Mystery message in Pickup Cavity - Can Anybody help solve it?

Going Modal

I should be practicing right now.
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Get Geraldo to help if you want to add some mystery and drama.

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Let's hope that what he finds under his PRS factory sticker is a little more interesting than what Geraldo's crack team of archaeologists found in that vault..!
 

AP515

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Is the arrow pointing to what might be under the tape, or to what might be in the cavity next to the tape? It wouldn't make sense to hide what they want someone to look at under the tape. They are highlighting some feature in the cavity. I have a guitar that a worker thought might have a crack in the cavity so they made a note for a supervisor to judge the severity. I'm thinking yours might have that too. What is around the arrow?
 

Il Bassista

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Thanks for all your comments, much appreciated.
Reading AP515's reply sort of makes sense as one of the holes which the pickup height adjustment screws goes into looks like it may have been started in the wrong position but it's hard to say if it is just the edge of the tape which is torn or if there is a slight mark where a drill bit may have been positioned but not really drilled as it has barely touched the surface. As these guitars back in '86 had a lot of hand work in making them it would seem such a petty thing to draw to a supervisor's attention as the holes for both screws look absolutely fine and in the correct place and the pickup cavity is neat and symmetrical.
I'm just looking at the picture again now and what I first thought may be an arrow pointing to under the tape, may not be an arrow but a continuation of what is actually written under the tape. It is a puzzle but I will post the pictures as soon as I can.
 
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RickP

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I've taken RickP's advice and opened an IMGUR account and the link is here: https://bassista.imgur.com/all/
all
Once you have the image on Imgur, double click on it and a larger, single photo will appear with links on the right side. Copy the direct link. Come back to your post here and click on the add photo button above. It’s the square picture next to the smiley face. Paste the link there. All done!
 

Il Bassista

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Thanks again for the comments. A bit of history might help. I bought the guitar from a music store in Florida as close as I can remember in October 1990. I had met a guy who worked there a year earlier whilst on holiday with my family and we got on great and we are still friends after 30 years. I had asked him to look out for me a guitar for my next family holiday and although t I had originally asked for a Fender Strat or Tele I did enquire about a PRS, although I thought they would be out of my price range as the prices in the UK were astronomical. In a phone call he told me he had just taken a mint one in Part Ex that morning and he would hold it for me as I was due over very soon after. (I seem to remember he used the term "Lay Away").
When I got to the store I can still remember the experience, it was definitely "A Golden Light and a Choir of Angels" moment as I opened the case and saw it for the first time. I remember the feeling of the guitar taking it out of the case and the weight and the action were just superb. It sounded so good acoustically I knew it would sound fabulous plugged in. My friend had set up an amp in a booth and off I went. Of course there was no doubt it was coming home to the UK with me!
Other than the astronomical price of PRS guitars I knew nothing about them. What I do remember though was being told that it was regarded as a 10 top but before PRS started to make a point of calling them such (I had never even heard the expression before then). That would tie in with aphantomvaper's comment perhaps. I was also told that it was a 1986 which was great because that was when the guitars were finished by hand before CNC took over and it was likely to become sought after in later years. I didn't really care about all that at the time and to be honest I still don't as I play it nearly 31 years later.
I'm not sure about the 100 K comment from Stephen J as I don't think that value is relevant, but I'm attaching a pic of the pot so maybe you can tell me otherwise. https://i.imgur.com/zUfVnHe.jpg https://i.imgur.com/VgiCral.jpg The pot dating is June 1986 (Week 24) Central Lab Inc.
Hope this helps in solving the mystery.
 
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Permanent Waves

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First off this is one of the nicest PRS finishes I have ever seen - I have never seen Scarlet Sunburst and as far as I can tell, the ones today all burst to a smoky black. Probably the nicest color I have ever seen on a PRS.
I'd leave the sticker there and keep the mystery, I suspect looking under will be as revealing as Geraldo Rivera's Al Capone vault stunt :). I would avoid messing with anything on such a perfect guitar.
I think the 10-top designation was usually next to the serial number in the bridge pickup cavity. PRS didn't put 10-tops on CE's back then, but I have to admit, this one looks like a 7 or 8 to my eyes.
I don't think the K has anything to do with resistance since there would be no way electronics would be matched to the guitar before the finishing stage.
Tape was probably applied to make the writing more legible, not to hide anything. The note was probably an internal memo to remind someone to check some detail on the neck fit.
 

aphantomvaper

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Maybe someone from the line back then whom still works for PRS would know.

Not a cry for help, but a message in the bottle nonetheless!

This is super interesting. I'm a history lover in general and these little bits are cool.
 

The Dragonator

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Sorry to say, but even the older PRS guitars are not going through the ceiling for price, as they are nowhere near as rare as old Gibbies and Strats, plus many players prefer the newer features to the old (can't stand those rotaries, sweet switches, older pup models, etc.), so it is not like picking away the finish on a '59 LP. If curiosity gets the best of you, have at it. Otherwise, all sorts of weird scribbles and such are often found in old guitars ... for whatever reason. Personally, I embed my name, but you have to know where to look or it cannot be seen.
 

Il Bassista

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Hi All again and thanks for the additional comments. I've made my mind up about what I'm going to do about this little mystery and the answer is "Nothing", I'm leaving the tape where it is untouched.

I have loved this guitar since the moment I set my eyes on it back in 1990. In fact I loved it so much I gigged with it for many years as it was such a beautiful player. I always took great care of it when out and I am pleased to say that it hasn't suffered any damage as a result of over 20 years of light gigging across the North of England and Scotland. There is a tiny bit of fret wear and that's about all. It was only around five years ago that I decided it was perhaps getting a bit too risky to take it out gigging and so I used a PRS Santana SE for the last few gigs before the band finally called it a day. I have to say though that the Santana SE is quite a nice guitar, but I did miss the versatility and quality of the Custom.

I have some great guitars in my collection but this one always has a special place as it sounds just right to me. I realise that other players have their own views on what makes a guitar great to them and The Dragonator's comments about values isn't an issue for me as this guitar is going nowhere. I really like the rotary switch and the sweet switch and I can get ten distinctive sounds from this guitar without touching the amp. Unlike some of the guitars in my collection I use this one all the time and it's rarely in its case.

So I'm sorry if I am going to disappoint any of you by not removing the tape, but it took me over 30 years to even notice it existed! I don't think anything is going to change by knowing what may be under it and I will look upon this little mystery as just something else to to add to the pleasure of owning such a great guitar.

I'd like to think that there is of course the possibility the writer meant to write, "Luck" and that's what came to me in October 1990!.:)

If anyone does have any more ideas I would still love to hear them though and thanks to everyone who has commented so far.

Ok It is on the wall behind me as I write, so I think less writing and more playing!
 
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