What happens when you combine gorgeous guitars, beautiful weather, stellar artists, rockin’ concerts, Maryland hospitality, and more than 3,000 guitar fanatics? You get one heck of a party, that’s what! And that’s exactly what we got at this year’s Experience PRS!
Paul Reed Smith and his crew of guitar artisans once again threw open the doors of their factory, loaded in hundreds of amazing guitars and amps, brought in a long list of celebrity guitar players, set up a concert stage and workshop tents, and invited their friends to Stevensville, Maryland, to spend a weekend celebrating all things PRS. I was there, along with a team of guitar experts from Sweetwater, covering the event, enjoying the festivities, and hand-selecting PRS guitars and amps to bring back home to Sweetwater’s warehouse. We spent the weekend ogling spectacular flame and quilted maple tops, touring the factory, attending workshops with the likes of David Grissom, Martin Simpson, and studio legends Brent Mason and Tim Pierce. Each night a concert featured an incredible list of players, performing on PRS guitars and amps with a great backing band. Highlights included Brent Mason and Tim Pierce trading licks on classic Hendrix tunes, and Paul Smith himself kicking off an outstanding version of “Machine Gun.”
PRS also takes the opportunity to introduce new guitar and amp models at Experience PRS. This year, a highlight is the limited-edition semi-hollowbody 408. The 408 is one of PRS’s most versatile and toneful models, and in a semi-hollow format, it’s even more resonant and rich sounding. There was also a new Single-Cut Trem, a P24 model, and more – plus the spotlight was on the new S2 Series of affordable Maryland-made PRS guitars. In amps, the big news were the DG Customs, two heads designed in association with tonemeister David Grissom. The DG Custom 30 has a chiming, Class A 30-watt British flavor with EL84 power tubes, while the DG Custom 50 has four EL34s, cranking out 50 watts of British rock tone. Both amps deliver all the dynamics and touch sensitivity Grissom requires in his playing. Plus, they’re gorgeous in blonde with a salt-and-pepper grille cloth. A matching 2 x 12″ cabinet is also available.
You can see all the new PRS guitars and amps at Sweetwater’s Guitar Gallery, and don’t miss the videos we filmed at the Experience, including an exclusive interview with Paul Smith. Our thanks to everyone at PRS for another wonderful Experience. We’ll be back next year, and we hope to see you there!