On the even of this weekend’s Experience 2010, Paul Reed Smith Guitars is set welcome more than 2,200 people from all over the world and will unveil six new electric guitar, several limited run amps, and new guitar appointments including the company’s new V12 finish, new neck shapes, new pickups, and a high-tolerance two-piece adjustable bridge.
Experience is a weekend full of clinics, seminars, factory tours, master classes, and home-recording-studio demonstrations, combined with performances by more than a dozen PRS artists including Ricky Skaggs, Orianthi, Zach Myers, Howard Leese, Davy Knowles, Martin Simpson, David Grissom, Cody Kilby, Bugs Henderson, Derek St. Holmes, and more.
PRS’ new "V12" finish is very thin and hard, non-weather cracking, crystal-clear, and thinner-impervious.
Prototyped on Private Stock guitars, the new two-piece adjustable PRS bridge now comes standard on two new PRS models – the SC58, and the JA-15. Bridge specifications include triple weight saddles, triple weight thumb wheels, large posts, and extra mass. The added weight increases contact points and creates a more resonant, musical instrument. Machining rather than casting give the brass and aluminum bridge a stronger sound, and the quick-change style stoptail doesn’t fall when the strings are removed.
Since the beginning of the company, neck shapes have always been high priority and a hallmark of PRS quality. A guitar should feel comfortable (like "home," as soon as you pick it up). The neck is a very important part of that connection. Perfected after years of prototyping, the new "Pattern" neck (a name derived from an old wood working term) is an updated wide-fat PRS neck style based on Paul’s pre-factory design. This neck is also based on theories used to make the instruments custom-made in the late ’70s and mid ’80s for Carlos Santana, Peter Frampton, and Howard Leese. The new "Pattern Regular" neck shape is similar to the traditional PRS regular neck found on guitars made in the late ’80s at PRS’s former Virginia Avenue location.
The 53/10 pickup is the latest in the series of humbucking pickups that already includes the full-sized 57/08™ and 59/09’s (and the smaller aperture 57/08 Narrowfield). First debuting as part of a limited run in the summer of 2010, the distinct 53/10 has scorched nickel covers (scorched covers only featured on the original 53/10 limited run model) and sounds similar to the original 57/08 but with a "sweeter" high end. The 53/10 coil wire is made on the same machine that supplied legendary guitar makers in the fifties and is the warmest-sounding of the vintage themed bunch. "The old machine is cranking out wire, and we’ve got three types from it – one for each of these three pickups," said Smith. Wire specifications for the 53/10 are different than the others and are made using a special process reserved for a single-coil bridge pickup circa 1953; however, the 53/10™ is a humbucking pickup. During the 53/10’s prototyping phase, Paul Reed Smith wound a pair of 57/08’s using the new 53/10 wire for Derek Trucks, and "He fell in love with them," Smith commented. "There are single-coil guitars from that era that are beautifully big, fat sounding guitars." The new JA 15 and the ME Quatro models both come standard with 53/10 pickups.
New models include;
• The McCarty 58. A vintage inspired double-cutaway body and a figured maple artist-grade top with PRS’s new V12 finish compliment the unique sound of the proprietary 57/08 pickups.
Additional features include mahogany back, natural binding, 22 frets, 25" scale length, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, rosewood headstock overlay, new "Pattern" neck shape, Modern Eagle II birds with mother of pearl and paua heart, "McCarty 58" truss rod cover, PRS Stoptail, PRS low mass locking tuners, hybrid hardware with a gold option, 57/08 pickups, volume and push/pull tone control with three-way toggle pickup selector.
• The JA-15 Paul Jackson signature. Designed with jazz archtops in mind, it has two 53/10 bass pickups, V12 finish, two-piece adjustable PRS bridge, a spruce top, curly maple back, mahogany sides, natural binding, 22-fret curly maple neck, 25" scale length, ebony fretboard, "Pattern" neck shape, mother of pearl and paua heart Modern Eagle II bird inlays and an abalone headstock signature, PRS low-mass locking tuners, nickel hardware with a gold option, and volume and tone control with three-way toggle.
• The DC3 and the NF3. DC3 is a modernized, vintage inspired three single-coil pickup guitar with an alder body. Its three proprietary PRS DC3 single-coil pickups are based on PRS’s award wining 513 platform and give the DC3 a warm, clear tone. The NF3 introduces a korina body and three proprietary Narrowfield™ pickups. Narrowfields™ use the same wire as 57/08s™, but are narrower pole to pole and deeper front to back, providing exceptional clarity. Both models combine a three-pickup configuration with a five-way blade switch to provide a multitude of sounds, and both feature bolt-on necks, 3-ply pickguards, and mounted electronics.
Other appointments shared by the DC3 and NF3 have 22 frets, 25.25" scale length, maple neck and fretboard with rosewood option, "Pattern Regular" neck shape, ring dot inlays, PRS low mass locking tuners, nickel hardware with gold option, and volume and tone controls.
• The new ME Quatro has the V12 finish, 53/10 pickups, and "Pattern" neck shape. As the fourth installment in the Modern Eagle series, the ME Quatro elegantly builds on PRS’ Modern Eagle tradition with premium woods, including an artist grade top and rosewood neck.
Additional features include a mahogany back, natural binding, 22 frets, 25" scale length, select dalbergia neck and fretboard, cocobolo headstock overlay, Modern Eagle II birds inlay with mother of pearl and paua heart, and mother of pearl and paua heart eagle inlay on the headstock. Hardware includes a PRS Stoptail with PRS Tremolo option, PRS low mass locking tuners, and hybrid hardware with the option of gold. The model also comes standard with volume and push/pull tone control, and a three-way toggle pickup selector.
• The SC 58 has a single-cutaway body shape, artist-grade maple top, and new Pattern neck shape, V12 finish, and two-piece adjustable PRS bridge, the SC 58 blends modern and classic elements.
Additional features include a mahogany back, natural binding, 22 frets, 24.5" scale length, mahogany neck, East Indian rosewood fretboard, rosewood headstock overlay with inlaid signature, Modern Eagle II bird inlays with mother of pearl and paua heart, "SC 58" engraved truss rod cover, PRS low mass locking tuners, hybrid hardware with gold option, 57/08 pickups . Volume and tone control for each pickup are included as well with a three-way toggle on the upper bout.
• The SE Santana features include a carved maple top, flamed maple top veneer, mahogany back, 22-fret one-piece "wide-fat" mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard with white perloid, old style PRS bird inlays. Electonics include treble and bass humbucking pickups, master volume and tone, three-way toggle switch, PRS tuners, and PRS tremolo.
Learn more at prsguitars.com.