Paul Reed Smith plays catch with what appeared to be a ’50s goldtop
Les Paul but was actually a recent reissue that his team had given a relic
treatment. The breathtaking stunt allowed him to make the point that PRS
is capable of relic’ing, and doing so quite convincingly, but that the company
has decided not to sell relic’d guitars. “We’re going to let players put real wear
and tear on our guitars,” Smith said.
Other notable moments included a mad
scramble for attendees to look under their
chairs to see if they were the lucky winners of
a new guitar, as well as the buzz-saw death
of several new PRS guitar bodies, pieces
of which were passed around the crowd so
people could examine the feel and thinness
of the V12 finish. There was also a main-stage
Quest for Tone demo/comparison of new PRS
guitars against a Holy Grail-caliber ’50s goldtop
Les Paul and a sunburst ’50s Strat. But
perhaps the most talked-about moment of
the weekend involved Paul Reed Smith tossing
that same a late-’50s goldtop Les Paul
back and forth with employees. Audience
members shrieked and gasped while peeking
at the madness through the cracks of
their fingers. As it turns out, the goldtop was
a Gibson reissue that Paul’s team had done
a relic job on so it matched the vintage Les
Paul from the Quest for Tone demo. People
who saw the guitar up close say it was spot-on.
Smith’s point: PRS is capable, but has
decided not to offer relic’ing because they
believe owners should put wear and tear on
instruments by playing them.
Paul Reed Smith is surprised by the unveiling of an Elvis-ified portrait of himself,
presented by David Grissom and PRS Artist Relations/Event Planner Bev Fowler.
Martin Simpson and Cody Kilby discuss picking techniques.
Left: The DC3 is similar to the NF3 but features
the company’s DC3 single-coils, which are based
on the pickups in the PRS 513. Right: The JA-15 hollowbody archtop is loaded with
53/10 pickups and was built for session ace Paul Jackson
Jr. Its bracing is carved into the spruce top and curly
maple back with a CNC machine.
Left: The SC58 is a single-cutaway solidbody
with a 24.5" scale length. It features an “artist
grade” maple top, mahogany back and neck,
rosewood fretboard, and the Pattern neck shape.
It also has 58/08 pickups. Right:This vintage-inspired, 25"-scale double-cutaway pays
homage to Ted McCarty. It has an “artist grade” maple top,
a mahogany back and neck, and comes with 57/08 pickups.
It also has a rosewood fretboard and the new Pattern neck
shape, which is an update on the PRS “wide-fat” neck
that’s based on Smith’s pre-factory guitars.
Left: The NF3 is one of two new 25.25"-scale
PRS guitars that feature the company’s new flat body
shape with the new Pattern Regular neck, which is similar
to the standard neck on late-’80s PRS guitars. The NF3
features a korina body, maple neck and fretboard (with
a rosewood option), and PRS Narrowfield pickups. Right: The Modern Eagle Quatro updates the
company’s top-shelf 25"-scale-length guitar with
the new Pattern neck shape and 53/10 pwickups.
The guitar has an “artist grade” top, mahogany
back, Dalbergia neck and fretboard, and a
cocobolo headstock overlay.