Ever take a tool to your PRS?


New Member
Aug 29, 2012
The FAR SIDE of the Middle of Nowhere
Normally I leave "Set Up" to pro's but as I play more...I'm getting bolder about wanting my guitar HOW I want it to be... ;)

So the action on my P22 was pretty high after everything settled in... High enough that it bothered me playing some stuff up the neck. I was thinking about getting it set up and looking the guitar over there were really only the TWO bridge screws to adjust! So I started digging on our PRS site and found THIS:

Which led me to THIS:

So after reading it I got brave! Hey I was going to get it set up anyway, what have I got to lose? So I followed the directions and was able with a couple of cycles to get it back in "spec". All by my lonesome! :D

So have you worked on your own guitar?
If so and how far do you go? :biggrin:

->Man I don't even change STRINGS... :flute:

->Okay, I change strings but THAT is it :p

->I'll tweak small stuff, saddle heights, truss rod adjustments :proud:

->It's mine, it's all fair game! Pass the soldering iron!:top:
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Congrats on the adjustments :top:

My level of involvement varies with how expensive and new the instrument is. Typically pickup changes, pot swaps, and a small amount of soldering are my limits. But I go really slow and take my time.

The scariest task I've tackled was using a reamer to make the hole larger for the 3-way drop-in kit. Talk about puckered.
After a "Tech Day" at Chiba's house, many moons ago, I do all of my own set-ups, tweak the truss rod, as needed, set the intonation. AFA wiring goes? No way, no how... I suck at that...

Funny timing, and ties into my post (http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthread.php?2425-Guitar-personalization). The funny timing piece is that I just received a rosewood pickguard for my Mira (pics soon). When I went to install it, one of the pot holes was too small. Of course, I tried to force it, and got it stuck half way. To get it out, I had to wiggle it back and forth...which lead to the ground from the mini-toggle breaking.

Out came the soldering iron, a drill, and a little bit of nerves. All is well. The pickguard is awesome, and guitar sounds the same as before (no additional hum).

On my PRS guitars, I'm pretty timid. Setups and slight adjustments are normally it. It's was my first soldering iron experience with a PRS.
..I always feel like my soldering skills need improvement.

I always felt like this too. I designated one of my cheap Epiphones as a crash test dummy for pickup swaps. After changing several and getting comfortable with it, doing it on my more expensive guitars was really easy. In most cases it was easier on better guitars because everything was cleaner, better routing, higher quality wire and components.

The thing I still struggle with is securing the pickup springs retracted high enough on the screw to allow the tip to bite into the hole. Usually a tiny pair of alligator clips will work. But on some pickups like the Tremonti's, the pickup spring is like 2 feet long and much harder to squish and secure.
I solder to mil-spec for a living. No problem there. Intonation, action, no problem.
Woodwork and finishing, NEVER on my PRSi, but an Epi LP I got cheap on Ebay?

Went from this:

To this:
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I am very comfortable with an iron and I ripped pick ups out of anything but I still need help on intonation and height adjustments. I am going to try one of these days.
The only thing I've touched on my SE was filing sharp corners off the nut. Someone should send those guys a memo! It wasn't a big deal i just got excited trying not to bleed on the new guitar was all.
The only tool that touches my PRSi is ME!

Swapped pups in my CU24. Strap locks on everything. Other than maybe a truss rod tweak or intonation, that's it.
Being a lefty, I had to get over myself pretty early in the game. Some lefty guitars come with regular "right handed" pots reverse wired (just so us lefties can use them as you righties do). The only problem when reverse wiring is that for the most part, when the pots are reversed wired they almost function as on/off switches, which defeats the purpose of the pots in the first place. Fender does this (soooo annoying!!!). Gibson on the other hand, doesn't bother figuring a mirrored system and wires everything right handed, which makes for a fun adjusting period while switching guitars!

Personally, I like to wire my guitars left handed, so when I want to turn either knob up, I roll them in a motion away from the bridge (just like you guys do). In order to do that, I have to purchase lefty CTS pots for all my guitars and rewire every single pot! Fun!

It gets better! There is no such thing as a lefty push/pull pot, so my PRS's volume knob is wired lefty, while the tone knob (the one doing the splitting) is wired righty. Mind bending when you play live, to say the least!
I've done everything from a nut replacement (on a SE), pickup replacement and rewiring with resistors on the coil-tap to ground and a new push-push tone pot (McCarty), fret levelling, crown and polish (pretty much all my PRSi), fret-end rounding and rolling/scalloping fretboard edges (McCarty) and all basic set-up work. I'm not inclined to do a refinish work as I've not got the space or equipement (and therefore haven't got the experience yet).

There's a few more pickup swaps coming, including a swap in my SCHB Standard Piezzo, which will probably include the addition of two 408 style coil tap switches - if I can work out the best place to put them. The ME is going to be getting new pickups as well. The SCHB and Studio will probably get the fret-end/fretboard edge treatment as well as it's improved the McCarty immensely.
I'll do everything but fretwork & "real" finish work. Actually I think its impossible for me NOT to tear my guitars apart and tweak them until I get them to fit me. Tone & feel.
Even my NOS ME has been bastardized. 4 or 5 sets or pickups, new knobs & pickup rings, volume bleed kits, etc...... I feel it's all just a way of making the guitars "mine". I think they play & sound better.