In an unprecedented move, Paul Reed Smith Guitars announced Saturday that it will launch a new line of build-it-yourself modular guitars built by furniture giant IKEA.
"Really, it's the next evolution of Privat Stock," said a PRS spokesman, Martin Fender-Gibson. "Nothing is more personalized than when you have to build it yourself."
PRS is also pioneering the use of new materials, including chipboard. "It's an untapped tonewood," he said. "Chipboard, or particle board, is made from thousands of tiny pieces of mysterious, possibly exotic, wood held together by resin. Everyone talks about the tonal properties of mahogany, rosewood, ash, or maple, but nobody is exploring the tonal properties of mystery wood and glue. It's uncharted territory. And PRS is leading the way."
He also touted the sustainability benefits. "I remember the first time we discovered chipboard. It was a group outing to Home Depot. We cleared out the entire aisle 22b; we bought everything they had. Then we went back a week later, and the aisle was already full again. Talk about a renewable resource!"
"Also, rather than attaching slabs of tonewoods, we mix them. Think about it. For years, you've seen electric guitar makers use entire pieces of mahogany and a maple cap. But these large pieces are getting harder to find. Imagine the possibilities if, rather than two large pieces next to each other, mahogany and maple were blended, like a recipe. Wood purée!"
"Consider pancakes, for example. If I gave you a plate with milk, raw eggs, and dry flour next to each other, you probably wouldn't want to eat it. But if I mix all that together and cook it for two minutes, you're begging for more!"
We also spoke with a representative from IKEA, Ishopat Fredmeyer. "We've been using this material for years in our furniture. We simply cover it in a Formica veneer that looks like nice wood. Guitar makers are already familiar with using wood veneers. We are helping them take the next step."
IKEA, famous for writing assembly instruction manuals that are both unnecessary and unhelpful, is bringing that same expertise to guitar construction. "Our assembly manuals bring an experience to customers that you just won't find anywhere else," Fredmeyer said. "We started by asking all of the guitarists who work for IKEA to write about what it would be like to be stuck in a band with Axl Rose. Next, all of those pages are translated directly from Dutch to English by a person who only speaks Cantonese. Finally, we send the entire packet to a local elementary school where one lucky 3rd grader gets to draw random pictures all over it." Fredmeyer concluded, "It creates a user experience that is truly quite unique."
This announcement has been met with mixed reviews (pun intended) by industry experts, who are grateful that the announcement came on April 1st. Absolutely none of this is true. Happy April Fools Day!
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