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Watch me hack up my PRS with a Forstner bit and a chisel

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by tfarny, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Like a dog with a fire hydrant, a guitar isn't really mine until I've modded it in some way. A sickness I know, but I'm not the only one around here...
    This is my PRS SE One, a dirt cheap Craiglslist impulse buy. It came to me lightly used with a concentric vol/tone mod and a SD antiquity, and a divot on the front from the previous owner routing out the P90 to accomodate the slightly larger Duncan P90.

    Turns out it's the best guitar I have ever owned, I like it more than my American PRS, my old Black Beauty, my Larrivee.
    So if you've finally found your #1 guitar, the one that makes you think about selling all the rest, what do you do? Get out the power tools of course!
    Step 1 was to replace the tuners with some open gear Hipshots that besides being great tuners, eliminated the very slight neck heaviness. Step 2 was to drill a new hole for a better Vol / Tone control setup. I hate concentrics.
    Step 3 is to add a neck pickup! I chose a Duncan A2 flat poled and I went for an angled approach - it's tight up there near the neck pocket, I want my pole pieces to align at least somewhat, and it looks rock and roll.
    Used an 11/16 Forstner bit to get the edges of the strat pickup hole on the pickguard, then finished that with a coping saw and some sandpaper. Turned out good. Then I I started cutting up the body. Used the forstner for most of it then grabbed a brand new chisel and started working by hand. Korina is soft! Or anyhow, this guitar is made from very soft wood that is supposed to be Korina.
    Turns out that the finish is this thick junk that tends to crack, not great. The plan is for all routs to be hidden under the pickguard.
    I know the pics look hipstery, for some reason my camera took them badly and I had to doctor them to be even visible.
    Tomorrow I'll add the tone switch (Mustang switch) and the Gibson toggle for pickup.

     
    2blue2, ndcaster, Nickadermis and 2 others like this.

  2. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan

  3. naneek

    naneek Tele-Meister

    125
    Mar 19, 2010
    PNW
    looks like fun.
     

  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Good on ya!
    Bend it to your will!
     
    Steve Holt likes this.

  5. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 25, 2011
    Perth Australia
    Love it! Great idea. I would like to get one of these SE Ones myself someday.
     

  6. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

    Admin Post
    When you said "hack up my PRS" I was quite interested... but you're actually doing a decent job... ;)
     
    Steve Holt likes this.

  7. Lonn

    Lonn Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    55
    Dec 13, 2007
    Indiana
    Wood and wires, that's all an electric guitar is. Enjoy.
     

  8. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Meister

    202
    Aug 7, 2015
    Somerset, Europe
    Best thread title I've seen in a while :lol:
     

  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    P90 bridge with a Strat neck pickup will be a great combination.

    .
     

  10. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I am undecided on the controls - originally my thought was volume, Gibson toggle for pickups (in the two current spots), then a couple of small value caps for tone on a slider switch somewhere north of the volume knob. But I can also see keeping the vol / tone as is, and using the slider switch for pickup selection. It would be easier to wire (that's not biggie though) and eliminate the chance of accidentally switching pickups mid-song.
     

  11. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    All done for now. Here are a couple pics of the damage...er, upgrade! IMG_20180216_160947.jpg IMG_20180216_160954.jpg IMG_20180216_160954.jpg
     
    2blue2 likes this.

  12. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    So far, so good. I like the new tones a lot, the neck pickup is coming in pretty hot but because I was real conservative in my routing it doesn't want to go down any more. I also want to really shield the cavity well, one of the eye-opening things on this guitar was how quiet the P90 was, which I put down to the excellent shielding job of the first owner.
     

    Attached Files:


  13. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    52
    Dec 18, 2016
    Camden Point, MO
    That looks fantastic!
     

  14. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    That turned out nice.
    How does it sound?
    A Brownish Tort guard would look great with that color.
     
    Torren61 likes this.

  15. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Thanks! It sounds great, but I need to do some pickup height adjustments. The neck position sounds like a very hendrixy strat right now, it wants to OD the amp all the time. The middle is not as awesome as I was hoping, so far - not much "quack tone". I want to lower the strat one a bit and raise the P90, I also want to put in a treble bleed on the volume control. It's kind of crazy how much tone it rolls off right now.

    And, yeah, a tort guard would be cool. If this one breaks, I'll look into it but I'm not going to spend hours cutting new holes in a pickguard, gotta play the thing instead.
     
    Zepfan likes this.

  16. SweetClyde99

    SweetClyde99 Tele-Holic

    605
    Feb 1, 2016
    Jefferson City, MO
    I’ve been jonesing for a PRS SE One to hack at with some blunt tools as well. I only ever use the bridge humbuckers in my guitars, and I like the idea of the simplicity of the Les Paul Jr. style guitars. I really like the PRS scale length too, and I figured routing out just enough room for a humbucker would make it just about perfect for me.
     

  17. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    If I ever see another one on Craigslist and it's a good deal I'll get a second one of these and leave it bone stock. Not that I regret hacking this one up, I don't, but there's an undeniable appeal to the one pickup simplicity combined with PRS necks.

    The next contemplated step is a B5. Talk me out of it, good folk of TDPRI!
     

  18. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    The black looks good too. I've heard that it's hard to get quack when the pickups are further away from each other, don't know if that's the deal or not though. One of your pickup's is RWRP of the other right?
     

  19. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Don't call it "hacking," call it "selective weight reduction" :rolleyes:
     
    AAT65 likes this.

  20. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    Quack is relative strength/weakness of one coil to the other plus pole stagger helps, and picking more over the high frets than back by the bridge. What I found.
     

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