The Paul Reed Smith S2 Series

To bring their exceptional guitars to more players, the celebrated Maryland company Paul Reed Smith created its budget SE (Student Edition) guitar line in the late 1990s. After more than a decade of success with the SE, PRS extended its outreach even further by establishing a highly refined mid-tier line: the PRS S2.

Bursting onto the guitar market in 2013, the PRS SE model offered exquisite craftsmanship and many advanced features at an extremely reasonable price point. PRS built a second manufacturing line in its Stevensville factory to produce the S2 Series. Reflecting this fact, “S2” stands for “Stevensville 2.” Still going strong today, the S2 Series now comes off the same fully integrated PRS line that makes its Core Series and Bolt-On Series.

One of the keys to the S2's success is its scarf joint (an angled joint made where two pieces of glued wood come together at complementary angles). The neck of the PRS S2 begins with a quartersawn neck blank that is joined to a scarfed headstock and heel using a plain splice. This extremely durable form of construction makes the S2 incredibly roadworthy despite its relatively thin and delicate neck.

What Makes the S2 Series Different

Beyond its rugged scarf joint construction, the PRS S2 sets itself apart from other guitars in terms of its accessible luxury and customizable features. Unlike the PRS SE Series and most other entry-level guitars, the S2 Series is made entirely in the USA, which serves as a mark of quality among serious musicians.

In fact, the S2 retains the core characteristics of more expensive PRS guitars while remaining considerably more affordable. Although the S2 has always featured outstanding structural components and hardware, the series recently took an enormous step forward by incorporating PRS's famous proprietary Narrowfield and TCI pickups. The S2 Series also now comes complete with potentiometers with extreme audio tapers and other electronics that were previously available only on PRS Core instruments.

With a high-quality nitrocellulose finish, the PRS S2 has an appearance and feel that equals its state-of-the-art hardware. This extraordinarily thin finish improves the acoustics of the S2 as well, lending it a more resonant and unforced tone. PRS customers can choose between S2 models with satin and high-gloss finish treatments.

Despite its reasonable price point, the PRS S2 offers a tremendous amount of customization in areas that go far beyond its nitrocellulose finish. PRS can outfit your S2 with your choice of pickups, and you can easily swap out the instrument’s stock bridge, tuners, switches, pots, and capacitors to get the exact sound and feel that you desire. You can also get S2 models with a wide variety of custom decorative fretboard inlays.

Shop PRS S2 Guitars at Brian's Guitars

If you are interested in exploring the PRS S2, the carefully curated PRS collection at Brian’s Guitars is a great place to start.

Have specific questions? The experts at BG are standing by with answers on all matters related to the PRS S2 or any other instrument in our used electric guitar and general electric guitar collections. You can contact us, email us at, or call us at 1-877-726-0746.

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