Chris Robertson from Black Stone Cherry on the new-for-2013 PRS S2 Starla

Kentucky rocker gets to grips with affordable USA PRS guitar

At Download 2013, TG caught up with Black Stone Cherry frontman Chris Robertson, who has been road testing the PRS S2 Starla, one of three models that the Maryland company has launched as part of an affordable range of USA-made electric guitars.

"I got this guitar about a month ago when they were first sending these guitars out to get artist feedback on them," Chris revealed. "I've played the traditional Starlas for a couple of years, along with the Grissom model, the 245 and the Mike Mushok baritone model. I think the whole point of [the S2] is that it's going to hit a new pricepoint, which is awesome for younger players.

"It's absolutely fantastic; one of my favorite live guitars to play hands down."

"It's a great guitar, I use this one in C# tuning. [It has] one volume, one tone and a coil-split just like the original Starla. The only difference is the pickups, it has locking tuners and it's a 25-inch scale.

"I played them for over two years and they're great guitars. They're not, per se, your 'hard rock' guitars but the way I run my amps – and I play Buddha amps – is fairly clean. I don't use a whole lot of gain, I leave that up to Ben. But they're a little more jangly sounding.

"I use this guitar for a lot of the set; it's simple, man. Volume, tone, three way pickup selector, Bigsby – which I never use because I mess things up.

"I started playing PRS in 2011. They're the best guitars being built straight out of the box today. These guitars are really bitey - they're a cleaner, snappier sounding guitar while a Mira is more the ballsy version.

"This one has a little more pop, more snap; kind of like a Telecaster. It's almost like a dual humbucker Tele mixed with a Les Paul Junior if that makes sense. It's got warmth and sustain but it's got a lot of snap and attack. It's absolutely fantastic; one of my favourite live guitars to play hands down."

See the PRS S2 Starla unboxed.

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