Warranty support - need advice

Nice F Holes

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Aug 29, 2020
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Hononlulu, HI
I’ve been having some issues with my SE Hollowbody Piezo. Most of it is minor, and since I live on an island and bought it online, I figured I would address it myself, and I’m extremely detail oriented and do quality work, and trust myself way more than any luthier on this island (that I know of.)

I had an issue with corroding hardware, the pickup selector switch stopped working, and I had intermittent buzzing and lack of clean tone. These things were enough to persuade me to open the guitar. Inside I found at least one cold solder joint, so I decided to replace all the pots and wires, and even the pickups with 57/08s. I was literally on the last step of installing the pups and reconnecting the ground wire, and the ground wire was just laying in the pickup cavity! LIterally the first hint I did when I opened the guitar was disconnect the ground and tuck it away. I even made a pigtail on the new harness to have an easy place to dis/reconnect, specifically to avoid issues like this!

So this is pretty much where I’m drawing the line - I don’t want to learn to hammer or press in a new stud on a fairly new, $1600 fully hollow instrument. But I don’t want to give it to anyone on the island.

Do I call PTC or PRS Support? Do I work with the dealer - will they send to PTC? Or am I screwed because I replaced things? Am I really going to have to hit my baby with a hammer?! :(

I have pics of everything I found wrong, and pics of the (much better) quality work I did.

Thanks for any suggestions - it’s my first PRS (SE) so just trying to figure out course of action.
 
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Nice F Holes

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Maybe I can press in a new post with a 2x4 under the bridge block, and a big C-clamp. I do feel better about it not having to use a hammer. And if I can use a bolt and spacer and pull the stud from the inside, rather than putting pressure on the guitar top.... And probably use better studs... Dammit.

I feel like I should at least tell someone about the issues - PRS, PTC, or the dealer? PRS says to handle all warranty issues through dealer. If I tell them, but say I’m fixing it myself, then does that even make sense?
 
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goat-n-gitter

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Have you contacted your dealer? PRS customer service? It would be hard even for the PRS factory QC check they do on SE instruments to spot something as hard to spot as a single wire inside a hollowbody not landed correctly, but that doesn't make it better. The corrosion probably happened in transit or due to what sounds like a moist environment you live in. Is there not a way to get a reliable connection for the ground wire without removing the stud? As I said, contact PRS customer service and your dealer, but don't be surprised if the dealer tells you that once you start modifying the electronics, they become your problem.
 

Stephen J.

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Apr 19, 2020
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Or am I screwed because I replaced things?
You are not screwed, but don’t expect anything to be done under warranty. At this point you really don’t have room to make demands for service, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask for support. Contact your dealer and tell them you started modifying the guitar and came upon the ground wire issue and could use some advice on how to resolve it. Don’t start talking about quality control and PRS liability or needing to fix a broken system. You are in a different situation now that you have stated modifications. It doesn’t hurt to contact PRS Customer Support if your dealer can’t help you out, but again, not a warranty issue. John Mann seems to be the best source of knowledge when it comes to PRS hardware.
If the ground wire is a systemic problem, your guitar will not be the only one and the issue will be spotted in other guitars and they will hear about it.
 
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Nice F Holes

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Thanks guys. Yes, John's videos helped, and realizing I can use a long c-clamp rather than a hammer also helped. It seems excessive to pack and ship the guitar across the Pacific to fix something like this, especially out of warranty. If I knew everything before opening up, that would obviously be a different story.

I just had to get over some emotion I guess. I'll fix it this weekend. And, one day, I'll own a core guitar.
 
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Nice F Holes

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OMG - it's a Piezo! There's a giant access hole right under the bridge. If I don't feel like pulling a bushing I can just tie into the bridge from there. You can see it in my avatar, lol. (At least until I finish the guitar and change it.)
 

Nice F Holes

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I am addressing the bridge ground issue myself, and will follow up with PRS directly to discuss what I found, just so they’re aware. I don’t want to get into that here, that’s not the intent of this thread.

For people that like seeing repairs:
I decided I wanted to use the ‘pull method’ so there would be some pressure on the top, thus preventing possible delamination of the plywood top as the bushing pulls up past it. But I also wanted a straight pull, without the bushing trying to resist any spinning, and thus preserving groove pattern in the wood, and preserving the wood in general as much as possible.

I was going to fabricate my own version of the Schatten bushing puller, but then I thought, “can’t I make this more simple?” What I made uses exactly the same process but eliminates parts, and it only cost $5.76. It worked very well. I held the end of the bolt by hand while turning the wing nut, and the bushing lifted straight out with no spinning.

I haven’t decided how I’ll re-install the bushing yet. I have a couple ideas for using a pressing method, and I have a soft blow hammer. If I can setup a press in a manner that everything is perfectly stable, at the right angle, and with complete control and no risk of marring the finish, that is the method I’ll choose.

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