1987-88 PRS Special Pickup Switch Positions and/or Wiring Diagram


Not My Boyfriend's PRS
Aug 5, 2018
Sacramento, CA
For the first 2 years of the PRS Special (1987-88), it was equipped with a HFS bridge and a Singlecoil Bass pickup. The Singlecoil looked like a humbucker but one of the coils is inactive. The controls are a volume, tone and 5-way rotary.

It is probably a long shot but does anyone know the five pickup switch descriptions? Several are fairly obvious (e.g., humbucker or singlecoil only), but the others are probably various combinations/configurations of the two pickups. An even longer shot is does anyone has a wiring diagram they are willing to share? I have also asked PRS customer service the same questions but they are still looking for the information.

I have one of the Singlecoil Bass pickups. It has black, red and white leads with an additional braided ground.
The measured specs are:
-Black and white lead resistance of 5.67 kΩ
-Red and white lead resistance of 5.67 kΩ
-Black and red leads are connected (common)
-Braid ground wire is only a ground (not connected to other leads)
-Black to white and Red to white have the same coil wire wind direction (phase)
-The slug side is the active coil with a North magnetic polarity

The black and red leads appear to be some type of a split since they are connected (measured resistance of 0.4 ohms) and their resistance with the white lead are equal. My assumption is this allows reversal of the singlecoil phase (wind direction) relative to a singlecoil side of the HFS and/or facilitates connection to the 5-way for series or parallel coil configuration.

My best guess based on the pickup configuration and 5-way rotary switch possibilities are:
1. Full bridge humbucker
2. Full bridge humbucker and singelcoil
3. Neck singlecoil
4. Bridge singlecoil (slugs) and neck singlecoil - series
5. Bridge singlecoil (slugs) and neck singlecoil - parallel
6. Split humbucker (slugs)

If I cannot obtain the answer of the original factory pickup configuration, I will probably go with 1-3 and a combination of 4-6 TBD.

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