I have to admit, it's a bit more exciting than I thought it would be. Who would have thought that getting some TLC for one of your guitars would make one so giddy??
Ok - here's the back story. On September 24, 2004 I was in my favorite local dealer - Coffey Music in Westminster, MD. I was just looking because less than a month earlier I had just purchased a nice Santana SE. But, you know how that goes. Another Coffey regular had just traded in a Hollowbody.
It was a 1998 Spruce Goldtop Hollowbody with Birds. Wide/Fat neck and Archtop Pickups. As if that wasn't enough, it had a secret. The previous owner had had a Piezo installed at another local retailer (not by PRS). He used a Fishman Powerchip knob/preamp and a mini toggle for mixing. It all came out the one output jack.
The whole thing was quite stealthy - only the extra knob and toggle gave anything away. The battery mount was under the bridge pickup.
I bought it and took it home. It sounded great either magnetic or piezo or combined. You could even split the signal if you used a stereo cable (tip = magnetic, ring = piezo). The mixing arrangement meant that there had to be a live battery to get any kind of output. Battery life was pretty good. Fishman claimed 200 hours and I consistently got over 150.
But changing the battery was a pain. Slacken the strings enough to be able to remove the bridge pup, change the battery, replace the pup and retune. I was pretty quick at it, but I got to where I hated doing it.
So, I lengthened the leads on the battery cable and hung a 9V connector lose out of the lower f hole. Not elegant, but it was the last time I had to remove the bridge pup just to install a fresh battery.
Then, recently, I got to thinking about PTC. Maybe they could install a regular battery door and I could clean up the looks of the guitar and enjoy it that much more.
Shawn and I discussed the possibilities. In the end I decided to have PTC remove the Fishman and install a PRS piezo. I'll get 2 outputs (eliminating the need for a stereo cable), a real battery door and the PRS piezo has individual EQs for each string, so I should get some improved sound as well..
I dropped the guitar off at the factory on yesterday and cajoled Shawn into posing with it for a pic. He's holding the battery clip in his right hand...
I'm going to miss this 2 tone silver/gold bridge...
This area is going to look a bit different too...
Here is my baby before surgery:
I'm looking forward to Shawn posting progress pics as they go along.