“My first memory of seeing a PRS guitar was back in 2003 when I was dragged to another guitar shop with my father. Being only 11 the last thing I wanted to do was sit in a hot, sweaty room and listen to him twittering away guitar songs that I had heard a thousand times and waste my previous Saturday afternoon. But... this became the day that the fascination started brewing in my belly. I became aware of different guitars, understood that a Gibson guitar was different to a Fender and some had more of these ‘pick-ups’ in then others that meant it created more sounds. I remember seeing a special looking guitar in the corner, bright blue in colour with a wave like pattern running over the front. It was memorizing. I remember my father grabbing my hand and pulling me back imploring me never to touch a Private Stock Guitar as they are very special. This upset me and to spite him I made it my mission to handle as many PRS Private stock guitars as I could. "
PRS Private Stock (Originally called private stash, changed due to its illicit connotations) is essentially a custom build workshop creating incredible one-of-a-kind guitars, each one is unique, handmade and is built with the finest woods and parts. The guitar builders have at least 15 years of experience within the company so they are considered the very best in their field, this is showcased in the guitars themselves. The private stock vault offers customers/rockstar's the chance to visit and personally pick out wood from 50 different types that come from all over the world. You can pick the front, back, neck, fingerboard, veneers woods and the list keeps on going... these guitars really are completely customizable giving people the chance to build their DREAM one of a kind guitar. PRS have extensive contacts all around the world that contact the factory when they come across exceptional wood grains. The one-of-a-kind build really does go as far back as that initial chop of the axe that fells the tree which makes Private Stock guitars even more premium.
PRS have spent more time on creating the perfect guitar neck than any other part of the instrument. The type of wood used for the neck also impacts how a guitar sound. Mahogany produces warmer and darker tones with more resonance, while maple creates brighter notes that sustain less. If a guitar neck isn’t constructed effectively, the note will die. Private stock necks are made from a higher class of wood, but also offer custom inlays. Most have birds, some have ‘tree of life’ inlays which is a ribbon of mother of pearl running up the neck. Nosferatu Bats is another which we have recently had in stock (we did not have it for long. See fig).
So, within the Private Stock floor, woods have been selected, design has been agreed, wood is then cut to absolute precision under strict scrutiny (as you expect), neck is formed and inlays added. Everything is then sanded to perfection ready for finishing. One of the more unique sections of Private Stock is the staining/colouring as it allows the customer to become creative and add emotion to the guitar. Nearly every part of the guitar can be stained. It is then passed onto electronics to fit the whole lot together. A full setup is carefully done and then the guitar is passed onto Paul Reed Smith himself to sign it off. Literally.
Private Stock guitars are considered the most prestigious in the industry. The quality and craftsmanship are unmatched, but the price point can be a bit high. If you have been thinking about buying one of these beautiful instruments then we recommend that you do your research beforehand to ensure that it is worth the investment. We hope this article has helped provide some additional insight into what makes PRS such an elite guitar company and whether or not their Private Stock models will live up to expectations if purchased. In our opinion they offer a wow factor like no other.