John Mann and Paul Reed Smith made history together when their PRS vibrato/tuning system received its U.S. patent 30 years ago. The two men have been working closely together since 1979, when they first met at Paul’s one-man workshop on West Street, in Annapolis, Maryland.
At that time, Paul was designing and building his first guitar for Carlos Santana. In early conversations, Carlos insisted that he build him a guitar with a vibrato bridge that stayed in tune. During one of their phone calls, Paul said, “Okay, I’ll put a vibrato on it that won’t go out of tune.”
After hanging up Paul remembers thinking, How on earth am I going to do that?
And so the quest began.
Enter John Mann, who first met Paul when he brought him a guitar to be repaired. From their initial meeting, a friendship evolved, fueled by the desire to design and build the ultimate electric guitar.
Paul enlisted John to engineer and manufacture the vibrato bridge that Carlos demanded. By the time Paul was ready to install a bridge on the first Santana guitar, the bridge had been designed, tested and proved to work flawlessly. Not only did it look and sound amazing—it stayed it tune!
To mark the 30th anniversary of the bridge’s patent, MannMade USA is issuing a limited run of the original legendary PRS-MANN vibrato bridge, each with a certificate of authenticity.
For more info, visit MannMadeUSA.com.