Faders Five Fascinating Facts: PRS Guitars

Mesmerizing 10 Tops, Exotic Woods, Dragons and Birds. Does PRS make the most luxurious electric guitars in the world? Many people believe so. 


Faders 5 Fascinating Facts About PRS Guitars

1. The first "guitar" Paul Reed Smith built was actually a bass. He was 16 years old. 

2. PRS' trademark "bird inlays" made their first appearance in 1976 on a guitar Paul hand made for Peter Frampton. They were cut out of a bird watching guide that belonged to Paul's mother.

3. The first guitar Paul Reed Smith made for Carlos Santana was in 1980. It was only the 3rd maple top guitar Paul had ever built.

4. When most people think "PRS guitar" they likely picture what is called the "Custom". Officially launched at the 1985 NAMM Show, the Customs carved top and elegant curves put PRS firmly on the map of new guitar companies to watch. PRS' guitars stood in stark contrast to the pointy, neon coloured synth-equipped axes of the day. 

5. In January 2000, PRS Guitars introduced the "Singlecut" model (referring to the fact that the model had only one body cutaway). Shortly thereafter, the Gibson Guitar Company sent PRS a cease and desist letter demanding they stop producing and selling the Singlecut model - which they felt was an infringement on their Les Paul design - a claim that PRS disputed.

Later that year, Gibson sued PRS for trademark infringement. A lengthy legal battle ensued and in July of 2004 PRS - by court order - was prevented from manufacturing, selling or distributing the Singlecut model.

Finally on September 12, 2005 the appeal courts determined that "only an idiot" would confuse the PRS Singlecut with a Gibson Les Paul at the Point of Purchase.

Ever persistent, Gibson continued to pursue legal action until finally in June 2006 the United States Supreme Court denied Gibsons final appeal. PRS had won and could resume the manufacture of the Singlecut model which remains one of their most popular model variations to this day.