Paul Reed Smith
is a common name among guitarists today. People like Carlos Santana
, Al Di Meola
, Howard Leese
are just some of the first to play PRS Guitars. Paul Reed Smith himself first started with a little workshop at 33 West Street Annapolis
at around 1980 with the help of a man named Pritchard
. Pritchard helped in the creation of the machines that helped Paul Reed Smith make his guitars more efficiently, such as the neck carver
which was eventually replaced with a CNC
milling machine and a string clamp
which became a signature component of PRS Guitars. Pritchard has gone off to start his own amplifier business Pritchard Amps
In 1985 Paul Reed Smith started getting some real financing was able to start limited production of the PRS Custom guitar
. The locking tuning peg
s found on those PRS guitars have been, theoretically, copied by Fender
and many others today. Paul Reed Smith also spent a lot of time picking out the perfect types of wood, tone woods
, to give his guitars a unique tone.
PRS Guitars has also made many major mistakes
in getting to where they are now. Heels
on the back of the neck
on PRS guitars as well as a thicker neck on some of their newer guitars have made playing a bit less comfortable
and less quick for the majority
of guitarists. Also, PRS's exploration into other areas like basses, acoustic guitars and amplifiers lead to failure as they lacked experience
in the area and other more experienced companies easily removed PRS from the main markets. Also, quite coincidentally the United Stated began bombing Iraq just as the PRS amplifiers were released in 1991, leading to suppressed buying activity which was probably part of the reason for the poor business and eventual drop of the amplifiers altogether.
Well known for their gorgeous appearance and their powerful and smooth sound
, PRS guitars rank as the some of the highest quality
guitars avaliable. One of their most famous guitars is the Dragon II
introducing the unique sounding Dragon II pickups
now used in many PRS guitars and an incredible dragon inlay for the fretboard. The McCarty and Santana are two other famous guitars by PRS, both of which are outstanding in sound, quality and appearance.
Unfortunately the prices on PRS guitars today can range from $2,500 to up to $30,000 on a single guitar as many of the PRS Guitars like the Dragon II were limited
in production and have become very valuable.