DATING PRS GUITARS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL NUMBERS

Originally, the PRS serial numbers were stamped with ink on the headstock.
All PRS guitars have a serial number that starts with a prefix that indicates the year.
This prefix consists the one or two digits of the production year and applies to all models.


Where to find the serial number
Depending on the model you find the serial number handpainted or printed on the headstock,
or printed on the neck plate.


If you want to know the production year of your PRS guitar, you can decipher it with the serial
number decoder, or find it in explanation about the dating system below.


  PRS serial number date decoder











PRS background information in short
PRS (Paul Reed Smith), founded in 1985, has had its headquarters and factory in Stevensville, Maryland since 1995. Now it is one of the world's leading manufacturers of guitars and amplifiers.
There is a co-operation with Cort industries in South Korea, which also
has branches in Indonesia where the cheaper SE series is made.

PRS has distinguished itself for years by having an eye for detail with
which the guitars are built. The types of wood are carefully selected and
all parts are thoroughly tested and matched before a guitar leaves the factory.
Sources of inspiration for PRS include Gibson and Fender.
The characteristic sound of these two brands, especially the
Les Paul and the Stratocaster, PRS tries to unite to get a clear
and warm sound.

In addition to the high quality, the guitars also stand out visually
due to their shape, typical bird inlays and finish.


Paul Reed Smith

Bird inlays on fretboard
Prefix for year code

The serial numbers on all guitars and basses start with a prefix indicating the year. This one or two digit prefix stands for the last digit (s) of the production year and applies to all models below.
PREFIXYEAR  PREFIXYEAR 
 01990 or 2000   082008 
 1 1991 or 2001   092009 
 21992 or 2002   102010 
 31993 or 2003   112011 
 41994 or 2004   122012 
 51985 or 1995 or 2005   132013 
 61086 or 1996 or 2006   142014 
 51985 or 1995 or 2005   152015 
 61986 or 1996 or 2006   162016 
 71987 or 1997 or 2007   172017 
 81988 or 1998   182018 
 91989 or 1999   192019 
As you can see, the two-digit prefix can continue for many years. But a new coding system will probably have been introduced before 2100. ;-)


Set-Neck Serial Numbers
The serial number of a set-neck model is located on the back of the guitar’s headstock. After the year prefix, the remaining numbers indicate the sequential order of that year.
SERIALSYEAR  SERIALSYEAR 
 0001 - 04001985   62200 - 723532002 
 0401 - 17001986   72354 - 822542003 
 1701 - 35001987   82255 - 925552004 
 3501 - 54001988   92556 - 1031032005 
 5401 - 76001989   103104 - 1149402006 
 7601 - 101001990   114941 - 1324012007 
 10101 - 126001991   132402 - 146419 2008 
 12601 - 150001992   146420 - 1591322009 
 15001 - 179001993   159133 - 1705911998 
 17901 - 209002010   170592 - 1838622011 
 20901 - 246001995   183863 - 1964102012 
 24601 - 295001996   196411 - 2060592013 
 29501 - 346001997   206060 - 2154912014 
 34601 - 391001998   215492 - 2249542015 
 39101 - 444991999   224955 - 2361472016 
 44500 - 521992000   236148 - 2466502017 
 52200 - 621992001   246651 - 2576552018 

CE Models
The serial number is located on the neck plate on the back of the guitar. After the number for the year follows a 7 or CE prefix, concerning the CE model, then sequential number.
PREFIXSERIALSYEAR  PREFIXSERIALSYEAR 
 7  0001 - 02701988   CE  19581 - 207491999 
 7 0271 - 18301989   CE  20750 - 215992000 
 7 1831 - 32001990   CE  21600 - 231992001 
 7 3201 - 45401991   CE  23200 - 253892002 
 7  4541 - 70901992   CE  25390 - 263992003 
 7 7091 - 88201993   CE  26400 - 279002004 
 7 8821 - 107001994   CE  27901 - 293772005 
 7 10701 - 130001995   CE  29378 - 318002006 
 7  13001 - 146801996   CE  31801 - 327832007 
 7 14681 - 171301997   CE  32784 - 338812008 
7 or CE 17131 - 195801998 

EG Models
The year of manufacture for the EG-models is determined in the same way as for the CE-models. Just like the CE-models, the serial number is located on the neck plate at the back of the guitar.
The next number, after the year number, determines the model (5 or EC) for the EG-models and then the sequential order of that year.
PREFIXSERIALSYEAR  PREFIXSERIALSYEAR 
 5  0001 - 09201990   5  2071 - 28701993 
 5 0921 - 12901991   5  2871 - 31901994 
 5 1291 - 20701992   5  3191 - 33001995 

S2 Models
The serial number of an S2-Series model is located on the back of the guitar’s headstock. After the prefix of the year, the remaining digits indicate the sequential order of the set neck models built.
SERIALSYEAR  SERIALSYEAR 
 S2000001 - S20038202013   S2010530 - S20173902015 
 S2003821 - S20105292014   S2017391 - S20233912016 

Swamp Ash Special Models
The serial number is located on the neck plate on the back of the guitar.
The year of manufacture is determined in the same way for the Swamp Ash Special as for the CE and EC. The next number, after the year number, determines the model (8 or SA) for the SA-models and then the sequential order of that year.
PREFIXSERIALSYEAR  PREFIXSERIALSYEAR 
 8  00001 - 004101997   SA  02100 - 022872004 
8 or SA 00411 - 007601998   SA  02288 - 027002005 
 SA 00761 - 009691999   SA  02701 - 028002006 
 SA 00970 - 011792000   SA  02801 - 030552007 
 SA 01180 - 013992001   SA  03056 - 032562008 
 SA 01400 - 018992002   SA  03257 - 033122009 
 SA 01900 - 020992003 

Bolt-On Bass
The serial number is located on the neck plate at the back of the bass.
After the prefix of the year, these models have the code number 4, which indicates a bolt-on neck bass. The following digits are the production order for that year.
PREFIXSERIALSYEAR  PREFIXSERIALSYEAR 
 4  0001 - 00301989   4  0141 - 02001991 
 4 0031 - 01401990 

Set-Neck Bass
The serial number will be located on the back of the headstock.
After the prefix of the year, these models have the code number 9, which indicates a set-neck model bass. The following digits are the production order for that year.
PREFIXSERIALSYEAR  PREFIXSERIALSYEAR 
 9  0001 - 02301986/87   9  0681 - 07301990 
 9 0231 - 03501988   9  0731 - 08001991 
 9 0351 - 06801989 

Electric Bass
The serial number will be located on the back of the headstock.
After the prefix of the year, these models have the letter code EB, which indicated Electric Bass. The following digits are the production order for that year.
PREFIXSERIALSYEAR  PREFIXSERIALSYEAR 
 EB  00007 - 000722000   EB  00423 - 005012003 
 EB 00073 - 001992001   EB  00502 - 006502004 
 EB 00200 - 004222002 

SE Model Serial Numbers
The serial number on SE models will be located on the back of the headstock The year of construction for SE guitars can be determined by a letter prefix prior to the series of digits.
LETTERYEAR  LETTERYEAR 
 A2000   N2013 
 B 2001   O2014 
 C2002   P2015 
 D2003   Q2016 
 E2004   R2017 
 F2005   S2018 
 G2006   T2019 
 H2007   U2020 
 I2008   V2021 
 J2009   W2022 
 K2010   X2023 
 L2011   Y2024 
 M2012   Z2025 

In addition to manufacturing in Stevensville, USA are also in Asia produced guitars for PRS.
Most guitars with a year letter are produced by World Musical Instruments in Korea. But SE models are also made for PRS in China and Indonesia.
These guitars have a 3 letter code for the letter of the production year.
CTC = Cort China    CTI = Cort Indonesia