Paul Reed Smith clearly knows a thing or two about guitar building, heading up one of the biggest guitar companies in the world for nearly 40 years. But he also has quite the penchant for effects pedals, and has amassed a rather sizeable collection.
And in a new video posted to the PRS Guitars YouTube channel, the man himself grants access to his luxuriously decked out home studio, and takes us through some of his favorite stompboxes using – what else? – a PRS Paul's Guitar electric guitar.
“I'm known for not using pedals live – I like plugging straight into the amp,” Smith explains. “But when you're in the studio, very often you've gotta grab a pedal to plug into.”
Worthy of the first mention – and inclusion in Smith's top five – is the Jam Pedals Waterfall chorus and vibrato unit. “What a beautiful sounding pedal – [I] use it all the time,” he says while serving up some shimmery, crystalline cleans.
Next, the PRS main man showcases his Pearl OC-07 octave generator, adding a bass guitar-like quality to a short helping of silky blues licks. “It's one of the my favorite pedals that I own,” he says.
One of the most intriguing pieces in Smith's collection is the Dr Scientist Cosmichorus, a chorus pedal with a Space Invaders-esque enclosure which he describes as “very hard to control”. You can check that out from the 2:10 mark.
Stompbox staples that make their way into Smith's collection include the Dunlop Echoplex EP101 preamp/boost pedal, a Vox V846 wah pedal – which he uses to conjure some killer Hendrixian tones – and the all important Boss TU-3 chromatic tuner.
“I would not just call this top five, I would call it number one,” he says of the TU-3. “Having a tuner pedal is really important.”
There's a healthy helping of boutique pedals in Smith's collection, too, including a Mythos Golden Fleece fuzz, Port City Amps Salem JFET boost and a Mu-Tron Phasor.
“This is number one – I said the tuner pedal was number one but this is number one,” Smith says of the Mu-Tron unit, which was reportedly once owned by Jimmy Page
“As the story goes, when Houses of the Holy was over, this was a present from Jimmy Page to the pedal steel player,” Smith explains. “I don't know if [this] is in fact the same pedal, but when I listen to that No Quarter keyboard part that's exactly what it sounds like to me.”
There's plenty more pedals to see, so check out the video above for nearly 30 minutes of pedalboard candy.