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Frequently Asked Questions

​What is the difference between a 10 top and an Artist Top?

PRS Artist grade tops are the next step up from a 10 Top. Artist grade maple tops feature a greater depth of curl and/or more amount of curl than a 10 Top and, at times, may push the limits of our Private Stock grade maple tops. The Artist Package option [when available] may also include other upgraded features and options.

CITES Regulations For The Importation And Exportation Of Rosewood Effective January 2, 2017

Over the past few decades, CITES has had a limited impact in the musical world. One of the main controls of CITES that involved musical instruments was that of Dalbergia nigra (Brazilian Rosewood). This was listed as a CITES appendix i controlled species on June 11t​ h​, 1992, making it illegal to harvest D. nigra after this date and requiring export (and sometimes import) permits for the life of any finished goods which used it. On Jan 2n​d​, 2017 we saw a genus wide listing of CITES ii controlled Dalbergia. That meant, all rosewood (and Bubinga) was placed on the CITES ii appendix and although it did not make harvesting the rosewood illegal, it did require permits for any commercial export/import of raw materials or finished goods made from Rosewood or Bubinga.  

After a proposal passed at the Conference of Parties (tri-annual CITES conference) in August of 2019 which exempted finished musical instruments, finished musical instrument parts and finished musical instrument accessories, the music industry was granted relief from CITES ii rosewood regulations for “finished” products. As of the implementation date of November 26th, 2019, most CITES management authorities around the world have adopted this exemption but there are a few exceptions (Hong Kong for example). It is always necessary to verify the CITES regulations of the specific countries any exports or imports are going to.

PRS Guitars strongly encourages consumers to utilize the many informative documents set forth by governing agencies around the world. US Fish and Wildlife, for example, has a well-maintained website which has proven useful with specific questions pertaining to individuals unique situations.

USFWS website pertaining to CITES info can be found here:​ ​https://www.fws.gov/international/cites/
Frequently asked CITES questions can also be found on the CITES website:​ ​https://cites.org/eng/resources/faq.php

​Why can’t I just buy the latest pickups?

Our pickups are designed first and foremost for new guitar introductions or to update existing models as we develop new techniques. We may offer new pickup designs through our West Street East accessories store after the “correct” amount of time has passed.

Can I have a guitar custom-made for me? Can I order a guitar with a color or option that doesn’t appear on the website or catalog?

Colors and options available on production models are shown on the PRS website and catalog. For requests containing options or colors not shown on the website of catalog, we offer our Private Stock department. Through our Private Stock department, we can custom-build a guitar to your exact specifications. For more information on pricing, options and delivery dates, please contact your local PRS dealer.

Will PRS sponsor my special event or donate to my charity/charitable cause?

Thank you for your passion and the work you do for our community. We are humbled you would consider us for a donation request. We would like to advise you that PRS Guitars’ flagship charity is the Johns Hopkins Sydney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center “Living with Cancer Program”.  Since 2000, PRS Guitars has raised more than $5 million for the Living with Cancer Resource Program at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore MD. The Living with Cancer Resource Program offers supportive care programming and education to cancer patients and families at Johns Hopkins, all free of charge.  Outside of that cause, we do try to help where we can and when our resources permit. If you have a cause or event that you would like us to consider, please submit the fill out this form:

PRS Charitable Donation Request Form

How long will it take to get a response?

Donation requests are reviewed twice monthly. Notifications of outcome will be sent within 5 working day of that time.

Can I call about the status of my request?

We do not accept phone calls requesting information on status of donations.

Why would my request be declined?

We have a limited number of resources available for philanthropic causes, and unfortunately, as much as we would like to, we cannot help every organization that submits a request. 

Please note, we do not support organizations with political affiliations or that are raising funds for a political party or politician.

If we have received a donation in the past, will it automatically be approved again (and vice versa)?

No. Each submission will be reviewed independently.

Can the PRS/LR Baggs Piezo system be added to my Hollowbody guitar?

Yes. Please contact PTC for pricing.

Please keep in mind that the Piezo system cannot be added to solid body or semi-hollow instruments.

My instrument is in need of repair. Where can I take it for service? Can I send it to PRS?

Your local PRS dealer is usually the best place to start. Many repair issues can be resolved by simple adjustments to the nut, bridge, or truss rod. Alternatively, we do offer repair services at the PRS factory through the PTC (PRS Technical Center). The PTC accepts warranty and non-warranty repairs, refinishes, pickup and electronics swaps and set up work. For more information on the PTC, ​click here​.

Does PRS offer factory tours?

PRS proudly offers free factory tours to the public, although an appointment is absolutely necessary.

Please click here for more information.

What is a 10 top?

A very small percentage of the maple trees cut in North America are actually figured. A “10 Top” is a maple top from one of these notable trees and features clearly defined figure across the top. This special order option will be designated with a small “10” written or stamped on the back of the headstock in the upper righthand corner.

​Why do the CE and S2 guitars not include a hardshell case?

These guitars were designed for the working musician and ease of portability a gig bag offers.

What is the difference between the “S” pickups and their counterpart pickups of the same name?​

Both pickups are made using the same formula. Pickups for Core and CE models are made in our Maryland Factory, while “S” pickups are made to PRS spec by our supplier overseas.

What is the difference between the molded tremolo and the machined tremolo?

Both bridges incorporate the same PRS patented features. SE/S2/CE’s use a cast steel block with brass plate and saddles, while the Core tremolo utilizes a machined brass block, plate and saddles.

​What is the nut material on a PRS Guitar?

S2 and most Core models utilize a proprietary synthetic nut material which incorporates bronze shavings. Many of our vintage inspired models feature a bone nut. The nut material provides and amazing balance of tone, durability and tuning stability.

What type of finish does PRS use on CORE guitars?

From 1985 – 2019, PRS used a polyester basecoat and an acrylic topcoat. During 2019, we started to transition to a nitrocellulose over CAB (catalyzed acrylic) finish.  This was a flying change that was slowly worked into production.  If your guitar was made during 2019, we cannot accurately determine the exact finish used on your instrument, so it is best to treat it as you would any other nitrocellulose finish and avoid long term contact with leather, rubber, and vinyl. Guitars produced in 2020 and beyond have the nitro over CAB finish.

How do I go about becoming endorsed as a PRS artist?

Please send inquiries to [email protected]

How can I become an authorized PRS Dealer?

Please email PRS Guitars with the following information: a description of your store, store location, a list of other brands you currently stock and your one year sales projection for PRS products. Please note that you must have an existing retail location; PRS does not authorize exclusively online dealerships.

Where Can I get a PRS Catalog?

You can download our latest catalog here.

Could I replace my guitars tuners with PRS Phase III locking tuners?

The Phase III tuners are not a direct replacement for the S2 tuners or any of the tuners we’ve used in the past.

When was my PRS Guitar built?

To determine the age of your PRS Guitar, please see our ​Product Identification​ page.

Which PRS Guitars are made in the U.S.?

All Private Stock, Core and S2 guitars are made the United States. The SE line of guitars are made to our exact specifications by our partners overseas.

​What does the 594 mean in the McCarty 594 and McCarty SC 594?​

These guitars get their names from the scale length, which is 24.​594​”.

​Is the scale length different on a Custom 22 guitar versus Custom 24 guitar?

Both models utilize the same 25-inch scale length. Scale length is measured from the front edge of the nut to the center of the 12th fret and then that measurement is doubled. Math is fun!

What gauge strings does PRS use?​

Most SE models use 9-42 gauge strings. S2 guitars use 10-46 gauge and most Core guitars use 10-46 gauge strings.

What do the pickup names mean?

For pickups with numbers for names, the first digits represent the year of inspiration and the last two digits represent the year PRS introduced the pickup. For example, a 58/15 pickup is a 1958 inspired pickup introduced in 2015.

​Do SE’s have real maple tops?

​SE models incorporate genuine maple tops which are veneered with highly figured maple.

Will Paul sign my guitar?

Paul Smith personally plays and signs every Private Stock that leaves the factory. Due to production constraints, Paul is unable to sign guitars while in production at the factory. However, Paul will be happy to sign your guitar at one of his many appearances or events.

Why does it take so long to build a Core Guitar?

We are not willing to sacrifice our high quality standards in order to churn out guitars at a quicker pace. Currently the demand for our products has outpaced our manufacturing capacity. We are working on ways to implement positive changes within our production line to deliver products as quickly as possible, without jeopardizing our uncompromising standards.

How do I obtain warranty service for my instrument?

Your guitar/amplifier is warranted through the authorized dealer from which it was purchased. If you are the original owner and are experiencing problems that you feel are warranty related, please contact your authorized PRS dealer immediately. Your dealer can evaluate the instrument, and if need be, they can assist you in sending the guitar back to PRS for further evaluation.

If your dealer is not local to you, you may ship your guitar/amplifier directly to PRS for warranty evaluations ONLY after you obtain a Return Authorization number from PRS Customer Service. You will be responsible for one-way shipping charges to PRS, and PRS will be responsible for return shipping charges.

Click here for more warranty information

My dealer did not give me my guitar’s tremolo arm, warranty card, adjustment tools, etc. Can you send me these items?

If you did not receive these items with the purchase of your new guitar, please contact your dealer to obtain replacements. To purchase a replacement trem arm or wrench kit, please click here: PRS West Street East Accessory Shop

My guitar’s hang-tag/COA is missing; can I have a replacement made?

Hang-tags or Certificates of Authenticity are one-of-a-kind, signed documents that cannot be replaced under any circumstances. The original tag or certificate is shipped with each guitar, and it must be supplied by your dealer at the time of purchase. For Private Stock instruments ONLY, if you are the original owner with proof of purchase from an authorized PRS dealer, you can request a replacement letter through your authorized PRS Private Stock dealer. PRS Guitars will issue a COPY of the Private Stock letter for your guitar to that dealer for a fee of $50.00. Letters will not be issued for used instruments under any circumstances.

What are the names of the birds inlayed on the fretboard?

Starting from the nut the birds are:

Peregrine Falcon
Marsh Hawk 
Ruby Throated Hummingbird 
Common Tern 
Coopers Hawk 
Sparrow Landing 
Storm Petrel 
Hawk Landing 
Screech Owl On A Branch (24-fret models only)

names of prs birds

I ordered a guitar from my local authorized PRS dealer, when can I expect delivery?

Lead times can vary for new orders depending on the wood configuration, features, options and backorder for existing orders. Your dealer can provide you with the most up-to-date information on when your guitar is expected to be completed and shipped. They are able to speak directly to their PRS sales representative for the most accurate delivery information. ​Further, since all PRS dealers have confidential accounts with us, it would be unethical for PRS Guitars to breach confidentiality by sharing private transaction information with individual consumers.

What are the sizes of my guitar’s adjustment wrenches?

PRS Patented Trem Models (Private Stock/Core): Tremolo Arm Screw & Tremolo Saddle Screws = .050” hex wrench

All Models: Adjustable Stoptail Bridge Screws = 1/16” hex wrench

Molded PRS Patented Trem Models (CE (2016 – present), S2 Series, SE Series): Tremolo Arm, Saddles = 1.5 mm hex wrenchSE Series Models: Non-adjustable Stoptail Bridge Screws = 1.5 mm hex wrench

Does PRS sell replacement guitar necks and bodies?

Replacement necks and bodies are not available from PRS Guitars. However, we have a full service repair shop which can repair almost any damaged PRS guitar. For more information on the PTC, click here.

Can I purchase a guitar or amp directly from PRS?

PRS is a guitar and amplifier manufacturer, we do not sell products directly to the retail market. Any information regarding current pricing and availability of our instruments or amps, including custom-built Private Stock instruments, can be obtained from an authorized ​PRS dealer​ or ​International Distributor​.

How do I care for my PRS Guitar?

Please visit our Care and Maintenance page for more tips and information on how to care for your PRS guitar.