A closer look at some of the rarest, most unique guitars Paul Reed Smith builds
Paul Reed Smith is renowned for the company’s signature look, exceptional materials and build quality. But the Private Stock series takes that game to a whole new level with limited-edition instruments made from exquisite woods and unique features not found in the core guitar line. In this edition of Guitar Notes I’ll highlight a couple of these stunning works of art available at Musician’s Friend Private Reserve.
PRS offers Private Stock instruments in a range models, but customers and dealers can also specify built-to-order instruments that reflect your unique, personal tastes. Private Stock guitars are well thought out and each is built with a “one-off” mentality. Built-to-order instruments boast the highest level of customization available in producing these heirloom-quality guitars. The two instruments I spotlight below are ultra limited-edition PRS Private Stock guitars of the month.
This beautiful guitar is built on the Custom 24 platform—the instrument that launched PRS back in 1985. Custom 24 hallmarks are 24 frets, a five-way blade switch and tremolo. The Private Stock Lotus Knot brings some highly customized and breathtaking appointments to the Custom 24.
The first thing you’ll notice is the super-tight and uniform figured-top—hand selected Private Stock maple with a carefully conceived and meticulously executed Sage Glow Smoked Burst finish. Not to be outdone, the back is made of rich African ribbon mahogany. Then there are the amazing ebony fretboard inlays: intricate lotus knots crafted with gorgeous paua heart, green ripple abalone and mother of pearl. They are just incredible.
This Private Stock Custom 24 takes its name from the intricate lotus knot inlay work on the ebony fretboard.
The same combination of abalone species and mother of pearl are used to create the Private Stock eagle and engraved “October” banner on the headstock veneer. All this beauty is arrayed over an amazingly smooth, pattern-carved wenge neck neck that has outstanding feel.
Rich-looking and smooth-feeling wenge neck and paua heart headstock veneer with Private Stock eagle and October banner on the Lotus Knot Custom 24
The 58/15 LT pickups, a Private Stock Gen 3 tremolo, and Phase III locking tuners complete this stunning instrument. PRS produced just 20 Lotus Knots, marking the 20th anniversary of Private Stock guitars. View this super guitar at Private Reserve.
This utterly unique Private Stock guitar is also based on the iconic Custom 24 platform. It features the standard two-humbucker layout with 5-way blade switch, but sports a hardtail bridge versus the traditional tremolo.
The first unmissable fact is that it’s an eight string! PRS based this Private Stock guitar on an eight-string designed with Periphery’s Mark Holcomb. It is equipped with the same Seymour Duncan Alpha and Omega pickups found on Holcomb’s guitar. The neck is 26.5 scale and the guitar ships in F#, B, E, A, D, G, B, E tuning.
The long, wide eight-string neck is easy to play and is made of a stunning piece of flame maple that is a pleasure to behold as you navigate down those eight strings. The neck is fitted with a beautiful African blackwood fingerboard set off by curly maple binding and inlaid with mother of pearl “J” birds sporting paua abalone centers. The African blackwood is repeated on the headstock with a mother of pearl “J” Private Stock eagle with paua center and an “August” banner engraved in mother of pearl. A hand-selected swamp ash body sports a Private Stock flame top with tight figuring that’s shown off nicely in the Frostbite Glow finish.
Super tight flame top in Frostbite Glow along with African blackwood headstock veneer with Private Stock eagle and August banner
Other custom touches include an African blackwood truss rod cover and tuning buttons, and a swamp ash backplate. Check out this one-of-a-kind monster at Private Reserve.
So, there you have it; two top-shelf, beautiful and unique works of art from the fine folks at Paul Reed Smith Guitars!
Musician’s Friend Private Reserve has a nice selection of Private Stock and also a complete assortment core-line PRS guitars. And, we can custom order your dream guitar from PRS Private Stock. Just give us a call at 866-926-1923 to discuss your dream PRS guitar. Until next time...keep playing!
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Visit www.privatereserveguitars.com or contact Derek White directly at 866-926-1923. He can get you the absolute lowest price on your dream guitar. Connect with Private Reserve Guitars on Facebook and Instagram.
Brian Baggett is Video Presenter for Musician’s Friend Private Reserve Guitars. He curates the Private Reserve guitar collection on video, visits guitar factories and works closely with luthiers and signature artists to gain insight into the greatest guitars being built today. He is also a professional guitarist playing several nights a week in the legendary Kansas City jazz scene. A former jazz guitar professor, Brian continues to teach and has a book and DVD titled "Keys To Unlocking the Fretboard".