Paul Reed Smith has many gorgeous signature models for artists like Carlos Santana, Alter Bridge/Creed’s Mark Tremonti, David Grissom and Al DiMeola, as well as SE models for Orianthi, Dave Navarro, Bernie Marsden, Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt and many more. The PRS Guitars Signature Limited is a signature model too, but you won’t find a specific artist named on the headstock. Instead this model has the backing of multiple artists: Howard Leese (Heart/Bad Company), Davy Knowles (when I told Davy I was reviewing the Signature Limited, he offered a few words: “It’s the only guitar I’ve played for ages now. So proud to be a part of it!”), Michael Ault, legendary guitar historian Tom Wheeler and Paul Smith himself. The model was launched at the 2011 Winter NAMM show as a 100-piece run through the company’s Private Stock division, but in 2012 the model has been shifted over to the core production line for a still-limited but much-larger, 400-piece run.
I had the pleasure of checking this guitar out in person last night at a PRS event – the ever-awesome Davy Knowles showed me his personal guitar – and I was blown away by the playability of the neck. It plays way too fast for how it looks, and the sustain is great. Haven’t had a chance to hear the pickups yet but Davy told me they were especially designed for authentic split-coil sounds, with the neck unit designed and placed to take advantage of the 24th fret harmonic location.
Here’s some info from the PRS site:
The Signature Limited Run reintroduces the concept of the popular “Signature Series” guitar first offered over 20 years ago and adds PRS’s top tier Private Stock appointments and a list of influential artists. Limited to 100 pieces, the Signature model showcases a culmination of years of artist input and boasts PRS’s first ever multi-endorsement guitar Tom Wheeler, Howard Leese, Michael Ault, Davy Knowles, and Paul Reed Smith all backing the model.
“Every update the PRS Tech Center (PTC) has to offer has been included in the creation of this model’s specifications, and the artist line up speaks volumes of this guitar’s capabilities,” said Paul Reed Smith.
Highlights include a brand new pickup system with proprietary 408 treble and bass humbucking pickups which produce eight sounds on a simple switching scheme. A highly figured Private Stock maple top, and ME (Modern Eagle) birds with brown mother of pearl centers create an arresting visual impression. This model’s filled in “sinker” mahogany neck gives the player a new but familiar unfinished feel.