PRS Guitars

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About PRS Guitars

PRS guitars are a brand of high end American electric guitars from Maryland. Originally designed and built by luthier Paul Reed Smith, PRS guitars are seen as a luxury guitar brand, famous for their incredibly figured wood tops and exotic colours. PRS use their own hand-wound pickups and tremolo systems designed by Smith.

Mainly a brand for electric guitars, PRS also make acoustic guitars, basses and amplifiers. A sub brand, named PRS SE (Special Edition), are made in South Korea to similar designs and are more affordable than the premium Maryland made guitars. This SE range puts PRS guitars into the hands of many more players and has increased the appeal of the brand exponentially.

The most famous and instantly recognisable PRS models are the Custom 22 and the Custom 24. These guitars are the up to date iterations of the guitar Paul originally made in the mid-80s and it's lavishly carved, double cutaway design has long since become an influential classic. Seen by many as the guitar to bridge the gap between 'the big 2' (and we know who they are!), PRS guitars have found a niche with players looking for the ultimate in quality, build, sound and feel, not to mention indecently good looks.

At guitarguitar, we are one of the UK's biggest authorised PRS dealers: you'll find an incredible selection of these guitars at each of our locations, all ready to view, try out and buy! We hand select every USA PRS guitar in order to ensure we have only the very best and most stunning examples to bring you. Browse our entire selection online and marvel at the beauty that is PRS guitars.

Frequently Asked Questions about PRS Guitars

PRS guitars are the invention of master luthier Paul Reed Smith. They were invented to address what Smith saw as a need for an instrument that bridged the gap between the two most famous electric guitar designs in history: the Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul. Smith also wanted to iron out what he saw as niggles in the designs of these classic instruments: things like tremolo stability, weight, string pull...thousands of little details all added together to inform what became the first hand built PRS guitars. His love for guitars and dissatisfaction for imperfect details helped him create what is now known as the Custom 24. Smith used these guitars to book advance orders and build his company. These eraly examples, displayed at the 1985 NAMM show and referred to as the NAMM 20, are now legendary instruments. Time has confirmed that Smith's desire to merge the designs of the Strat and LP were wholly successful: PRS guitars are known as one of the world's most luxurious and superbly made guitar brands, a reputation that is definitely deserved.
Due to the nature of the PRS design ethos, PRS guitars appeal to a range of players. Guitarists who play either of the 'big brands' will appreciate familiarities from the models they play along with features from the models they don't. Guitarists who like both of the Big Two may find PRS to be the ultimate single instrument. Top end PRS guitars are seen by some as luxury products and that may be true but they are also amongst the most expertly made guitars in existence. All guitarists can appreciate a fantastically made insturment and any player who needs more than one or two sounds will love the flexible range of high quality tones on offer. Rock guitarists will love the clarity of tone and the novelty of a non-locking tremolo that stays in tune!
Carlos Santana was an early champion of PRS guitars, before Paul Reed Smith even had enough financial backing to set up a proper workshop. As the story goes, Smith hustled his way backstage at a Santana concert with one of his hand built guitars to show Carlos. After making it past the roadie, the guitar found its way into Santana's hands. He loved the guitar but made Smith earn his respect: several guitars were tried and tested before Santana relented and finally described Smith as a 'guitar maker'. Since then, Carlos Santana has been one of the most visible celebrity users of PRS guitars.
Every American PRS guitar, in other words every guitar they make that is not an SE model, is built in Stevensville, Maryland. This includes all CE and S2 guitars along with the Core line and all Custom orders. The SE range are made in either South Korea (all SE models apart from the SE Standard range) or Indonesia for the SE Standard range. These guitars have all been designed by Paul Reed Smith and are built to extremely high specs.