Cody Kilby signature guitar from PRS

kilby_greyPaul Reed Smith guitars have long had the reputation for making electric, solid-body guitars of the highest quality. Things got started in a small shop in Annapolis, MD during the mid-1980s, with Smith building by hand, by himself.

As word of his finely-crafted instruments began to spread, top guitarists like Carlos Santana and Al Di Meola became prominent spokesmen and, before long, PRS was shipping guitars all over the world from a state-of-the-art facility in nearby Stevensville, MD.

Entering the company’s third decade – after expanding into bass guitars, guitar amplifiers and speaker cabinets – Smith began to dedicate energy to developing a solid wood, steel string acoustic guitar. The first two models were introduced at the NAMM show in January 2009. Despite the obvious differences in construction techniques, few serious followers of the acoustic guitar world doubted that PRS would make fine flattops. But fewer still likely anticipated a move into the bluegrass market.

Cody-Kilby-SigBut that is exactly what has happened, with Smith working with flatpicking monster Cody Kilby of Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder to develop a signature model aimed at this segment of the guitar universe.

The stock Kilby model is made with Cocobolo back and sides, an Adirondack spruce top with the PRS x-bracing, mahogany neck, and ebony bridge and fingerboard. Tuners are special Robson machines with ebony buttons, and the guitars come equipped with the PRS pickup and preamp system.

Cody created a couple of videos for PRS to introduce the new model…


…and to provide a demonstration.


Since the Cody Kilby Signature model is part of the PRS Private Stock series where new owners may select the woods used, all of which are chosen from the very best materials available to the builders, the prices of these guitars can vary a good bit. But they are not for the faint of heart, with list prices at $11,000 and up.

Find more details online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.