PRS SE Starla Stoptail Review & Prices

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PRS SE Starla Stoptail Review
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  • From PRS's 2020 SE series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25"'' scale
  • 10" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: PRS-Designed DS-02 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: PRS-Designed DS-02 Bass (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Grover Two-Piece bridge
  • Wide Fat Set neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • PRS Designed Tuners tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From PRS's 2020 SE series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25"'' scale
  • 10" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: PRS-Designed DS-02 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: PRS-Designed DS-02 Bass (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Grover Two-Piece bridge
  • Wide Fat Set neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • PRS Designed Tuners tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 65
Build quality 60
Value for money 71
Overall Score 66
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
PRS SE Starla Stoptail
  • Expensive Wood
  • PRS Propietary Nut
  • Coil Split Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Tremolo
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

The SE Starla Stoptail | PRS Guitars
PRS SE Starla Stoptail - Sound Demo (no talking)
The PRS Starla Doesn’t Get the Respect it Deserves… (feat. Chris Robertson of Black Stone Cherry)
Huge tones and versatility on a budget // PRS SE Starla review
PRS SE Starla Demo - All Playing, No Talking
More Videos

Price: is the PRS SE Starla Stoptail a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $850, which means that the PRS SE Starla Stoptail is around 14% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Indonesia.

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Your feedback

Not all guitars are created equal, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the guitar you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our visitors who have played this guitar say. If you've played it before, help others by voting for your experience below.

Weight

Vote
Heavy
0
Slightly heavy
0
Lightweight
1
Very lightweight
0

Tuning stability

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Won't stay in tune
0
Sightly unstable
0
Not bad
1
Holds tune well
0
Won't get out of tune
0

Neck speed (thickness)

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Chunky
1
Slightly chunky
1
Balanced
0
Fast
0
Herman Li fast
0

Neck access to high frets

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Very Hard
0
Hard
0
Normal
1
Easy
0
Very Easy
0

Neck profile shape

Vote
Baseball / U
0
V
0
Asymmetrical
0
C
2
D
0

Fret edges

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Very sharp
0
Slightly sharp
0
Smooth
1

Pickups noise

Vote
Noiseless
0
Slightly Noisy
1
Noisy
0

Pickups power

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Clean
0
Slightly Hot
1
Hot
0

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Is The PRS SE Starla Stoptail Easy to Play?

The PRS SE Starla Stoptail meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

PRS SE Starla Stoptail
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Locking tuners
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Comfortable neck

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the PRS SE Starla Stoptail's construction is balanced for most hand sizes.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the PRS SE Starla Stoptail's 25" scale length compared to other common sizes:

PRS SE Starla Stoptail Scale Length Comparison
PRS SE Starla Stoptail's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the scale found in most PRS guitars, and it's right between the length of most Stratocasters and Les Pauls.

The scale length will affect the separation of the frets, the string tension, and even the tone of the guitar. The longer the scale, the more separated the frets are, which makes it a bit harder to move fast on the fretboard. Also, the higher tension of the strings will make them feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength. However, a longer scale also allows you to lower the action of the strings and make them closer to the fretboard, which makes them easier to press. Finally, the tone will also sound brighter with a longer scale.

A 25'' scale makes all of this feel right between a Stratocaster (longer scale) and a Les Paul (shorter scale).

Don't forget that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

PRS SE Starla Stoptail Neck Profile
PRS SE Starla Stoptail's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The PRS SE Starla Stoptail's neck thickness is approximately 0.86'' (21.8mm) at the first fret, and 0.96'' (24.4mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official PRS website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a Vintage type neck. This is a type of vintage neck, so it's thick and has a wider grip than most modern guitars. This is a very particular type of neck that usually only people with a specific taste for vintage guitars will like. We recommend you try this in person before buying if it's your first vintage neck. You might end up absolutely loving it or hating it.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The PRS SE Starla Stoptail has a 10" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

PRS SE Starla Stoptail Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
PRS SE Starla Stoptail's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

This is slightly flatter than the typical modern Stratocaster, but not by a lot. This radius will make it comfortable to play chords without muting strings accidentally. However, when compared to Strats, the extra .5 inches radius will make it slightly more comfortable to play solos without sacrificing too much chord playability.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the PRS SE Starla Stoptail has the same radius across the board.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25'' Scale Length
Vintage Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
10'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
20'' Fretboard Radius
25'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
10'' Fretboard Radius
24.5'' Scale Length
Vintage Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
11.5'' Fretboard Radius
25'' Scale Length
Vintage Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
10'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

PRS SE Starla Stoptail Nut Width
PRS SE Starla Stoptail Nut Width

The PRS SE Starla Stoptail has a nut width of 42.9mm (1.688''). This size is also known as 1 11/16'' and it's the most common size. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

More guitars with the same nut width:

Frets

The PRS SE Starla Stoptail has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

PRS SE Starla Stoptail Fret Size Comparison
PRS SE Starla Stoptail's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The PRS SE Starla Stoptail's frets are Medium Jumbo size. These sit somewhere between a Jumbo and a Medium fret. They're not quite as tall as a full Jumbo, so you'll still feel the fretboard, but you won't feel it as much as with medium frets. This is a good size if you want to make it easy to press the strings but would also like a little bit of ''feedback'' to know when to stop pressing so the notes don't go out of pitch.

More guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 90
Solo Playability 55
Playability 73

Does the PRS SE Starla Stoptail Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood Used in the PRS SE Starla Stoptail

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Body, Neck
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood Fretboard

Mahogany Body and Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Rosewood Fretboard: Since the ban of Brazillian Rosewood, this has become a rare and expensive wood. It's not usually used for guitar bodies because of this, and also because it's heavy. Instead, it's used mainly for fretboards. Sometimes it's also used for necks because it's an extremely hard wood (even harder than maple). Its tonality tends to favor warm tones.

More guitars made with the same wood:

Pickups

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The PRS SE Starla Stoptail's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, guitarists tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

It has a Coil Split option. It allows you to 'split' or turn off pickup coils to get even more tones in combination with the pickup selector. When used with humbucker pickups, it'll reduce the output and increase their clarity, turning them essentially into single-coil pickups.

More guitars with the same mods:

Diagram

PRS SE Starla Stoptail pickups switch and push knobs diagram
PRS SE Starla Stoptail's switch options

What music genre is the PRS SE Starla Stoptail good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 60
Sustain 70
Versatility 60
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 65

How well is the PRS SE Starla Stoptail Built?

Where is the PRS SE Starla Stoptail Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The PRS SE Starla Stoptail is made in Indonesia. Many people prefer the quality of an Indonesian guitar over a Chinese. Respectable brands like Epiphone, Ibanez and Schecter are building in this country because of the great quality and lower price. Some people like to compare them to the ones built in Japan during the 80s, when Japanese guitar makers made a name for themselves.

More guitars made in Indonesia

Bridge

Grover Two-Piece: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the PRS SE Starla Stoptail has a PRS Propietary nut. PRS uses a synthetic material that is self-lubricating and fairly strong. This is good for playability and tuning stability. The tone is not as bright as with TUSQ nuts, and it's also not as resistant, but it's still a good quality nut.

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Set neck joint. This type of neck joint consists of using different pieces of wood for the neck and the body of the guitar. Both pieces are then glued together. This is more expensive to make than a bolt-on neck, but it's cheaper than a neck-through guitar. Some people believe that this gives more sustain than a bolt-on neck due to both pieces having a 'better connection' than with bolts. Still, it's something difficult to prove.

However, this type of neck joint does have the disadvantage of not allowing you to easily swap the neck for another. This makes this type of neck joint less mod-friendly.

More guitars with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 56
Features 55
Quality Control 70
Build Quality 60

Most Popular Comparisons With The PRS SE Starla Stoptail

PRS SE Starla Stoptail Specs

General
Brand: PRS
Year: 2020
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: Indonesia
Series: SE
Colors: Black, Blue
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Mahogany
Bridge: Grover Two-Piece
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: PRS Designed Tuners
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: Birds
Scale Size: 25"
Shape: Wide Fat
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.86'' (21.8mm) - 12th Fret: 0.96'' (24.4mm)
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 10"
Nut: PRS Propietary
Nut Width: 42.9mm (1.688'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Speed
Pickup Mods: Coil Split
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: PRS-Designed DS-02 (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: PRS-Designed DS-02 Bass (Humbucker / Passive)

User Reviews of the PRS SE Starla Stoptail

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