In a recent trip to The Wild West, David Grissom rocked the house with various greasy licks and twangy, Texas riffs, in a most certain confirmation that this six-string Texas gunslinger knows barbecue sauce. He also talked six strings; in particular his DGT, the stalwart PRS model with a following all of its own.
Q: How long did it take for Paul to nail this special DGT Neck Carve for your namesake axe?
A: “Not long at all,” David said. “He nailed it. First Shot.”
As for other groovin’ nuances that make this axe feel “more like Nashville than Annapolis,” read on, courtesy of www.musicradar.com:
Texan guitarist David Grissom was a prime mover in the development of the 1994 PRS McCarty model. After a decade of using McCartys, Grissom – who Paul Reed Smith has referred to as “my ears” – was well-placed to help in the genesis of an ‘improved’ model.
PRS David Grissom DGT Artist Package Crab Glow w/ White Back
“Three or four years ago,” remembers Grissom, “Paul and I started to discuss different possibilities. I felt that there were several things we could do with the guitar to make it better. Some of the things I was already doing on my own McCartys: different fretwire, pickups, changing the tuners.
“At the same time a lot of people, studio players, would play my main McCarty and say that they’d buy one if they could get one like mine. See, you can’t get a McCarty with tremolo [an option dropped by PRS in 1999, aside from a very limited run in 2007] and I never stopped tinkering with my tone.
“When we felt there were enough things we could change, and when we felt there were enough top players who wanted one, that was the germ that lead to the new model.”
Outwardly, the DGT appears to be an archetypal PRS. But, as always, it’s all about the details. Like the McCarty, the DGT’s body is slightly thicker than a Custom’s, while the 22-fret neck features a new DGT profile and bigger Dunlop 6100 fretwire.
“With bigger frets – they’re not radically bigger just a little taller and wider – you can use bigger strings,” says Grissom. This is the first PRS solidbody to ship with .011s.”
And the neck? “It’s somewhere in between a wide-fat and an old regular profile. We compared my ’93 McCarty and my ’87 Standard and shot for something in between as they are my favorite-feeling guitars.”
The DGT is the only standard PRS production model to be finished in nitro-cellulose, more specifically cellulose top coats over a very thin polyester basecoat. “It lets the guitar breathe more, gives a less plastic feel, and it does make a difference to the sound”, reckons Grissom.
First off, it does feel very different – there’s a stickiness to the neck that definitely feels more Nashville than Annapolis, and the combination of the chunkier wire and tougher strings not only creates more fight but seems to take the DGT on a slightly darker, smoother route.
It’s like the McCarty has been to the gym and is now more powerful and muscular. In fact, the low end is a surprise too: it’s much more single-cut-like in its ample depth. Yet there is plenty of openness to the sound – it’s very vintage-like and the coil-splits are most useful and musical.”
Stay tuned for more of The Wild West interview with David Grissom. And check out his new album, Way Down Deep.