35 players - including John Mayer, Alex Lifeson, Dave Navarro and Carlos Santana - on why they love PRS guitars

Dan Estrin – Hoobastank

• MODEL: PRS Custom 24
• SONG: Crawling In The Dark – from Hoobastank (2001)

“I rented several guitars when Hoobastank recorded our first album,” Estrin says. “Two of them were PRS Custom 24s, and they sounded killer! I recorded a lot of the first album with both of them, including our first single, Crawling in the Dark. A few years later while we were on tour, I took a trip to the PRS factory.

“They took me around the factory, showed me how everything went down and introduced me to a lot of the amazing people who work there. When we got back to the artist relations rep’s office, he asked if I would like to have a custom PRS built for me. I was so stoked!”

David Grissom

• MODEL: PRS Standard 22
• SONG: Are You Listenin’ Lucky? – from Joe Ely Live At Liberty Lunch (1990)

“I used a 1985 Seafoam Green and a 1987 Goldtop Standard 22 for many years,” David Grissom enthuses. “The Goldtop was my main guitar in the late Eighties. It had the headstock broken twice and seemed to sound as good or better after each repair. 

“I switched to a McCarty when that first came out, and I’ve been playing various DGT [David Grissom Trem] models since 2007. Every record I’ve ever played on – including all my solo records, Storyville, Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, Buddy Guy, John Mayall and Robben Ford – has been with one of my PRS guitars.”

Chris Haskett – Rollins Band

• MODEL: PRS CE24 Bolt-on
• SONG: Disconnect – from Weight (1994)

“In Rollins Band, the PRS’s pushed out all my other guitars,” Haskett says. “A PRS is pretty much all you hear on anything I did after 1991. Rollins Band was a hard band to capture in the studio, but of all our recorded material, I think ‘Disconnect’ from Weight is one of our best. 

“My PRS guitars, especially the opaque black CE24 Bolt-On with a Wide Thin neck and three-way toggle replacing the rotary switch that was my main guitar, are like a pair of classic jeans: over the years they don’t wear out, they wear in.”

Warren Haynes 

• MODEL: PRS Custom 24
• SONG: Seven Turns – from The Allman Brothers Band's Seven Turns (1990)

“My very first PRS guitar was a gray-black Custom 24,” Haynes reminisces. “I recorded all of the Dickey Betts Band album Pattern Disruptive and a lot of the Allman Brothers album Seven Turns with that gray-black guitar. In the video for ‘Seven Turns’ there’s a long slide solo at the end that features this guitar. 

“I also have a black guitar that Paul built for Dickey Betts, which was made with a lacquer finish that gives it a different sound. It has ‘Custom Built for Dickey Betts’ hand-written on the back of the headstock.”

Chris Henderson – 3 Doors Down

• MODEL: PRS Chris Henderson Signature Prototype
• SONG: It's Not My Time – from 3 Doors Down (2008)

“It’s Not My Time was recorded with the prototype of my signature Singlecut model,” Henderson says. “I became a big fan of the Singlecut model when 3 Doors Down shot the video for ‘When I’m Gone’ in 2002 on the deck of the USS George Washington off the coast of Portugal. I used the first Singlecut I ever got from PRS for that. 

“At one point it was knocked off a stand, fell from the stage and landed on the steel deck. Even though it fell more than 5 feet, it was still in tune and played true! I sent it to the factory for repair, and they gave it a flame ‘hotrod’ paint job. That guitar has been all over the world and through the ringer – it was even stolen and recovered – but it still sounds and looks great.”

Jimmy Herring

• MODEL: PRS McCarty Hollowbody
• SONG: Mud Bug – from Project Z's self-titled album (2000)

“The first PRS I ever spent any real time with was a big McCarty Hollowbody that was prototype #6,” Herring says. “I instantly fell in love with it. It had one volume/one tone but I really wanted two volume/one tone, so I asked about adding another volume knob. They said, ‘We’ll just build you another one.’ 

“Once I got the new guitar, I don’t think I put it down for five or six years. Soon I got to try another thinner McCarty Hollowbody and fell in love with that one, too. The Hollowbody series guitars were like nothing else I had ever played before. 

The quality control at PRS is second to none. Paul and his team continue to improve these guitars in significant ways

Jimmy Herring

“They inspired me in a huge way, and I used them a lot with Jazz Is Dead, Project Z, the Allman Brothers Band and every other project I was a part of between 1996 into the early 2000s.

“The quality control at PRS is second to none. Paul and his team continue to improve these guitars in significant ways. I love the NF3, which is such a unique instrument with several things that set it apart from other guitars I have.

“I also have a prototype McCarty 594 that’s one of the best guitars I’ve ever played. It’s so inspiring to see how driven Paul is to evolve and improve something that was already great. These instruments are the best tools any musician could ask for.”

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.