Is PRS about to unveil a Robben Ford signature model?

PRS Robben Ford
(Image credit: Robben Ford / Instagram)

PRS has been expanding its artist roster of late with the likes of Mark Lettieri and Joe Walsh joining its ranks, and it looks like the legend of blues, jazz and rock guitar Robben Ford is next in line. 

Ford shared a video on his official Instagram account of a newly received PRS custom-build that looked very much like a signature guitar in the making.

Sporting a McCarty-style body shape with a black finish and what looks like natural binding from the maple top, Ford's new PRS features a personalised truss rod cover and his signature seal stamped on both chrome pickup covers. 

As Ford explains in the video, the headstock is a little larger than regular PRS models, a feature that was inspired by CBS-era Stratocasters – “which I always thought was really weird but now I think is really cool,” says Ford. 

Elsewhere, there appears to be many features you might find on a McCarty. There is the PRS stop-tail bridge – and though it is hard to see in low-resolution video, those do look like brass inserts. The guitar has 22 frets with birds inlay, and there are a set of vintage-style tuners with ivory/cream coloured tuning keys, and the familiar dual-control, dual-humbucker setup with a three-way pickup selector.

There is, however, a crucial difference on this Ford model, with addition of a mini-switch for coil-splitting. Indeed, as with the headstock, Ford wonders whether the switch could be made bigger. 

This, of course, could be simply a custom-build, yet with Ford himself saying, "We are hoping that this is the completed version of the guitar Paul Reed Smith has made for me," it would suggest that this is a model that has been in development for some time.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.