Just toured the PRS factory...
Just got home from a 8+ hour drive from Maryland. The drive actually wasn't that bad, but I have to owe that to the "Magellan" my other guitarist let me borrow.
That thing is freakin sweet. G.P.S navigation. Its amazing. Full colorful map display,tells you how many miles to the next turn, how many miles for the trip, how long its gonna take you. You can search for the nearest anything from A.T.M's to gas stations to you name it. We easily drove around Baltimore and a lot of Maryland with absolutely no problem. Miss a turn, it re calculates its route to get you back on track. Just wonderful.
So anyway about the PRS factory. It was awesome. The guy who runs the accessories shop there, Drew, was just awesome. Took us through everything and gave a great tour. Even the workers were chiming in here and there willing to eduacate us on how they make their guitars.
They pay such incredible attention to detail. Its actually a VERY small factory. A lot smaller then I thought it would be. I would actually call it more of a "shop" then a factory.
They now have about 200 employees. Each worker has a very, very specific job. And really spends as much time needed to perfect what their doing. The shop was very clean, very organized. The operation was running very smoothly. And everyone seemed pretty cheerful. At least everyone I encountered.
As for them using CNC machines. I have seen first hand that they really only rely on machines for very basic tasks which actually, are better off being done by a machine! Basic cavity routing and shaping the violin shape into the tops, its all done so accurately. Then they hand do almost everything else. From the frets to tons and tons of hand-sanding and wet sanding. It really was very impressive.
Oh the racks of guitars I saw. They looked like candy!! I have pictures maybe I'll post somewhere with a link. I saw everything from the nicest Customs to Modern Eagles. We saw a double neck 6/12 string DRAGON!! It was insane!! I asked how much that guitar would sell for and he said somewhere between 25-40 grand. It really was a work of art.
But the cool thing is, really they put just as much love and care into their CE models as they did with that Dragon. Sure the Dragon needs more attention for the intricate inlay work, but quailty wise they are all held up to very high standards.
I also bought some VERY reasonably priced accessories. A sweater,poster,calender,lanyard. And I got a free T-shirt!! Awesome experience all around. I'am even more so proud to own one of their instruments. I actually grow more fond of it everyday.
Any questions feel free to ask. Like I said I'll post a link to pictures some point tommorrow. I still have 3 or 4 days left of vacation! Peace!!