7 PRS Acoustic Design & Build Philosophies

Posted Jan 28, 2016

Behind The Gear

Here at PRS we believe in the details. They’re important to us, and for that reason we have “philosophies” that we live by when we build our acoustic guitars. These time-tested methods have helped us create heirloom quality instruments for years and we’re proud of what they can do for you and for musicians all over the world.

PRS acoustic guitars combine traditional hand-built luthiery methods with modern technology. We have carefully studied some of history’s greatest guitars and combined what we learned with original thinking and creativity. These are unique guitars with big, articulate voices that stand out in a crowd.

Check out a few of our build philosophies below:



PRS Private Stock acoustics feature our proprietary 15.5” Angelus Cutaway and 16” Tonare Grand body shapes, which elegantly balance playability, tone and beauty.



The X-Brace/Classical hybrid design combines the best elements of a classical ladder bracing system and steel string “X”/fan bracing to better pair resonant tops with stiff, reflective back and sides. This style of bracing is what gives PRS acoustics their unique, powerful voice.



PRS sands each top to the thickness appropriate for that individual piece of wood. This allows us to achieve the desired deflection and flexibility of each individual top so it reaches its particular unique optimum performance.



Stiffer sides offer more stability which results in a long lasting guitar. We use Kevin Ryan A-4 kerfing and a deliberate bracing design to create stiffer than normal sides, contributing to top stability.



Stability results in a back that does not become “out of phase” with the top and allows a pure tone to be created. With back braces and kerfing we are able to create a singular reflective surface when joined to the sides, which adds to PRS acoustic’s unique sound.



We utilize a compound dovetail neck joint. Through our sanding and placement technique we create a “carbon copy image” of the joining areas of the joint which allows for near gapless construction which results in superior stability and active transfer of string energy.



PRS Private Stock Acoustics feature a 100% lacquer, nitro-cellulose finish. In its essence, nitro is considered an “organic” material. The composition of this finish allows it to bond to the surface and become a part of the material as opposed to being “on top” of it. As the guitar and finish age the tone will continue to blossom so the full potential of the instrument can be realized.

These principles are combined with our highly trained, small team of acoustic luthiers. Working in a small section of our Maryland headquarters, these luthiers often spend 70 hours with an instrument before it is cased. To learn more about PRS acoustics, wood / inlay options, and other details, click here!