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Why Buy Your PRS From Ed Roman

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Quicksilver Guitar VS PRS Guitar

Ed Roman Has The Best Deals On New & Used PRS Guitars

Even though Ed Roman is no longer personally a fan of what PRS is doing these days. Ed still sells quite a few of them. The simple reason being, on the new models Ed has the best price.  

Message From Ed

Buying a PRS today is no easy thing to do. There are way too many models, and not all options are available on all of them. I can give you a either a quickie thumbnail overview, of all the models, or I can give you an extremely detailed synopsis on every early model ever offered by PRS.

I have been selling PRS guitars since 1978,  Long before anyone knew who Paul Reed Smith was. I am unique in that I recommended Paul as the best guitar made years before he achieved his reputation. True I no longer feel that the PRS product is as good a value as it used to be, and it is also true that I no longer feel that the PRS product is the best I have to offer. But PRS guitars are still a well made guitar.

However if you want to buy a PRS, and you are interested in the pros and cons. I can be of immense help to you. I am an expert on his original models, I can tell you which years models were made with certain components and woods. I can be of value to you because I know all the original real PRS models intimately. I can advise you on the differences between a McCarty & a Custom, I can tell you which ones are keepers and which ones to stay away from.  I have been called a walking encyclopedia on PRS guitars.

I can tell you the year he switched from Brazilian Rosewood to Indian Rosewood, I can tell you the reasons behind the Heel from Hell, I can advise you on what pickups to choose, and I can tell you all the different bridge configurations over the years and advise you on the ones that work the best etc etc.   

Very Very Very Very  Important !!!!       22 Fret Versus 24 Fret   


I have in stock many signatures and early first year PRS guitars. I also have pre-productions and prototypes.  


I also have the absolute lowest prices on all the 2009 PRS guitars. If another dealer beats my price on the same PRS guitar I will pay you double the difference.


At one time I had probably one of the best selections of pre 1995 PRS guitars in the world. Today all the old ones are in the hands of wise collectors who know the new ones can't compare.


I am also unique in the fact that I can offer custom retops, Inlays, and colors that are available no where else in the world. I guarantee there is not a PRS in the world that I can't fix if something goes wrong with it.


I am the only guitar merchant in the world that carries PRS original parts. I have original necks, bodies, tremolos, tuners, and over 250 PRS pickups in stock. I even have those hard to get original sweet switches, 5 way biscuit rotary knobs, Mil Com Tremolos, and more. My shop is the only shop in the world to my knowledge that has upgrade aftermarket replacement necks and upgraded custom made bodies.


Every guitar I sell gets a complete and thorough setup and check out before it is shipped. This is signed off by My Shop Manager.


Every guitar player in the world knows that Gibson quality has faded tremendously over the years. Unless he has been hiding under a rock for the past 15 to 20 years. The workmanship coming from the Gibson factory is downright shameful.
PRS on the other hand has maintained their quality even if the woods aren't as good as the older ones at least the quality and workmanship has always been pretty good.


Gibson has maintained their original designs and gone to great lengths to ignore progress but they have remained true to the old style guitars that your grandfather played in the 50's. In the case of PRS they hired some ex Gibson people who took them off course completely. They changed their designs for the worse. They made huge engineering blunders and simply horrible design changes. Their workmanship fit & finish quality remains great but their old excellent designs are a thing of the past & frankly I hate all of the new models.

Ed Roman


PRS Vs Baker B1  Product Comparison PRS VS Quicksilver  Product Comparison
PRS New Models Compared To Old Models   PRS 24 Fret Guitars Versus 22 Fret Models


More PRS Information Links

PRS Bridges & Tremolos Dating Your PRS
PRS Commentary The McCarty Model PRS Guitars Frequently Asked Questions


Hey Ed,

Your web site is without a doubt the best guitar site on the www.  There is lots of great factual info. As the owner of a 1986 PRS custom I found your comparisons very interesting. It's very hard to disagree with any of it.

Several months ago I read your comments on Tom Anderson guitars (they are very overpriced) and was instantly won over to your way of thinking.

As someone who occasionally attempts to build guitars (in my garage) I agree that 'hand built' means something different today.

Keep up the good work and fight the good fight.


I will be taking seminars in Las Vegas soon. I'll stop by and pickup a Quicksilver for my collection

PRS Hollowbody Archtop Guitars

The McCarty Hollow Body

The McCarty Hollow body 1 model is the least expensive of the models. It comes with a Maple top and Mahogany back and sides. This model sports a manufacturers list price of  $3,600.00. (Street price will probably be under $2,700.00) , I measured the thickness at the rim  at 1 3/4"  and at the top of the peak of the arch 3".  There are no birds, gold or fancy quilted  maple (of course these items as on most PRS guitars are optional for an extra cost of about $2,000.00 additional. Personally I like the thicker version much much better than the thinner version. The Thinner version is by far overpriced. The Thicker full Archtop version is only about $100.00 more but it offers a host of reasons why it is better. (More on that later).

The McCarty Hollow Body II

The McCarty Hollow body II differs slightly from the basic model by the use of Maple on the back instead of Mahogany.  I found it a little strange that PRS opted to use Mahogany on the sides instead of Maple. I don't think it was a design mistake, but maybe a marketing mistake because it might alienate some cosmetic conscious buyers away from the model.  It is much cheaper for PRS to build the sides from Mahogany simply because the sides are hogged out on a machine the way a canoe is built. Personally I feel that Maple or Rosewood would be a much better choice.

The McCarty Archtop

This is the larger body version of the "Hollow body" it is exactly one inch thicker at the edge and one inch thicker at the peak of the arch and only $200.00 more.  Although In real life it will cost you about $100.00.

This is my favorite guitar that PRS makes today. It has absolutely no competition. (The thinner one is ridiculously overpriced because there are numerous other better and cheaper products.) The Archtop is a guitar unto itself. No other manufacturer makes a guitar quite like this one.  I like the way it plays and I like the way it sounds. The Archtop also tends to have nicer looking top wood than the thinner Hollow Body  model.

The Archtop guitar is also a  lot louder than the Hollow Body and therefore the guitar is a wonderful bedroom or parlor guitar also.

I absolutely do not recommend the LR Baggs Piezo system that is available for these guitars. There is a much newer technology now.

Now for Something Completely Different

As I previously stated I dislike the PRS Hollow body because there are numerous competitors who do versions of that model better and much cheaper and without the PRS feedback problems.

As I previously stated I like the Archtop (Thicker Version) much better because it has no competitors and does things that no other guitars are capable of. Yes it is overpriced but that's just PRS.

But, the Artist version of this guitar is probably the most stupidly overpriced thing I have ever seen.


McCarty Archtop II Artist Model  1998
List Price $10,000.00  Smackers,  Puhleease!!!!!!!
This price is $4,660.00 more than a loaded McCarty Archtop II !!!
I took this from PRS's 1998 Specification Sheet
If I missed something so did they


Here's What the 5 Differences Are:

  1. Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard

  2. Artist Grade Figured Maple

  3. Gold Outline on the Bird inlays

  4. Rosewood Veneer on Headstock

  5. Double Stain Finish

Here's My Assessment of the 5 Differences - 02/27/98:

  1. Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard
    I am selling solid Brazilian Rosewood complete neck blanks for 125.00 just like PRS used on the $9,000.00 Rosewood Ltd. I am buying these blanks from Craft Supplies in England which I understand is the same supplier that sells PRS.  That's the whole neck!!!  How much could just the fingerboard cost???   My highest guess is about $15.00 cost

  2. Artist Grade Figured Maple
    How could that be better than a 10 top. I thought that a 10 top was measured on a scale of 10.
    I quote one of the greatest guitarists alive,  Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap: " ...But these amps go to eleven."
    Just for the heck of it lets say it's an 11 top. OK add $75.00 at the absolute absolute  most.

  3. Gold Outline on Bird Inlays
    OK here we have a slightly noticeable difference, I honestly have no clue what it costs to do this. I would guess about $25.00 to $40.00  but because I simply don't know I'm gonna allow $100.00 for the purpose of this comparison.

  4. Rosewood Veneer on Headstock
    This is something I do on most of the guitars I build, I use scrap rosewood, ebony or quilted maple and I generally don't even charge for it unless I have quoted too low on another component and I need to make it up.  The most I ever charged for this was $50.00 and as I mentioned it really costs nothing to do. Many companies do it Standard and off-hand I can't think of anyone who charges for it.  But for the sake of this commentary I have to assign a value so I'm gonna give 'em $15.00.

  5. Double Stain Finish
    The People at PRS are true geniuses at guitar finishing. Not only do their finishes look fantastic but in my opinion most of the other people in the industry including myself have learned a lot of our techniques directly from Paul Reed Smith's finishing.  Some people learned it from working there and some people like myself learned it by trial and error until it looked as good as theirs, but the bottom line is PRS was the first company to popularize the double stain finish. Basically a double stained finish is where the first stain usually a darker stain is applied. This serves to raise the grain and enhance the 3D effect of the final product.  The darker stain is sanded down so that it highlights the edges of the flame or quilt. Then the color stain or dye is applied. The end result is truly spectacular. I think that in the early days PRS used this technique on many of their regular models. The retail cost of doing this from my paint shop is $100.00. Again for the purpose of this article I am going to allow a $50.00 cost which is worth it.  However many of PRS's stock colors employ the same method for no extra cost. You just have to know which colors to order.  (The ones on this page prove it)

Let's Do The Math.
OK,  Lets add up the 5 numbers in green. I get a total of $255.00
 We have now established the absolute highest possible cost figure,
 now let's put a retail value on it.

How about marking it up..  say 4 times?  That's pretty fair!!  Whatta' ya' think?

OK were gonna' take that $255.00 and make it  $1,020.00
Alrighty, lets get down to business here.

OK, the difference was $4,660.00 between the Artist,  and the loaded Archtop.
Were Gonna Subtract $1,020.00 for the Artist special appointments
Shit that still leaves an unexplained  $3,640.00

$3,640.00   ?????
Hello???? (knock  knock)  McFly???     Helloooooo???

Could this guitar be for that uninformed consumer, that I talked about above???? 
You remember the one who thinks that it has to be expensive to be good!!!


Final commentary and opinion

Seriously, The PRS Archtop models are excellent instruments. They are absolutely the best thing I have seen come out of PRS for 5 years. I am giving them my highest rating for quality, I just can't endorse the Artist model as a fair value. 
(I like the full body model much more than the thin body model)  

PRS Retopping & Repairs

Ed Roman Guitars founded in 1995 with only one original objective

Company Trivia

In 1995 I became totally disillusioned with the PRS guitars. For years I had felt that PRS guitars  were the best guitars on the market. So I decided to start a company that specialized entirely in Pre 1995 Paul Reed Smith Guitars.  (I only wanted to deal in Pre 1995 PRS guitars)

After owning "Eastcoast Music Mall" & being in business for 23 years, selling crappy corporate guitars, keyboards, PA, lighting, drums, DJ gear & other assorted hogwash, I was tired of selling Gibson & other corporate guitars. I felt that the guitar industry was ready for someone who only sold top shelf high end guitars.  The main problem at the time was there were only a few builders who actually were building really great guitars. (Today that's all been changed)

Of course Ed Roman Guitars has since blossomed to specialize in carrying over 25 brands of  high end boutique guitars and 100 plus brands of regular brand name Guitars and Basses. Ed Roman Guitars also builds some of the finest guitars on the market today.

 But the original concept was to carry only pre 1995 hand made PRS guitars. I also sell the newer machine made ones but that of course is for economic reasons. Today I am glad to say the high end guitar market is growing extremely well and there are no shortages of better than PRS brands that can be bought at a reasonable price.

Ed Roman                                      

If You Can't Afford A PRS   Check This Out

Here's a totally unforgivable job done on a PRS
The guitar appeared to have the original finish on it
The customer wanted us to change the color.

When we sanded the body down we found that a huge chunk of the body was solid bondo.

It's a little hard to see but if you look closely you will see the buildup of 1 1/2 " of solid body filler on this guitar. 

I find it hard to believe that any company, much less PRS would ever allow this to happen.
But that's what it looked like.

When we contacted the customer he told us he had bought the guitar on Ebay.

EBay Strikes Again !!!

PRS Dumpster Divers