During the event, attendees were able to explore nearly
every inch of the PRS factory to see guitars and amps in
various states of production. Here we see a handwired,
2-channel “H” amp during the final stages of wiring. The
“H” refers the proprietary Heyboer output transformer.
In the amp demo room, PRS fans could put each SE and
handwired model through its paces. To keep volume in
check, each amp was set up with an isolation cab and
headphones to play along with backing tracks performed
by bassist Gary Grainger and drummer Greg Grainger.
The most-anticipated new products unveiled at Experience PRS 2011 were the new line of SE amps (the SE 50
is shown here). Each model is available as either a head
or closed-back 1x12 combo, and all have two channels
with separate EQs, an effects loop, and spring reverb.
For five years now, September has been a spot to mark on the
calendar for hardcore fans of
PRS guitars, basses, and amps.
That’s when the faithful with the
means to make the pilgrimage
trek to the 10-Top Mecca that
is the company’s headquarters in
Stevensville, Maryland. Known
as Experience PRS, the three-day
open house/extravaganza regularly hosts a couple of thousand
visitors—this year it was approximately 2,800—some traveling
from as far away as Japan and
Australia. The event’s attendees
include everyone from dealers to
international distributers, recording artists, everyday guitar nuts,
and members of the media. And
what they get is practically an all-access experience with the products, people, and facilities from
one of the three biggest guitar
companies in the world. This
year’s Experience PRS activities
included factory tours, artist and
product-designer clinics, recording demos, Q&A sessions with
founder/owner Paul Smith, concerts, and new-product unveilings and demos.
Perhaps the most exciting
development this year was that
PRS expanded the stable of its
very popular (and accessibly
priced) SE line to include amps.
The all-tube SE 20, SE 30, and
SE 50 models were designed
by Doug Sewell, the same mas-
termind behind the company’s
higher-end handwired amps.
The amps all have two channels
with independent EQ sections,
an effects loop, reverb, and
Their wattages correspond to
their model names, and all are
available as a head or a 1x12
combo. The SE 20 features a
6V6 power section, the SE 30
is driven by 5881s, and the SE
50 features a pair of EL34s.
In addition, the SE line now
includes SE Angelus Standard
acoustics. Both feature a solid
spruce top, laminated sides, and
iconic PRS bird inlays, with the
Standard having a solid mahog-
any back, and the Custom hav-
ing a solid rosewood back.