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NAMM 2016: PRS Guitars Announces 20th Anniversary Private Stock Limited Edition

The 20th anniversary of Private Stock is a special moment, a moment to stop and celebrate 20 years of a program that drives much of the innovation and craftsmanship at PRS.

To kick off that celebration, Private Stock has made a limited edition run of 40 instruments that are unique in many ways. Paul Reed Smith played a huge role in the overall design of these instruments, which harkens back to Howard Leese’s ‘Golden Eagle’ model.

Like the Golden Eagle, these guitars have slightly modified body dimensions, with a 1/16” thinner top and 1/8” thicker back than the normal PRS “Custom” body design, for a warmer tone. Paul also specified a very precise 24.6” scale length neck and hand-selected all of the East Coast curly maple tops from what he felt were two of the best batches of maple in PRS’ history.

The electronics are also unique, with a three pickup configuration consisting of two narrow 408 treble and bass pickups and a Narrowfield middle pickup. The five-way blade switch and control placements also nod to the Golden Eagle’s original electronics layout.

“When I played the prototypes for this model, they reminded me very much of what I would be making if I was still in a two-person shop,” said Paul Reed Smith, PRS Guitars’ founder and managing general partner.

PRS Guitars completed the first Private Stock April 19, 1996. The 20-year-old program started as a way to recapture the original essence of the PRS workshop with a small team making fewer guitars with more customization. With this mentality, Private Stock has allowed customers the opportunity to design the guitar of their dreams, and along the way Private Stock has also developed exclusive models and one-off instruments of their own design. In addition to customization opportunities, Private Stock instruments are built with the finest woods, materials, and attention to detail.

“There’s something magical about these guitars because they are simultaneously art, musical Instruments and treasured possessions to joyfully spend time with,” Paul Reed Smith said.

Full specifications include:

Deep, wide-curl curly maple top, African ribbon mahogany back, 22 fret, 24.6” scale length ‘Pattern’ mahogany neck, Madagascar rosewood fingerboard with curly maple binding and crushed abalone birds with mother of pearl outlines, Madagascar rosewood headstock veneer with curly maple binding and crushed abalone Private Stock Eagle with mother of pearl outlines and mother of pearl “20th Anniversary” banner, Madagascar rosewood truss rod cover, Phase III locking tuners with gold anodized buttons, Private Stock Gen 3 tremolo with locking saddles, hybrid hardware. Electronics feature Narrow 408 treble and bass pickups with Narrowfield middle pickup, volume, tone, and 5-way blade pickup switch. The Private Stock 20th Anniversary models are strung with 10-guage PRS strings and come in a Private Stock case with black “Western” tolex and black lustre interior with an embroidered 20th Anniversary Private Stock logo.

For additional information and photos of the PRS Private Stock 20th Anniversary Limited Edition, visit

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.