Wood Selection & Drying

Paul Platts (Wood Buyer), Paul Reed Smith, and Jack Higginbotham (President) walk you from wood selection through the drying process.

A guitar neck needs to feel good, be stable, remain stable, and have great tonal properties. Choosing the right materials is essential to ensure that all of these characteristics are immediately apparent in the final product. Board size, grain pattern, and wood variety all play a key role. Our wood buyers are in the field, personally selecting the materials. They are experts at picking woods for tone, stability, and beauty. They often sort through multiple truckloads of wood to bring us just a dozen 12/4 flat-cut boards that have the quality to become PRS necks.

After cutting down the large boards brought in by our wood buyers, we take great care and time to make sure the wood becomes as stable and tuneful as possible. In 1985, we had one hot room in which we dried wood components and finished guitars...Now we have numerous hot rooms, each regulated for different species of woods and for different steps in the manufacturing process. We date the necks as they move through the shop to ensure that they move slowly and deliberately from start to finish, so that the resins in the wood crystallize and the materials acclimate every step of the way. This gives us a stable foundation to work from and provides you with a guitar that will stay in tune and have tone.