Unlike a very large portion of our beloved industry that operates like their best days were 60 years ago, Paul Reed Smith guitars is one of the most forward-moving manufacturers that we work with.
Their facilities are state-of-the-art, the staff is compromised of fellow guitar enthusiasts that have a painstaking eye for detail, and their fan base is rabidly hungry for the next big thing. But what happens when you start letting dealers in on the mix to make their own creations?
Que the PRS Wood Library program.
Custom Eddies PRS Guitars
PRS Guitars are widely loved for their use of beautiful, figured tone woods, and for many of their fans, picking out the perfect maple top is the dream. For a lucky Signature Dealer like us here at Eddies, this is an opportunity to design dream guitars in runs of 10 and create instruments unique to our store.
Of course, this isn't as wide-open as the “you imagine it and we'll build it” Private Stock program, where a gang of zombies could be inlayed on your fretboard or an ominous snake-head carved into your flame maple top. But within a set of guidelines, we are able to design our own sonic experiments and select what we think are Paul Smith's best cuts of wood for our inventory.
If you're not familiar with the Wood Library, you are probably wondering exactly what a dealer can do on a run of guitars. To start, we have several lumber options for tops, necks, bodies, and fretboards. We also have access to the entire PRS catalog of pick-ups (with some unique switching options available) and the ability to customize inlays.
In selecting the tone woods for the Eddies builds, I try to find cuts of wood that are lightweight and sonically / visually appealing.
The goal is for the guitar to look, sound, and feel amazing. Of course, those things are of little concern when we're talking about a PRS guitar, so our objective is to make something exceptional; even by their already painfully high standards.
Creating One-Of-A-Kind Builds
Some Wood Library appointments and combinations are completely unique from core model guitars. For example, if you ever wanted a Custom 24 with more oomph, we recently did a run of them with McCarty Thickness bodies. Prefer a Custom 24 with 58/15LT pick-ups and 408 switching instead of the 5-way blade switch? We can do that.
There are so many possibilities, and many custom models will be appearing in our store sometime soon. To reiterate, you won't find any of these options on any “core” production model Custom 24; you will only see these unique builds in the wild if a dealer liked those specifications enough to do a run of 10.
On our first run of guitars, we decided to stay on the beaten path and do McCarty 594 models with the quintessential combination of a Flame Maple or one-piece Quilt Maple top, Mahogany body, and an East Indian Rosewood neck. Some of them featured Cocobolo fretboards (which are not on any core instrument), and some featured Brazilian Rosewood boards.
As a shop that frequently pays homage to classic-style instruments, we felt this combination would offer a bit of that flare but with some small twists to make them unique. Sonically, the Cocobolo boards aren't too far from what your typical Rosewoods offer, but they do have a bit more in the top-end and upper-mid range.
Of course, the classic full-Rosewood PRS neck is as thick and murky as it ever has been, but it includes an added bonus of beautiful Brazilian cuts on the fretboards. We currently have some of these in stock, so hop over to our Wood Library page to check them out!
Stepping a little bit out of the box, we've also created a unique combination in the form of a Korina body and Artist Grade Flame Maple top paired with a matching figured/stained Flame Maple neck and Brazilian Rosewood or Ziricote fretboards.
This is a combination for the PRS fan looking for something unique in it's voicing and aesthetic or the guy who wants to have some of the most exotic woods possible.
Awesome Guitars At A Great Value
As a fellow consumer of cool guitar stuff, one of the things I appreciate the most about the Wood Library is the price point. Typically, these end up running around what an Artist Package guitar would cost you; however, you get the benefit of unique appointments and hand-selected lumber.
To customize lumber as a one-off guitar, you would have to do a Private Stock build and immediately step into the $10,000+ range — our builds come in at less than half of that.
I've purposefully omitted any commentary about the quality of the woods available at this point, but being the guy that had to endure hand-selecting the woods for all of our Wood Library guitars, it is not such an easy task – everything is so outstanding that it’s difficult to choose!
It almost makes me envy the guy on the production line that just gets to grab the next piece of wood and go about his business.
The step of sorting through hundreds of beautiful cuts of wood to find the perfect piece of the puzzle for our instruments is painstaking. But, for an opportunity like this, that's just how it goes. It is important to keep in mind that there nothing subpar at PRS Guitars headquarters; just varying degrees of excellence (and we aim to put our Wood Library guitars on the top echelon of that).
We believe our Wood Library guitars are truly special instruments that will please any discerning PRS fan, so keep an eye peeled for our future builds! In the meantime, feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions (or if you want to see the tops!).