PRS Questions

PRS Questions

Postby James-T » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:00 pm

Any PRS owners out there how have jerrized their guitars and not been fully satisfied with the results. I had my luthier route and drop in a dual sound in a middle position and swapped out the bridge Dragon II for a Bare Knukles Stormy Monday. I am now going to swap out the bridge pup with a 60’s vintage T-Top I recently acquired, giving me a modern jerry guitar in the middle position (I added toggles to split the Stormy Monday and Dual Sound), and a “vintage sound” with the other two pick-ups. I admit it is an experiment.

So far it’s been an excellent project but given the investment, my 81 Carvin DC160 which has a neck Dual Sound in it is a better jerry sound. I love the PRS and get great compliments on it when I do shows, but it seems to have an air-iness to it, something I just can’t pin down. I now think that the floating trem is sucking some bite, tone and sustain. Its a great sound but more of a Bobby sound than Jerry sound. I just dropped a pair of vintage 65 PAF’s into my 98 LP DC Standard and its absolute tone heaven, and I’m thinking the fixed bridge has a lot to do with it. It is a very similar setup to my PRS with the exception of its chambered. It is a wonderful instrument.

Has anyone had luck locking down their trem, and if so how did they do it (wood blocks? Temelo-no?). Has anyone tried swamping out the sustain block. There is a product out there by GCK Killer Guitar Parts that claims to be manufactured from “musical brass”. I’m sceptical but they seem to have some endorsements on the net. Given the PRS sustain block looks to be solid brass I’m not sure how this can help and could be a complete waste of $95 (I’m beginning to think guitars are worse than boats!).

One other thing. The PRS is without a UGB. I had one installed for one gig before the guitar was properly rigged for the three pick-ups, and then when my luthier figured out the whole PRS rotary switch thing and we put in a simpler “strat” like configuration with an aftermarket 5 way rotary switch, the UGB went haywire. The UGB on its way back to Mike Wald for diagnosis. A second question, would Wald electronics UGB in a stomp box be as effective? Mike feel free to weigh in.

Here’s the guitar
Image

and here is what it sounds like today in the middle position through a 73 twin in a concert setting:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JNdQpFirzY

Peace,

James
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Re: PRS Questions

Postby keirweir » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:42 am

Mike Young on the board here has a real nice PRS that is Jerry modded and sounds great.
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Re: PRS Questions

Postby NSP » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:36 am

Yeah, I've been playing a PRS with Jer mods for quite a while now and have been happy with it, but ultimately want something more....so, I am currently having a Wolf built by ao.

I agree that the floating trem probably robs some of the tone and I blocked mine with wood and it helped, but didn't solve the issues it causes competely. I've added OBEL, Waldo buffer, and DAllen Voodoo pickups and really does a nice job nailing the '72 tone.

I initially had some weirdness with the wiring and I think it had to do with the stock PRS rotary switch. I completely gutted it and rewired the whole thing with new pots and an aftermarket 6-way rotary switch from StewMac, and it came out really nice. It will certainly be a worthy back-up guitar.

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Re: PRS Questions

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:27 am

I gotta laugh at that $95 trem block made of "musical brass". :lol: Unless we're playing Kramers, ALL of our bridges, either hardtail or tremelo, are anchored to what? Wood. Just don't use softer wood than your guitar body and make sure it fits nice and it'll be as blocked as any other trem.

Best case scenario is probably to match the wood type, likely mahogany. Your local Rockler should have appropriate scraps for pretty cheap.
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Re: PRS Questions

Postby Jon S. » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:59 pm

I bought my one and only PRS new in 1986. Back then, no one had heard of them, least of all me (nor any of my friends). I walked into my local music store with the hard earned bucks I'd saved for months to cop a Les Paul, played some PRSi, and fell in love with this lovely 7 lb.'er. Over the years, I've changed this or that on it but a few years back, I went back to close to stock (with a few mods that Paul Smith himself developed for his early guitars and marketed as an "upgrade kit" that PRS used to sell for the early models). PRSi are what they are. I'm not sure they want to be Jerrycasters. Yours looks and sounds awesome. I would accept the guitar for itself. What you could do is throw a pedal like a Fulltone Fatboost or Sarno Earthdrive onto the end of your signal chain, set it slightly above unity (with perhaps a trace of dirt for the Earthdrive), and just keep playing.

Image

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Re: PRS Questions

Postby myoung6923 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:44 am

Here are my babies.

Image

The one on the right is a custom 24 fully Jerrified. I sort of did it in stages over several years. Now it has a Waldo buffer, OBEL, 3 super 2's, a coil tap for bridge and neck pickups, 3 way for the middle - hum/single/parallel and loop bypass switch. It plays great - I love it. I actually just sold my resurrection bolt to finance another PRS.

I had the tremelo blocked with wood, pickup ring machined out of aluminum, extra space routed for 2, 1/4" jacks, a curved jack plate made for the side of the guitar, and a battery compartment and cover also routed into the side.

My main issues with it are:
- there isn't really enough room in the cavity to put in a blade switch. It had a rotary. I would have liked to use that spot for another tone pot and put in a blade as well, but there wasn't enough room. So I went with a 5 position rotary switch. While it works just fine, it takes an extra second to grab the knob and switch it to the right position. Also, visually there is no way to know which position it's in. I could put a chicken head knob on it, but that's just plain ugly.
- since I only had room for one tone pot I had hoped to find a dual ganged concentric pot for it so that I could have independent tone controls. Unfortunately I couldn't find one in the right configuration for it. I had to go with a dual ganged pot - but not concentric. Not that it's a great big deal, but it's kind of nice to preset the neck tone down all the way to pop into that really gritty, dirty tone without messing with more knobs - and then being able to pop back into the middle pickup back at the original tone setting.

Such was the limitations of this guitar just based on its cavity and the existing holes.


So, because I love this guitar so much I decided to look for another PRS that could be more easily Jerrified and be able to have 2 tone controls, fixed bridge and a blade switch. I settled on the PRS P24. The body and neck are the same as the Custom 24. It has a piezo pickup in the bridge (which I didn't really care about) - but what it DID have is a fixed bridge, 2, 1/4" jacks (one for mag pickups, 1 for piezo) a battery compartment, a switch and 3 pots. So, as far as making new holes, it would just need 2 mini switches and a center pickup routed. I planned on using the same machined aluminum pickup ring.

Here's the catch... Once I got the guitar, I loved the sound of it! The stock tone was amazing and I'm able to get a very good Jerry tone out of it. And the piezo was a pleasant surprise. Not that I would really use it much, but if you run it's output to a DI box and out to the board, the acoustic tone is VERY good. You can also blend in however much mag and piezo that you'd like. I don't care about that so much though. At the first gig that I used it, we put a few acoustic songs on the list - Monkey & the Engineer, Race is On, On the Road Again, Deep Elem Blues - and it sounded superb. But realistically, we rarely do acoustic songs and for the most part, I don't need the piezo.

Now, I'm leaning towards keeping it stock. I would like to put in a OBEL though - I badly miss that option. I'm not sure how to go about that though because it's not point to point wiring inside. There is a big board in it with all of the electronics. So, it sort of seems like I have to go all out in Jerrifying it, or leave it as is. I'm leaning towards leaving it as is...

Here's a clip from the first gig with the P24. During the solo I turn on a digitech Harmony Man to add a harmony, and then I also switch on the piezo - there were 3 different sounds coming out of the guitar... you can't hear it as well on the vid, but it was like a wall of tone coming from it - it was really fun to play around with.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us

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Re: PRS Questions

Postby Jon S. » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:22 am

Sweet PRSi! Re: this:

>> My main issues with it are:
- there isn't really enough room in the cavity to put in a blade switch. It had a rotary. I would have liked to use that spot for another tone pot and put in a blade as well, but there wasn't enough room. So I went with a 5 position rotary switch. While it works just fine, it takes an extra second to grab the knob and switch it to the right position. Also, visually there is no way to know which position it's in.


I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know but FWIW, the way to handle a PRS rotary is that unless you're moving must one position (click) that time, you slam the control all the way right (position 10) or all the way left (position 6) and count back to the position you want. I.e., if you're in position 9 and you want 7, don't try to "hit" 7 directly, slam the rotary all the way left and then back one position to 7.

I frankly find this no more challenging or time consuming than using a typical 5-position Strat-type switch.
"For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The music is the most important thing, and the guitar is only the instrument." Jerry Garcia
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Re: PRS Questions

Postby playingdead » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:14 am

I happen to be a PRS dealer and if any rukinders want a guitar, I'll get you a good price on one ... even if it's a righty :idea:

I get the daily emails on what's coming down from the factory, and some of them are just spectacular tops, like this lefty Custom 24 that I pounced on.

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Re: PRS Questions

Postby jenkins » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:12 pm

myoung6923 wrote:Here are my babies.

Image



Now, I'm leaning towards keeping it stock. I would like to put in a OBEL though - I badly miss that option. I'm not sure how to go about that though because it's not point to point wiring inside. There is a big board in it with all of the electronics. So, it sort of seems like I have to go all out in Jerrifying it, or leave it as is. I'm leaning towards leaving it as is...

Here's a clip from the first gig with the P24. During the solo I turn on a digitech Harmony Man to add a harmony, and then I also switch on the piezo - there were 3 different sounds coming out of the guitar... you can't hear it as well on the vid, but it was like a wall of tone coming from it - it was really fun to play around with.




I can see what you're saying about the OBEL, to me the OBEL is genius and It's hard to go back to guitars without one oncee you've used one, well if you wanna use en envelope filter that is. Most other effects benefit from it as well but for the EF it's almost critical IMO.

As for installing one into that guitar why can't you just splice into it directly from the pups, out one side of the cable and then back in the other side into the circuit board that's in the guitar?
I'm sure you probably thought of this already but is there some reason that it's not possiblee to do?
Now keep in mind I don't know how to wire anything, I just tell my guy what I want done and he does, but shouldn't it still be possible to do even with a board in the guitar?
IIt would be pups>OBEL>board, basically just splicing in before the pups hit the board.
That way your effects are always getting full signal and will be consistent and the guitar would still sound the same as it does stock.

AAm i over simplifying this? Is there some reason that you can't do this with a boarrd in the guiitar?

I'm wondering bc i've been considering getting a PRS for the past yr or so. My buddy got an archtop moddel and it sounds great, I actually got some great jerry-like tones out of the thing I was pretty shocked when I played it. Really clean tone and when you don't send the piezo to a seperate preamp the blend knob is great, that is where I got the jerry tones from. Blennd in just a little bit of piezo so it doesn't sound like an acoustic at all but rather a really clean sounding guitar that has some nice bight when played through the right amp.

I'm glad I read this thread bc I assumed you could put in an OBEL no problem and now I'm wondering if it'ss nott possible.

Why can't you place the OBEL between the pups and the board?
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Re: PRS Questions

Postby myoung6923 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:23 am

I was able to put an OBEL into my PRS myself - it was pretty straightforward.

What I'm not sure about though, is what would happen once the signal is converted to low Z and then brought back into this board. For all I know, the other components on the board need a high z signal - I just don't know... For this project, I definitely would want somebody more knowledgeable then me.
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Re: PRS Questions

Postby NSP » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:11 pm

Finally got around to uploading a clip. My PRS is pretty prominent in this particular mix, so you can hear what it sounds like with the DAllen pickups ( single coil middle in this case), Wald buffer --> SMS/Mc250 --> 2x12 K120.

https://soundcloud.com/search?q=new%20speedway%20players
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Re: PRS Questions

Postby jeager » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:52 pm

I have always liked the pRS guitars, never owned one though. I think the 25" scale used on many of them is just right for one thing. Your band sounds great btw
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Re: PRS Questions

Postby mijknahs » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:03 pm

Here is a mid 90's PRS EG (bolt on maple neck, maple cap on alder body) with a Super II in the middle position. The rig is a modded Fender Twin into an MC2200 and 2x12 E120 cab. It got a great Jerry tone. I did "block" the tremelo with a piece of Cocobolo wedged in there. I removed the springs and put the buffer's battery where the springs used to be.

Video was from 1996 or 1997 just before I got my custom cocobolo/maple Tiger tribute. I sold this guitar to my good friend.

I've played other "Jerry-fied" PRS guitars (but with a set mahogany neck) and they didn't sound the same. I'm convinced that a maple neck is a big part of that Tiger tone that I'm going for.

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