Special 22 Semi Hollow (SSH) Modification Thread

bodia

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UPDATE TEASE! So I finally got my guitar back! Here's a teaser pic!

So I got a chance to play, just for 30 minutes or so to check all the electronics out.

I am very happy, and so far have zero regrets! This is rare as I initially tend to nit pick a little bit. The added tonal options are incredible and exactly as I was hoping for. The new tones are very even sounding and fit in well with the stock tones of the guitar. The tapped narrowfield by itself sounds very different to the 'house SSH sound' however, and really takes this guitar into a jerry-esque direction and opens up a lot of new sounds.

The mini toggles are all the same size, the pic is a bit misleading. The bottom two, originally stock toggles, are now pre-amp on and bright. The volume knob has the push pull that allows for the narrowfield isolation. I wonder if a push push might not have been a bit better and more easily allow for switching without moving the volume knob (the turn is a bit loose for my taste).

The preamp is a real surprise. It seems to take off a 'veil' from the sound of the pickups without making it overtly either louder or brighter. Very cool - like a high definition, more full range sound - somewhat subtle and 'classy' sounding. I definitely prefer it on. The bright switch sounds like it will be really fun especially while arpeggiating. It seemed a little unnecessary for me for solo and rhythm tones from limited initial impressions.

My tech made a video, and asked me to do a video to go along with it that goes over the different options and how they sound. Once I get around to doing this we'll combine the making of this mod along with how it sounds into a fun little overview.

I'm looking forward to getting some time tomorrow to play around some more!

Feel free to ask me questions if you have any.

The slightly higher value treble bleed cap also is wonderful and I prefer it vastly over stock. Lowering the volume is now very usable for me.

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Outstanding! Way to be an OWNER!
 

GEORGE Nauful

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I am looking for the PRS Special 22 Wood Library with Rosewood neck and fingerboard. Any idea where I might find one?
 

bodia

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I am looking for the PRS Special 22 Wood Library with Rosewood neck and fingerboard. Any idea where I might find one?
Keep your eye on the dealer section of this forum. Several dealers that post here have Wood Library runs currently in production that have unique wood combos. They should start hitting dealers sometime this summer, iirc.
 

bodia

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Keep your eye on the dealer section of this forum. Several dealers that post here have Wood Library runs currently in production that have unique wood combos. They should start hitting dealers sometime this summer, iirc.
Actually, I take that back. I was thinking of several ME-V Wood Library runs that are in production. The SSH would already be out in the wild. Just keep searching the usual spots (Reverb, etc). You could also reach out to a couple of dealers and ask them to keep an eye out for one.
 

neil godbole

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So as an update - It's been several months since I modded my SSH and I absolutely love it. The mods hold up as well as the guitar!

It is possible to overload the pseudo eagle pre-amp which sounds a bit like distortion/breakup but not of the preferable variety - mostly affected by pickup height. This is mainly noticeable playing clean of course. After some inquiry and investigation, I think I might try running the preamp at 18V instead of 9V. This should in theory provide more headroom, and the components allow for this.

A related issue is that once the battery starts getting low, this kind of distortion/lower headroom becomes more prevalent, which also makes sense. I think a rechargeable battery with a wall wart charger plug directly built into the back of the guitar (so I can recharge at night for example) would probably be the easiest solution and stop the OCD of wondering if the batteries are optimal.

But it is really quite minor. Adjusting pickup height allows for 9V to be used and the battery issue is a once every 2-3 weeks kind of thing if you play 2-3 hours a day. So it's not exactly surprising.

NOW... onto something new...

Here is a link to a new thread in which I modify my PRS Swamp Ash Special (2003 SAS) with some similar but also different mods:
https://forums.prsguitars.com/threads/prs-2003-sas-swamp-ash-special-modification-thread.49946/
 
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evan molho

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Sweet !!!! Guitar
I love mine, It is to my ear one of the warmer sounding PRS I have played and the positions ( 2+4 ) are really fun.
IMG_6450 by
Hi, I have almost the identical guitar. I have been a Gibson 335 player for a long time. I love the SSH but the action is a little high for me and I'm wondering what like. I'm typically @3mm clearance under the 12th fret. PRS factory is 4mm I believe. What's your experience with lowering the action? Many thanks
 

neil godbole

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I fret-leveled mine with a plek and lowered the action and was able to get clean levels of buzzless playing that was way too low for my taste. I like between 3 and 4mm at the 12th, and this guitar definitely can sound good depending on playing style even lower than that but it'll depend on what strings you use and even pickup height and its corresponding magnetic effect on the strings.
 

Rider1260

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My normal set up is 1.5875 ( .0625" ) High E -- 2mm ( .086" ) Low E
I have never had a PRS I couldn't get below 2mm

Hi, I have almost the identical guitar. I have been a Gibson 335 player for a long time. I love the SSH but the action is a little high for me and I'm wondering what like. I'm typically @3mm clearance under the 12th fret. PRS factory is 4mm I believe. What's your experience with lowering the action? Many thanks
 

ssmug

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Reviving this thread a bit....

Can you tell me how the NF tapping turned out? Is it as big a tonal change as tapping a DiMarzio Super 2?
 

neil godbole

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So you cannot 'tap' the middle narrowfield like the 2 other humbuckers on the SSH (edit: actually it seems you can, see my update to this response in post #57). What I did was rewire it so it could be put in either series or parallel using a mini toggle switch I placed next to the other two mini toggles I have that tap the neck and bridge humbucker. The Series mode sounds like the narrowfield normally would, and the parallel has a thinner crispier sound with lower output. I find I like the parallel sound for strumming, especially if I want to keep all other settings the same - say I was playing lead, and I quickly wanted to jump to a bright articulate rhythm strumming tone. The series narrowfield tone, with the further mod allowing me to isolate it with a push/pull sounds awesome, and adds a unique tone that works well with the bridge and neck tone.

To answer your question - I'm not sure about the DiMarzio Super 2, the only middle position DiMarizio I have experience with is on my Swamp Ash Special (SAS). The parallel wiring DOES sound quite different, much more lean and chimey.

By doing the mods mentioned in this thread - series/parallel on middle narrowfield ; push pull to isolate middle narrowfield ; JCF audio clone'd preamp of Pseudo Eagle (by tonegeek) with on/off and bright toggles - turns this guitar into a versatility monster.

I mainly go between pre-amp on and off with bright on or off in combination with bridge or neck. I sometimes use position 4 (middle and bridge together) which has a very 70's americana vibe to it for me, great for Jerry Lead type soloing - esp with the bridge tapped. I rarely use position 2 (middle and neck together) I'm still learning new tonal combinations - just a killer guitar that manages to be a jack of all trades and does them all highly proficiently as well.
 
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neil godbole

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Also - just for fun, I'm posting my new pedalboard setup here. The pic I posted at the front of this thread showing my studio and pedalboard etc.. is a bit outdated. I wanted to create a setup that lets me make use of MIDI to recall DAW settings on my pedalboards. Essentially creating a console like effect for getting guitar and keyboard tones etc... I can choose to re-mic them or go back in direct in stereo. Of course it works as a killer guitar rig as well and I use it like that primarily when I'm in Studio A and just want to play. But I have a smaller more portable rig which I use that actually makes use of impulse responses of the McIntosh and JBL D123's to approximate the killer tone of this bigger rig in a much smaller portable form factor.

I went down a rabbit hole with this one though... so read and check out the pics at your own risk!
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/show-your-pedalboard-2022.2318077/post-33857714
 

ssmug

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So you cannot 'tap' the middle narrowfield like the 2 other humbuckers on the SSH. What I did was rewire it so it could be put in either series or parallel using a mini toggle switch I placed next to the other two mini toggles I have that tap the neck and bridge humbucker. The Series mode sounds like the narrowfield normally would, and the parallel has a thinner crispier sound with lower output. I find I like the parallel sound for strumming, especially if I want to keep all other settings the same - say I was playing lead, and I quickly wanted to jump to a bright articulate rhythm strumming tone. The series narrowfield tone, with the further mod allowing me to isolate it with a push/pull sounds awesome, and adds a unique tone that works well with the bridge and neck tone.

To answer your question - I'm not sure about the DiMarzio Super 2, the only middle position DiMarizio I have experience with is on my Swamp Ash Special (SAS). The parallel wiring DOES sound quite different, much more lean and chimey.

By doing the mods mentioned in this thread - series/parallel on middle narrowfield ; push pull to isolate middle narrowfield ; JCF audio clone'd preamp of Pseudo Eagle (by tonegeek) with on/off and bright toggles - turns this guitar into a versatility monster.

I mainly go between pre-amp on and off with bright on or off in combination with bridge or neck. I sometimes use position 4 (middle and bridge together) which has a very 70's americana vibe to it for me, great for Jerry Lead type soloing - esp with the bridge tapped. I rarely use position 2 (middle and neck together) I'm still learning new tonal combinations - just a killer guitar that manages to be a jack of all trades and does them all highly proficiently as well.
Interesting. Is the NF different in the Super Eagle that allows for coil splitting?
 

neil godbole

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Interesting. Is the NF different in the Super Eagle that allows for coil splitting?

So the NF is a JM model in the Super Eagle with modified pole pieces and I assume modified wiring. Now when my tech looked at the SSH Narrowfield, he did have to rewire it slightly, but for whatever reason, it wasn't setup to be able to coil tap.

Here's an interesting thread:

From this thread, it seems to me that coil tapping is possible but perhaps the result isn't quite so spectacular. Maybe that's why my tech opted for the series parallel route which I am happy with.
 
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