Located in Stevensville, Maryland, Paul Reed Smith Guitars is one of the world’s premier guitar and amplifier manufacturers. Since our humble beginning in 1985, PRS Guitars has always strived to create the highest quality instruments possible. Guitar and amplifier building are very personal things at PRS Guitar, as most of the team members are dedicated players, refining their craft as builders, musicians, and artists of all kinds. Their deep commitment to the craft and their culture of quality are what drives PRS in the workplace and the marketplace.
Paul Reed Smith (born February 18, 1956), is a master luthier and the founder and owner of PRS Guitars, which is considered one of the top makers of high quality guitars in the United States. Smith is considered to be one of the preeminent master guitar makers in the world.
He made his first guitar while a student at St. Mary's College of Maryland, and continued to build guitars after he finished college, making them one at a time, one a month. Together with another local, John "Orkie" Ingram, they formed the nucleus of what would become Paul Reed Smith Guitars.
Smith would often bring his guitars backstage at concerts, and eventually got his break when Derek St. Holmes, of the Ted Nugent Band, agreed to try out #2, the second guitar Smith had ever made. St. Holmes played the guitar for the first few songs of his set, and Smith told him that after he showed it to some other musicians, he would fly out to Detroit and give it to him. St. Holmes eventually sold the guitar for $200. Another artist who grew loyal to him through this method of salesmanship was Carlos Santana. Santana now has several signature guitars with PRS and endorses them as his only supplier.
Smith then contacted Ted McCarty, former president of Gibson and creator of the Explorer, ES-335 and Flying V guitars, and McCarty became his mentor and adviser. The result of their collaboration was the current line of PRS Guitars, which include solid- and hollow-body guitars. The Private Stock line of PRS guitars are made utilizing a vast range of exotic materials including various stones, elaborately figured tone woods, and intricate shells for inlays. Unlike Ted McCarty and Leo Fender, Paul plays the guitar in his own band, The Paul Reed Smith band.
Today PRS Guitars is one of the top guitar making companies in the United States and is known for the very high quality of its guitars. PRS guitars are also highly sought after in Europe