it is priced cheaper than the Core models. Firstly, the maple tops are thinner, and there’s less figuring. Those nitro satin finished S2 models ($1,749 street versus the $2,049 of their high-gloss nitro counterparts) are also quicker to make.

The scarfed neck construction also means PRS is using less raw materials to make the guitar, and the S2 models ship in a nylon gig bag rather than the hard-shell guitar case you get with the Core and Bolt-on models.

Altogether, you have 13 models to choose from in the S2 lineup, with the likes of the S2 Standard 22, S2 McCarty 594 Thinline, S2 Vela Satin and S2 Vela Satin semi-hollow guitar exclusive to the range, while others offer a trimmed down version of Core models. With this news, pickup options now include PRS’s 85/15, 58/15 LT, and proprietary Narrowfield and TCI designs, all of which are wound on Kent Island. 

Control circuits are as per the Core lineup, which means extreme audio taper pots and custom switching to get the most out of those quality electric guitar pickups. For instance, the S2 Custom 24-08, which is equipped with a pair of TCI humbucking pickups, has a pair of mini-switch coil-taps; allied to the three-way pickup selector, that gives players eight fundamental pickup voicings to choose from – which is a lot of range even before you touch the tone control. 

The upgrades to the S2 Series arrives hot on the heels of the most affordable PRS electric guitar to date, the all-mahogany SE CE 24 Standard Satin, which at $499 presents serious value, with the same 85/15 “S” humbuckers, coil-split functions and PRS shallow violin carve as its maple-veneered SE siblings. 

For more details on the new S2 range, head over to PRS Guitars.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.