Inspiration – Paul Reed Smith @ Tone World

Last weekend I had the opportunity to meet one of the most inspirational people around. Described as the ‘Steve Jobs of guitars’, Paul Reed Smith is a genuine legend of luthiers.. from humble beginnings as a guitar repair guy to a multi-millionaire head of one of the world’s finest guitar companies, Paul has a scary eye for detail and constant drive for perfection.

Paul’s currently in the UK doing a bit of PR, getting out & about to some of the ’boutique’ style music shops that carry his guitars.

He was in the North West visiting ‘Tone World’, a newly opened guitar shop located in the Flint Glass Works in Manchester City centre.
Ran by Gary Sharpe, (over 27 years experience in music retail) Tone World looks to fill a slightly niche market in guitar sales, specialising in high end guitars and amps from makers such as PRS, Suhr, Hughes & Kettner & Diezel. Wooden floors, accessible guitars and no pushy salesmen, this place has a great vibe.

For over 2 hours, Paul led an open floor Q&A; speaking at length about guitars, his philosophies and ideas..

Paul takes questions from the floor – Just look at that backline!

Paul also had with him Simon McBride, a stunning blues rock guitarist, to demo some of the guitars and new range of PRS SE amps.
Winner of the ‘Young Guitarist of the year’ award when he was 15, Simon’s a decidedly tasty player who did an excellent job of showing just how impressive these guitars & amps can sound in the right hands!


Simon McBride with a box fresh PRS Swamp Ash Special


I must admit, I almost got too caught up in the whole experience and was moments away from sticking a beautiful purple burst PRS Studio onto a credit card, when someone with a quicker trigger finger (and no doubt healthier bank balance!) swooped in a bought it whilst I dithered. “You snooze, you lose” as the saying goes I guess!

Afterwards, Paul stopped to chat with everyone, sign guitars and posters etc.. he even had time discuss a repair with a friend of mine, showing that although he’s now head of a multi-national company, regularly producing guitars that cost thousands of pounds, he’s still a humble guitar tech at heart.

Paul runs through a repair for PRS player Paul Glover


With a few raffle prizes handed out (PRS branded caps, strings, T-shirts etc) courtesy of Headline Music (official PRS UK distributer) it made for an excellent Sunday’s entertainment.

I’d like to say thanks to Paul Reed Smith, Headline Music and of course Gary and the staff at Tone World for the opportunity to come along!
If you fancy treating yourself to some VERY tasty instruments, you could do a lot worse than visiting Tone World:

Tone World Ltd
The Flint Glass Works
64 Jersey Street
M4 6JW

Telephone : 0161 605 0871
Email :

Unfortunately, I’m not on commission.. however if you’re reading this Gary, I wouldn’t say no to a cheeky discount when I inevitably cave in and spend all my life’s savings on a PRS P22!



  1. Woah! It’s me in the third photo! My life is complete…

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