The PRS Factory Blog
The PRS Factory Blog

Private Stock of the Month - May 2014

by PRS Guitars on May 16, 2014

Filed Under Electrics / Private Stock Electrics

<p>Private Stock Blog of the Month</p>

“Private Stock” guitars are custom-built and made to order. The goal of Private Stock is to create the most beautiful, best playing, and best sounding guitar money can buy. A customer ordering a Private Stock can select their own body shape, wood types, pickups, electronic configuration, and so much more.

Each month we will select one of these Private Stock built guitars and feature it on this blog. We will take detailed photos and explain the components that make the guitar unique.

Hollowbody Headstock Fix!

by PRS Guitars on February 5, 2014

Filed Under Electrics / Core Electrics / PTC (PRS Tech Center)

<p>Hollowbody Headstock Repair</p>

This lovely green Hollowbody II showed up to our PTC center in need of some tender loving care. Unfortunately, the guitar landed on its headstock in the middle of an epic jam-session.  This posed no threat to our PTC guys, they had her fixed up in no time. In a fortunate turn of events, this Hollowbody will live to shred another solo.

Good work, guys! If you would like to learn more about our PTC department, or send your own PRS in for repair, click HERE.

Paul Reed Smith Explains Our Pickups

by PRS Guitars on January 9, 2014

Filed Under Electrics

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times, Paul Reed Smith is a tone junkie.  From the woods to the finish, everything can affect the final tonality of your guitar.  The pickups are certainly no exception!

Nearly every pickup for our core model guitars are wound here in our Maryland factory by a team of talented people.  Additionally, each component of the pickup (wire, bobbin, etc.) is specifically chosen by Paul because he requires only the best for our instruments.  We create many different types of pickups here at PRS so that our musicians can capture the tone they seek.

In the video below, Paul tells the story behind some of our most recent PRS pickups.

NF3 Gets New Pickups, New Floyd, New Life!

by PRS Guitars on January 7, 2014

Filed Under Electrics / Core Electrics / PTC (PRS Tech Center)

<p>PTC Job on NF3</p>

This guitar was sent to our PRS Tech Center (PTC) as a NF3 fitted with the standard three “Narrowfield” pickups.  The owner was ready for a change so he sent it in to our talented guys here at PRS for some new life.

We were able to remove the middle pick-up, re-route the body to fit a larger 59/09 pickup, re-route the body to fit a Floyd Rose tremolo, and finally tie it all together with a new pick guard.  It may sound easy, but our tech center worked hard to preform quality work while preserving the tone and resonance expected of this caliber of an instrument.

Employee Workspace: Final Assembly

by PRS Guitars on December 5, 2013

Filed Under Electrics

<p>Final Assembly Workspace</p>

Every once in a while we will post a photo of an employee’s workspace.

This is Jeff’s space, he works in final assembly.  Final assembly is the last stage in our guitar production process.  It’s the place where tuning pegs, electronics, strings, and extra tender loving care go into our guitars.

Jeff’s job is to give our instruments a serious final inspection before heading out the door.

The guitar pictured is a SC245.

SE Mike Mushok Baritone Gets New Life

by PRS Guitars on December 4, 2013

Filed Under Electrics / SE Electrics / PTC (PRS Tech Center)

<p>SE Mike Mushok Baritone Before/After</p>

This guitar began its life in the form of a SE Mike Mushok Baritone. The instrument came standard with a brown burst finish and a string through body stoptail bridge. 

The owner was ready for a little change so he contacted the PRS PTC department. The PTC team re-routed the body to fit a Floyd Rose Tremelo and also refinished the guitar in Jet White.

As always, the PTC department did a flawless job.

PRS Finish Hall

by PRS Guitars on November 8, 2013

Filed Under Electrics / Core Electrics / Private Stock Electrics / S2 Series / SE Electrics

We love fades, bursts, solid tops, glows, you name it.  All of that gets done here in the base coat and top coat departments.

After paint is applied, a team of employees meticulously inspects every instrument.  Even the smallest abnormality will not go uncorrected.

We take pride in our instruments so that when its finally in your hands, you can too.

Influenced By What’s Natural: S2 Custom 24

by PRS Guitars on November 5, 2013

Filed Under Electrics / S2 Series

Fall is a great time of year and gives us a great canvas to display our guitars!

Pictured above is the new PRS S2 Custom 24.  Made with a mahogany back and a maple top, the Custom 24 is our USA-made axe at an all new price point.

Learn more about the new S2 Series, HERE.

PRS Wood: The Future

by PRS Guitars on November 4, 2013

Filed Under Acoustics / Electrics

At PRS, we search far and wide for the very best wood to make our guitars.  As Paul has often explained, a guitar’s wood is a key ingredient to its tone.

Because wood is such an important asset to what we do, we are also serious about protecting the environment and making sure we are preserving the forests.

Rules of Tone: Pickups

by PRS Guitars on August 28, 2013

Filed Under Electrics

There are many factors influencing guitar tone and the pickups are certainly no exception!  To understand a pickup you must understand what a transducer does: it converts a signal in one form of energy to another form of energy.

To put it simply, a pickup is a transducer that captures mechanical vibrations (your strings) and converts them into that loud rockin’ tone we all love to hear! Pickups can come in many different shapes, sizes, and electrical variances.  All of these factors greatly affect the end result: your guitar tone.

Paul Reed Smith has spent hundreds (probably thousands) of hours figuring out the best combination of factors in order to give our guitars the greatest possible tone.  In this behind the scenes video, Paul himself walks us through some PRS pickups.

New Paul’s Guitar Limited

by PRS Guitars on August 26, 2013

Filed Under Electrics / Private Stock Electrics

In addition to creating our core line of instruments, PRS has a team of highly talented, seasoned guitar makers crafting instruments known as “Private Stock.”

Paul Reed Smith says it best here: “The goal of Private Stock is not only to create the most beautiful and best playing guitar money can buy, but the best sounding. We work very closely with each order - through hourly discussions, experimentation, meticulous checks of every detail at each step in the process and making final tweaks when the guitar is complete - to make sure we are building the best guitars possible. If you get an extraordinary instrument from Private Stock that is equally as good as a family heirloom and a musician’s tool to make a living on, we have done our job.”

In the Spring of 2013, the Private Stock team built a limited run of one of our core line instruments, Paul’s Guitar.

In this interview, we sit down with Paul Miles, the Director of Private Stock, to get an inside look on the Paul’s Guitar Limited built by the Private Stock team.

All new Nouveau Inlays!

by PRS Guitars on August 23, 2013

Filed Under Electrics / Private Stock Electrics

In addition to creating our core line of instruments, PRS has a team of highly talented, seasoned guitar makers crafting instruments known as “Private Stock.”

Paul Reed Smith says it best here: “The goal of Private Stock is not only to create the most beautiful and best playing guitar money can buy, but the best sounding. We work very closely with each order - through hourly discussions, experimentation, meticulous checks of every detail at each step in the process and making final tweaks when the guitar is complete - to make sure we are building the best guitars possible. If you get an extraordinary instrument from Private Stock that is equally as good as a family heirloom and a musician’s tool to make a living on, we have done our job.”

In the spring of 2013, the Private Stock team created an all new inlay style available for order on any private stock guitar. 

In this interview, we sit down with Paul Miles, our Private Stock director, to get an inside look on this brand new “Nouveau” inlay.

Rules of Tone: Bridges

by PRS Guitars on July 29, 2013

Filed Under Electrics

The bridge of the guitar connects the strings of the guitar to the wood; it is the anchor of the instrument and its sound. In this video, Paul shows off some manufactory-fresh bridge parts before they are put into guitars during final assembly.  Featured are a tremolo bridge with arm, a stop-tail bridge, a multi-adjustable bridge, and a piezo bridge.  Built with extreme care for comfortable play, we designed these bridges to give musicians the best guitar experience possible.  As always, playability and musicality are of highest importance, and we always choose our parts with that in mind.  Enjoy the video!

 

Foundations: A Conversation with Carlos Santana, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, and Paul Reed Smith

A New Video from PRS Guitars

by PRS Guitars on November 2, 2012

Filed Under Electrics

If you could listen in on a conversation between Carlos Santana, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, and Paul Reed Smith, what do you think you might learn? While Santana and the Allman Brothers were on a recent tour, Paul Reed Smith sat down with this group of highly-respected guitarists to have a casual conversation about tone, finding your voice, and being a musician.

Follow the conversation as these three world-renowned musicians discuss their musical roots and how their individuality and tone developed with Paul.  The candid conversation covers many topics, but all are of interest to any musician who is serious about their art and finding or refining their own musical “voice.”

Neck Shapes

by Paul Reed Smith on May 10, 2012

Filed Under Acoustics / Electrics

Hi everyone. When I started working on the Rules of Tone, the goal was to build “magic” instruments, and the neck is definitely paramount to that. From the moment you pick up a guitar, the neck should feel very comfortable and strong. This has to do with many factors, including wood choice, wood drying, dimensions, ratios, and our attention to detail. Today, I’d like to focus specifically on neck shapes. We currently offer Pattern, Pattern Thin, and Pattern Regular neck shapes on our Core electric models. These came about through a new method we have to design, program, and cut our necks.

 

Frets

by Paul Reed Smith on May 4, 2012

Filed Under Acoustics / Electrics

The first thing you notice when you pick up a guitar is how it feels in your hands. The guitar neck is paramount to that moment, and the feel and function of the frets plays a major role in this. If you boil it down, we’re basically talking about fret material and shape. If the material is too soft, metal flakes will fall off of the guitar as it’s played. If it’s too hard, the frets contour to the fretboard. We use the hardest, functional material we can to avoid unnecessary re-frets.

Shop In Detail - Neck Team

by Paul Reed Smith on May 1, 2012

Filed Under Acoustics / Electrics

Here is the second chapter of our Shop in Detail tour series from a few years back…the Neck Team for our Core electric guitars. We are rereleasing these videos because there is no better way to understand who we are and what we do than to meet us and see us work. That is why our factory tours have always been so important and enjoyable.

Again, we’ll repost a new chapter of this series about once a week that in the end will cover our entire electric production as well as our amplifier, acoustic, and Private Stock teams. Enjoy!

View Shop In Detail - Neck Team here: http://prsguitars.com/detail/neck.html

Collection Series III by Private Stock

Paul Reed Smith Testing Finished Collection Electrics and Acoustics

by Paul Reed Smith on April 30, 2012

Filed Under Acoustics / Private Stock Acoustics / Electrics / Private Stock Electrics

<p>Paul Play Testing Collection Series III Instruments</p>

Hello everyone! Paul here. Last year at Experience PRS we got all of our best Private Stock dealers in a room and asked them to be part of a special program. The program would allow me to design and personally work on guitars at a more intimate level than anything else coming out of our shop. The program would feature exclusive specifications, such as pernambuco necks and celtic knot inlays. We would make one set per dealer each quarter – one acoustic and one electric guitar – making these instruments extremely special. That is when the Collection program was born.

Nut Material

by Paul Reed Smith on April 26, 2012

Filed Under Acoustics / Electrics

Here is a video about the beginnings of our theories and experiential understanding of nut materials. As we said in the Rules of Tone segment on our Phase III Tuners: every part of a guitar has an effect on its overall tone. The nut is no exception.

Shop In Detail - Body Team

by Paul Reed Smith on April 18, 2012

Filed Under Electrics

One of the most enjoyable things we do at PRS is giving tours. No one ever seems to leave without a smile and a greater understanding of who we are and what we do…a true “aha” moment. So, a few years back, we did an extensive set of tour videos that we called Shop in Detail.

Phase III Locking Tuners

by Paul Reed Smith on March 23, 2012

Filed Under Acoustics / Electrics

Every part of a guitar has an effect on its overall tone. Anything a string is attached to will drain energy away from it.

Let’s consider tuners. Tuning pegs are one of only a few parts that a string actually touches, so they’re very important. If we made the entire tuning peg out of silicone rubber, would the guitar sound better?

Introduction: “We Cracked The Code”

by Paul Reed Smith on January 22, 2012

Filed Under Acoustics / Electrics

Paul wrote the Rules of Tone over many years after a conversation he had with his father about physics. Essentially, it is a list of 21 rules of instrument making that are particular to PRS and the way we build guitars. The document is now locked away, and serves as a private record of PRS trade secrets written down to ensure that Paul’s philosophies and discoveries are never lost or forgotten. Though its title may sound restrictive, the Rules support our quest for tone by encouraging us to constantly refine our craft as builders so that we can make better and better instruments as we learn.