Mark Tremonti Opens Up on His Controversial Explorer-Shaped PRS Guitar, Explains Why It Won’t Be Mass-Produced

It seems that a lot of guitar companies are just waiting for Gibson to take legal action against them. One of those companies was also PRS Guitars which got into a court battle, halting the production of Mark Tremonti’s signature model for a while. However, they eventually came out as winners.

For The Love of The Guitar: Mark Tremonti's #myPRS Story | PRS Guitars

But speaking of which, PRS has also made some pretty interesting and, dare we say, somewhat controversial and divisive guitars for him. We’re looking at Mark’s unusual double-cut PRS with some serious Gibson Explorer vibes. To those wondering whether the model will see a mass-production version, we have some bad news.

In a recent interview with Ultimate Guitar, Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti was asked about this model and whether we’ll see its commercial iteration to which he replied:

“I have four of those now, but the problem with it is they would have to create a three-piece top and they would have to create new CNC machines to build just that one model, and it’s just not in the cards, you know.

“I’ve asked them a lot of times, and they’d have to carve out a corner of the warehouse to do that, just for that one guitar, so I don’t think it’s worth it. The other thing is, I think it’s a little radical for PRS. PRS is more of a traditional, classy, company, you’re not gonna see pointy guitars, you know, they’re not a heavy metal kind of guitar place. I think it’s kind of traditional. So I think that design was a little bit on the edge.”

He also explained that the instrument was pretty divisive, saying:

“Some of the people at PRS absolutely loved it, and some people didn’t like it. So I think it’s kind of cool that it’s something that only I get to play at the time, but it would be also great to see it hit the stores, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

Further down the interview, Mark was also asked to confirm whether he had the first-ever single-cut PRS electric guitar. After confirming that this was true, he explained how it eventually became his signature guitar:

“Yes, [Paul] had asked if I wanted to check out their guitars and I said, “Absolutely, I actually own a PRS and it’s one of my favorite guitars.” He sent me one and it was a McCarty and I still have that McCarty – it is one of my favorite guitars, but when I played it on stage, the pickup switch and the volume knobs were all in the wrong places for what I was used to, and in the moment, when you’re playing live you need to be able to switch up things on the fly.”

Me And My Guitar interview with Mark Tremonti / PRS Tremonti Concept and Baritone Hybrid

“The tone of it was more round sounding than I was used to when I was playing my Les Pauls back in the day. So they sent me another guitar, and another guitar, I was like, I love these guitars but they’re just not suited for me in a live sense.

“So they said well, why don’t we just make you one that that you can customize and make for your signature model, at that point, there was only Carlos Santana and myself, so it was a huge honor for me. Still, one of the best moments of my entire career was opening up that case to see my signature model finally done. It was just a very happy moment.

“But that was the first single cut, and then there was a lawsuit that came years a few years later and they had to take it off the shelves for maybe two or three years but we finally won that case and fortunately it went back on sale and it’s just been such a well-received guitar – I heard a good description of it from some reviewers – they said it’s like when you take an old hot rod and put a new modern drive train in there.

Photo: Alfred Nitsch (20170615-100-Nova Rock 2017-Alter Bridge-Mark Tremonti)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.