My first taste of PRS guitar was before I started playing, roughly the age of 13. My dad was trading in a Les Paul to get a Custom 24 (yellow top with red back) and I watched the thrill of the sale go down. He still has the guitar to this day! I learned on a Telecaster but on rare occasions I would pick up his Custom 24 and brag about the resonance it had. As I was wanting to experience ownership of an instrument I bought all kinds of guitars under 1K. I just couldn’t think about owning a PRS (pre SE).
My first PRS was a Custom 22 Blue Matteo with a Rotary Knob to select pickup positions. I got it for 1K from my dad’s friend, a collector, who is beyond generous. It got the name Jolly Rancher because of the candy like deliciousness it appeared to have. Then Alter Bridge happened and I took a generous loan from my supportive grandparents to get a 2009 Tremonti II, paid them back in full and have played that thing daily since then. Paints chipping on the neck and belt buckle scratches galore, but it’s a daily reminder of the hours spent playing.