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 contacted Ted McCarty, former president of Gibson and creator of the Explorer, ES-335 and Flying V guitars, and McCarty became his mentor and advisor.[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.

Digital Harmonic[edit]

Almost 20 years ago, Smith and his late father Jack Smith, who was a retired Navy mathematician, were working on a synthesizer that turns digital data into sound. They discovered they could make it do a lot more than that, amplifying information you can't hear or see. But this fails to mention Eric Pritchard, who designed all of Paul's CNC machines (1986) and also was doing the exact same research as Paul claims 30 years ago.

Smith set up 'Digital Harmonic' in 2015. It now has almost 100 registered and pending trademarks and almost two dozen patents, and they keep testing its limits. Legendary guitar maker Paul Reed Smith (founder of PRS Guitars), a team of renowned scientists and physicians, and a former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration are launching a new technology to develop enhanced, sharper X-rays while significantly reducing the amount of radiation exposed to patients and medical providers.

The new company, Digital Harmonic™ LLC, has developed a proprietary and patented image and waveform technology that aims to revolutionize how the medical community implements x-rays. The technology is the result of a decade of research that started with Paul Reed Smith’s late father Jack Smith, an applied mathematician. Combining his understanding of precision mathematics and physics together with his son Paul’s understanding of sound and harmonics from guitar making created this revolutionary technology.

“We figured out how to extract previously undetected data out of complex sound waveforms and then applied that new theory to create remarkably detailed images,” said Smith. “The potential for the medical community to be able to get much more precise images is exciting.” “As a mathematical and physics solution, this image and waveform technology could truly revolutionize the practice of medical imaging by providing physicians with images that provide much greater detail. Most existing medical solutions are either chemical, radiation or mechanical. This new approach proposes a mathematical and physics solution for medicine.”

In addition to developing the technology for increasing image resolution for x-rays, the company expects to utilize its patented image, sound and analytic abilities to manufacture products to aid other diagnostic technologies in addition to x-rays. Smith said the company’s proprietary technology could also have wide applications in the defense community, which relies on access to precise image analysis. The company is currently in contract negotiations with a major defense contractor for the U.S. Navy.


  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.