PRS’ first foray into stompboxes yields sonic gold.
Inside each box containing a brand new PRS pedal, there’s a little fold-out card with a picture of Paul Reed Smith and a simple caption: “I hate pedals.” It’s not hard to imagine Smith’s indifference to stompboxes. PRS guitars are immaculately executed, ultra-playable instruments that reflect a focus on elemental interactions between fingers, strings, and fretboard. Indeed, for much of Paul Reed Smith’s career, stompboxes were probably held in the same regard as a broken toaster—a needless impediment to the communication of unadulterated tone.
Certainly, there is a visceral thrill to playing a guitar without effects—particularly one as nice as the average PRS. But while that’s true, stompboxes are, to many musicians, equally artful and thrilling vehicles of expression. And more than a few pedals have done their magic with a PRS guitar at the other end of a cable.
PRS’ three debut pedals—an optical compressor, overdrive, and dual flanger—do not feel like willy-nilly concessions to market pressures. In fact, in keeping with PRS tradition and ethos, these pedals seem selected and designed to offer minimal intrusion on the guitar/amp relationship if the player chooses that route. But they also have the bandwidth to be bold and even positively extroverted. Unsurprisingly, they are also built to a very high standard of quality and reflect an intense attention to detail.
Read the reviews of each pedal here.