PRS Wood Library Custom 24 'Fades'
Published on 07 April 2021
A picture paints a thousand words, right?
In that case, this blog is going to be quite the epic, because the guitars on display here are just jaw-dropping.
Every so often, PRS send across some extra-amazing instruments from Maryland, just to gently remind us that they create some of the most original and beautiful guitars on the planet. Today’s collection are a prime example of that. These guitars belong in the Louvre!
So what are they? Well, apart from being Custom 24 models, which of course is the company’s real masterpiece of design, this group of guitars is part of a very limited number of ‘Wood Library Fades’. Let’s take each part of that separately.
First off, what is the Wood Library?
Well, we’ve covered this a little in the past, but to briefly explain, the Wood Library is an area in the PRS factory where they keep a huge variety of wood blanks. Regular stuff, rare timbers, beautiful woods, some exotic bits...it’s all there in one great-smelling room! The idea of the Wood Library is to offer small runs of guitars with relatively unusual pairings of woods. It’s not about ‘better’ wood, since all of the Wood Library timbers are graded in the same way that PRS deal with all of their lumber; it’s just an opportunity to build something a little ‘different’, in small of batches of ten or more, so that there are some relatively exclusive and unorthodox PRS guitars available. Wood Library guitars are a great way to get something a little different, without opting for a full-on custom build.
The ‘Fade’ part of the name refers to the finishes, each of which has a two-tone gradual gradient from ‘bottom to top’ rather than the typical teardrop-shaped colour blend you’ve seen on all ‘burst’ guitars since the fifties. Now, more and more guitar companies are offering this gradient type of finish, but we distinctly remember PRS putting out ‘fade’ finishes like these a good number of years back, so they could conceivably claim to be the leaders of the pack, not the imitators. Either way, these Custom 24s are incredible looking, and have a real touch of uniqueness.
Today’s guitars all come from a run of only 120 guitars in total, so we’re talking very limited numbers across the world. The specs are the same for each instrument, so the only differences are the finishes. Now, there is actually a little more happening here to make these Fade guitars even more special, so let’s have a look at the features and explain as we go along...
It’s obvious from our pictures that these guitars all have incredible tops. Each one is hand-selected figured maple, rated by PRS as a ’10 top’, which in normal parlance means ‘as beautiful as it gets’. 10 tops normally incur a hefty upcharge and are often only available as part of PRS’s ‘Artist Pack’ collection of upgrades, or on Private Stock instruments. These guitars are not Artist Pack or Private Stock guitars, so you’re effectively enjoying the benefits of several of the upgrades (we’ll see more in a second) without footing the bill. We love this!
In addition to those 10 tops, each PRS has a figured maple neck and fingerboard, too. This is where the Wood library comes into play again, because Maple is really quite an unusual wood to see on a PRS Custom 24, especially on the fingerboard! We think you’ll agree that the look is pretty spellbinding, as well as offering a genuinely different feel and sound for PRS fans used to Mahogany and Rosewood.
The body is described as ‘Natural Mahogany’ and all that means is that it hasn’t been stained or painted. The body is left ‘natural’, with only a clear coat finish (this doesn't apply to the charcoal and Blueburst finishes, which have colours stained on them), in order to provide an eye-catching contrast to the colourful Fade finishes on each top. You’ll appreciate this more when you see the guitars from a slight angle: the contrast really increases the dramatic look. This combination of woods is not normally available outside a custom order.
With such wonderfully visual timbers being used, it makes sense to show them at their best. Each Fade finish is translucent, so those 10 tops remain the star of the show. We have a suite of stunning guitars available now, and at time of writing, there are Trampas Green Fade, Green Fade, Blue Fade, Blue Burst Fade and Charcoal Fade finishes available to choose from.
It doesn’t end there: check out the inlays! Yes, it’s PRS’ trademark Birds, but these are different! They are made with black Corian, to better contrast with the Maple fingerboard, and have intricate ‘Green Ripple’ outlines which will catch the stage lights and electrify your audience.
You’ll also notice that the hardware is all ‘smoked black’, which is another option normally reserved for Private Stock and Artist Pack instruments. Also, each of these Custom 24 Fades comes in a Black Paisley PRS hard case! How cool?
Beautiful and Rare
We love these special new PRS guitars. It’s easy to go over the top with decorative elements and end up looking garish, but we think PRS have balanced the elements perfectly. Remember, these are superb, USA made guitars sporting many features that would routinely cost thousands more! This is a great chance to own a stunningly beautiful guitar that can handle most any genre of music easily, with tone for days. There is the extra value here in the rarity of these models, too. All in all, these PRS Wood library Custom 24 Fades are very exciting instruments.
Get ready for your new favourite guitar.