Today for around £1000 to £1400 you can buy a new PRS S2 Guitar – Whilst the S2 models are assembled in the USA, they do not utilise many of the traditional PRS ingredients that we have known, respected and adored for many years – S2 models itulise imported far eastern pick-ups plus hardware, including tuners and trem assembly – Spec’d with a 3 piece neck with ‘scarf joints’ at the headstock and heal – And whilst most S2 models still utilises a mahogany body and neck, PRS hide behind its source adopting the ‘same species different genus’ approach, which effectively means that a killer shark and a pet gold fish are related – Whilst the PRS S2 models are a well put together package within the price range, you can’t fail to notice that an exceptionally clean and original USA model for £1099 is its biggest competitor and on that basis I see it is as a ‘no contest’ both with regards to playing performance, tonal character and indeed any depreciation in value, between an S2 model and this original, fully blown USA PRS Starla from 2011, with a cool and distinctive all over silver sparkle finish
Click here to read a review of the PRS Starla, courtesy of Premier Guitar
First came the PRS Mira, which to all tense and purpose does for PRS what the SG does for Gibson – Then a short while later the Starla arrived on the scene – Unlike the evergreen PRS Custom models, the Starla evokes retro styles and memories from yesteryear – However if you ever played or owned some of these original old models, whilst they are loaded with character and charisma, you’ll be fully aware that the playability and reliability is not the best you’ll ever find in the guitar world – This is were the Starla comes into play – It’s almost as though some one has removed the legendary PRS neck, with all its ease of playability, then transplanted it on to a retro based guitar – So now instead of a playing performance, that has more in keeping with that of an old Morris Minor, your retro guitar retains its vintage vibe, albeit with a performance and reliability that can be found on a Subaru Imprezza – The retro theme starts with a B5 Bigsby tremelo, the tune-o-matic bridge, ‘Kluson’ style non locking tuners, the full bodied scratch, plus a pair of PRS designed humbuckers, that have a touch of Gretsch Filtertron about them – An all mahogany solid body and neck construction, rosewood fingerboard, plus a 24.5″ scale length, are all features of the Starla – Spec’d with a wide/fat neck profile that measures .870″ around the top nut end and .970″ around the 12th fret, so a touch fuller than many Gibson SG models, yet slightly slimmer than many Gibson LP models – The whole guitars comes in at a very credible 8lbs and 2oz
Condition wise this is a clean guitar – Pick marks on the scratchplate are probably the biggest give away of this been a used guitar as overall we are talking about a clean guitar that is devoid of dings or dints – Maybe the cool silver sparkle finish does a pretty good job of disguising any hints of a surface graze, but I don’t think this Starla has done a lot of work – Frets are clean – Re-strung and set-up with a set 10’s and a fluid playing action – Priced at £1099 and that includes a serious grade Rock Ready Gig Bag with various accessories zip pockets – A cool bag, that is worth over £140, and provides you with good protection for most day to day use, yet portable and easy to move around
Tonal character :- The custom wound and voiced pick-ups have a softer vintage flavoured output at 6.81K – They utilise proprietary alnico magnets to deliver a clean crisp tone, yet are fully capable of rich harmonics when overdriven – Simply controlled via a 3 way selector switch – On clean, or more subtle overdriven amp settings, the tone is very much that of a Gretsch, or Guild, from the rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly and country pickin’ era, with plenty of warmth and clarity from the neck pick-up, with a good smooth bite and twang from the bridge pick-up – Stay in the 50’s vibe of swing or country, or add some subtle overdrive, or indeed let it go into the ‘kick-ass’ territory, with more gain – Either way, the Starla is a dream to behold that loves blues, Brit Pop, indie, grunge, bottleneck blues, along with the more simplistic and melodic side of rock/pop (I’m thinking Tom Petty or Crowded House) – The volume pot works smoothly across the whole 1-10 spectrum, which allows you to ‘back off’ from 10, on overdriven amp settings, to clean up the sound as and when required – It can handle more than its fair share of work for overdriven rock licks with no shortage of sustain – To me as a self confessed PRS fanatic I also found it great fun to play and somehow it invites you to delve into new territories
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Guitars4You Offers Reliability, Integrity and Expertise
Every guitar in stock at Guitars4You has been personally selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention paid to the set-up and playing performance – Every sale, phone call, mail order transaction or e-mail is handled my me – Mark Hopkin, the owner, Managing Director, cleaner and coffee maker (Jo, my wife helps with the coffee) – A journey, now in excess of 40 years, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars – This reflects in every aspect of our business.
I have no desire to run an Amazon style 'click to buy' guitar shop, that lacks any soul or passion, or indeed to fill a showroom with a selection of dirty, shop soiled or dusty guitars that are in need of a set-up.
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