PRS Collection Series - The Story

Posted Sep 10, 2015

Behind The Gear

The PRS Collection Series was introduced in the Fall of 2011, and began with our dream of building the best guitar model we could. After sorting out the very best materials and woods, in 2011 the Collection Series I McCarty was released in a limited quantity alongside the Collection Series 1 Tonare Grand Acoustic. These prized instruments and our subsequent Collection instruments incorporate a balance of PRS traditions and innovations and are built with care to our exacting methods.

Paul Reed Smith and our Private Stock team have designed and built a total of nine Collection Models since 2011, all in exclusive limited quantities.

Our ninth and latest series, Collection Series IX, is comprised of fifteen pairs of McCarty Trem models, with each pair consisting of one curly and one quilted maple top guitar. Collection Series IX celebrates our company’s 30th Anniversary and is featured in a beautiful Aqua Violet Smoked Burst.



The McCarty model holds significance to our company and is rooted in Paul Reed Smith and Ted McCarty’s friendship and passion for guitar innovation. The original PRS McCarty model dates back to 1994 when Ted McCarty became a mentor to Paul. Ted McCarty served as the President of Gibson during their Golden Era and is responsible for a number of guitar patents and innovations that have shaped our industry.

The latest Collection Series IX McCarty model features an abalone “30th Anniversary” inlay on the heel, 58/15 treble and bass pickups, and the Private Stock Gen III tremolo bridge with locking saddles.


Our most recent innovation, this Gen III tremolo, functions in all the same ways as the PRS patented tremolo system always has.



As always, the bridge is machined brass, a metal that rings beautifully. The block, intonation screws, height-adjustment screws, and the string slots on the saddles are all left un-plated for increased sustain and fidelity of tone.

A. The mounting screw holes are countersunk from underneath, creating a knife-edge set-up that ensures the bridge will return to pitch after use.
B. The bridge’s sidewalls create a pocket that keeps the six individually adjustable saddles from moving sideways, thereby eliminating another traditional cause of tuning instability.
C. The saddles feature a compound radius so that the string breaks across the saddle at the optimum angle for contact and vibration transfer through the bridge. The Private Stock Gen III Trem also features locking saddles. These saddles hold the ball ends in place preventing any movement in the block and further ensuring the guitar returns to pitch after use.
D. The tremolo arm is unthreaded and features a small set screw that allows the player to customize the feel of the arm and find a comfortable playing position.

The Gen III trem also has a few notable updates that further support the fidelity of the guitar’s tone and maximize sustain.

E. The mounting screws have been redesigned with larger thread and a larger custom head. This added mass creates more contact from the screw to the bridge and the guitar’s body, resulting in greater sustain.
F. Grooves have been added to the bridge plate. The grooves are radiused to match the radius of the height adjustment screws, again so there is more contact and a better fit.

Click here to learn more about Collection Series IX

To experience one of these prized Collection Series IX instruments in person, please visit one of our collection dealers below:

Acton Music // China

Brian’s Guitars // Hamden, CT

Guitar Resurrection // Austin, TX

The Guitar Sanctuary // McKinney, Texas

The Guitar Shop // Mississuga, Ontario

Guitar Pro Shop Mikigakki // Umeda, Japan

Ikebe Grandey and Jungle // Tokyo, Japan

Lark Guitars // San Antonio, Texas

Moore Music // Evansville, Indiana

Music Force // Korea

PRS Europe // Europe

Tom Lee Music, HK // Hong Kong

Washington Music Center // Wheaton, Maryland

Wild West Guitars // Riverside, California

Willcutt Guitars // Lexington, Kentucky