The PRS Starla has been out for a few years now but they have gotten little attention in the worship space. PRS a couple years ago released the Starla S2 in order to compete with the filtertron loving audience in a lower price point. PRS patented Starla pickups are great combination of vintage Les Paul and those Gretsch and TV Jones filtertrons that have revolutionized worship music for the past 10 years.
PRS has made the Starla in a couple different versions including a stoptail version, bigsby version, low price X models and the most recent S2 version. For our review we looked at the stoptail and Bigsby S2 versions. To start Paul Reed Smith guitars are flawless. Every detail has been perfected down to brass saddles and tuning pegs that Paul himself found to transfer vibration better than plated saddles and pegs. Our Starla was stained in clear orange that brings forth some flare without being too flashy. The clear coat on the guitar is our only complaint. The clear coat is durable but when it does chip it leaves ugly white spots where it was dinged.
The PRS Starla pickups are some of our favorite pickups for chunky rhythm as well as ambient swells and lead riffs. They are balanced pickups that work well in all scenarios but we also love that they can be coil split. When split they cover territory that most strats and teles cover as well. The neck is beefy but fits really well within your hands. The fretwork and fretboard are literally next to none and play like butter. The vintage inspired tuners are decent but we prefer the locking tuners that come on other PRS models such as the Custom 24.
In summary this is a great guitar that we think should be used a lot more on church stages. The build is way better than what you would get in a Gretsch and the sound is incredibly similar.
- Pickups: Some of our favorite out there.
- Price: At $1349 you won’t find a better guitar. Period
- Build Quality: There is nothing that can compete with a Paul Reed Smith as far as build quality.
- Other guitarists will look at you strangely for a while because most guitarists out there are choosing Duesenberg Starplayers and Gretsch Duo Jets.
Should You Get One?
YES! End of story. The Starla S2 is the perfect combination of tones from all of the standbys such as teles and strats but it also suits the boutique audience that are gasing for a Starplayer TV. The only way we would suggest avoiding this guitar is if you a primarily a Tele or Strat player and do not like using filtertrons.