DATING PRS GUITARS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL NUMBERS
Initially, PRS serial numbers were imprinted with ink on the headstock. Every PRS guitar possesses a serial number that begins with a prefix indicating the year of production. This prefix comprises one or two digits that correspond to the production year and is used across all models.
Where to find the serial number
The location of the serial number on a guitar varies depending on the model, with some having it hand-painted or printed on the headstock, while others feature it printed on the neck plate.
To determine the production year of your PRS guitar, you can utilize the serial number decoder or refer to the information about the dating system PROVIDED BELOW.
DECODER coming soon… see tables
PRS history in short
Paul Reed Smith, the founder of PRS, started building guitars as a hobby in college. After graduating, he continued to refine his craft and eventually founded PRS in 1985. At first, PRS only produced a small number of custom guitars each year, but the quality of these instruments quickly gained attention from professional musicians.
PRS guitars are known for their attention to detail in every aspect of construction, from the selection of woods to the hand-wiring of electronics. In addition to their meticulous craftsmanship, PRS guitars also have a distinctive look. The bird inlays on the fretboard have become an iconic symbol of the brand.
One of the key influences on PRS guitars has been the Gibson Les Paul. Smith was fascinated by the Les Paul’s sustain and rich tone, and he worked to incorporate those elements into his own designs. At the same time, Smith also drew inspiration from Fender’s Stratocaster, and he sought to combine the tonal characteristics of both instruments in his own guitars.
Over the years, PRS has expanded its lineup to include a wide range of models, from the classic Custom 24 to the hollowbody Archtop. In addition to electric guitars, PRS also produces acoustic guitars, basses, and amplifiers.
In 1995, PRS moved to a new factory in Stevensville, Maryland, where it continues to operate today. The company has also partnered with Cort Industries in South Korea to produce the more affordable SE series of guitars, which are also manufactured in Indonesia.
Despite its growth and success, PRS remains committed to its core values of quality and craftsmanship. Each guitar is still made by hand, with great care and attention to detail, and the company continues to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible in guitar design and construction.