In early 2011, PRS Guitars offered a 100 piece run of its Signature model through the company’s exclusive Private Stock division. For 2012, this innovative model is being released as the Signature Limited, a 400 piece run of guitars built by PRS Guitars’ core production line. Most notably, the Signature Limited boasts an innovative, proprietary Signature/408 pickup system designed to extend the guitar’s tonal spectrum and musicality.
The proprietary Signature/408 treble and bass pickups are designed to narrow the field of the bass pickup to increase its focus, and to expand the field of the treble pickup to increase its tonal range (hence their asymmetric appearance). This pickup configuration stems back to Paul’s early pickup experimentation in the early 1980’s and provides stunning articulation and musical clarity. The Signature/408 electronics offer eight sounds via four pickup coils thanks to a simple but versatile switching system featuring mini toggle switches that provide numerous combinations of humbucking and (no volume loss!) singlecoil tones. This versatility and distinctiveness has garnered the Signature model PRS’s first official multi-artist endorsement from Howard Leese, Davy Knowles, Michael Ault, Tom Wheeler, and, of course, Paul Reed Smith.
“In many ways, the Signature model is the culmination of decades of experimentation,” said Paul Reed Smith. “This pickup system, and the very positive reception it has garnered, shows me that we have hit on something new and special.”
Signature Switching Details:
3-way Toggle Pickup Switching Positions:
Position One: Bridge humbucker
Position Two: Bridge and Neck humbuckers
Position Three: Neck humbucker
Mini-toggle Positions (there is one mini-toggle for both the neck and the bridge pickups respectively):
Up position: Slug side coil activated
Down position: Full humbucker activated
Possible Pickup Switching Combinations:
Neck and bridge humbuckers
Neck and bridge singlecoils (hum canceling)
Neck singlecoil with bridge humbucker
Neck humbucker with bridge singlecoil
Finish should enhance the look, sound, and feel of a guitar by accentuating the wood’s inherent beauty and feel without hindering its natural resonance. And PRS Guitars’ new “V12” finish does just that. Introduced at Experience PRS 2010, “V12” is a very thin, hard, and clear finish that will not crack or react with thinners. After roughly 12 years in development, it is halfway between acrylic and nitro but with a classic feel all its own. “PRS models with this new finish feel like old instruments,” said Paul Reed Smith.
Neck shapes have always been a high priority for us and a hallmark of our quality. A guitar should feel comfortable, like “home,” as soon as you pick it up, and the neck is paramount to that connection. Perfected after years of prototyping, the new “Pattern” neck is an updated Wide Fat PRS neck style based on Paul’s pre-factory design. These necks were found on the instruments built for Carlos Santana, Peter Frampton and Howard Leese from the late 70’s to the mid 80’s.
Whether in woodworking, machining, or cast and die work, pattern making is the art of arriving at a perfect standard which can be duplicated or used to create new designs from by “offsetting.” All of our necks came to be as a result of offsetting from this original, Wide Fat design.
PRS Guitars Phase III tuners are new to the line up for 2011 and will come standard on SC 58, McCarty 58, ME Quatro, and JA-15 models. These very smooth, high-tolerance pegs feature an elegant design with larger buttons, an open back, and closed housing.