"Private Stock" What Is It?

Posted Aug 21, 2014

Behind The Gear / #WeMakePRS

From time to time, you may hear us toss around the phrase “Private Stock Guitar.” If you are unfamiliar with PRS or you’re a new fan, this term may leave you a bit confused. In an effort to clear things up, give this article a read and allow us to briefly explain these special guitars.

The Private Stock program began in 1996 as a way to bring instruments that Paul envisioned to light outside the normal manufacturing process. Our Private Stock program represents the highest quality of materials, the most personally crafted instruments, and the greatest level of customization at PRS. Whether we build to your specifications or ours, every guitar is carefully conceived and built with a “one-off” mentality.

Private Stock begins first and foremost with quality materials. It is not uncommon for guitar manufacturers to measure certain components of their guitars on a quality rating scale. For example, we have an employee whose job is specifically to rate the appearance/figure/flame of our maple tops on our pre-determined rating scale. It is important to keep in mind that PRS sets extremely high quality standards and that even our “lowest” grade maple tops are still beautiful and carefully curated for instrument crafting. With that said, PRS offers Standard, 10-top, Artist Package, and Private Stock grade maple tops.


Our Private Stock wood is marked accordingly and set apart in a special room called “The Vault.”




All of the Private Stock instruments built utilize this specially graded wood. A small team of of hand-picked luthiers are assigned to build Private Stock guitars and Private Stock guitars only. They have a distinguished level of education, experience, and specific talent that make them an asset to the team.

PRS offers customers three options through the Private Stock department:

Built-To-Order : Here you have the opportunity to build the guitar of your dreams by choosing your own woods, materials, and colors. Whether it’s a one-of-a-kind instrument of your own specification, a reproduction PRS instrument from a bygone era, or a personalized version of a model already offered, your Built to Order Private Stock instrument will be just what you want.

Collection Series : Introduced in the fall of 2011, the PRS Collection Series from Private Stock is comprised of a very limited number of instruments each year. These instruments incorporate a balance of PRS traditions and innovations and are made using PRS’s most exacting methods and the most prized components in the company’s possession. Paul Reed Smith, along with the Private Stock team, designs and oversees all aspects of production, including the selection of all woods. Collection Series instruments cannot be ordered, but are be available from select dealers.

Private Stock Models : Private Stock models have a predetermined selection of available options selected by Paul Reed Smith himself and every guitar offered is built with unparalleled attention to detail.

You can learn more about all of these options by clicking HERE.