PRS guitars unveils 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special guitar

(Dave Molter | Posted 2010-07-26)

PRS guitars unveils 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special guitar

PRS (Paul Reed Smith) Guitars continues to push the envelope in guitar design with the new Swamp Ash Special, which comes with a solid swamp ash body, a bolt-on maple neck, and the 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special (pictured) adds a Narrowfield™ pickup in the middle position and a five-way blade switch to offer a multitude of new single coil sounds. The Narrowfield™ pickups focus the string attack much like a single-coil but are hum canceling. The result is a new sounding pickup system, which blends features of single coil, soap bar, and humbucking pickups. Additionally, the 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special Narrowfield™ features shadow bird inlays, anniversary headstock eagle and a maple fretboard.

The PRS Swamp Ash Special Narrowfield has a street price of $2399 USD.

Body Wood Carved Swamp Ash
Number of Frets 22
Scale Length 25"
Neck Wood Rock Maple
Fretboard Wood Maple
Neck Shape Standard
Fretboard Inlays 25th Anniversary Shadow Birds
Headstock Inlays Eagle
Bridge Tremolo
Tuners PRS 14:1 Phase II low mass locking tuners
Hardware Type Nickel
Truss Rod Cover SAS
Treble Pickup 57/08™ Narrowfield™
Middle Pickup 57/08™ Narrowfield™
Bass Pickup 57/08™ Narrowfield™
Pickup Switching Volume and tone control with 5-way blade pickup selector
Colors: Sapphire Smokeburst, Charcoal Smokeburst or Scarlet Smokeburst (pictured) Options
Hardware Option Gold

In his own words: Paul Reed Smith details how he got into the guitar business:

"The road from my workshop in a historic, haunted Annapolis garret to a state-of-the-art factory was a tough one. Fact is, I always loved working with my hands. Why else would a high school kid sign up for three or four shop classes at a time? My first guitar was built as a challenge to my college music professor for some credits. I got an “A” and decided to pursue my dream of making guitars for a living.

"There were a lot of late night brainstorms. I was lucky if I finished a guitar a month. Once a guitar was completed, I’d play it at a gig — field testing in the purest sense. Every design change taught me something new. The next change was built on what I had learned or on feedback from other players test driving the equipment. Over ten years we went through three headstocks, several renditions of body shapes, many tremolo designs, and many experiments with woods and construction methods to get the right mix.

"I remember hanging out at the local concert arenas for six or seven hours before a show to make friends with the roadies. With a backstage pass in hand, I’d peddle my guitars to the stars. One night in ten I’d make a sale. Carlos Santana, Al Di Meola, Howard Leese, and other well known players agreed to check one out. I made deals. If someone gave me an order, made a deposit, and then didn’t love the finished guitar, I’d give them their deposit back even if I couldn’t make my rent the next day.

"After getting a small following and orders for more than 50 guitars, we built two prototypes. I popped them in the back seat of my truck and cranked it up, calling on guitar dealers up and down the East Coast. After many days and many miles I came back with enough orders to start a company. With the support of my wife, skilled assistants, engineers, lawyers, top salesmen, artists, machinists, and friends who emptied their bank accounts to help me get started, we developed a strong team.

"We’ve come a long way, with steady growth in factory capacity, employees, distribution, and the number of prominent artists using our instruments. We’re not stopping here. Every inch of your PRS guitar is based on decades of testing, rethinking, and reinventing. We continue to push the curve beyond what others would consider perfection. With experts to make sure the technology is unsurpassed, and dedicated craftspeople who guarantee a finished product you can’t keep your hands off of, we make no compromises. That’s the story of the beginning of the journey. Not so short, but very sweet. The moral? Believe in your dreams.

Compiled from information on the PRS website:

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