PRS Guitars Amps Up 30 Years of Manufacturing

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US Guitar manufacturer Paul Reed Smith Guitars is celebrating a landmark 30 year anniversary with release of a Then and Now video, company timeline, a virtual scrapbook of stories and new 30th Anniversary electric guitar models.

Paul Reed Smith of Paul Reed Smith Guitars

In 1985, while the world was focused on the birth of the first .com, a new computer operating system called Windows and “Live Aid” concerts for famine relief, an Annapolis MD guitar repairman that had been steadily making a name for himself by building and fixing guitars decided to take a bold step by creating his own namesake guitar manufacturing company called Paul Reed Smith Guitars. Three decades later, Paul Reed Smith Guitars has risen to become the #3 US electric guitar manufacturer with instruments played by musicians and bands as diverse as Carlos Santana, Periphery, Blake Shelton, Alter Bridge and John Hyatt, to name a few.

PRS Guitars’ approach to manufacturing, still guided by its founder Paul Reed Smith, has maintained a consistent focus: design and create the best instruments possible using the finest materials available including beautifully figured tone woods, proprietary electronics, and patented processes. These instruments, considered collector’s items, performing musicians’ stage essentials and amateur guitarists’ go-to instruments are sold in more than eighty countries worldwide through authorized dealers and distributors.

The company’s first model, the Custom 24, was introduced in 1985 and has remained PRS Guitars’ flagship model since day one. In addition to this sought-after iconic stalwart, PRS has expanded production over the years to include numerous electric guitar models, acoustic guitars, electric basses and guitar amplifiers at a variety of price points for novice to professional guitar players.

"It has been our job to make the guitars and amplifiers better over the last 30 years, and I think we are doing really well." stated Paul Reed Smith. “We continue to test everything and keep the best of what we’ve learned while experimenting with new advancements and features.”

Recently Carlos Santana discussed with Paul what he feels about PRS Guitars: "Everyone feels that right out of the case these guitars are in tune. They have a lot of soul, and each one has its own fingerprint. You can make 50 guitars a day and not one of them is going to feel or sound the same. They are all a little bit different - just like people with their own fingerprints."

Carlos Santana has a long standing relationship with Paul Reed Smith Guitars that began in 1981 when he borrowed a PRS guitar to use on his “Zebop!” album. Through the years, Santana has collaborated with PRS on the design of both US-made “Santana” model instruments and PRS “SE Santana” guitars.

Honored to celebrate their landmark anniversary and their pursuit of excellence, PRS is offering a series of 30th Anniversary Custom 24 guitar models in each of their electric guitar product families including US-Made Private Stock, the distinguished US-made Core line, the vintage-inspired US-made S2 Series and the PRS designed SE line, each incorporating the visionary design and masterful craftsmanship that has become synonymous with the brand.

The PRS US-made 30th Anniversary core model is a prime example of how Paul and the craftsmen at PRS keep focused on providing the best possible instruments for guitar players and guitar enthusiasts. This guitar features highly figured maple, mahogany, and rosewood in its construction which enhance the playability and feel of the guitar. The alluring carved body shape of the PRS Custom 24 30th Anniversary is available in 18 different finishes delivering a delicious depth to the natural wood grain with colors such as Blood Orange, Jade, and Vintage Sunburst. PRS 30th Anniversary bird inlays on the fretboard further enhance the beauty of the model.

The complete line-up of 30th Anniversary models is as follows:

  • Private Stock 30th Anniversary Custom 24
  • Artist Package 30th Anniversary Custom 24
  • 30th Anniversary Custom 24
  • S2 30th Anniversary Custom 24
  • SE 30th Anniversary Custom 24

Just as Orville Gibson and Leo Fender founded and ran their respective guitar companies in the first half of the twentieth century, Paul Reed Smith is still actively guiding the innovation, evolution, and craftsmanship of his thirty year old company. The passion and dedication of one man still permeates the hearts of the 240+ workers and the walls of the Maryland, USA factory located across from Annapolis on a small island in the Chesapeake Bay.

A company timeline, Anniversary scrapbook of stories, Then & Now video and more information on the full array of PRS 30th Anniversary models can be viewed at

About PRS Guitars:
Paul Reed Smith Guitars is a leading manufacturer of high quality instruments in Stevensville, Maryland and has provided some of the world’s most renowned musicians with instruments since 1985. The PRS team of highly skilled craftspeople design and build a wide variety of musical instruments and gear for worldwide distribution, including electric, acoustic, and bass guitars as well as boutique-style guitar amplifiers. The PRS SE line of products complements the Maryland-made PRS line by offering highly approachable and more affordable electric, acoustic, and bass guitars. Carlos Santana, Neal Schon, John McLaughlin, Dustie Waring, Linkin Park, Orianthi, Opeth, Zach Myers of Shinedown, Mark Tremonti of Creed and Alter Bridge, Ricky Skaggs, Cody Kilby, Martin Simpson, Tony McManus, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks are among the artists currently playing PRS instruments and/or amplifiers.

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Jeanne Nooney
Paul Reed Smith Guitars
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