PRS Employee Spotlight - Jeff Taylor // Amps
Posted Apr 04, 2018
Jeff Taylor started at PRS in 1990, only a few years after Paul Reed Smith launched the business in 1985. At the time, the PRS factory employed fewer than 40 employees in a location close to downtown Annapolis, and Jeff was working at a car dealership around the corner. He heard about this “little place that built guitars” and decided to apply for a job. He got hired as a sander, where most new employees started before gradually working their way up to other production processes.
Between then and now, Jeff has gained experience in many departments at PRS. He has been a fret leveler, sander, pickup builder, electronics assembler, and even became a manager of the final assembly department. In 2009, Jeff moved to the amp department where he currently supervises our day-to-day amp production.
Outside of work, Jeff enjoys homebrewing, spending time with his son, working on cars, and playing music.
What does a day in the life of Jeff Taylor look like? What sorts of things are you doing each day at PRS?
I wake up around 5am, get my kid ready, and I’m out of the door heading to PRS at 6. I start my shift around quarter to 7 and check e-mail to see if there are any really pressing amp matters to take care of. I am the department supervisor so I’m responsible for the flow of our production. I’ll look at the production schedule and make sure we’re building what we need to fulfill orders. A lot of that includes the physical assembly of our amps and cabinets and prepping them for shipping. I’ll also attend meetings, quality inspect our amps, and conduct repairs.
What things are you looking for when you inspect an amp for quality?
First the physical appearance of the amp -- making sure everything is in the right place, but I’m also playing and listening very critically for unwanted noise, hisses, or bad tubes. We want every amp leaving the PRS factory to be “musical” as Paul Smith often says.
What’s the most difficult part of your job? What’s the most enjoyable?
The most difficult is amp repairs. Some are easy, some take a lot of time to diagnose. The most enjoyable is building the amps - getting lost in building an amp is fun.
Favorite PRS amp model?
It’s tough to decide, I’m a high-gain guy so my mind goes immediately goes to the Archon, but I also love reverb so the 2-Channel Custom 50 would be my standalone do-it-all amplifier - it’s incredibly versatile.
If you could travel somewhere for a month, where would you go?
Anywhere where the sand is white, the water is blue, and the rum is flowing
Favorite classic band and guitar player?
Classic bands would be Judas Priest (sorry I’m an 80’s guy) or RUSH. For guitar players, I’m a Satriani and Alex Lifeson fan, those two guys actually helped inspire my son’s name - Aleksandar Joseph. Those names also have some family ties so it’s great.
Yes - all of them. But I am a hot wing connoisseur, I love spicy food.
What do you love most about working in the music industry?
It’s the great people I get to work with and the satisfaction of seeing something I’ve worked on being played on stage. At PRS we’re not just building guitars and amps for people to display, we’re building them to be used and loved as musical tools.
Check out the PRS Amp Product Pages to hear the amazing amps Jeff and our other great employees work on each day!