Paul Reed Smith

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Paul Reed Smith
Paul Reed Smith.jpg
Smith playing one of his guitars at the annual Guitar Festival, Dallas, Texas.
Born (1956-02-18) February 18, 1956 (age 63)
OccupationLuthier, guitarist

Paul Reed Smith (born February 18, 1956) is a master luthier and the founder and owner of PRS Guitars, which is considered one of the top makers of high quality guitars in the United States. Smith is considered to be one of the preeminent master guitar makers in the world.[1]

Early life[edit]

Smith graduated from Bowie High School in 1974.[2] He also attended St. Mary's College of Maryland where he began his guitar-making career.[1]

Mentorship under Ted McCarty[edit]

Smith then contacted Ted McCarty, former president of Gibson and creator of the Explorer, ES-335 and Flying V guitars, and McCarty became his mentor and adviser.[1] The result of their collaboration was the current line of PRS Guitars, which include solid- and hollow-body guitars. The Private Stock line of PRS guitars are made utilizing a vast range of exotic materials including various stones, elaborately figured tonewoods, and intricate shells for inlays.

Unlike Ted McCarty and Leo Fender,[citation needed] Smith plays the Paul Reed Smith guitar he made, nicknamed "Paul Reed Smith", in his own band, The Paul Reed Smith Band.


  1. ^ a b c Strauss, Karsten (April 15, 2013). "PRS Guitars -- Chasing Perfection". Forbes. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  2. ^ Virginia, Terhune (January 3, 2013). "Bowie High grad, guitar maker and band perform at scholarship fundraiser Saturday". The Gazette (Maryland). Archived from the original on December 20, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2013.