What is PRS Private Stock? A Journey into Some of Our Most Stunning Guitars

Published on 04 March 2022

The mythical nature of certain guitars can often draw us in without any context. Whenever you hear the term Private Stock your eyes will be immediately poised to take in whatever magical guitar is about to be presented. There are very few guitars that can leave our shop floor teams speechless, but when a Private Stock case clicks open, you can guarantee a crowd is gathering to see what is inside.

Their appeal is undeniable, but where do these guitars actually come from?  

PRS Private Stock was born in 1996 with the intention of creating an entirely independent department from the main PRS production lines. A separate space where time slows down and every tiny detail is sweat over. This is a division that has earned legendary status amongst the guitar community through its ethos of seeking the best.  

The premise is simple, offer the best materials to a world-class team of luthiers. Each member of the team is hand-selected for their unparalleled skillset and only works exclusively for the PRS Private Stock.  

So you have put together an exceptionally talented group of craftsmen; how exactly do you ensure they get the best materials available?

That responsibility falls down to one member of staff within the company whose job is to carefully sort through all of the wood delivered and give each piece a grade. Every company has its own way of grading the quality of wood they receive. For PRS, the grading system for maple tops is as follows: Standard, 10-top, Artist Package, and Private Stock. Private stock wood is the highest tier and is separated then stored in the vault. If trees could dream, they would dream of ending up in the PRS Vault. This is where all the prettiest pieces of wood go when they die, like a global beauty pageant for long-gone forests.  

The vault is one of the key ingredients in what makes these guitars so special. Put the right wood in the right hands, and legendary guitars will be made. Giving this expert team poor quality materials would be like asking a world-class footballer to do keepie uppies with a bowling ball. Every piece of the puzzle has been designed to be of the highest possible quality.  


So how does a PRS Private Stock guitar come to fruition?


There are three main routes. The first is 'built to order', where you can bring forward your specifications, and the team will turn your dreams into reality. The second is the Collection Series. These are your limited run guitars, such as the Paul's 85. Extraordinarily collectable and with their own elite status. Lastly, there are the Private Stock models made from spec choices by Paul Reed Smith himself. It is the latter two options that bring to life the Private Stock guitars you will find on the walls at guitarguitar.

So let's take a look at some of the PRS Private Stock currently with us.

PRS Prototype Private Stock Paul's 85 Limited Edition Charcoal #323245

Let's get our teeth stuck straight in with this extremely special Paul's 85 Limited Edition. What sets this guitar apart from the rest is its exclusivity. The Paul's 85 Private stock had an extremely limited run of 85 guitars worldwide. Even more limited are the Prototypes that preceded them. The prototypes share the same spec as the main run but were completed in a number of finishes in order to give Paul Reed Smith a selection of guitars to choose from. This guitar is potentially the only one of its kind, and we almost don't want to see it go.  

PRS Private Stock Modern Eagle V Sandstorm Dragons Breath #0334790

The PRS Modern Eagle is a series unto itself. Now in its fifth rendition, it aims to push guitar design to its limits. Who better than to push the boundaries of guitar craftsmanship than a department specifically created from the best of the best. The Modern Eagle V has been limited to 120 guitars in several finishes. This one specifically has been finished in Sandstorm Dragons Breath which is by far the coolest name for a finish. If you do somehow pull your gaze from the mesmerising flames of the maple top, then flip the guitar over to reveal the exotic streaks of the Zircote neck. Not only does this instrument look sensational, but it also has an abundance of tones to navigate through thanks to its combination of HSH configuration, 5-way switch, and mini-toggle coil-split switches. 

PRS Private Stock PS9526 Special Semi Hollow McCarty Glow with Smokeburst #09526

Delving into the realms of the Semi-Hollow guitar is this PRS Private Stock PS9526 Special. Its Smokeburst finish is like looking into the warm glow of a fire pit as the flames dance around with their three-dimensional depth. The spec on this instrument is humbling with a dazzling concoction of exotic woods and finely tuned electronics. The pickups come loaded as follows: a 58/15 Low Turn Humbucker in the neck, a Narrowfield humbucker in the middle, and a 58/15 Low Turn Humbucker in the bridge.  

We hope you've enjoyed a journey into what are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful guitars in exitence. Remember, you're always welcome to see some of these stunning axes in the flesh at any of our stores but for now, take a look at our full range of Private Stock models now. Be warned, you might get lost in those tops... 

Check out our PRS Private Stock selection now

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