PRS makes some of the most beautiful guitars in the world, featuring exquisitely figured woods and finishes with vibrant colors that glow like a Van Gogh masterpiece.
But for most working guitarists who play at dive bars instead of Carnegie Hall, these instruments are a bit “overdressed,” like wearing an Armani tuxedo and a diamond Rolex watch to a dinner at Shake Shack.
The PRS S2 series offers a wide variety of “dressed down” models that are still made in the USA to the same high standards of quality that PRS is known for, and they’re sensibly priced so those of us who are still playing for beer money can afford one.
The new S2 Singlecut Standard Satin, which has a low-key satin finish, may be the least flashy model in the entire S2 lineup, but it gets attention where it counts—playability and tone.
The S2 Singlecut Standard Satin is essentially the same guitar as the S2 Singlecut Standard with the exception of its satin finish, which leaves the woodgrain pores open and provides resonance similar to unfinished wood. It has a two-inch thick body made from a single slab of mahogany with beveled edges along the entire top and a back belly contour for playing comfort.
The neck, which is also mahogany, has a 25-inch scale, 22 medium jumbo frets, rosewood fretboard with dot inlays, and the comfortable PRS Pattern Regular profile. Electronics consist of PRS S2 #7 Treble and Bass humbuckers, individual volume and push/pull coil-tap tone controls for each pickup, and a three-way pickup selector toggle, while the nickel-plated hardware includes a PRS Stoptail bridge and PRS S2 locking tuners.
The PRS S2 Series guitars are testimony to the power of simplicity, and the Singlecut Standard Satin really drives this point home with its bold, powerful tone that originates with its lively, responsive natural acoustic resonance. When plugged in that tone just gets bigger and better. The bridge pickup produces an aggressive snarl that loves overdrive and distortion, and the neck pickup provides a throaty, sonorous wail. The coil taps produce true single-coil tones and textures (not wimped-down humbucker tones) that sound big and meaty while also delivering gnarly twang. While the body is quite impressively thick, the contours make the guitar very comfortable to play for extended periods. And when the neck feels as sleek and luxurious as the PRS Pattern Regular profile, trust me, you won’t be putting this baby down for a while.
STREET PRICE $1,049
MANUFACTURER PRS Guitars, prsguitars.com
THE BOTTOM LINE The satin finish provides the tone and resonance of unfinished wood while still protecting the guitar from the elements. The PRS S2 #7 Treble and Bass humbuckers deliver powerful, aggressive tone and authentic single-coil tones when the coil-tap switches are engaged. The PRS S2 Singlecut Standard Satin may look demure or understated compared to other PRS models, but it’s a hard-rocking, blues-busting beast that working class guitarists can afford.