The Difference Between PRS Private Stock, Wood Library, 10 Top & Artist Pack

PRS guitars are known all over the world for their incredible finishes just as much as they are for their outstanding tone and fantastic playability. The quality of materials they use on their American models is genuinely astounding. The finishes on the SE models are undoubtedly great, but when you start looking at the PRS American Core line, 10 Tops, Wood Library, Artist Pack and Private Stock models, you’re getting some seriously nice maple tops and very select mahogany, amongst other woods.

PRS McCarty 594 Singlecut Wood Library Faded Whale Blue

PRS Guitars employ someone in their American factory to grade all the wood that comes in so that they know whether to use it for a Private Stock, Artist Pack or a Core Line model etc. That’s why as you go further up the American PRS guitar range, you see the finishes and quality of wood go up and up.

So, what’s the best quality wood used on PRS guitars? Here’s a fairly simplified description of how they grade the wood:

Standard Core Line → 10 Top → Artist Pack → Private Stock

You might notice that Wood Library isn’t in there so we’ll go through that first.

PRS Wood Library – What Is It?

Across the pond, in the 85,000 square foot PRS factory, there are dozens of different extraordinary woods, labelled up as Wood Library timber for use on very special guitars. Wood Library PRS guitars can offer players unique combinations of different woods, as well as beautiful tops. Sometimes, dealers such as ourselves, can get a run of Wood Library models that combine different, more exotic woods with the regular timbers. For example, we’ve got a McCarty 594 Doublecut with a redwood burl top, mahogany body and ziricote fingerboard – lovely stuff.

Inside the PRS Wood Library

When you buy a PRS Wood Library guitar, you’re investing in something that can be passed down from generation to generation. Many of the wood combinations are out of the ordinary thus making these guitars more exclusive than the regular Core Line models. Plus, all these exciting combinations of timbers mean that the guitars are going to sound slightly different; overtones are going to ring out slightly differently on a Custom 24 with a swamp ash back than with mahogany. As you would expect from PRS, all of the wood in the Wood Library is of an incredibly high quality.

PRS 10 Top – What Is It?

A 10 Top PRS is a guitar that has an extremely high quality maple top. According to their website, a PRS 10 Top ‘must have clearly defined figure across its entire top with no dead spots’. Whilst the depth of figuring on the maple cap won’t affect the sound of the guitar, it certainly adds the look of it. PRS have gained their prestigious standing throughout the world thanks in part, to their stunning finishes. Put simply, 10 Tops are some of the most beautiful pieces of maple in the world crafted to fit on your guitar.

PRS McCarty 594 Doublecut with 10 Top in Faded Whale Blue

PRS Artist Pack – What Is It?

Artist Pack PRS guitars are instruments that boast a multitude of upgraded woods – artist grade maple top, select mahogany back, artist grade ebony fretboard and an artist grade ebony veneer on the headstock. You’ll also get an artist grade case and hardware. The series offers enhancements on existing models so if you’ve always fancied a PRS Custom 22, for example, but want to treat yourself to something extra special, then you can upgrade to one with an Artist Pack specification.

PRS Custom 24 Wood Library Artist Pack Aquamarine

PRS Artist Pack instruments showcase the perfect marriage of outstanding pickup designs, regardless of the model you choose, and amazing timbers. For use on stage and in the studio, you’re going to get a guitar of outstanding quality that’s just as much as an investment as it is an instrument.

PRS Private Stock – What Is It?

All the materials on a PRS Private Stock guitar are of the highest quality. The person whose job it is to grade the wood as it comes into the PRS factory assigns the very, very best for the Private Stock guitars. These guitars are made with a ‘one off’ mentality and offer players the highest level of customisation. The company is known for using great quality materials. Even on their affordable SE range, the finishes and quality of woods used is impressive so on the Private Stock models, you’re getting something really, really special. PRS even have an elite group of luthiers who only make Private Stock models.

The beautiful PRS Private Stock Custom 24 30th Anniversary in Vintage Yellow

I’ve been lucky enough to see and play quite a few of the PRS Private Stock guitars and they are quite simply, some of the best guitars I’ve ever come across. As soon as you pick one up, you can tell immediately that it’s made with extraordinary attention to detail and the finishes are like nothing else out there. Like the Artist Packs and more American made PRS guitars, the Private Stock instruments are an investment; they’re the kind of thing you would pass down in the family as an heirloom. Whist the PRS Private stock instruments do sound incredible and are made with seamless playability, in my opinion, they are much more than just a guitar! Check out PRS’ video below for more info on the Private Stock range.

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