PRS Europe Employee Spotlight – DETLEF BRAUNS // Market Manager Germany & Austria

 

 

What is your typical working day?

I rise at around 6am and check our inventory list if we have one! After that, I have a look at my dealer’s websites to see if they are currently out of stock of any PRS items, if I can help them replace missing stock then all good, PRS is in very high demand and we are always short of guitars so they will be very happy if we have anything to replace sold items.

I recently started traveling again after two years of lockdowns, it’s great to see customers and friends once more, my territory is Germany and Austria, it’s a big area to cover! In addition I organise workshops, clinics, music fairs, and other in-market promotions, so actually there isn’t really a “typical” day!

 

What made you want to work in the guitar industry?

I come from a family that has worked for decades in the music industry, so music was always very prominent in my life. It really was a “no-brainer” for me to also work in music. My brother and I built up quite a big music store based in Frankfurt, Germany, I was overseeing the guitar section among others. My passion has always been guitars and we were one of the first stores to feature PRS Guitars way back in 1985. We sold the store some years back and I was pretty bored, so when the opportunity opened up to actually work for PRS in 2013 I couldn’t believe my luck! This obsession for guitars, especially PRS, has stood the test of time – I love my job!

 

Do you play an instrument?

Yes! I play the guitar and the piano.

 

What’s your favourite PRS guitar and why?

That’s a tricky one! I can’t possibly just pick one so I would have to say that my favourite PRS guitars are the Custom 24 and the Silver Sky. The Custom 24 has a wide range of sounds for every genre possible and looks great in every colour imaginable. The Custom 24 stands for the history of PRS – everything started there! On the other hand, the Silver Sky is a fantastic single coil guitar, John Mayer and Paul Reed Smith’s collaboration was perfect, a masterpiece in my opinion, so that gets equal billing here!

 

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Outside of work I like to go to concerts, go hiking and if I can, watch my soccer team EF Frankfurt, I also like to golf occasionally.

 

Favourite gig you have ever played / been to?

Definitely the Eagles. I also used to play in an Allman Brothers Tribute band – I loved every gig we did – very cool and great fun!

 

Your nickname at the PRS Europe office is DC, how did this name come about?

I have to thank my boss, Gavin Mortimer, for this one. When I was in Stevensville for the first time and had to introduce myself, I told everybody that my friends and colleagues call me “Deddi”.  Gavin then said: “Alright, that’s cool. So we call you “Deddi Cool” – hence DC.

PRS Pulse Artists Applications Open For 2023

Pulse Artists

LAST CHANCE TO APPLY TO BE IN THE CLASS OF 2023! DEADLINE AUGUST 15TH

PRS Pulse Artist Program

PRS Guitars Pulse Artist program is designed to support PRS players around the world by turning the focus to PRS players who are making waves in their local music scene.

This unique program utilizes PRS’s extensive dealer network to provide local access to some of the benefits of an endorsement, while also serving as a potential “stepping stone” to becoming an Official PRS Artist. With the annual membership, Pulse Artists will be granted exclusive discounts on guitars, amps, and accessories through their local PRS dealer and will be showcased on a dedicated Pulse Artist roster on PRS Guitars website. PRS social platforms will be utilized as well as the creation of editorial content to amplify these Artists and share their music, news, and progress as they pursue their musical journey.

Guidelines for Applicants:

• Intermediate/advanced guitar skills
• Online presence with strong social media engagement
• PRS brand is preferred choice of instrument

How To Apply

Please visit your local authorized PRS dealer to inquire about applying for this program.

Applications deadline August 15, 2022.

Class of 2023 will be announced on September 15, 2022.

 

PRS At Music Festivals Across The Globe

 

Photo Credit: India Fleming

The 2022 summer festival season is in full swing and PRS guitars are front and center at the world’s premier live music events. From the Download and Glastonbury Festivals in the UK to France’s Hellfest, to shows in the States and Canada, PRS Artists have been hitting stages hard on both sides of the pond. Opeth, Shinedown, Skillet, Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy, Ace (Skunk Anansie), Simon Delaney (Don Broco) and more have been particularly active, appearing at multiple festivals.

Ace with Skunk Anansie at the Augusta Raurica Festival

Lonny Eagleton performing with Black Veil Brides at Download

Adrian Martinot and Disconnected at Hellfest

Isabel Torres performing with Declan McKenna at Glastonbury

Myles Kennedy performing at Download

Si Delaney of Don Broco at Nos Alive in Portugal

Magnolia Boulevard at the Sweet Land of Liberty Fest

Brian Craddock of Daughtry at Rock am Ring

Marco Wriedt of Pink Cream at Masters Of Rock Festival in Czech Republic 

Valley at the Field Trip Festival

John Cooke of Napalm Death at Primavera Sound Fest in Spain

 

Artist Feature – Simon McBride

SIMON MCBRIDE 

Congratulations to long standing PRS artist Simon McBride for joining Deep Purple on tour this year. We caught up with Simon ahead of the tour to chat about his new album, Deep Purple and all things PRS!PRS: So, why PRS Guitars?

SM: I’ve been with PRS for a very long time, about 27 years. I’m of the attitude “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Nothing is ever a problem with them and it’s amazing to have that relationship with a company. With my PRS guitars, it feels like home, they’re great and everyone is so nice to work with. Everyone has their guitar sound inside them and PRS does it for me.

PRS: How many PRS’s do you have?

SM: About 8 or 9?! My Custom Singlecut Semi-Hollow, then I have another Custom 24 Mapletop, Double Cut, 245, Hollowbody, Silver Sky, and a SE Angelus Acoustic. I do also have a Private Stock that Paul Reed Smith kinda gave me … I was doing a show in Dallas and Paul said he had this great guitar that I would fall in love with. He handed me this guitar to play at the gig and I was like Paul what have you done! It’s amazing to play, it’s turquoise with a maple neck a prototype Paul’s guitar. I took it home with me and that was that, thanks Paul!

PRS: Tell us about your new album (out May 27th 2022) and the writing and recording process of making it?

SM: It’s called ‘The Fighter’ we started about 4 years ago now but because of covid etc it got held up a lot, so it’s finally coming out! We recorded at many different places. We recorded the drums at Dave Marks house. We did a lot of guitars and vocals at my studio at home in Ireland. Backing vocals and keyboards were done at different musicians’ houses. My main focus on this album was the song content instead of solely the guitar content, I wanted to focus on the songs before the guitar riffs. I can do riffs in my sleep, so I just wanted to make it more about the song first. I worked with a singer-songwriter called Nathan O’Regan from Ireland, and then I also wrote with Jo Webb and Dave Marks who are all great writers.

PRS: Which PRS Guitars did you play on the new album?

SM: I mostly used my 408. It’s my main PRS and it’s very versatile: it can do so many things, and though the pickups are hot you can still split them in different ways using the two mini-switches. From rock to blues, metal and beyond, it can do everything. I also used a Starla on some tracks. I find the Starla works well with my 408, it’s like a single-coil but not, its low output and not too bright, but it has that very transparent wide-open sound to it. Blending the two guitars brings a nice quality. I used my SE Angelus acoustic on some tracks as a background rhythm. I used a Silver Sky for some single-coil sound on tracks like ‘Trouble’. I’ve always played humbucker guitars but I do like single coils, and the Silver Sky is all about the single-coil sound, it’s a great guitar. In certain songs, I do this 80s clean sound where I layer up about 7 different guitar tracks all playing the same thing. I use the bridge pick up on one track, then the next pick up on the Silver Sky and just keep layering it up. It’s a very unique guitar and it’s got a lovely tone to it. I also used my PRS 245 on one track for more of a vintage feel.

PRS: Favourite guitar solo/riff on the album?

SM: ‘High Stakes’ and ‘It Just Takes Time’ are probably my favourite on the album. It’s funny when you play tracks live some tracks just don’t translate, but the hard rock ones work well live. The album is very me, all the 80s heavy guitar sounds and riffs, I’ve always been into hard rock and my heart just lies with the 80s music so this album is just me. You know bands like Yes, Motley Crue, Van Halen – all those influences you can hear in the album.

PRS: How was your tour this Spring?

SM: It’s still weird times but I was just dying to get out and play again, it felt normal again. It’s been fine being at home these last 2 years doing videos and stuff but it’s been great to get out gigging again.

PRS: Congratulations on joining Deep Purple! How does it feel to be going on tour with one of the most legendary bands of all time?

SM: They’ve invited me on tour and it’s an incredible thing. I’ve played with every member of Deep Purple before, not all at the same time and in the same band haha. They’re all great musicians. I’ve toured all over with Don Airey and he’s an amazing guy and musician, same with Ian Gillan. You know they’re icons of rock but they’re all amazing people, normal people. I’m very excited about it, running through all those classic iconic songs we all learnt when we were young. Now I get to play them as part of the band. Steve (Morse) is an amazing guitarist, so I know I’ve got big boots to fill.

PRS: How did the gig with Deep Purple come about?

SM: I got the call for the Deep Purple gig because of Steve having personal reasons for not being able to do the tour. Obviously, I didn’t need to think about it, it was a solid yes. It was an easy choice. That said it was a bittersweet emotion because it’s under sad circumstances. On the other hand I’m also going ‘Yes!’ because it’s a dream opportunity. It’s a little bizarre.

PRS: What PRS guitars will you be taking on the road with Deep Purple to re-create those iconic riffs?

SM: I’m bringing two guitars on the tour. My 408 and the Fiore. The Singlecut sound for Smoke On The Water and then the Fiore will be more subtle but still rock. They’re both great guitars so it’s gonna be cool. It’s all challenging, from timing to feel, there are all sorts of things coming together to make Deep Purple sound like Deep Purple. I have to try and get on board with that and bring the same sort of energy that Steve would.

 

 

Artist Feature – Laurence Jones

LAURENCE JONES

Introducing new PRS Artist Laurence Jones. Laurence has developed a virtuoso pedigree as the UK’s hottest young blues guitar-slinger. With coruscating riffs, soloing and catchy songs, his cross-over sound has won him several major awards and accolades. He has supported the likes of Sir Van Morrison, Sir Ringo Star, Status Quo, Buddy Guy and Jeff Beck. We got Laurence and his band in the studio to film some live videos and chatted all things Silver Sky just after his tour with Status Quo…

PRS: What first drew you to PRS Guitars?

LJ: I liked how shiny and pristine they look, like a brand new car. Pick it up and it’ll play exactly how it looks – amazing! The one I’ve connected to the most is the Silver Sky. I’ve had my eye on it for a few years and watching what John was doing with it, so that was the guitar that really brought me to PRS.

PRS: We’re excited to have you on board as a PRS Artist. How are you finding the Silver Sky?

LJ: I love it, it keeps in tune so well on the road. I play quite energetic and dig into it a lot so I’m just loving playing it. It’s getting a lot of compliments from fans. I’m a traditional blues rock guitarist, so I wasn’t sure what people would say but actually people have been loving it – the modern yet vintage sound of it.

PRS: First impressions of the SE Silver Sky?

LJ: Love it, it would be hard to find a guitar on the market that beats it with that price. There are little things you notice that are different, like the neck. I like the feel of the SE neck probably more than the Silver Sky. It feels a bit more vintage – its cool. I love the way it feels, you can really get stuck into it in the neck, the radius is really nice. It’s really smooth and I’ve always loved jumbo frets, but it’s easy to get your hands around. In terms of playability it’s really smooth and slick.

PRS: How was the tour supporting Status Quo?

LJ: It was awesome! Playing to 20,000 people at 12 legendary venues across the UK is something I’m not gunna forget in a hurry. Francis Rossi even said “you’ve got the right colour guitar”. Big thanks to Status Quo band and crew for having us join them on the tour.

(Laurence pictured with Francis Rossi from Status Quo)

PRS: You have an exciting national tour coming up, any other exciting plans for the year?

LJ: Yeah I’ve got loads of exciting things happening. Signing a new record deal which I’ll be able to announce soon, and a new album coming back end of the year to follow that up.  Over the summer we do a lot in Europe, so lots of back and forth there. We’ve got such a busy year ahead which is just great you know after covid, can’t wait!

Check out Laurence’s music and tour dates: https://www.laurencejonesmusic.com

Don Broco Score First No.1 Album With ‘Amazing Things’

Don Broco featuring PRS Artist Simon Delaney have scored their first UK Number One album with new LP ‘Amazing Things’.

“Wow, our first ever Official Charts UK Number One album!” Don Broco said upon receiving news of his achievement. “Thank you so much to our fans for supporting us”. Simon Delaney comments – “For an alternative band like us to score a number one album really is a dream come true. We feel so lucky and humble to have such amazing and passionate fans who have got us to this point!”

We got Simon in to PRS Guitars Europe to film a special #myPRS Stories on his 1997 Custom 22. A firm favourite guitar for Simon to play live and in the studio, “It’s my baby…it’s been on everything we’ve ever recorded…every song on the new album”. Watch the episode below:

Artist Feature – ACE (Skunk Anansie)

Celebrating 20 Years As A PRS Artist

Ace has been playing guitar for over 30 years, 20 of those years as a PRS artist, and has earned a reputation as being one of the top guitarists in the rock world. Skunk Anansie are one of Europe’s biggest rock bands.  Their music slips effortlessly between the confrontational and the tender, the politically charged and the nakedly emotional, the upfront and attention-grabbing and the quiet and restrained. Ace catches up with us before heading out on Skunk Anansie’s 25th Anniversary tour…

PRS: PRS Guitars are obviously the right guitar for you, which models are your favourite?

ACE: I’ve been very lucky to have 20 years on the road with them, so I’ve got a few! The Tremonti Signature is my main staple, I have a few modifications on it to suit my sound, and it’s probably my number 1 go to. I’ve got a Custom Shop Singlecut gold top which I’ve had customised with 57 08’s and 59 09 pick ups and coil taps and a special thin neck, which is my go to in the studio and I use it all the time. I really like the Mira, I use it for songwriting all the time. It’s singlecoil so great for a ballad to a rocky song, and it’s light and simple. I chuck it on my back on the tube and it gets used a lot on recordings, the p90’s sound so amazing. Across the board, I really like the Starla as well. It comes on tour with me as I love the trem arm on it. It has a vintage sound on it like The Who or something, and it gets used a lot on the road.

PRS: How many PRS’s do you have?

ACE: My first PRS was a Custom 24 and it started off as a beautiful studio guitar for me. I’ve got a Mira, a Starla, an SE 245 which I absolutely adore and comes on tour. I’ve got a few Ace Signatures which were modelled on my Tremonti, a Tremonti, a Gold Top, A 594 black gold wrap, a 7 string which is my latest one… I think that’s about it!

PRS: What first drew you to PRS Guitars?

ACE: The quality to be honest, they’re so stable. They stay in tune and tour really well, that was a big aspect for me because I tour all the time. Apart from that it’s the feel, the playability of them and the build quality. The finish and intonation is all good. For me it’s about the guitar first, then the look but luckily I’ve been able to marry the two together.

PRS: Great to see that Skunk Anansie are heading back out on tour this year, celebrating your 25th anniversary being a band! What is the band’s secret of keeping it together and creating great music all these years?

ACE: I think it’s a few things – our initial drive has never left us. We’ve kind of grown up, but we haven’t grown old. The chemistry is still there and the drive and feeling of wanting to carry on making music our way and enjoying it has always kept us going. Even though we might take a break every now and then, our friendship and musical bond never seems to disappear, we seem to retain that.

Photo credit: India Fleming    

PRS: You keep very busy when you’re not touring with the band. Tell us what you get up to.

ACE: I’m definitely a musical entrepreneur! As well as touring with the band I’ve been in musical education. I’ve done that for 25 years and it’s always been a passion of mine to teach and enable others to progress their music. I’ve also worked in record production for many years. I’ve recorded a lot of bands, about 40 records, and it was great to sit in the other seat. I’ve got a t-shirt company which is great fun! I started off as a kid being a graphic designer, that was my first job, and I never lost the love for drawing and design. I still do all the Skunk merch now, but to have my own thing on the side is really fun and embryonic. I’ve mastered bands as well…done sessions for other people and I guest on other artists records. I tend to always be busy but I try to make it passion led and all connected to music, everything comes together and stays creative and musical. I’ve been very lucky to be able to do that.

PRS: Any advice for aspiring guitarists?

ACE: First and foremost – it’s about the playing, its about the song. Put the time in, and get good at what you do. Be mindful about having a diverse career and create a portfolio career from the beginning. As these things grow, some may not make money and some do, but they’ll always support you as a musician and the most important thing is that you can carry on making music. If you want to be a successful guitarist, it doesn’t just mean the playing, its much more. Sustain that career and surround yourself with things that feed into it and keep it going.

Photo credit: Luca Pellizzaro

PRS: Tell us about the writing and recording process of the new Skunk Anansie music coming out this year?

ACE: Our writing sessions are very organic, we write about 2 songs a day just as the band, no one else. We tried it virtually in the lockdown period but it didn’t work for us, we went back to our old iPhone recordings from our sessions before the pandemic and overdubbed them and demoed them. We then sent them off to a producer we really like called Cam Blackwood who we’ve worked with before. He liked the stuff and we finally we’re able to cut the songs in the studio after the lockdown period, and then those songs became the new singles! We’ve found as a band, organically writing together in a room is the way forward, and how we want to go about writing our new album.

PRS: Which PRS Guitars do you play on the new singles?

ACE: Piggy, our new single, the most aggressive and crazy one was recorded on my 7-string. Its very rare that I write and record on this guitar, but on our last session of our “cottage sessions” when we wrote the songs, I tuned down and we loved the vibe. I picked up the 7 from PRS Europe and used it on Piggy with an amp cranked up. I also used the Gold Top on our new music because it’s got such a range of sounds, I coil tap it and it sounds so good and aggressive.

PRS: Favourite guitar solo/riff on the single?

ACE: On Piggy, the middle 8 riff is ridiculously dirty and heavy. I’ve always wanted to do something like that, its like the 14 year old in me escaping!

PRS: 20 years with PRS Guitars – any highlights?

ACE: There’s so many! The Tremonti has literally played every single show, it’s never not done a show. It’s got the history and when I play it, it’s just so easy for me to play it. We headlined the Polish Woodstock to 700,000 people before the pandemic hit and that really was a stand out show, we’d just gone gold on our record over there and it was the biggest show I’ve ever played, and it was Skin’s birthday, so the Tremonti saw me through a great show there.

Photo credit: India Fleming  

Head to the Skunk Anansie webpage to see their European and UK 2022 25th Anniversary tour dates!

Watch Ace play an exclusive live performance of their new single ‘Piggy’ on his customised PRS SE SVN:

The SE Silver Sky

SPECIFICATIONS

BODY
Body Construction Solidbody
Body Wood Poplar
Top Carve Flat Top
NECK
Number of Frets 22
Scale Length 25.5″
Neck Wood Maple
Neck Construction Multi-Ply
Truss Rod PRS Double-Acting
Neck Shape 635JM
Neck Depth At The Nut 53/64″
Neck Of Fretboard At The Nut 1 20/32″
Neck Of Fretboard At The Body 2 7/32″
Fretboard Wood Rosewood
Fretboard Radius 8.5”
Fretboard Inlay Small Birds
Headstock Decal Signature “SE”
NECK/BODY ASSEMBLY
Neck/Body Assembly Type Bolt-On
HARDWARE
Bridge 2-Point Steel Tremolo
Tuners Vintage-Style
Hardware Type Nickel
Nut PRS
ELECTRONICS
Controls Volume and Two Tone Controls with 5-Way Blade Pickup Switch
ADDITIONAL INFO
Strings PRS Classic 10-46
Tuning Standard (6 String): E, A, D, G, B, E
Case Gigbag

Arriving in Europe early March 2022.

Contact your local dealer for more information.

Artist Feature – Frank Pané

Frank Pané – Sainted Sinners, Bonfire, Dark Blue Inc.

BIO

Meet Frank Pané, a PRS Artist from Germany, a lover of Classic Rock and guitarist in the legendary German rock band Bonfire. As well as many solo projects, Frank founded the classic rock influenced band Sainted Sinners and also the progressive rock orientated band called Dark Blue Inc. We caught up with Frank to chat all things music and PRS!

PRS: What first drew you to PRS Guitars?

FP: I remember seeing ads in guitar magazines like Guitar World in the early 90s featuring some of my favourite guitarists like Alex Lifeson, Carlos Santana and many others with PRS guitars. Also, I saw Jim Matheos of Fates Warning live a few times, which has always been one of my favourite bands and he used PRS Custom 24s. That’s what got me really attracted to PRS guitars, and it was around that time when I decided I wanted to take playing guitar more seriously and become a pro musician. A few years later when the Dave Navarro model came out, I really wanted one so bad, but it took many more years and building my experience up until I got my first PRS and proudly became a PRS artist!

PRS: How many PRS guitars do you currently own, and which ones see the most action on stage and in the studio?

FP: I’m fortunate to now have 6 PRS guitars in my arsenal, of which the antique white core PRS Custom 24 ( my first PRS ) is definitely my main one. I have used it on a couple of records and nearly every live show since I got it, it’s my go-to guitar. Also coming back to the Navarro model, I love the look of white guitars and especially the PRS Custom 24 looks awesome on stage in white. I have a goldtop Custom 24, which works as my backup and for dropped D-tunings. A very good friend kindly loaned me his PRS McCarty Single-cut for an unlimited time, which became another favourite guitar of mine. It’s a stunning guitar and the best single-cut style guitar I have ever played.

PRS: As you are in three different bands; Bonfire, Sainted Sinners & Dark Blue Inc, all the while doing your own solo projects. Do you use the same PRS for all these projects?

FP: For Sainted Sinners and all session work I do, which requires standard tuning, I use my white Custom 24 and the McCarty Single-cut. For Bonfire, which tunes down to Eb, I have a beautiful PRS Custom 24 Floyd in Charcoal Burst (awesome colour) and this will hopefully see more action in 2022, when Bonfire returns to the stage and the studio again. For the melodic Metal style of Bonfire you gotta have a Floyd. Even though the non-locking PRS Gen trem works super nice, when if comes to extreme heavy dive-bombs and squeals, a Floyd is the best choice. Also, the Metal pickups featured in the Custom 24 Floyd work perfectly for the Bonfire sound, even if my general taste leans towards more low output pickups like the 85/15, which became one of my fave pickups ever. Dark Blue Inc is a more progressive band and we use a variety of tuning, so this is where my SE Holcomb 7-string gets used for a more modern and proggy approach.

PRS: When it comes to your live rig, are you a “keep it simple” player, or are you in the “more the merrier” camp?

FP: I guess you could call my approach super simple. I’m sort of very old school when it comes to the ingredients for my sound. A good tube amp, a good versatile guitar and a handful of stomp boxes ( Delay, Phaser, Octaver, Treble Booster & a WahWah ), all connected with good cables is all I need. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with a more complex setup, but for me a simple setup always works best and gets me the results I‘m looking for. The best thing with a PRS is, no matter what style or situation, I can purely concentrate on my playing, as I know they will stay in tune and deliver the sound I’m looking for.

PRS: What is the current touring situation in Germany? Any tours coming up in Europe & the UK?

FP: Well, just when Sainted Sinners began to tour again November this year to promote our latest album ‘Taste it‘, things started to fall apart again and unfortunately while being on tour, clubs had to cancel the shows with very short notice as new restrictions came up. This was very unpleasant, but i guess we’ve all learned to live with it by now, that you basically can’t plan anything. These cancelled shows have now been rescheduled for April & September 2022, and we hope that next year things will look better. As for now our schedule includes shows in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Also as mentioned previously, Bonfire should finally tour again including shows in the UK. The new Bonfire tour plan will be released within the next few weeks.

PRS: Any exciting projects coming up?

FP: Yes, 2022 seems to be very busy! With Bonfire we just started to record for not 1 or 2, but 3 albums, which are all to be released next year. These are not studio albums with new material, but something very interesting for the fans. A studio album with new Bonfire material is scheduled for 2023. Besides that, material for the 2nd Dark Blue inc. album is in the works and also the writing sessions with Sainted Sinners continue with a follow up to “Taste it“ already in mind. Last but not least, I also plan to release some new instrumental stuff in 2022. Whether it will be in form of an album or just digital singles, I haven’t decided yet, but there will definitely be some new stuff in 2022 in one form or the other!

See Tour dates and more on Frank’s website – https://www.frankpane.com/tourdates

PRS Europe Employee Spotlight – NICK FRASER // Technical Manager

MEET NICK

“I had an interest in guitars since I got my first aged 11, and soon began taking them apart, modifying them, and putting them back together. After a brief attempt at making it big in a band, I started work in the guitar industry in 1987, cutting my teeth teching on Ibanez and Westone guitars. Few years later, I moved job and worked on Washburn, Taylor, and Blade guitars. Around 1993, the company started working with PRS Guitars, and I’ve been working with PRS ever since. I have gained an extensive knowledge and experience of the models produced over the last 30 years, which comes in handy when dealing with enquiries about some of our older instruments. 

My role within PRS has morphed over the years, and I now oversee our team of five techs who set up every PRS SE imported into Europe. I provide advice and training to them and am responsible for overall quality control. I spend some time liaising with the factories too. I supply technical advice to our customers, dealers, and independent repairers on our guitars and amplifiers and work closely with Chris in the Europe PTC, discussing repair options with customers. I still find time to do a few customer repairs and artist set ups, and, occasionally, workshops at the ACM in Guildford and London and ICMP London.”  

1)What’s your typical day working in the Techroom?

Typically it starts with e-mails from PRS HQ in the US, our service centre in Germany, and of course customers and dealers. Over the course of the day, I will be advising and overseeing our techs and answering various technical questions from customers and our dealers. If I have any guitars on the bench, I will generally leave them till later in the day when most people have gone home, and I can concentrate, free from interruption.

2)What is the most important tool for your line of work?

They’re all equally important! However, a set of good quality nut files is essential.

3)You work on a lot of artist guitars, is there one that has been particularly memorable?

The most memorable Artist’s guitar that I have worked on belonged to Dan Weller from Sikth. It was a USA Standard, maybe 15 years ago, and it was covered in blood – he said it was his blood, and he just got a bit carried away at a gig; anyway, I just cleaned it up, set it up and didn’t ask any questions…

I don’t tend to get star struck, but it was a bit of a moment when I got to set up a guitar for John McLaughlin.

4)What’s been the most challenging guitar you’ve ever worked on?

Probably the biggest challenge to date has been fitting a Core Piezo system into an SE Custom for Jakko from King Crimson – that was a bit of a squeeze!

5)What made you want to go into guitar maintenance and repair?

I have always enjoyed taking guitars apart and modding them. In the absence of any sensible career paths ahead, it made perfect sense to follow my dream instead.

6) What’s your favourite PRS guitar and why?

My favourite PRS guitar is the S2 Mira Semi Hollow – it just works for me. The simplicity, the comfortable forearm contour, some extra warmth and fatness from the Semi Hollow body, and that solid workhorse feel that you get from an S2. If I had to choose a Core guitar it would be the Paul’s Guitar for simplicity, feel, and tone.

7) What’s your top tips for setting up a PRS guitar?

My top tip for setting up a PRS guitar is to get familiar with the truss rod. The amount of neck relief can change with the seasons and a small fluctuation can throw the set up and feel out a tad. The factory spec relief at the 8th fret is 0.010” so it’s good to keep it around there. The truss rod is your friend, don’t be afraid of it! Set up details on the main website.

8)What do you love most about working in the guitar world?

Pretty much everyone you come across is a creative type to some degree. Having that common thread helps with communication and understanding – there is a kind of family feel at PRS. We all love guitars in general and of course PRS’s! What better place to work?