|Numbers starting with:
|5 = 1985
||1 = 1991
|6 = 1986
||2 = 1992
|7 = 1987
||3 = 1993
|8 = 1988
||4 = 1994
|9 = 1989
||5 = 1995
will be over 20,000 after this year
|0 = 1990
||6 = 1996
||7 = 1997
Presumably 1999 will be the same formula; I don't know what they'll do in
the year 2000. Were all gonna die then anyway so I guess it doesn't matter.
Ha Ha !!
I have heard that in 1999 PRS is building over 100 guitars a day. So the
numbers are climbing fast now.
I remember when they were barely building 4 guitars a month
The Classic Electric or CE model has one extra number inserted after the
year designator and before the number of the guitar
3 917542 = 17,542nd guitar off the line, it would have been made in 1993.
Other ways to tell
Because the bolt on guitars have numbers stamped on them conceivably they
could be using 1994 plates up until at least February of 1995. I don't think
they throw the preprinted plates away just because the year changes. I am not
sure of this but I do remember getting 1992 guitars delivered in 1993 etc. etc.
Important changeover years
1991 -- PRS stopped offering Brazilian rosewood fingerboards. Opinions
vary here but I feel that the Indian Rosewood they use is still OK and
shouldn't be a reason not to buy a guitar made after 1991.
1991 -- PRS stopped offering real abalone shell as the inlay material on
the fingerboard. They went to a high quality, less expensive, but real mother of
1993 -- PRS came out with their version of a one piece stop tailpiece.
This tailpiece is made from white metal with absolutely NO saddle adjustment
(not recommended.) The ones used previously were the excellent quality Gibson
style Nashville 2 piece system with fully adjustable saddles.
I really hate the new PRS Stop Tail Piece
1995 -- PRS stopped using the mother of pearl inlay in favor of an
artificial laminate known as “Abalam”. Still, you have to remember Gibson uses
“Mother of Toilet Seat”, which is nothing more than plastic.
1995 -- PRS changed the tremolo system dramatically. The saddles are no
longer highly polished and they tend to dull up and tarnish. The original
tremolo was a single piece casting made in the USA, VS. the newer one that is a
2 piece bolted together unit.
1995 -- PRS went to a large long neck heel. This affects the playability
of the guitar adversely and also reduces the value of the guitar greatly. (I
offer a conversion back to original; on this call for details)
1995 -- PRS changed the wood on their Classic Electric “CE” model from
Alder to Mahogany. In this writer's opinion, that was a huge mistake. The guitar
lost all of it's high end snap. This cost cutting move was especially dastardly,
because it's impossible to visually tell the difference: The wood is painted
opaque on most of the models. I would classify this change as downright
dishonesty and fraud. They could have changed the name or something but they did
not do that.
1995 -- PRS had several hefty price increases, due to the increasing
popularity of the guitar and their inability to produce enough guitars to
satisfy the market. That was also the year they moved to a new large modern
factory and upped their production tremendously. CNC manufacturing techniques
allows PRS to build more guitars than ever but a lot of the original soul of the
guitar is lacking. Also when you produce huge amounts of guitars there are
other problems with wood for example. A small company can go and handpick their
wood but a large company has to literally buy wood by the ton and hope for the
1998 -- PRS introduced their new low mass tuners... These tuners appear to
be smaller and lighter than the older ones. I assume they are also considerably
less money also. I have also heard they are made in Japan by Gotoh.
Later on PRS introduced imported models which totally
destroyed the cache value of their original guitars. I was
sorry to see that happen.
Their imported guitars are quite nice but there are tons of
guitars out there for 30% less money that are better.