PRS Guitars

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Paul Reed Smith Guitars are an American guitar manufacturer founded by guitarist Paul Reed Smith in 1985. PRS are known worldwide for their high quality instruments and are used by professional guitarists of all styles. Currently PRS are building about 13,000 guitars a year which are sold worldwide.


Paul Reed Smith

Paul Reed Smith was born in February 1956 and grew up in Bowie, Maryland. Smith first began building guitars when he attended college, where his first guitar was built for a college project. He was given an A by his professor and with motivation decided he wanted to make a living out of guitar manufacturing.

Smith soon after began building guitars, trying to keep to a schedule of once a month which he would show to artists and friends for feedback. Paul Reed Smith has said that his main concern for each new guitar was to make sure that he learnt from the previous project and make every new guitar even better.

As well as being a guitar manufacturer, Smith is also a musician himself. In fact he has said that aside from friends and family, one of the most important things to him is his music. Smith enjoys songwriting, playing guitar, recording and performing in front of a live audience. Paul Reed Smith estimates that 80% of PRS Guitars workers are also musicians as well.

The Beginning

When Paul Reed Smith left college he would reguarly go to shows to find contacts who he could associate with. He would often demand guitarists to try out his new guitars that he had built. He would often go to shows very early just so that he could hang out with touring artists to try and attract them to his products.

At first Smith rarely got orders and it took about 10 years for the business to really kick off. About everyone 1 in 10 shows he would receive an order which would take about a month to make.

Eventually after the main design for the headstock, body and pickups of the guitars we finished, Paul Reed Smith decided to make prototypes of the guitars he planned to build and travelled around the East part of the country looking for potential buyers. One he returned he had enough order to start a business. Smith was able to start the company with enough money from selling guitars, friends donations and workers willing to help him manufacture the guitars that would soon turn into a huge business.

Mission Statement

"Guitar building is an ongoing process of discovery. We are devoted to the guitar's rich heritage while committed to new technologies that will enrich our products with uncompromised tone, playability and beauty. Our success depends on our ability to listen, implement positive change and continually refine our craft.

Believing this, we strive to build the best guitars and guitar products possible and to serve our employees, customers, suppliers and community with distinction."

Hardware, Pickups and Inlays

Most of PRS guitars have PRS own designed tuning pegs. The exceptions being a few of the Korean made PRS SE guitars. The PRS bridges are also originally designed and usually come in 3 different types. Although the bridges may be original to PRS Guitars they work in a similar way as any other for the benefit of player consistency.

PRS Guitars are very secretive about how their pickups are wired and operated as this is another original design by PRS. PRS pickups have come in many different names including:

- Dragon I and II
- Santana I, II and III
- McCarty
- Artist
- Paul Allender
- Archtop

PRS are also known for having unique looking inlays. The most popular of which is the Eagle that is seen on many of PRS fretboards. For a view of the different types, you can look at them here:


PRS Guitars have such a large list of artists that it would be almost impossible to name every single artist. Here is a list of some well known artists who use PRS Guitars.

If you're interested in seeing a more detailed list you can find a list of artists on the PRS Guitars website:

- Carlos Santana
- Al Di Meola
- Mike Oldfield
- Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth
- Steven Wilson from Porcupine Tree
- Mark Tremonti from Alter Bridge
- Paul Allender from Cradle of Filth
- Chad Kroeger from Nickelback
- Alex Lifeson from Rush
- Mike Einziger from Incubus
- Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails
- Steuart Smith from Eagles
- Mick Mars from Motley Crew
- Phil Campbell from Motorhead
- Joey Belladonna from Anthrax

List of Guitars

Here is a list of PRS Guitars that are currently in production.

High Gloss Models
- 1980 West Street Ltd
- 513
- 513 Rosewood
- CE Mahogony
- CE Maple Top
- Corvette Standard 22
- Custom 22/24
- Custom 22/24 12 String
- Hollowbody I, II
- Hollowbody Spruce
- McCarty
- McCarty Soapbar
- Mira
- SC 245
- SC 250
- Singlecut
- Singlecut Trem
- Standard
- Swamp Ash Special

Satin Finish Models
- Modern Eagle
- SC 250 Satin
- Standard Satin
- Singlecut Satin
- Singlecut Standard Satin
- Singlecut Standard Satin Soapbar
- Singlecut Trem Satin
- Singlecut Trem Modern Eagle

Signature Models
- Chris Henderson Model
- Dave Navarro Model
- Gary Grainger Private Stock Bass
- Johnny Hiland Model
- Mark Tremonti Model
- Santana II
- Santana III
- SE Paul Allender

PRS SE Guitars

In the late 1990s PRS began a new production line of guitars called PRS SE (Student Edition). These lower end PRS guitars can be compared with modern day Epiphone and Squire by Fender guitars. The reason for this is that so many of PRS guitars are very expensie that players with very limited budget weren't able to get hold of one. Here is a list of PRS SE guitars.

- SE Custom
- SE Custom SH
- SE One
- SE Singlecut
- SE Soapbar II
- SE Soapbar II Maple
- SE Standard
- SE Paul Allender
- SE Tremonti

GMC Members Who Play PRS Guitars

If You're a member of and you play PRS guitars please place your name in the list and state which guitar you own.

- Steve25 (SE Paul Allender)

- IAmViktor (Custom 22)