What can you say about the guitar that started it all for Paul Reed Smith, probably quite a bit? The Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 is the first model that Paul debuted at the NAMM show many decades ago that has become synonymous for epic tones, easy playability and killer looks.
The current generation of the PRS Custom 24 has many components that Paul has continuously improved and evolved over the years, let’s take a look and see what makes these guitars so special.
The new 85/15 pickups were designed by Paul Reed Smith personally and these pickups offer an extended frequency response while delivering beautiful clarity regardless of the playing style. Listed below are the various options provided by the 5 way pick up switch that allow for a wide range of tonal options.
Position One: Bridge humbucker
Position Two: Bridge humbucker with neck single coil, in parallel
Position Three: Bridge and neck humbuckers
Position Four: Neck single coil with bridge single coil, in parallel
Position Five: Neck humbucker
Another engineering marvel is the Gen III PRS tremolo. Paul is always looking for way to improve on his design over the years to increase the playability, tone and sustain of the patented PRS tremolo. PRS still uses machined brass for the bridge which is a metal that rings beautifully, another example of the attention to detail that makes these guitars sing. Another example is the that PRS leaves the string slots on the saddles, block, intonation and height adjustment screws un-plated to increase the clarity of tone and increase sustain. Below is a diagram to show the ingenious design of Paul Reed Smith.
- 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.
Some of the specs that are standard on the Paul Reed Smith Custom 24’s are the Carved Figure Maple top, Mahogany back and Neck, 25” inch scale with either the PRS pattern regular or pattern thin neck shape, rosewood fretboard with bird inlays. There is the Gen III tremolo that we discussed paired with PRS Phase III locking tuners, a volume and tone control paired with the 5 way switch described above.
Now the biggest option on the Paul Reed Smith Custom 24’s is the upgrade to the Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 10 top, and Heartbreaker Guitars has them in stock and is a authorized Paul Reed Smith Dealer. Here is the description from the PRS website, A very small percent of the maple trees cut in North America are actually figured. To make "10-Top" status, a PRS top must have clearly defined figure across its entire top with no "dead" spots. A guitar designated as a 10-Top will usually have a small "10" written on the back of the headstock in the upper right corner. Some of our earlier guitars have the "10" stamped into the finish in the same position.
You will definitely see the amazing figure in the Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 10 tops that HBG has for sale and the beautiful colors that are available, from Orange Tiger to Charcoal Burst. Click here!