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PRS is officially unveiling the first in a series of acoustic guitars at NAMM. Nearly four years of design and prototyping with acoustic artist Ricky Skaggs and luthier Steve Fischer have culminated in the Angelus Cutaway and the Tonare Grand models. Full production will commence in early 2009.
The acoustic models include German spruce tops, beautiful dark rosewood or curly mahogany backs and sides, rare Peruvian mahogany necks, red spruce and mahogany bracing, exotic inlays and rosettes, and thin shatter-hard all nitro finishes. Options include Celtic knot rosettes and inlays, Adirondack red spruce tops, and ebony fretboards and bridges. These instruments incorporate a proprietary hybrid bracing pattern designed to maximize volume, provide a musical balance between the bass, mid-range and warm high-end and give an articulate tonal response.
PRS Guitars Debuts Al Di Meola Signature Model – The Prism The Al Di Meola Prism, world renowned Jazz guitarist Al Di Meola’s first signature model PRS guitar, will appear for the first time at NAMM during the winter trade show in Anaheim. The model, which unofficially debuted during Experience PRS 2008, features a stained top with a full spectrum of colors unlike any finish PRS has ever offered. The Prism prototype was completed just in time for Di Meola to play the new model on stage alongside legendary jazz band mates Chick Corea, Lenny White and Stanley Clark during the Return to Forever world tour in 2008. The Al Di Meola Prism features a highly figured curly maple custom top with mahogany back, 25” scale length, 22 fret Mexican rosewood fingerboard, custom Al Di Meola neck carve, grommet style locking tuners, standard abalone bird inlays, the new 1957/2008 pickups and a tremolo bridge. When discussions about this new signature model began, Al and Paul Reed Smith were both adamant that the guitar maintained the highest quality and tonal integrity. Al also suggested a tie-dye like finish for the guitar to give it a truly unique look. Paul Smith and the PRS R&D team combined Al’s favorite guitar appointments and a full spectrum of colors to create a one of a kind PRS Guitar. Al Di Meola was one of the very first artists featured on a magazine cover playing a PRS guitar and has supported PRS Guitars for more than 20 years. Not only is the Al Di Meola Prism one of the most striking guitars PRS has ever developed, it pays tribute to a legendary musician who helped lay the frame work for PRS Guitars as a company. PRS Guitars is also debuting the Tube Amplifier Line at Winter NAMM. This highly anticipated PRS tube amp line pays homage to both classic American as well as British amps. Doug Sewell and Paul Smith directed the PRS team to produce a line that covers the needs of varied playing styles while providing some uniquely different tonal possibilities. The Dallas, Blue Sierra, and Original Sewell models are making their official appearance at 2009 NAMM in Anaheim. PRS says the Dallas harkens to the classic American reverb amps with more useable gain and slightly fuller midrange, and guitarists seeking a classic British and American tone will likely latch on to the Blue Sierra.
The PRS line of amps will be displayed at NAMM in PRS booth #5320 and demonstrated at performance volume in the PRS Studio (on the second floor of the Anaheim Convention Center - room # 212). Amp demonstrations are scheduled in the PRS Studio at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
PRS is also debuting the New Sunburst Series Nitro Finished Guitars at Winter NAMM. The New Sunburst Series incorporates 1957/2008 pickups and is finished in never before offered PRS proprietary nitro-cellulose burst colors, the Sunburst 22, Sunburst 245 and Smokeburst McCarty. The guitars feature custom grade curly maple tops, wide/fat mahogany necks, mahogany backs, 22-fret East Indian Rosewood fretboards and abalone bird inlays.
The Sunburst 22 is a 25” scale-length double-cutaway model with PRS Tremolo bridge and phase II low mass locking tuners. The Sunburst 245 features a 24-1/2” scale length with single-cutaway body, stoptail bridge and vintage style tuners. The Smokeburst McCarty incorporates a 25” scale-length with double-cutaway body, stoptail bridge and vintage style tuners. The Sunburst 22 and Smokeburst McCarty each have a 3-way toggle pickup selector, volume knob and push/pull coil splitting tone control; while the Sunburst 245 utilizes a re-configured volume and tone control per pickup and three-way pickup selector.
PRS is also revealing the Mira X at NAMM. The Mira X is the first 22-fret, 24-1/2” scale-length guitar in the Mira series of PRS guitar models. The Mira X’s retro inspired design and appointments compliment others in the Mira series, but the flatter, streamlined Mira X top and lighter weight body is aiming to give new options to players in search of instruments with PRS craftsmanship, but with subtle and understated style. The unique X wood palette includes a solid African basswood body, a Sipo mahogany neck and a Pau Ferro fretboard that contribute to the light-weight understated look and feel of this guitar, as do the dot inlays, vintage style tuning pegs and nickel hardware. Mira X Treble and Bass pickups, volume and tone controls and a three-way pick up selector on a black pickguard round out the electronics package. Color packages are Vintage Cherry, Black and Sepia Burst.
Also being released at NAMM is an addition to the PRS SE series with the revealing of the new SE Custom 24 electric guitar. The SE Custom 24 features a mahogany body, maple top and neck, plain maple veneer, three-piece wide-thin neck, rosewood fretboard and moon inlays. Incorporating PRS designed HFS Treble & Vintage Bass pickups, PRS says the SE Custom 24 produces a wide range of tonal possibilities enhanced by a variety of switching options including master volume, master tone, and 3-way toggle pickup selector. The SE Custom 24 is only available with a tremolo bridge. Available colors include Black Cherry, Grey Black and Whale Blue.
1957/2008 PRS pickups are also at NAMM. PRS acquired exclusive rights to the original pickup wire from the original machine used to make the most revered ‘50s era pickups in 2008, and 1957 was the year the humbucker was first commercially available. The new PRS Sunburst Series, the McCarty II, the Al Di Meola Prism and a limited run of solid body electrics introduced at Experience PRS 2008 are presently the only models that come standard with 1957/2008 pickups.
Three models are offered as part of a 1957/2008 Limited Run: the Custom 24, the McCarty and the SC 245. Limited to 750 guitars, the limited run and the new Sunburst Series are the only place outside of Private Stock where brand new “old style” McCarty PRS models are currently available.
PRS Guitars Modern Eagle II is also being displayed at Winter NAMM. The newly updated Modern Eagle II builds on the tradition of the original Modern Eagle with premium grade wood, classic Modern Eagle frets and a Modern Eagle wide fat neck carve and adds to that an all new exclusive pickup system, updated finishing techniques, new colors and a Modern Eagle case. PRS says the 1957/2008 pickups offered standard on the Modern Eagle II and allow players to achieve both vintage and modern sounds. Other features include 22 frets, 25” scale length, custom Modern Eagle II birds with select green abalone bird outlines and iridescent Paua heart filled centers, tremolo or stoptail bridge and a special paisley case with a maroon crushed velvet interior. The high gloss nitro finish is available in four special high-contrast colors: Faded Blue Jean, Charcoal, Red Tiger and Yellow Tiger.
PRS is also debuting the Al Di Meola Signature Model – The Prism at Winter NAMM. The Al Di Meola Prism, world renowned Jazz guitarist Al Di Meola’s first signature model PRS guitar, is appearing for the first time at NAMM. The model, which unofficially debuted during Experience PRS 2008, features a stained top with a full spectrum of colors unlike any finish PRS has ever offered. The Prism prototype was completed just in time for Di Meola to play the new model on stage alongside legendary jazz band mates Chick Corea, Lenny White and Stanley Clark during the Return to Forever world tour in 2008.
The Al Di Meola Prism features a highly figured curly maple custom top with mahogany back, 25” scale length, 22 fret Mexican rosewood fingerboard, custom Al Di Meola neck carve, grommet style locking tuners, standard abalone bird inlays, the new 1957/2008 pickups and a tremolo bridge.
Also being revealed at NAMM by PRS is The Starla. The Starla, still a newbie in a line of retro inspired solid-body electrics from Paul Reed Smith Guitars, will be on display for the first time in PRS Guitars NAMM booth #5320. Unofficially unveiled as part of the Experience PRS 2008 open house event, the guitar is similar in spirit to the double cutaway Mira model introduced at Experience PRS 2007. The single cutaway Starla has many vintage themed appointments and is PRS Guitars’ first solid-body electric guitar featuring a standard Bigsby B5 tailpiece and a Grover bridge. The guitar also includes exclusive double-screw Starla Treble and Bass pickups. The solid mahogany Starla body is accented with a 24 ½” scale rosewood fingerboard, a solid mahogany neck and dot inlays or optional bird inlays. PRS says the proprietary Alnico magnets incorporated into the pickup design contribute to the guitar’s unique clean and crisp sound, but are also capable of rich harmonic overtones when driven. Other features include a uniquely shaped black plastic pick guard, tone and volume pots and a three-way pickup selector. Color options include Vintage Cherry, Vintage Mahogany, Vintage Orange and Black.
PRS Guitars Mira Maple Top is making its NAMM debut as well. Originally unveiled during the Experience PRS 2008 event in Maryland last fall, the instrument combines the retro vibe of the PRS Mira with the figured maple tops. PRS says the maple top provides the guitar with both a distinctive visual and tonal identity. New colors and optional gold hardware are also part of this new model’s offerings. The new finishes are all wrap-around and include Tri-Color Sunburst, Dark Cherry Sunburst, Whale Blue/Black Burst, Violin Amber Burst and Vintage Natural. In addition to the mahogany and maple top body, the mahogany neck and East Indian rosewood fingerboard come with either moon inlays or optional bird inlays. This instrument is a 24-fret, 10” radius, 25” scale length guitar with either regular or wide-thin neck carve. Other features include locking tuning pegs, Mira treble and bass pickups, volume, tone, 3-way blade, and a mini toggle coil tap.