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Thread: PTC Massages my Goldtop....

  1. #1
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    PTC Massages my Goldtop....

    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.
    Last edited by rugerpc; 12-15-2012 at 01:45 PM. Reason: spelling
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  2. #2
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    A bit more to the story.

    Because of the battery concerns, this guitar was on my list for thinning. But the more I looked at it and thought about it, I decided that it was actually on the other end of the spectrum for me. That is: as permanent member of the brood.

    The reason I had such a change of heart is that I realized that of all my PRS guitars, this one is the closest to being a true working musician's guitar. It has very little on it that is not purposely there for tone.

    It is a spruce top - no trade offs in tone for prettier wood, just tone monster spruce. It is a hollowbody - that enhances the top vibration and lightens the load for long hours of playing and playing and playing.

    Its only real extravagances are the bird inlays.

    Add to that the idea that Shawn thinks this guitar is from the first year of this model....

    This could easily become my most played guitar when I get it back from PTC.
    Last edited by rugerpc; 12-15-2012 at 01:39 PM.
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

    ísɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  3. #3
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Bangin'.

  4. #4
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    So Bill dropped off this early '98 Spruce Top HB on Friday and we quickly got to work on it. The piezo install was not the cleanest in the world, but it worked. Here is a look at what it looks like without the bridge. Notice the holes drilled in the top for the piezo unit, the small route in the pickup cavity to allow for the wires to drop inside the guitar, an additional hole was drilled in the top for the extra pot, how the bridge studs had been sunk deep into the body and how a small route was made around each of the studs. Keep in mind, this in how we received it, the PTC did not perform this work.


  5. #5
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Oh, my baby!

    It's ok, baby. Shawn and the team are gonna make you better than new!
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

    ísɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  6. #6
    It will be cool when it's all done!

  7. #7
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    I'm planning the budget to send my SC HB Standard in for the Piezo treatment, so I'll be watching closely...and waiting to hear your take on the tone difference between the previous system and the PTC job.

  8. #8
    Senior Member slowro's Avatar
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    looking forward to seeing how this turns out!

  9. #9
    Senior Member aduayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerpc View Post
    A bit more to the story.

    Because of the battery concerns, this guitar was on my list for thinning. But the more I looked at it and thought about it, I decided that it was actually on the other end of the spectrum for me. That is: as permanent member of the brood.

    The reason I had such a change of heart is that I realized that of all my PRS guitars, this one is the closest to being a true working musician's guitar. It has very little on it that is not purposely there for tone.

    It is a spruce top - no trade offs in tone for prettier wood, just tone monster spruce. It is a hollowbody - that enhances the top vibration and lightens the load for long hours of playing and playing and playing.

    Its only real extravagances are the bird inlays.

    Add to that the idea that Shawn thinks this guitar is from the first year of this model....

    This could easily become my most played guitar when I get it back from PTC.
    you won't regret, those PTC guys are wizards.
    I got mine SCHB just because of the piezo. I mean, never liked HB guitars and I needed a guitar with the piezo and magnetic. Long story short, now it's my main guitar. sounds awesome, is versatile, is easy to carry and stand playing.

  10. #10
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Skitch routed for the piezo pin under the bridge which removed several of the earlier holes. He then filled the two remaining holes and added some gold paint. It's just a quick cosmetic repair, but this entire area will be hidden under the bridge. Also, the new piezo board has been installed.


    We had to use the older style jack plate assembly because of the location of the mini toggle. The newer plate makes the battery sit slightly higher and it would not clear the internal part of the mini toggle. Looks good though.

  11. #11
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Man - you guys are smokin' right along!

    Nice, clean route, Skitchy!
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

    ísɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  12. #12
    Senior Member themike's Avatar
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    I wish I lived close enough to "drop stuff off" haha

    Looking great fellas!
    Paul Reed Smith 7 - S t r i n g A c t i v i s t | Fueled by P T C

  13. #13
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Shawn just called - my goldtop is DONE!
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

    ísɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  14. #14
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    And the new piezo install is complete:


    And the battery compartment has been turned around.


    She's ready to come home Ruger

  15. #15
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    OH! Look how she's all shiny and purdy!

    It looks like besides an obvious setup, she was buffed and conditioned. The pickup covers are definitely cleaner than when I dropped it off....

    I'm warming up the Corporate Jet for the short flight from Carroll County to Stevensville. ETA Friday morning between 10 and 11!
    Last edited by rugerpc; 12-18-2012 at 08:03 AM.
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

    ísɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  16. #16
    Senior Member themike's Avatar
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    Love it. Absolute bang up job!
    Paul Reed Smith 7 - S t r i n g A c t i v i s t | Fueled by P T C

  17. #17
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themike View Post
    Love it. Absolute bang up job!
    Thanks Mike. I'm taking a week off starting on Friday. I pick up this wonderful guitar Friday morning and then any one want to guess what I'll be dong every spare minute for the next week?
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

    ísɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  18. #18
    Senior Member themike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerpc View Post
    Thanks Mike. I'm taking a week off starting on Friday. I pick up this wonderful guitar Friday morning and then any one want to guess what I'll be dong every spare minute for the next week?
    Awesome! See this is what its about - people who have connections to guitars and want to better them. You can't buy a connection to an instrument and thats why I love PTC.
    Paul Reed Smith 7 - S t r i n g A c t i v i s t | Fueled by P T C

  19. #19
    Senior Member Aeetus's Avatar
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    Wow... that is one beautiful guitar!

  20. #20
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Awesome, looks fantastic!!!
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, SE Custom 24 2012, Fender Strat
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    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
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