Fine Tuning // Introducing New PRS Wing Button Tuners

Posted Jan 16, 2024

Featured Stories / Behind The Gear

Fine Tuning // Introducing New PRS Wing Button Tuners

"One of my sayings is that everything that touches the string is God. Well, that’s really the bridge, the nut, and the tuners. So those are some of the key places we look to push the guitar forward.” – Paul Reed Smith

At PRS, we are known for 'sweating the details' and the updates to our Core lineup for 2024 are a great example of this fine-tuning. In addition to pickup updates on the McCarty and Custom 24-08 models, new color options, and a new scale length for the Santana Retro model, we have also updated the tuning machines on many of our Core guitars for the new year. For 2024, many of the tuners in our Core line now come with our new "Wing" button design.

The origin of this new button design actually starts all the way back in 1982 when Paul Reed Smith drew the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" - one of his first original guitar designs, prior to the foundation of PRS Guitars in 1985.

Below, watch Paul explain the history behind this button design and the reason for the change:

While, aesthetically, these new Wing buttons are designed to echo the 12th fret bird wingspan design, they were first and foremost designed to increase the tonality of our instruments. Because these buttons are lighter weight than their metal predecessors, they are subtracting less energy from the vibrating strings, thus helping the guitar ring longer and at a more musical note.

“These new buttons help to open up the vowel sound of the guitar. By having less weight on the headstock, the whole guitar sounds more musical. As one of the few parts of a guitar to physically touch the guitar string, the tuners can either enhance or dampen the frequency of string vibration. Strings are the only part of the guitar itself that produces sound, you don’t want anything to dampen or flatten that sound before it can even register with the pickups.” - Paul Reed Smith.

As a summary, despite being made of wood, guitar necks and headstocks both have significant flexibility. Adding even a slight amount of weight, or pressure, to the headstock of the guitar can alter the tone of a guitar. By adding our new Wing buttons, the neck and headstock of the guitar are under less pressure, which rounds out the upper level of the instrument’s tone in comparison to heavier metal tuners which creates a tone that can be subject to a duller sound with dead spots.

Individual model tuning machine specification updates for 2024 are as follows:

PRS Phase III Locking Tuners with Wing Buttons

  • Custom 24
  • Custom 24-08
  • Custom 24 Piezo
  • Studio
  • Special Semi-Hollow
  • Modern Eagle V

PRS Phase III Non-Locking Tuners with Wing Buttons

  • Custom 24 “Floyd”
  • Hollowbody II Piezo
  • Paul’s Guitar

PRS Vintage-Style Non-Locking Tuners with Wing Buttons

  • McCarty
  • McCarty 594
  • McCarty 594 Singlecut
  • McCarty 594 Hollowbody II

PRS Phase III Locking Tuners (with existing buttons) // No Changes

  • DGT (David Grissom Trem)
  • Mark Tremonti
  • Santana Retro