PRS SE Starla vs. Gretsch Electromatic

Guitar man Oh Man

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Aug 20, 2021
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I enjoy playing my acoustic guitar but I'm ready to starting playing an electric guitar now. I'd still consider myself a beginner but would like to play classic rock/soft rock/blues. I went to a local music store and saw the PRS SE Starla on sale for $550 which is $150 lower than usual. The cost of the Gretsch Electromatic is the same price of $550. They both look good and feel great. The PRS gives you a gig bag which is nice. I like the sound and looks of both so I'm very torn. Should I be swayed by the fact the Starla is "on sale"? Your thoughts? Thanks.
 

Xtcclassic

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Feb 14, 2021
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Which Electromatic? I have three Double Jets and they’re phenomenal guitars for the money, but so is the Starla. The Starla might have a *very* slight edge in quality, but the Gretsch makes up for it in “cool factor” IMHO.
 

SinSir

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Sep 7, 2020
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I don't own a gretsch but have demo'd 100s. Some day I'll own one. In my limited opinion they make some of the better guitars out there for the money. Though the same can be said for PRS. Personally I'd go Starla but it comes down to which one feels the best to you. That's been one of my hold ups on a gretsch, I haven't found the one that feels right


If you are only swayed by the Starla because of the sale I'd give it some more though or see if they can do anything on the Gretsch? You never know..
 

Daniel Elam

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Oct 19, 2020
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Those cheap Jets are pretty killer for the price, especially with upgrades. I had one for about 4 years but I did wind up upgrading all the hardware and pickups to really make it a solid player. The only thing stock was the wood, frets, and selector switch. The PRS might get you a little further but I don’t know.
 

Xtcclassic

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Feb 14, 2021
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I did the same with my Jets, but not because the stock electronics were crap, they were pretty decent. Especially the pickups. But I gutted them and upgraded everything and now they are incredible. To be fair, I bought a Vela recently and did the same (other than the neck pickup, left that stock). I loved the sound of the bridge pickup but I needed just a bit more guts, so I replaced it with a TV Jones Power’Tron (I put various TVJ pickups in all my Jets too). But the stock pickups in the Vela (same bridge pickup as the Starla) and the Jets were pretty damn good to begin with.
 
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