PAUL REED SMITH (PRS) GUITARS
A few months ago I was down to just a few PRS's and was desperately looking for
a dozen or so to fill my shelf. I've had good luck getting some nice ones in,
including the harder-to-find Annapolis models. These old-factory models were
actually hand made, easily identifiable with the
original small logo and short neck heel. A lot of people incorrectly refer to
Annapolis models as "pre-factory", the reason for which I
haven't a clue.Regardless, these guitars are widely
thought to be superior to guitars built at the new Stephenville factory opened
in '96, where PRS eliminated most of the hand-crafting in favor of CNC
machines. Features of this guitar includes maple cap over one-piece mahogany
body, moon inlays, one-piece Mil-Com tremolo, Phase I locking tuners, and
"Regular" (aka Standard) neck profile which is 1/16" more narrow
than a wide thin/fat, and the same depth as the wide fat (1 21/32" nut,
27/32" depth). Pickups have been changed to a Lindy Fralin 7.5/8.5 pair (link), plus McCarty
switching (push/pull tone with 3-way switch). Many players find the standard
3-way much more intuitive and it also gives you 6-tones instead of 5. Original
rotary switch and tone pot are in the case should you ever want to change it
back. The Custom 24, especially with the tremolo bridge, has a looser feel than
a Custom 22, plus a "longer" neck, i.e. with the bridge and bridge
pickup are set further forward in the body which means it has the same 25"
scale as the Custom 22, but the neck extends slightly further from the body.
It's not as much a Les Paul feel, but a PRS feel. At 21 years old this guitar
has seen some use and has some cosmetic flaws (shown
here) including a few "milky" finish spots on the headstock and
back edge of the body, plus a small piece of clear coat missing from short side
of the headstock tip. There are no serious issues such as cracks and there's no
finish checking; frets need no attention. Whenever you play one of these older
PRS's you can almost sense the meticulous human attention to detail as you're
holding a guitar that will likely never be hand-crafted again. Prices on
Annapolis-era Customs continue to rise but they're still a good value,
especially when they're cheaper than a comparable new one. A better guitar, for
less money. Playability is excellent and these Fralins
have a more traditional 'Burst tone than Dragons or Vintage Bass/HFS. Nicely
priced for an Annapolis model at $1999.
2000 PRS Singlecut – 10-top and Birds, (front), (back), (headstock), (birds), (case). The original Singlecut model, first year! Before the Gibson injunction, PRS made a guitar that Gibson felt would cause confusion among the buying public, thus the Singlecut was discontinued for a few years until a court ruled that Gibson’s claim was unfounded. When it returned in ’03 the selector was moved to the lower bout and it only had two knobs, but it was soon changed back to the original vintage-style configuration. This particular PRS was number 50,002 built by PRS which is pretty neat. Features include mahogany body with figured maple top, PRS "10" top, original style solid birds of Pau shell, Wide/Fat neck, East Indian rosewood fretboard, PRS stoptail bridge, nickel hardware, PRS vintage-style tuners with keystone buttons, PRS-7 Treble and Bass pickups, and PRS stoptail bridge. Cosmetically, there are some finish chips around the edges and near the selector (as shown here), but Martin is going to touch up and lacquer over these areas so it will be much cleaner when it ships to you. Frets are in nice shape so it sustains a wonderfully low set up. Are the original Singlecut models better? I don’t know, I only know that this is superb PRS in tone and playability. Will be ready to ship within a week or so. Nice deal as outfitted for $1399. Includes PRS case with key.
2012 PRS SC58 Stripped - Blue Crab Blue w/Birds, (front), (back), (headstock), (pickups), (tag case). Introduced at Experience PRS 2011, the Stripped 58 is a Singlecut that's vintage-inspired to appeal more to traditional single-cutaway players. It features PRS's 24.5 inch "short" scale as well as their new V12 finish and Pattern neck shape. The V12 finish, 12 years in development, enhances the look, sound, and feel without hindering its resonance. It is a very thin, hard, and clear finish that will not crack or react with thinners and has a very "old" feel. The new "Pattern" neck is an update of the old Wide Fat profile that was used on early models for Santana, Frampton, and Leese. It also features a new PRS Two-Piece Adjustable Bridge which was used only on prototype Private Stock guitars. This two-piece bridge has added weight and mass, creating more contact points, which, in turn, create a more resonant, musical instrument. It also has the Phase III Locking Tuners which are very smooth, with high-tolerance pegs, an elegant design and larger buttons. Other features include figured maple top over a mahogany body, 22 frets, 24.5" scale, mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard, optional bird inlays, blank truss rod cover, nickel hardware and a killer set of PRS pickups - the 57/08 Treble and Bass. This is a superb sounding guitar, nicely resonant, and these 57/08’s just put it in its own class. Cosmetically, nice shape for a used guitar. A few tiny blemishes here and there but in all, nice for a guitar that’s been played a bit. Frets are very clean and the set up is low and perfect. These had a relatively short run, eventually morphing into the latest edition of the SC245 which shares the same pickups, neck, and unique bridge design. This Blue Crab finish is really nice and with the optional bird inlays, it’s a looker. Killer Core series PRS for $1599(HOLD-Joe C 7/26). Includes PRS case, tag, and paperwork.
2004 PRS McCarty Trem Brazilian, (front), (back), (headstock), (fretboard), (before/after hardware), (case/tag). I originally sold this 13 years ago in “as new” condition. My local buddy (moving and moving gear) bought it but only played it only several times so it’s still in nearly new condition. On to this guitar… What, a McCarty with tremolo? One of the original run of tremolo-equipped McCarty’s built for Willcutt Guitars, largest PRS dealer in the world. The total run is estimated at only 50 guitars. If that isn’t enough, these were spec’d with a Brazilian rosewood fretboard, which is even more cherished now than it was in ’04. Add to that a stunning amber 10-top and colorful bird inlays, and you’ve got a stunner there. The McCarty Trem features the fat, warm tone McCarty fans know well but with the addition of the tremolo, this model also possesses a sharper attack and added articulation that is unique to this model. Also features wide-fat neck, Phase II locking tuners, McCarty pickups and McCarty switching with a 3-way and coil-split on the tone pot. No more of these were made so they’re obviously hard to come by. Original owner paid $3600 for this, almost 15 years ago. I think it’s a great deal at the same price I sold it for in 2005, just $2599. Includes case and all the case stuff. (Note: Last week I posted this with oxidized hardware, thinking some players would like the aged look. I had two customers who were interested, but with the hardware cleaned. Here you go!)
2001 PRS Santana SE - Royal Blue, (front), (back), (headstock), (trem), (gigbag). Looks black in the pics but it’s really Royal Blue. This is the first year, all-mahogany Santana SE which was discontinued model but a really nice guitar. Like all of the SE series, they're some of the best Korean imports made, truly in a class by themselves. I've only had a few dozen SE models but have yet to encounter one that failed to set up perfectly and the overall fit/finish was impeccable. The Santana SE is an all mahogany model with a mahogany slab body, finished in transparent blue, with a mahogany set neck with rosewood fretboard, 22 medium frets, wide-fat neck carve, 25" scale, PRS tremolo, PRS tuners, and white pearloid Santana SE inlays. It shows only light players wear but is overall in nice used condition with no major flaws anywhere. It sold new for $499 17 years ago and is an excellent value on a first-year Santana SE at just $339. Includes Levy's EM7S gigbag, very thick and sturdy with several storage compartments.
2008 PRS Custom 22 Soapbar - 10-top & Birds, (front), (back), (headstock), (birds), (tag), (case). Very rare model from PRS, available since '98 but, oddly, rarely appearing in the catalogs. Of all the PRS's I've had over the years, this is only the fourth one I've had. Cosmetically perfect, with no scratches or indications of player wear, and a lovely flamed maple "10" top with flame that extends to the tip of the horns. The CU22 Soapbar is not your traditional Custom, due mainly to the trio of Seymour Duncan Soapbar pickups rather than the dual humbuckers found on the regular Custom. It also features a 5-way blade selector instead of the usual rotary selector since the single coil Soapbars don't allow splitting of coils. The 5-way is set up slightly different from a Strat. While 1, 2, 4, and 5 are the same as a Strat layout, with 4 being noise-canceling, position 3 is the neck and bridge in combination (also noise-canceling), rather than the middle pickup alone. It makes sense to me. I never use the middle pickup on a Strat, but I use the other 4 settings. Having the neck/bridge gives me 5 useful tones instead of 4. The neck carve would be considered a "narrow/thin", measuring 1 5/8" (20/32"), compared to a wide/thin which is 1 25/32". The front to back depth is actually more tad more shallow (.05") than a wide-thin. It feels like a soft-V in the lower register, becoming a C-shape as you go up the neck. Other features are the same as the regular Custom 22 including Phase II locking tuners, PRS tremolo, mahogany back with contoured maple top with unstained edge for maple "binding". Options include a "10" maple top and bird inlays of the new "outline birds" of pau shell. If you're a PRS and/or Soapbar fan, you get the best of both worlds with this guitar. Look around and see what people are asking for these. With around $1000 in options, this is a nice buy at $2099. Includes similarly nice PRS case, hang tag, warranty, etc.
2017 PRS Brent Mason – Rosewood Board, (front), (back), (headstock), (controls), (heel), (neck), (case). Flawless condition – with Rosewood Fretboard! The hottest session player in Nashville for nearly three decades, the Brent Mason model was designed to meet his demanding needs. It starts with a dense Korina body housing 305 single coil mid pickup, with 408's in the bridge and neck, both are humbucking/single switchable via individual mini switches. This H/S/H combination with switching options gives you an unprecedented amount of tonal options. Especially unique with the 408 pickups, the toggle switches lets you completely shut down (not tap off) one of the coils, turning it into a true single-coil pickup. This gives you options such as S/S/S like a Strat, or HH like a Gibson, and many more. Brent chose the Pattern neck carve on a maple neck with the perfect polish of its V12 finish, with is described as the perfect balance between nitro and poly. The neck is outfitted with a rosewood fretboard and bird inlays. The Korina body is not only attractive, it provides the deep and warm tone of mahogany but with added midrange, while the quartersawn maple neck adds brightness. Other features include a 25.25" scale (exactly 1/2 way between Fender and Gibson), PRS tremolo, PRS Phase III locking tuners and a unique rounded neck heel. It is immaculately finished in Tri-Color Sunburst for a beautiful vintage look. This model had a relatively brief run of around 5 years and this is one of the last ones built. Look around and the rosewood models are more rare, and more sought after by players. Offered in impeccable condition for just $1950. Includes similarly clean PRS case, trem arm, hang tag and all the other case stuff.
1992 PRS Custom 24 Quilt Top!, (front), (back), (headstock), (neck), (case candy), (case). Oh my, another exciting PRS. This one's an old-factory Custom 24 with a rare quilted maple top and flamed mahogany neck. PRS has always charged a premium for their quilted maple, well above their price for flamed maple, so you just don't see many of them. The flamed neck is just a gimme, PRS didn't offer this as an option, usually reserving figured mahogany for their ultra expensive instruments. This beautiful example, finished in Vintage Sunburst, has all the old-factory features: small logo, 1-piece Mil-Com tremolo, short neck heel, pearl bird inlays, and original version locking tuners. The "10" during this era is imprinted near the serial rather than written in gold pen, as shown in the headstock pic. Other features include wide-thin neck, HFS and Vintage Bass pickups, with a 5-way rotary, volume, and tone. This guitar is in beautiful condition. A few light scratches but we’re going to buff them out so it should easily present as collector’s grade. It plays as beautiful as it looks with a superbly sweet tone and super low action. Officially vintage now, grab this beauty for less than a new flame top custom. Just $2599. Includes clean original case and all the case stuff.
1989 PRS Studio - Electric Red, (front front2), (back), (headstock), (trem), (pickup settings), (case). At 29 years you don't think of most Gibsons as being "vintage" but in the PRS world, where 1989 was just the 5th year of manufacture - and it was built at the old Annapolis factory - it's definitely vintage. Just like the Metallic Blue Studio I have in stock, this one is very well preserved. It’s not a museum piece like the blue one, but very clean overall. If you're not familiar with the Studio, it was only offered from '88 to '91 and the main feature is the HSS pickup configuration with a Hot Vintage Treble in the bridge and a pair of PRS single coils (click here for details). These were offered with either a tone control or, like this one, a Sweet Switch. The early Studios (and Standards) from this era are the closest thing to the original 1985 "PRS Guitar", distinguished by its all-mahogany construction - rather than the maple cap model that followed the PRS Guitar, as well as a 24-fret neck and Sweet Switch. This one also has the factory route for up-pull on the tremolo, a feature many players appreciate. To my ears there is a warmth and singing quality to the mahogany bodies that you can't find on a maple top. Like all PRS during this era it's truly a hand-made guitar, built 6 years before they brought CNC machines into the shop. Other features include Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 24 fret mahogany neck, short heel neck joint, 1-piece Mil-Com bridge, small logo, Standard neck profile, and the early version PRS locking tuners. Overall it’s in excellent condition with the only finish issues being finish chips on the tip of the headstock, a tiny chip on the bottom edge, and a few minor impressions, not through the finish. Other than that, there’s some pitting on the trem bass and a little nickel wear on a few saddles. If you look closely you'll see some normal "finish suck" which is normal on these thin Nitro finishes as they age, but you' won't find an old PRS without this. Players and collectors alike are seeking out old-factory models and these pre-CNC models have risen steadily over the past 10 years. $2399 is a very nice price for an ’89 which makes it a very affordable investment piece that’s still within the range of working guitarists looking for a stage guitar that's universally accepted to be better than any new one. Includes case and trem arm.), (scratch), (case). First year(!) McCarty Soapbar goldtop offered with your choice of quality pickups. Stock pickups are Seymour Duncan Soapbars but this one has been retrofitted with a pair of DiMarzio Dlx Plus (DP162) soapbars but unlike most soapbars, they’re actually stacked humbuckers and are designed as an excellent compromise between single coil soaps and mini-humbuckers, characterized by clean and open soapbar tone with punchy lows, well defined highs, with no muddiness. They’re 4-conductor in case you want to put some splitter pots in there. As an option, I’m also offering a great set of Lollar traditional wound P-90 Soapbars which are going to appeal more to the P90 purists. Take your pick, no charge for the swap. After introducing the McCarty model in 1994, 1998 marked the introduction of several new McCarty models including this Soapbar as well as the McCarty Archtop and McCarty Hollowbody. Other than the pickups, specs of this McCarty Soapbar mirror the McCarty model including a mahogany body that's 1/8" thicker than other PRS's, a headstock that's slightly thinner and with a greater headstock angle, vintage style non-locking tuners, all of which are a nod to the 50's guitar that Ted McCarty designed for Gibson. Other features include wide-fat neck, compensated wraparound stoptail bridge and mahogany body with a thick maple cap. Cosmetically, it’s not perfect with the worst flaw being a scratch on top shown above. Frets are in great shape and it supports a nice low set up. For your soapbar fans, this is a nice buy on a quality first year McCarty Soapbar. $1150 includes your choice of pickups as well as PRS case with original hangtag and other paperwork.
2002 PRS CE 22 Maple – McCarty Burst, (front), (back), (headstock), (buckle wear), (case). Looking for a quality Core model PRS at under a grand? Here you go. Not the cleanest PRS I’ve had but looks good from the audience and no major cosmetic issues. Only mod is McCarty switching in place of the 5-way rotary, i.e. 3-way switch and push/pull tone pot for 6 killer tones. My favorite PRS of all time happened to be a CE finished in orange that I foolishly sold around 15 years ago. They’re great guitars. This one is finished in McCarty Burst, rather rare for a CE. Features include carved mahogany body with carved maple top, gloss finish, Dragon II pickups, PRS tremolo, PRS locking tuners, quarter-sawn maple neck with wide-fat carve and moon inlays. Many players prefer the feel and tone of PRS's bolt-on's and, in fact, the list price on the CE22 Maple was just $50 under the set-neck PRS Standard. Cosmetically there’s plenty of buckle wear but it’s in the clear coat only, nothing down to the wood. A few of the bridge saddles have worn nickel plating, and a few minor indents on the top. Frets have been dressed and we’re going to put a fresh round crown on them before it ships. It’s an excellent player with a tone that will cover a wide range of Gibson and Fender tones. This model sold at discount for $2139 when last produced a few years ago. It’s an excellent buy today at just $950. Includes PRS case and trem arm.
2005 PRS CE 22 Maple - Black Cherry, (front), (back), (headstock), (pickups), (case). Lovely CE-22 upgraded with a fine set of Suhr pickups with an SSV neck and SSH+ bridge, complete with 3-way switch and push/pull tone pot for 6 killer tones. If you prefer other PRS pickups I can tell you what I’ve got but trust me, these Suhr's sound great. My favorite PRS of all time happened to be a CE finished in orange that I foolishly sold around 15 years ago. They’re great guitars. Features include carved mahogany body with carved maple top, gloss finish, PRS tremolo, PRS locking tuners, quarter-sawn maple neck with wide-thin carve, moon inlays, and 5-way rotary for a good selection of single coil and humbucker tones. Many players prefer the feel and tone of PRS's bolt-on's and, in fact, the list price on the CE22 Maple was just $50 under the set-neck PRS Standard. Offered in excellent condition in all regards including a perfect low set up. This model sold at discount for $2139 when last produced a few years ago. It’s an excellent buy today at just $1150. Includes original PRS case (not as clean as the guitar) and trem arm.
2009 PRS Ted McCarty DC 245 "10" Top and Birds, (front), (headstock), (back), (bound neck), (pickup/cavity), (tag), (case). Another great TMDC and just 7 lbs., 2 oz.! This one appears to be the first batch of regular production model with a black headstock and unengraved pickups rather than from the limited initial run. Like the Ltd model, we agree with the consensus that this is PRS's best ever interpretation of a late 50's 'Burst. In fact, click here for a YouTube comparison with a '58 Historic VOS. The 57/08 pickups, nitrocellulose finish, 24.5" scale, bound neck, and vintage style tuners combine to lend a traditional look, feel, and tone. The first thing you'll notice is the original PRS headstock (commonly referred to as a Santana headstock), which harkens back to the early Annapolis days. Other features include highly figured maple "10" top, 22 frets, mahogany neck with wide/fat carve, East Indian rosewood fretboard with "pre-2008" style bird inlays, bound neck, stop tail bridge, nickel hardware, 57/08 covered humbuckers, 3-way toggle with push/pull pot. If you're looking for a classic LP tone, for me this guitar is better than any Historic model I've played in terms of tone, feel, and looks. I love the shorter scale on the this model. At 24.5" it's a tad shorter than a Les Paul and a 1/2" shorter than their regular scale which is just enough to make a 5-fret stretch possible. This body is much easier to play in the upper register than an LP and once you play it, you might never go back to a Paul. It has seen very little playing time with perfect frets and a killer, low set up. Other than two small clear coat scratches on back, it's in immaculate condition and a nice savings compared to new. This model sells new with "10" top and birds for $3459-$3800 but you can own this killer feather-weight TMDC245 for just $2099.
2005 PRS Custom 22 Artist 20th Anniversary, (front), (back), (headstock), (new frets), (case). More PRS’s are coming! This one is a perfect guitar for the pro player. Brand new refret by my guy Martin, with zero hours on the frets plus clear coat dings primarily around the edge (as shown here) make this a top-shelf PRS priced for the working guitarist. Artist Package includes Artist-grade top, gold hardware, and colorful Paua shell bird inlays, plus a rosewood headstock veneer with Paua shell PRS logo. Stunning. This one features the wide-thin neck carve, the preference of around 80% of our customers. The Artist package includes the top quality figured tops which exceed their “10” tops (termed "artist grade" by PRS), extremely colorful Paua bird inlays, rosewood headstock overlay with inlaid colorful Paua shell inlaid logo, Artist case with velvet interior and dual combo locks, gold hardware including Phase II locking tuners and PRS tremolo. Many players prefer the Custom 22, which has a stiffer feel than a Custom 24. This is due to the 22 having a "shorter" neck, i.e. with the bridge and bridge pickup are set further back in the body which means the scale is the same as a 24, but the neck doesn't extend as far from the body. It's very much a Les Paul feel, although with much easier playability in the upper range, not to mention a wider selection of tones. These guitars are a good example of "guitars as art" and each are unique and works of beauty. Finished in a dark amber, with a beautifully bookmatched maple top that looks great from any angle. Other than the clear coat dings this guitar is in pretty nice shape and would look great as a stage guitar. Playability is top notch with these Jescar 51108 frets. They’re .051X.108, a bit larger than a Dunlop 6150. Just a really nice guitar. It’s not often that I can offer an Artist for the price of a regular Custom but this one is welcome exception. With brand new frets it’s a sweet deal at $1850. Includes Artist case, trem arm, spare tuner screws, Allen keys, and paperwork.
2016 PRS CE-24 Standard Satin, (front), (back), (headstock), (gigbag). The CE-24 Standard Satin combines a 1-piece mahogany body and bolt-on maple neck, both finished in satin nitrocellulose. By PRS standards, it’s the ultimate in simplicity. Players love the warmth of a mahogany body and when you combine it with the snap and response that comes from a bolt-on maple neck you’ve got a formula for great tone. As many players agree, a thin satin finish allows a guitar to “breathe”, allowing for increased sustain and articulation. This model is factory outfitted with PRS 85/15 pickups, which were designed for remarkable clarity and an extended high and low end. With an electronics suite of volume and push/pull tone control, combined with a 3-way toggle switch, you get a total of 6 choice tones. Other features include PRS Pattern Thin neck profile, rosewood fretboard with bird inlays, PRS Low Mass locking tuners, PRS tremolo bridge and nickel hardware. PRS’s site says this model was only available for order between September 29 and October 31, 2016 only, which would make this a fairly rare model. Some people think PRS created the bolt-on CE to hit a lower price point but the fact is, the original CE’s were only around $100 cheaper than the set-neck Standard. My personal favorite PRS of all time was an orange CE24 that I owned around 20 years ago. I found it to be the perfect blend of Fender expressiveness and Gibson fatness. This one is offered in brand new unplayed condition. An incredible value on a virtually new PRS at $1150.
2017 PRS SE Custom 24 – Scarlet Red FMT, (front), (headstock), (back), (gigbag). Immaculate condition and the best “bang for the buck” PRS made. This is one of the newer models with "bent" top that brings it even closer to the Core model CU24 in appearance and comfort. As I've mentioned before, PRS and perhaps Brian Moore, make the best quality Korean imports on the market in my opinion. Unlike 95% of the other companies, they don't use Cort or Samick factories, and their quality control is top notch with impeccable fit and finish, excellent pickups and electronics, and quality hardware. Most of all, I'm impressed with the fact that they have great necks that set up better than your average USA Fender or Gibson. The Custom 24 is relatively new to the SE line. For under $800/new these guitars are exceptional in terms of looks, tone, and feel. The 24-fret wide-thin neck is a joy to play with low action, easy and smooth string bends, with quality tone and very good sustain. Unlike most imports which use only a maple veneer, PRS chose to use an actual maple slab mounted to the mahogany body, and then put a veneer of flamed maple on top of the maple cap. It is the marriage between mahogany and maple that gives guitars like Les Pauls, and this PRS, their wonderful throaty tone. This classic blend produces yields warmth and resonance with excellent bottom end - and plenty of high end snap. A guitar with only a maple veneer will not have this tone. Other nice touches like the bird fretboard inlays, headstock shape, PRS tremolo, and natural maple binding make this look like it's USA brother but at around 1/4 the cost. These run $759 new. This one is in unplayed condition and offers an exceptional value at $529. Includes PRS gigbag, store COA, polishing cloth and trem arm.
2002 PRS CE22 Maple Top - Natural, (front), (headstock), (back), (case). Not a flashy guitar but with the maple/mahogany construction, the CE (Classic Electric) is built with the same care and has a comparable tone to a tricked out Custom 22, plus it comes in the rare Natural finish with some really nice wide flamed maple. The CE22 is one of PRS's oldest models, first appearing in 1988 and in production every year since then, although current models are frequently the cheaper Satin finish and a gigbag is supplied rather than a hard case. As with most PRS’s, the body is mahogany with a thick maple cap, known since the 50s to be the perfect marriage of tonewoods. Neck is quarter-sawn maple with PRS's 25" scale, rosewood fretboard and wide/fat neck carve. Other features include PRS tremolo, PRS locking tuners, flamed maple "binding", moon inlays, HFS and Vintage Bass pickups , 5-way rotary pickup selector for choice of humbucker tones and inside single coils - and outside single coils. This PRS is in very nice used condition with no major wear; just a few very slight dings if you look very closely. Many players prefer the feel and tone of PRS's bolt-on's and the quality is every bit as good as their set necks. A killer player and a sweet deal on a beautiful Natural model at $1199. Includes original case with some cosmetic flaws but structurally perfect.
1992 PRS Custom 24 – Scarlet Red, (front), (back), (headstock), (case). I’m always on the lookout for the old Annapolis-built PRS’s. These old-factory models, easily identifiable with the original small logo and short neck heel, were actually hand made, before the move to the new factory and use of CNC machines. This one’s finished in Scarlett Red with a pleasing flamed maple top, certainly not a “10” top but nice enough. A lot of people incorrectly refer to Annapolis models as "pre-factory", the reason for which I haven't a clue. Regardless, these guitars are widely thought to be superior to guitars built at the new Stephenville factory which opened in '96. Around the time of the move PRS eliminated most of the hand-crafting in favor of CNC machines. Features of this guitar includes maple cap over one-piece mahogany body, moon inlays, one-piece Mil-Com tremolo, Phase I locking tuners, and "Regular" (aka Standard) neck profile which is 1/16" more narrow than a wide thin/fat, and the same depth as the wide fat (1 21/32" nut, 27/32" depth). Pickups are the stock HFS and Vintage Bass with the standard 5-way rotary selector, volume and tone. The Custom 24, especially with the tremolo bridge, has a looser feel than a Custom 22, plus a "longer" neck, i.e. with the bridge and bridge pickup are set further forward in the body which means it has the same 25" scale as the Custom 22, but the neck extends slightly further from the body. It's not as much a Les Paul feel, but a PRS feel. Now over 25 years old this guitar is officially vintage and it’s noteworthy that this is the 13,372nd guitar PRS had built in the 7 years they had been in business. By contrast, that’s about the current ANNUAL production now (around 12,000 produced in 2016). Cosmetically it has some buckle scratches and minor dings in the clear coat, but no major issues and frets are in nice shape. There are no serious issues such as cracks and there's no finish checking. Whenever you play one of these older PRS's you can almost sense the meticulous human attention to detail as you're holding a guitar that will likely never be hand-crafted again. Prices on Annapolis-era Customs continue to rise but they're still a good value, especially when they're cheaper than a comparable new one. It plays like all old PRS’s with low action and no dead spots. Nicely priced for an Annapolis model at $2100. Includes clean original case and trem arm.
2007 PRS Johnny Hiland Signature Model, (front), (back), (headstock), (case). I haven’t had one of these since 2007! Based loosely on a Custom 24 but a much different guitar indeed. Johnny has been one of the greatest unknown guitarists of our time - at least until this model came out. Made for just 2-3 years until Johnny and PRS had a falling out, so pretty rare. Many players prefer PRS' bolt-on models, primarily those who have historically been Fender players who are used to the feel and response of a bolt-on. Johnny is noted as a virtuoso in any style of music - from metal to bluegrass - blues to rock and roll - and this guitar was built to do it all. A few unique features on this one including new signature pickups (Johnny Hiland Treble and Bass), 24-fret maple cap neck (one of the few maples from PRS) with a special JH neck carve, JH large dot inlays with a 513 inlay at the 12th fret, and 3-way pickup selector with push/pull tone pot to split the bass pickup. This one also features a very nice flamed maple top. Another cool feature is the recessed truss rod cover, which Johnny uses to do string bends behind the nut. Press it down to the wood and you'll get a perfect whole tone step up every time. Other features include custom "Johnny Hiland" truss rod cover, nickel pickup covers & hardware, PRS tremolo and Phase II locking tuners. The finish is called Tortoise Shell, and it complements the flamed maple very well. Cosmetically, it’s in very nice shape with just some clear coat scratches, on back, most or all we’ll buff out prior to shipping, and slight dullness of the nickel covers, and they’ll probably come clean when we get it on the bench. Set up is spectacular all the way up the neck. This model listed for $3320, 10 years ago so a nice buy at $1550 for this beauty. Includes PRS case and trem arm.
1995 PRS Custom 22 – Royal Blue w/Birds and Gold, (front), (back), (headstock back), (signature), (case). Beautiful older PRS in the lovely Royal Blue flamed top with gold hardware and original style bird inlays. This one is extra cool in that Paul signed the control cover and simply said “Best Wishes”, which is much better than something like, “Rock on Dave” (unless you’re name is Dave…). Note: flaws you see in pics of the top are merely reflections. If you think this looks like a nice 10 top, I agree. I’ve seen lesser tops make the grade, but PRS was pretty strict 20 years ago and not many made the grade. The flame is consistent and covers the entire top, but I think the flame was just too tight. Regardless, it's a stunner and in beautiful shape as well. Features include wide-thin neck, Dragon pickups, PRS stop tailpiece, volume-tone-rotary 5-way switch and Phase I locking tuners. This one also has the optional gold hardware and bird inlays ($840 list price) which look great on Royal Blue. '95 was a transition year for PRS and this guitar features the earlier mother of pearl Bird inlays, which PRS fans find more desirable than the later abalam Birds. This guitar has a typical superb PRS set up with very low action and no dead spots on the 22-fret neck, with excellent sustain and a great selection on single-coil and humbucker tones via the 5-way selector. PRS had a very small catalog in the mid-90's, with only around 8 models, and these were some of the finest guitars that left the factory. Beautifully cared for and barely played in its 21 years, this one is one is in superb condition. For a generically signed Custom with killer looks, fantastic playability, sweet tone, this one's hard to beat at $1850.
2006 PRS Singlecut Emerald Green Flametop with Birds, (front), (back), (headstock back), (bird inlays), (case). Just got the right case for this one so I’m relisting it: Lovely Emerald Green with a nicely flamed maple top and the older, colorful bird inlays. At the risk of sounding like a geezer, I’ve never warmed up to the newer “open” bird inlays, seeing them as a cheaper manufacturing technique. Singlecuts are great guitars, much like the Custom 22 except in a more timeless body shape with a slightly thicker mahogany back, but the features are undeniably PRS including the flamed maple "binding" where PRS leaves the maple unstained and bookmatched maple top over mahogany body and neck. Features include dual volume and tone, selector on the upper bout, and stoptail tailpiece, PRS-7 Treble and Bass pickups, 25" scale, 10" radius, vintage tuners, and wide-fat neck which isn't as chunky as the name might suggest - for many it's the perfect size, and just slightly thicker than their wide-thin profile. Cosmetically it’s in excellent condition, with the exception of a few tiny finish impressions next to 3 of the knobs, shown here. Frets are near perfect, like a 2-month old guitar and it has no buckle wear nor dings on the headstock points. Set up is very low with no buzz, a real delight to play. If you're looking for a nice alternative to a Les Paul, we love this model and with the bird inlays, a nice deal at $1599. Includes original case and PRS paperwork.
2012 PRS SE Nick Catanese Model, (front-1) (front-2), (back), (headstock), (pickups/bridge), (gigbag). Nick Catanese of Black Label Society was known as the "Evil Twin" by virtue of his ability to keep up with band leader Zakk Wylde. In order to accomplish this, PRS and Nick renovated his signature SE, retaining a straightforward, sleek look, but with the chameleon tone of a set of EMG81/85 humbuckers. The Catanese model features an extra thick mahogany body, with a figured maple veneer, Scarlet Red finish, black binding, 22-fret Wide/Fat maple neck, ebony fingerboard with no inlays (side dots only), Tone Pros adjustable stoptail bridge, 25" scale length, PRS tuners, master volume and tone controls with a 3-way selector on the upper bout. Pickups are active EMG 81/85 combination with brushed chrome covers. This new model doesn't have the dark look of his earlier signature model with the black finish and silver Evil Twin logo but it has all the sustain and superb playability you would want in a LP type guitar Nick's previous contract with Washburn ended in '09 and having played both guitars, I think this one is a hands-down winner by comparison. A new Catanese sold for $843 but this one is perfect condition, set up to perfection, and just $599. Includes red PRS gigbag that's one of the best made, unsigned warranty, cable, etc.
PRS Case - SKB I-Series, (pic2). Top of the line protection for your PRS including McCarty, Custom, CE, Single Cut and Santana. The iSeries is the ultimate PRS case and features waterproof injection molded construction of ultra high-strength polypropylene copolymer resin in a gasketed, waterproof, submersible design that is resistant to corrosion and impact damage. Its molded-in hinge, patented "trigger release" latch system with TSA recognized and accepted locks, four reinforced locking loops for customer supplied locks,comfortable, snap-down rubber over-molded cushion grip handles, secure stacking, and automatic ambient pressure equalization valve earn it a military grade designation. Interior is platinum plush providing total neck support and protection on all sides of the guitar. Features end handle for 2-man carry or pulling out of a van as well as wheels for easy transport. Sells new for $259. Get this barely used one for $149.
PRS NECK CARVE (width at nut, depth at nut)
· Regular - 1 21/32", 27/32"
· Wide Fat - 1 11/16", 27/32"
· Wide Thin - 1 11/16", 25/32"
· Santana - 1 21/32"
· Custom 22/12 - 1 47/64">
· Wide Fat neck only available on 22 fret models
· Wide Thin neck has a thinner profile front to back than Wide Fat, 22 and 24 fret models
· Regular neck is 1/32 narrower and not quite as thick front to back as Wide Fat neck. Only available on the Custom and Standard 24.
PRS Radius: 10" on all guitars and basses except 11 1/2"" on the Santana II and Custom 22/12
5-Way Rotary Settings:
Position 10: Humbucking treble (bridge) pickup alone
Position 9: Outside coils of both pickups in parallel for what PRS calls a "deep and clear"" sound
Position 8: Series single coils - PRS describes this as a "warm version of the classic in-between the bridge and middle pickups"
Position 7: Parallel single coils - Here PRS describes the sound as a "crisp version of the in-between the treble and middle pickups"
Position 6: Humbucking bass (neck) pickup alone