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PRS Mira Guitar

The third in a triptych of American solidbody pioneers that includes Les Paul and Leo Fender, Paul Reed Smith coupled the best developments of those two innovators with unparalleled craftsmanship, resulting in what many regard as the preeminent “dream guitars” of the past quarter-century. From building custom instruments in Maryland to becoming a major contender in a hopelessly crowded market, Smith has retained the boutique quality of his guitars astonishingly well, and his company’s production process incorporates more hand-crafting than any “factory” assembly line might imply. But these top-quality instruments are usually attached to price tags many working musicians find forbidding.

PRS’ new Mira guitar aims to change this: It’s an authentic Smith creation, innovated and manufactured in the Maryland factory, and price-wise it retails for considerably less than a typical PRS McCarty or Custom. The Mira lists for $2,200 with dot inlays and $2,560 with abalone bird inlays (a PRS trademark you might just have to have); not exactly budget prices. But then again, if you need something for way under a grand, look into the Korean-made PRS SE line-particularly the semi-hollow SE Custom, which got good marks in this magazine in 2007. The Mira is through-and-through authentic Paul Reed Smith, and worth your going a bit over budget.

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