NGD: One-and-a-half PRSi

direwolf08

New Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2023
Messages
47
This NGD has been over two decades in the making.

Back in 2002(ish), I wanted a PRS so badly, but as a broke college kid, they were way out of my reach. I’ve always been cheap, and good with my hands, so my parents got me an unfinished Warmoth VIP-style body and neck. I bought some PRS McCarty pickups and the rest of the hardware, and I started work. Well, life (graduating, grad school, work, marriage, kids, divorce, etc) intervened, and I put the parts away in storage, and all but stopped playing guitar altogether.

Recently, I started playing regularly again. I wanted a new electric, so I decided to finish the Warmoth. I finished the body, installed McCarty II electronics to go with the pickups, installed all hardware and got it to the point of installing the nut and final setup. I didn’t trust myself to do that, so I started reaching out to local luthiers and got an appointment for … sometime in May! I had just bought a Fender HRD IV amp, so a great amp with no guitar to play on it wasn’t going to do at all.

Thankfully, I am not a broke college kid any more, so I bought the PRS on the left. An SE Custom 24 “Exotic” Burled Ash top. It was the best guitar I have ever owned. It is light, versatile, plays like a dream and sounds amazing through the Fender. The top is gorgeous (pics don’t really do it justice) and I love the feel of the neck. The previous owner put PRS locking tuners on it, so a nice little upgrade. I love it and play it whenever I get the chance.

Then, the same week as I received the PRS, I finally got a call back from another luthier who had an opening to do work on the Warmoth, and he could finish in about two weeks. I took my guitar to him, and received it back just yesterday.

It was worth the 20+ year wait. I don’t think I have ever played a guitar that sounds as good as this. The McCarty pickups are perfect. I have heard complaints of them being muddy … not at all the case in here. This guitar is heavy as hell, and there’s something about it … it just vibrates with life. Plugged into the HRD IV, it has one of the most amazing clean tones I have ever heard. Just perfectly balanced. The neck coil tap sounds like butter and the bridge HB sounds so fat. It stays in tune, is intonated perfectly and the action is set low, but without any buzz or dead spots that I’ve found yet. The SE is a wonderful guitar, and I don’t want to pick favorites. But, to finally finish this thing, and to have it exceed my expectations … this guitar is very special to me.

Pics and specs below. Thanks for reading my story. The guitar on the right would not exist without PRS, and given that a good chunk of it actually is PRS, we’ll call it halfway there, and I feel okay sharing it here. :)

5ILiaW8.jpeg


dehJHCd.jpeg


PRS SE Custom 24 Exotic Burled Ash Top
Circa 2020
Bound RW fretboard
Wide thin neck
85/15 S pickups
PRS locking tuners
3-way selector
Coil tap

Warmoth “VIP” PRS wanna-be
Mahogany body, figured maple top
My attempt at “Yellow Tiger” dyed top
Natural binding on the body
Tru-oil finish, sanded and polished to high-gloss
Oiled Mahogany neck, Ebony Fretboard
2002-ish McCarty pickups
Gotoh wrap-around bridge
McCarty II wiring (volume, push/pull tone, toggle switch)
Gold/black hardware
Lampshade knobs
Pale moon Ebony TRC
 
Last edited:
I can see why you consider it special. Nice work.
Which scale length did you go with on the Warmoth?
Did you get the contoured heel?
I'd love to see the back and that rosewood neck.
 
That Warmoth is absolutely incredible OP!!! PRS is killer too but love the hardtail and 22 frets!!
 
This NGD has been over two decades in the making.

Back in 2002(ish), I wanted a PRS so badly, but as a broke college kid, they were way out of my reach. I’ve always been cheap, and good with my hands, so my parents got me an unfinished Warmoth VIP-style body and neck. I bought some PRS McCarty pickups and the rest of the hardware, and I started work. Well, life (graduating, grad school, work, marriage, kids, divorce, etc) intervened, and I put the parts away in storage, and all but stopped playing guitar altogether.

Recently, I started playing regularly again. I wanted a new electric, so I decided to finish the Warmoth. I finished the body, installed McCarty II electronics to go with the pickups, installed all hardware and got it to the point of installing the nut and final setup. I didn’t trust myself to do that, so I started reaching out to local luthiers and got an appointment for … sometime in May! I had just bought a Fender HRD IV amp, so a great amp with no guitar to play on it wasn’t going to do at all.

Thankfully, I am not a broke college kid any more, so I bought the PRS on the left. An SE Custom 24 “Exotic” Burled Ash top. It was the best guitar I have ever owned. It is light, versatile, plays like a dream and sounds amazing through the Fender. The top is gorgeous (pics don’t really do it justice) and I love the feel of the neck. The previous owner put PRS locking tuners on it, so a nice little upgrade. I love it and play it whenever I get the chance.

Then, the same week as I received the PRS, I finally got a call back from another luthier who had an opening to do work on the Warmoth, and he could finish in about two weeks. I took my guitar to him, and received it back just yesterday.

It was worth the 20+ year wait. I don’t think I have ever played a guitar that sounds as good as this. The McCarty pickups are perfect. I have heard complaints of them being muddy … not at all the case in here. This guitar is heavy as hell, and there’s something about it … it just vibrates with life. Plugged into the HRD IV, it has one of the most amazing clean tones I have ever heard. Just perfectly balanced. The neck coil tap sounds like butter and the bridge HB sounds so fat. It stays in tune, is intonated perfectly and the action is set low, but without any buzz or dead spots that I’ve found yet. The SE is a wonderful guitar, and I don’t want to pick favorites. But, to finally finish this thing, and to have it exceed my expectations … this guitar is very special to me.

Pics and specs below. Thanks for reading my story. The guitar on the right would not exist without PRS, and given that a good chunk of it actually is PRS, we’ll call it halfway there, and I feel okay sharing it here. :)

5ILiaW8.jpeg


dehJHCd.jpeg


PRS SE Custom 24 Exotic Burled Ash Top
Circa 2020
Bound RW fretboard
Wide thin neck
85/15 S pickups
PRS locking tuners
3-way selector
Coil tap

Warmoth “VIP” PRS wanna-be
Mahogany body, figured maple top
My attempt at “Yellow Tiger” dyed top
Natural binding on the body
Tru-oil finish, sanded and polished to high-gloss
Unfinished rosewood neck, Ebony Fretboard
2002-ish McCarty pickups
Gotoh wrap-around bridge
McCarty II wiring (volume, push/pull tone, toggle switch)
Gold/black hardware
Lampshade knobs
Pale moon Ebony TRC
Nice
 
This NGD has been over two decades in the making.

Back in 2002(ish), I wanted a PRS so badly, but as a broke college kid, they were way out of my reach. I’ve always been cheap, and good with my hands, so my parents got me an unfinished Warmoth VIP-style body and neck. I bought some PRS McCarty pickups and the rest of the hardware, and I started work. Well, life (graduating, grad school, work, marriage, kids, divorce, etc) intervened, and I put the parts away in storage, and all but stopped playing guitar altogether.

Recently, I started playing regularly again. I wanted a new electric, so I decided to finish the Warmoth. I finished the body, installed McCarty II electronics to go with the pickups, installed all hardware and got it to the point of installing the nut and final setup. I didn’t trust myself to do that, so I started reaching out to local luthiers and got an appointment for … sometime in May! I had just bought a Fender HRD IV amp, so a great amp with no guitar to play on it wasn’t going to do at all.

Thankfully, I am not a broke college kid any more, so I bought the PRS on the left. An SE Custom 24 “Exotic” Burled Ash top. It was the best guitar I have ever owned. It is light, versatile, plays like a dream and sounds amazing through the Fender. The top is gorgeous (pics don’t really do it justice) and I love the feel of the neck. The previous owner put PRS locking tuners on it, so a nice little upgrade. I love it and play it whenever I get the chance.

Then, the same week as I received the PRS, I finally got a call back from another luthier who had an opening to do work on the Warmoth, and he could finish in about two weeks. I took my guitar to him, and received it back just yesterday.

It was worth the 20+ year wait. I don’t think I have ever played a guitar that sounds as good as this. The McCarty pickups are perfect. I have heard complaints of them being muddy … not at all the case in here. This guitar is heavy as hell, and there’s something about it … it just vibrates with life. Plugged into the HRD IV, it has one of the most amazing clean tones I have ever heard. Just perfectly balanced. The neck coil tap sounds like butter and the bridge HB sounds so fat. It stays in tune, is intonated perfectly and the action is set low, but without any buzz or dead spots that I’ve found yet. The SE is a wonderful guitar, and I don’t want to pick favorites. But, to finally finish this thing, and to have it exceed my expectations … this guitar is very special to me.

Pics and specs below. Thanks for reading my story. The guitar on the right would not exist without PRS, and given that a good chunk of it actually is PRS, we’ll call it halfway there, and I feel okay sharing it here. :)

5ILiaW8.jpeg


dehJHCd.jpeg


PRS SE Custom 24 Exotic Burled Ash Top
Circa 2020
Bound RW fretboard
Wide thin neck
85/15 S pickups
PRS locking tuners
3-way selector
Coil tap

Warmoth “VIP” PRS wanna-be
Mahogany body, figured maple top
My attempt at “Yellow Tiger” dyed top
Natural binding on the body
Tru-oil finish, sanded and polished to high-gloss
Unfinished rosewood neck, Ebony Fretboard
2002-ish McCarty pickups
Gotoh wrap-around bridge
McCarty II wiring (volume, push/pull tone, toggle switch)
Gold/black hardware
Lampshade knobs
Pale moon Ebony TRC
Wow, that PRS top is like nothing I've ever seen. Incredible.
 
Wow, that PRS top is like nothing I've ever seen. Incredible.
It is a great top! It is what drew me to it over many other more conventional quilt tops of some other SE’s that I was looking at. I love the criss-cross figuring and grain!
 
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