For over 35 years, Paul Reed Smith has been making guitars that are cherished for their beauty, playability, and amazing tone. You may have noticed a consistently growing selection of Paul Reed Smith guitars at Kraft Music. With the release of the 2021 PRS line, we now have over 30 models available to order, and we are just getting started. I recently had a virtual sit down with Kraft Music Guitar Merchandising Specialist Matt Kashuda, to talk about acquiring PRS as a brand for Kraft Music.
First off, you came to Kraft Music Guitar Merchandising role last year and made a welcomed splash by quickly expanding our guitar and pedal offerings. What made Paul Reed Smith an early target for you to acquire? PRS was one of the brands that I was most excited about to bring on when I started here at Kraft. I've worked with the folks over at PRS from my previous MI experience for the last 8 years and couldn't recommend them enough, both for their guitars and as a company. All the folks over there are extremely passionate about the guitar and I have always admired how they never rest on their laurels, they are always trying to improve the instrument making it sound better, look better, and play better! PRS is a modern-day legendary company and Paul's never-ending contributions to improve the guitar are inspiring.
What do you love about PRS guitars? Having seen it firsthand, I love the passion and attention to detail during the build process and the quality right out of the box. I've always been impressed that PRS guitars are ready to play upon arrival, and how they sweat all the small details and minutiae from the thickness of the finish, the materials used in the pickups, the mass of the bridge, etc to name a few!
You started by bringing in a number of unique guitars like the Zebrawood SE Custom 24 models, the limited edition 35th Anniversary SE Custom 24, and the S2 McCarty 594 Thinline in a custom black. How did you get your hands on such cool models early on?
I wanted to get some really eye-catching and unique looking models in off the bat to make the biggest splash we could as a new dealer for PRS, and these models always stood out for their aesthetics; from the exotic tops to the more one-off models.
We've continued to build the line by recently adding the full 2021 lineup of SE models. While some might recognize the SE line as an introductory to PRS, what could you tell a new PRS initiate about how the SE models differ from the S2 and Core lines?
The SE models from PRS are the budget friendly import line but are by no means Entry-Level. The quality control both at the overseas factory and the final QC at the Maryland factory is a tight, well oiled machine that is on par with guitars costing significantly more. It's awesome to see the classic body shapes, wild colors and tops in a wallet friendly package. I'm most excited about some of the new finish options they brought for 2021, like Eriza Verde and Bonnie Pink, as these colors were typically reserved for more expensive USA-made custom pieces!
What can customers expect to see for the future of PRS at Kraft Music?
I'm excited to bring on pretty much everything we can from PRS, from custom one-off colors, amplifiers, and more variety of the SE and S2/USA Bolt-On models!