Hollowbody construction

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by TomasPalermo, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. TomasPalermo

    TomasPalermo New Member

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    Hi, I'm new to the forum. Trying to get information on the prs hollowbody ii. So its a big piece of mahogany that's been carved to leave solid reams and then glue a back and top made of carved maple. All good, now, seems like there's some more mahogany holding bridge and pickups. How does that work?
     
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  2. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    Think of the guitar as a mahogany sandwich: maple top and bottom with mahogany in the build. With no internal carving the pieces would fit together flat.

    The top is carved inside and out, leaving wood where the bridge will mount. Same thing for the bottom - leave a maple ‘post’ that lines up with the bridge.
    The middle is the outside edges, plus a post that connects the uncarved insides of the maple so everything is solid under the bridge.

    No need for mahogany under the pickups. The top can support them.

    Welcome to the forum.
     
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  3. RallyFanatic

    RallyFanatic Perpetual musical mid-life crisis

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    The block is only under the bridge, not the pickups. It’s only slightly bigger than the bridge and connects the top and back. Basically it’s something for the bridge inserts to drill into and remain solid for many, many years.
     
  4. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open-Ears / Zippered Lips

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    Tomas,

    Just thought to let you know that the HBII has the carved maple top and back, the SE HBII has a laminated 5-ply maple-veneered top and back. In many ways, the laminate is similar to other hollow body guitars. Some 335-style guitars used laminate, and these sounded on par with carved guitars.

    Granted the attention to detail and workmanship on carved HBII's are by far things of beauty. And a reason for the variance of price point as well...
     
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  5. TomasPalermo

    TomasPalermo New Member

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    Thank you all!! Very helpful!!!
     
  6. jimfisher

    jimfisher Guitar Geezer

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  7. TomasPalermo

    TomasPalermo New Member

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    Jimfisher , thats gret info, just what I needed to see, so is it one piece carved? Is that an original prs?
     
  8. jimfisher

    jimfisher Guitar Geezer

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    Tomas, I have a 2001 HB spruce model. That, and the original HB1, were made with the back and sides CNC'd out of one piece of mahogany then the tops were attached. The HBll model has the maple top and bottom.

    Check out this video from PRS>
     
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  9. TomasPalermo

    TomasPalermo New Member

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    Thanks a lot Jim!!
     
  10. Gary Seelen

    Gary Seelen New Member

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    Hey jim! Do you have any pics of the inside of the top?
     
  11. Jostein

    Jostein New Member

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    Another Hollowbody Spruce owner here, mine is from 2006. I seem to recall that at some point PRS changed the block design on the hollowbodys, not sure if it was more similar to the block on a 335 or not, but It might have been changed back. Anyone have any info on that?
    I am also wondering about the construction of the 594 Hollowbody ii's. They have have two piece bridge, and not the wraparound like the regular Hollowbody line.
     
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  12. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

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    As you can see through the F-hole of my Hollowbody 2 from 2018, the block is just enough for the size of the bridge.

    [​IMG]

    The block in my 594 Hollowbody with the two piece bridge is a bit bigger to mount both parts into - but in both cases, its very different from a centre block in a 335...
     
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  13. Jostein

    Jostein New Member

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    Beautiful guitar! That looks like the inside of my spruce. How different is the sound of this guitar played back to back to back with your 594 Hollowbody ii? Quite a few differences between the two models(scale lengths, bridge, center block, pickups etc). I like the idea of a shorter scale version of the Hollowbody and also having 4 knobs. Personally I always preferred to not have the piezo. I did play one 594 Hollowbody, but it was a private stock and it had a mahogany back. Really fantastic guitar.
     
  14. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

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    Both my Hollowbody ii and my 594 Hollowbody ii (as seen in my profile pic) share the same pick-ups - the 58/15 LT's and whilst they do have slight differences by design, like the block inside, the scale length and neck carve, mine also differ in finish as well as the 594 has had the TCI process applied too and even the different bridge type (wrap around with Piezo vs ToM style) can all have some impact on tone. The Hollowbody ii may have a smaller block but does have a Piezo and pre-amp inside too.

    With all that said, they are quite similar - similar enough that if you were thinking of buying based purely on sound, I think it wouldn't make a difference. There are subtle differences but with so many little differences, I cannot say that the 'block' makes a difference or its a result of the TCI process, maybe the difference is finish or scale length, type of bridge or having a pre-amp inside - but overall, they are close enough that I don't need to pick up one over the other based on tone.

    What I mean by that is that the features and neck shape are more of a factor than the differences in sound. If you prefer to have individual coil splits to a Piezo, then it makes much more sense to go with the 594 - regardless of whether the 'block' is bigger or not. For me, I don't pick up one or the other because of the sound, both are completely interchangeable for the most part and sound 'close' enough to each other for me that the tone doesn't factor into my decision which one I pick up - its more likely to come down to whether I want/need coil splits or Piezo and both are exceptional guitars so can't go wrong with either or, like I have, with both!
     
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  15. Jostein

    Jostein New Member

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    Thanks for the insight! Shorter vs longer scale should also have some impact on the sound(and of course the feel), but it might be less than I think. Regardless it is cool to have one of each. I wish they released that 594 Hollowbody with a mahogany body and maple top as a production model.
     
  16. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

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    I am sure all those things do have some impact but like I said, the differences to me are not massive and sound 'close' enough that I can happily use either when I want any of the 3 HB options that they BOTH share. The 594 also has 5 other Magnetic Pick up options because of the independent coil splitting but the difference isn't like going from a Strat to a LP or even a Custom 24 to a 594 - even though the Scale length is the same differences.

    Of course they are NOT identical in sound but then you can find two of the same guitar model that doesn't sound exactly the same. There are 'differences' and no doubt ALL those differences have an impact on the tone IF you are analysing them under a Spectrogram and comparing to that degree but from my perspective, they sound 'close' enough that I can interchange based on what features I want. Both fulfil the same role in my collection as far as Hollowbody HB guitars are concerned and I don't have a preference in terms of sound - maybe you will have a preference for one over another, maybe the difference is too much for you that they are virtually different instruments - but for me, the differences are not that big - considering I have a Custom 24 Floyd with \m/ pickups, maple neck, ebony board and a Custom 24 with 85/15's, mahogany neck and rosewood board - both Core Cu24's but have a greater difference and maybe even a different role in my collection.
     
    #16 Mozzi, Sep 27, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
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  17. Jostein

    Jostein New Member

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    Thanks! You have a nice collection I see. I just got a PRS Special. I see you have one of those too as well as a 509? Do you feel those two guitars can cover pretty much the same territory? I have only played one 509 and liked it, but I feel like the Special might be a little warmer sounding.
     
  18. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

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    I've discussed my opinions about the 509 and Special on these forums quite a few times. That being said, I will try and summarise:-

    They both may have a '3' Pick-up arrangement (Neck, Middle, Bridge) with individual coil splitting for the Neck and Bridge, both have a 5-way and 22 fret but really, they are quite different.

    The 509 is a 'Super Strat' - that HSH guitar that can also be HSS, SSS or SSH and as such, you get more Stratty and Tele sounds. Its like having 3 guitars in one - although is not quite like having all 3 guitars - but can be more than adequate. You can use just the middle, can get the middle/neck SC that so many Strat players like etc. Its a 'Super Strat'

    The Special is a Custom 22-08 with an Added NF to allow a bit more 'fine tuning' of the tones available. The NF isn't a SC and you cannot use it on its own so its not really a HSH. Its more HH where you can choose whether the separation between the PUPs. Positions 2, 3 and 4 are all variations on a HH (the NF is a Narrow Humbucker) so you have two HB's with 'little' separation (Bridge->NF or NF->Neck) or two HB's with more traditional separation (Bridge->Neck). The HB's are tapped and whilst very usable, are not quite as SC sounding). As such, its a very different instrument and more of a Cire Super Eagle than a Super Strat. Its versatile in the number of options it offers but its more like a little more like fine tuning for a Custom 22-08. If the Bridge has a bit too much high end in the when used with the neck, use the NF to fine tune it a bit. You can't role the tone down on just the bridge and the NF 57/08 is quite unique.

    Really, they are different instruments and again serve a different role in my collection.
     
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  19. Jostein

    Jostein New Member

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    I am new to this forum and haven't seen those. I appreciate you taking the time to explain. This all makes sense. I am loving the Special 22 so far. it's like having a really good semi hollow dual humbucker guitar but with some extra sounds. I borrowed a Sadowsky Strat with a HSH layout for a while, but I didn't like the balance between the pickups. Too much volume drop.
     
  20. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

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    The point I was making was that if you wanted more than I gave here, and other peoples opinions too on the Special vs 509, there are a few posts that you can search for if you wanted. I think its always worth checking out as many opinions, reviews etc as possible. One person's opinion may mislead - not to say their opinion isn't valid but may differ from yours or the 'general' consensus - something you will get by researching more.

    PRS has worked on trying to minimise, if not eradicate volume drop on splitting/tapping Humbuckers. With the 408 for example, one coil was tapped in HB mode and in SC mode, that coil had an extra 1500 winds so it didn't drop in volume. Its also difficult because there is a difference between actual volume drop and perceived volume drop - losing some of that 'thickness' a HB offers as you split to a single coil can have a perceived effect of a drop in volume - although the actual volume remains relatively the same. Its not as simple as saying the Db level is the same so everyone must hear the same volume - its much more complex. Take out low end and that can make a difference to perceived volume - sound quieter, scoop the mids and it can sound louder as its not so muddy - even though the actual volume doesn't change...

    In any case, enjoy your guitars and have fun on the hunt for the next...
     
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