As a teenager, Paul Reed Smith dreamed of building guitars decorated with European-style dragons. Paul’s dream became reality in 1992 when he unveiled his first limited edition Dragon guitar. Since that time, PRS Guitars has introduced only seven Dragon editions, each in very limited numbers. These guitars have become among the most desirable instruments in the company’s history, earning their place in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, the Museum of Musical Instruments, in Phoenix, Arizona, and the National Guitar Museum, a traveling exhibit now located at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey.
Each version of the Dragon guitar has featured a culmination of advancements in design with some of the most elaborate inlay work available. The new Private Stock 30th Anniversary Dragon, the eighth in the Dragon series and the first Private Stock Dragon model, uses this combination of innovation and artistic flair to commemorate the company’s 30th Anniversary.
The Private Stock 30th Anniversary Dragon nods toward history with a “pre-factory” style carved top and a pre-factory style Pattern Regular neck. The extraordinary Private Stock grade tone woods were hand selected for this very limited series and include a curly maple top, African ribbon mahogany back, and mahogany neck with a 24 fret Madagascar rosewood fingerboard. Newly introduced 85/15 treble and bass pickups define the tone with power, versatility, and clarity. The 30th Anniversary Dragon’s hybrid hardware includes PRS Phase III locking tuners and the PRS patented tremolo system.
The visual star of the guitar is the elaborate, fantastical dragon inlay designed by Jeff Easley, a fantasy artist famous for some of Dungeons & Dragons rulebook covers. PRS Guitars engaged Aulson Inlay, to deconstruct Easley’s artwork and recreate it into several distinctive sections that have been embedded into the body of the guitar and conclude with the dragon’s tail whipping up the fretboard. The finished product includes more than 285 parts fashioned from a wide array of inlay materials including most prominently: jade, azurite, lapis, pyrite, abalone, and mother of pearl. 30th Anniversary Dragons are available in two PRS high-gloss colors: Tiger’s Eye and Nightshade.
The Private Stock 30th Anniversary Dragon will be limited to 40 pieces, with the initial prototype already committed to be a significant feature in the Museum for Musical Instruments guitar exhibit in Phoenix, Arizona.
Combine the quality and playability of this guitar with its fire-breathing collectable value and it is easy to see why the new 30th Dragon will be highly sought after by guitarists and guitar enthusiasts alike. Pictures of the PRS Private Stock 30th Anniversary Dragon along with complete specifications can be viewed at: http://www.prsguitars.com/dragon.