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PRS Private Stock Malachite custom 24
Personally specced by the suspiciously personable Joel Bauman, this PRS Private Stock Malachite Custom 24 approaches the unreal with a one-piece, European maple top Bauman hand-selected while at the PRS facility in Maryland, as well as a figured mahogany neck, C&C-routed trem block and control cavities, and, of course, birds to match.
This is a Paul Reed Smith Private Stock Custom 24. I hand-picked the wood, and spec'd out and the color and everything myself, because I'm lucky enough to be allowed to do that with somebody else's money.
A couple of times a year, a few of us take a trip to Maryland to see Paul and the good people at the Paul Reed Smith factory. It's always an exceptionally fun time because we get to go to the actual private stock room.
This room has stacks and stacks of really incredible exotic woods, and you go through, pick stuff out, and design them from there. I had the idea to do something very simple and classy. I wanted to do a Custom 24, one so understated that you don't even realize it at first.
This has a one-piece European maple top. Just absolutely incredible. When we did the stencil for the body shape, I made sure to make the flame slightly offset. Because, when it's perfectly straight, you almost assume that there's a seam there and it doesn't really give the effect of being a one-piece top. This one moves on a diagonal so that you can tell, and Paul Reed Smith calls this particular green Malachite.
Otherwise, we did standard Custom 24 specs. It's a perfectly designed guitar already, so you don't have to mess with it too much. We put on a figured mahogany neck, and then we added CNC cutouts for the trem block and the control cavity.
I play a lot of Les Paul Customs if you know me, and I love ebony boards, so we added one too. I love the way it looks, and I like the way it feels. I also wanted to do something that, tonally, would be closer to the customs that I play, pretending like I'm making a guitar for myself, even though hopefully you buy it.
We did the birds to match the top, which I think is a sharp detail. Also, the Private Stock Eagle, as well, and we did ebony buttons to match the ebony board. It's all in the little details. When you get a Private Stock guitar, it's not just exceptional wood. It's also put together, tuned, set up, and has everything done by the best people at their job. It's why they're doing what they're doing, and with this level of quality, you can feel it.
It's incredibly loud, resonant when unplugged, which, as we all know, always means good things with plugged in.
We went with 58/15LT pickups. They are some of my favorite sounding pickups anyone's ever made. The 58/15LTs, I think, are a modern classic. They're a little bit lower-output, a little bit sweeter sounding, with more chime here in the bridge and not quite as hot.
We opted for the five-way switch with the custom 24, so you can get anything from full-on humbucker sounds to Strat, Tele-esque single-coil sounds, and everything in between. It does a lot, and it's very versatile. It doesn't make a bad sound.