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PRS: Celebrating 30 Years of Innovation

Posted on May 18, 2015

 

Above: Vintage Yellow Custom Model (left) & Pear White Standard (right); (far right) A Young Paul Reed Smith.

In 1984, armed with two guitars, Paul Reed Smith set out on a tour to guitar dealers around the East Coast. The guitars (above) were the building block for all current PRS models, and a prolific innovation for their time. The first guitar (right) was a Custom model with a maple top and mahogany back and sides, while the Standard model (left) was made of entirely solid mahogany. 

Although the ever-changing world of guitars has been turned upside down with countless breakthroughs and innovations, Paul Reed Smith was about to bring something new to the table. Perhaps the the biggest factor was the durability and craftsmanship of his guitars. Sometimes referred as a 'hybrid', PRS guitars were about to offer a new kind of work-horse guitar for the touring and recording musician.

This was highlighted in a new tremolo system, invented and patented by Smith, and we have Carlos Santana to thank. In early conversations for building guitars for Santana, the versatile guitarist brought up the elephant in the room for all guitarists; he wanted a vibrato that stayed in tune. After the conversation, a flustered Smith was weary about taking on such as task. 

During the 80's, locking vibratos like Floyd Rose bridges had come into full swing, appearing on countless albums and lightening-speed solos. However reliable the Floyd Rose was, Smith wanted to provide players with a guitar that stayed in tune without the chore of the complicated re-string and tuning process. And thus, with the help of John Mann, the PRS Tremolo was born. To learn more about the PRS Tremolo, click here: http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/bridges.html

Countless guitar heroes have taken advantage of these innovations to give them the sound, feel, and play-ability that they use to hone their skills on these unique and timeless guitars.

We here at Rose Morris stock a wide range of PRS guitars, ranging from the SE Series, to the new American Custom 30th anniversary guitars.  

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