PRS Guitars Private Stock Craftsmen Create One-of-a-Kind Masterpieces

Posted Jan 29, 2014

The PRS Private Stock department is one of the largest custom guitar shops in the USA. With examples in the Smithsonian, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in leading instrument collections world-wide, the Private Stock department of PRS is a place where customers and dealers can turn instrument dreams into reality. These instruments can become timeless works of playable art that can increase with value over time and reflect not only the superior craftsmanship of the PRS Private Stock team but also the artistic vision of the owner.

Headed by PRS working founder, Paul Reed Smith with Director and PRS veteran Paul Miles, this design playground for musicians, artists, and collectors includes an expansive Wood Vault where customers, through their authorized PRS dealer, can choose from extraordinary figured woods including, curly maple, koa, korina, quilted maple, mahogany, spalted maple, and a seemingly endless list of inlay and embellishment materials from precious metals and gemstones to exotic woods and shells.

In addition to building guitars with extraordinary sound and playability, the Private Stock team also fulfills customers’ creative requests like, “can you make my guitar look like the sunset in this photo,” or, “can you make my guitar body look like waves crashing on a beach,” or a metal-induced, “I want the finish of my guitar to look like the fires at the gates of hell,” have compelled the Private Stock finish team to create new colors and staining techniques to create the desired effects while accentuating the natural grain of the woods used.

The Private Stock team works closely with each order – through concept to hourly discussions with meticulous checks of every detail at every step of the process to make sure the end result is a one-of-a-kind extraordinary masterpiece that is equally good as a family heirloom as it is as a musician’s tool. The passion and skill level of the team, world-class woods, care in drying, brutal attention to detail, and deep dealer commitment work to make the PRS Private Stock program a success.

As Steve P., who owns over 50 Private Stock guitars, explains “Half the fun of owning a PRS Private Stock is getting to be personally involved in the build process with the Private Stock team. Visiting the wood library and picking out unique types of wood with one-of-a-kind figuring, choosing the inlay design and materials, and deciding upon stains, neck shape, pickups, binding, electronics, etc., add up to making this guitar perfect for the owner.

However, my reasons for owning a private stock can be different. For example, consider my two most recent additions. One is a Brazilian rosewood neck DC245, a fantastic “player” that I have been playing often. The other one is a double-neck model, and while I have played it, I consider it more of a work of art; an heirloom that I hope will pass within my family for generations.” Steve continues, “One thing the PRS Private Stock buyer can count on: The finished product will be one of the finest guitars made.”

Private Stock’s crew of twelve luthiers builds approximately fifty guitars a month that are available to the public. In addition to building customer and PRS-designed Private Stock guitars, the department also builds guitars to spec for many PRS Artists and serves as an incubator for PRS Guitars Core models, many of which started as concept instruments built by the Private Stock team. A gallery of Private Stock guitars and material examples can be viewed at: