Custom 24 S2 review by Paul Reed Smith

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (9 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: Custom 24 S2
5

Price paid: $ 1075

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features — 9
This is a 2013, Maryland, US made 24 fret mahogany body with a maple top. Rosewood fretboard, nice body curve, tream stays in tune. 3 way switch with push / pull volume pot for coil tap. 2 S2 pickups. S2 Tuners are locking and hold true. Padded PRS gig bag, allen wrenches, a free download for Mel Bay guitar lessons, a Paule Reed Smith sticker and paper work. I'm taking off points for the maple cap because it's still a PRS and the wood on these guitars are never (I've seen 8-9) as attractive as even the SE's.

Sound — 10
The pickup voices are where this guitar shines. Every setting is very usable. The sound response to the volume knob is awesome too. I've used this with a Marshall 8100, MG30 HFX, MG100 HFX, Vox VT-30, Epi Valve Jr (stock), Orange Micro Terror and Pod HD500X to pa. All sound very good (except the MG30 but that never sounds good.) It always shines weather no matter the style or tuning. Harmonic's ring and sustain is awesome, I got this guitar because of the sound. The response on this guitar is amazing and really makes tubes sing.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The S2 tuners hold tight better than any guitar I've ever had. Trem stays in tune, set-up was near perfect and action was perfect. The top was lined up well and looks very nice but there are some characteristics that are undesirable. It's not a 10 top mind you. The volume knob was buzzing on 5-8 but this went away after a few volume rolls which I assume was possibly lubricant. The birds are flat white but still add character. No flaws in the nut, saddle, selector, tuners or anything. Built and set up very well.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Tough guitar but the finish is acrylic and will chip easy. It's a great live guitar because it's not as expensive as the core series so you can afford to bang it up a little and not be as fearful to have it stolen. Hardware is all solid as can be. Trem holds up very well and it all stays in tune. It's also easy to change tunings with the trem not causing problems which is awesome for anyone used to trying to tune a floyd. Strap buttons are over sized and hold very well. This guitar is built to play. As I said the finish will chip (it has for me but I'm brutal). Nothing much to complain about. I'm trying to be as critical as possible.

Overall Impression — 9
I'm playing blues, jazz, rock or tuning down to A# and 01ing, they all sound great on this beautiful monster. I've been playing almost 9 years, I currently own 10 guitars, I've owned over 20 and quite often go to music stores to try new ones. I got this guitar because it was the best sounding guitar that I've EVER played. After I played the S2, I would not set it down until they rang me up. If it were stolen I'd burn the f--king world until I found it and/or save up for a core series or 10 top but probably end up getting another S2, maybe used. Nowhere near as beautiful as the core line but this guitar is for the workingman and it was disappointing to see a padded bag instead of a hard case but I guess they have to skim $2,000-3,000 off of the core price somehow. This guitar is designed so that midrange budget's can afford an amazing sounding guitar that plays it's self and looks pretty good from a slight distance (would look great from the crowd for instance). Overall it does what it's mean to and it does it best in class. I don't play any of my other guitars any more and it makes me want to play it.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Charlie4
    What impresses me as a whole is it seems PRS have a very consistent quality control - whether it's the SE range or the core line. I can imagine this would be a great instrument for the price.
    SHartsell
    I've got the SE Custom 24 and I've yet to see another factory-made instrument beat it in quality or durability
    aulde.pharte
    I've got one, too. All my other guitars have been neglected since buying this one. It just immediately felt right. The only other guitar I play now is a PRS SE 245 I just acquired on trade.
    Robbgnarly
    I think it is great that PRS wants a "cheaper" model. But they really had to use the SE Trem on a $1000+ guitar?
    fromzero
    It's actually called the s2 trem which is based on the SE Trem in the sense that it's molded instead of machined and they're the same size, it holds tune well. It also has s2 tuners which are based off of the phase 2 tuners so dive bomb away.
    fromzero
    Tbh, if I didn't get the discount and I got it for 1,399 (well over $1500 after taxes) I'd have still picked it up. I have 10 guitars and I literally only play this one now.