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Thread: Show us your modified/customized working guitar

  1. #1
    Member TFC's Avatar
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    Show us your modified/customized working guitar

    I enjoy seeing all the nice, new guitars everyone has, and love the Private Stock Friday thread. But the thing I love most about PRS guitars is my #1 guitar, a 1997 CE24. I got it used about 2 years ago, and over time have made some mods to it, sometimes to fix something that needed fixing, and other times just to try something new. It has plenty of dings and a nice crack near the neck pocket. But it plays and sounds great and has been my favorite since I got it. It is very much a "working" instrument. And as great as I think PRS guitars are, there is always room for improvement, as you'll see in my photos and comments below.

    So, here are some photos showing how I personalized my guitar to satisfy my needs. I'd love to see everyone else's beater, #1, no-longer-a-collector's-piece guitar and what you did to make a great guitar better for you. Maybe they'll give the rest of us ideas we hadn't thought of before.

    -----------------------------------------

    I liked the stock HFS & Vintage Bass pickups because they rock, but over time I wanted something lower output with some more character and better cleans. For a while I had DiMarzio 36th Anniversary PAFs, which I really liked. But I lucked into finding a set of DGTs, which are sorta similar to the DiMarzios, but sound even better to my ears. I do not like the stock strap buttons at all because it is a workout taking some of my straps on and off, which I need to do to fit the guitar in the case. So I replaced them with Dunlop Strap locks. I work the 5-way rotary with my pinky and the knob itself does not provide enough friction to get a good grip. So, I put a rubber band around it. The fact that it matches the pickup rings is an added bonus.



    I was not a fan of the Phase I winged tuners that came with this. The winged tuners required better eyesight than I've got, especially in the dark, to line up the notch so you can slide the string through. So when I found a used set of the Phase II I bought and installed them. The installation wasn't perfect ("Measure twice, drill once" should have been my motto), but they work just fine. The buttons I got from another guitar I had.




    The tremolo springs would vibrate after muting the strings, which I could hear through my amp. I put a little electrical tape around the springs to prevent that. I replaced the stock 5-way switch with one from StewMac, and replaced the tone pot with a PRS push-pull pot. I wired it so that in addition to the normal 5-way options, I can also get the bridge pickups split, as well as the neck pickup split. I figured since the DGTs were designed to get good split sounds, I might as well use them. So, I've got 7 pickup configurations available. In the photo below you can just make out the big crack to the right of the neck plate. It goes through to the neck pocket.



    The side dots are impossible to see on a dark stage, as I and many other have found out the hard way. It's amazing how a half step away is so close, yet sounds so horrible. I used a white out pen to add dots to the side of the fretboard. They are bright white and very easy to see in low light, and the white out can easily be scratched off using your fingernail.




    So, there it is. Lots of scars and flaws, but as someone else on this forum who understands the joy of playing a CE24 once said, this guitar feels like home.

    I showed you mine, now show us yours!

  2. #2
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Most of my guitars have Schaller strap locks. The guitars I use most for shows, I have wired for 2 volume knobs - no tone knob. I only have the neck able to be coil tapped because I almost never want the bridge tapped. My custom 22 came with the rotary which was not overly useful(or easy for me live) so that was changed to McSwitching. I replaced my winged tuners years ago with Sperzels...they were about the only thing I new of at the time(I didn't really have all the interwebz access now). Mine ended up looking a hair off as well. There's no screw/hole that holds them on, it's a little nub on the part of the tuner that gets mounted to the headstock. I should've made a template so I could get them all perfectly straight. That was my first try at bigger mod to a guitar 17 or so years ago.

  3. #3
    Member lgk1208's Avatar
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    I though this was a cool way to silence those vibrato springs. 3/16 rubber tubing inserted inside of springs. Don't know if it accually works well though. Anyone else try it?
    2012 SE Custom 24

  4. #4
    The best mod i ever did to this guitar was to put the 3way switch where the volume normally goes. I do not know about you guys, but i kept always hitting the term bar when switching positions, even with the new start style blade switching i still believe its not in the optimal position. Added a mini switch for what ever electronic mod i may want to try, right now is coil taping the McCarty neck PU.
    Besides that i refinished my guitar completely my self and put more fancy wood bling all over.












  5. #5
    Cool stuff, guys!
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  6. #6
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    I'll have to break out my camera.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Very nice work.
    Plank Owner

  8. #8
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    First word that came to mind with this was... Rainforest! Stunning guitar and those pup rings are perfect for the finish. Nice!

    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, SE Custom 24 2012, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jazzedout's Avatar
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    My 1996 Custom 24. It has Graphtech piezo installed by myself, original tone pot was removed and replaced by the piezo volume with push-pull mid-dark switch.
    Nice, stealthy, and works fine. I also raised the action a little compared to my other guitars, because I think it rings better in acoustic mode.
    1992 PRS Cu24 Tortoise Shell, "10",Birds, Reg Neck
    2005 PRS 513 Brazilian Rosewood Orange

  10. #10
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Aside from covering this with vintage Gucci fabric, it has a Duncan P-Rail (From France!) and a USA bridge. I'm really starting to like this guitar.... BTW did you know they don't put a bridge ground wire in the SE Nick Cantanese? Good thing I like a project.



    The one that started it all.. 93 CE alder maple top. It's been refretted a few times, the last time I had some HUGE tall-n-skinny Dunlop frets put on and it has the must-have "sour switch".



    This how I dealt with the ringing trem springs:


    There was a product called "Rip Grip" that was available for skateboarders in the 80's, basically some adhesive foam with cutouts that is perfect for damping the springs.


    SE Orianthi model with DII's, winged tuners, and all kinds of other goodies... I never thought I would love an import model as much as I do this one.



    And last but not least; this 06 CE 22. Spray painted, McBass, Tele pup, and a diamond applique "S"... The last (blurry bigfoot sighting) pic before sending her on a trip to get even more love... this time by people who know what they're doing!

  11. #11
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Nice work Sergio. That Orianthi is nice.
    Plank Owner

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chris528's Avatar
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    Here is my customized SE Custom 24. Installed a Dimebucker and a Dragon II pickup in it. Installed Phase II tuners and replaced the knobs with custom red skull knobs. And finally replaced the cream hardware with black hardware.


    "BADASS MODDED" SE SEMI-HOLLOW W/BIGSBY
    SE ZACH MYERS, SE TREMONTI, SE20 COMBO

  13. #13
    Dreamy.

    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    One Life

  14. #14
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    CE22 with Graphtech Ghost Piezo and preamp (installed by me). One mini-toggle replaced the pickup selector, the other is mag/both/piezo, also has stereo split capability (no longer mine):



    SE EG, CNC router cut aluminium pickguard, loaded with 2 x narrowfields, a 59/09 and Kinman K9-H switching. The first tone knob is a push-pull to split the 59/09, and the other tone knob winds in the neck pickup in parallel. Also has USA nut, bridge and Grover locking tuners:



    SE Semi-hollow, 53/10s, USA nut and Grover locking tuners. Eventually I'll try and get hold of a USA bridge, replace the pots and switch with spare US ones I have, and install Siggy switching (2 x mini-toggled for individual coil tapping, there's totally room between those 2 pots!):


  15. #15
    Member TFC's Avatar
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    Lots of great stuff, guys. Keep 'em coming. Love these 2:




  16. #16
    Almost was a FG22 owner.. WEDGE's Avatar
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    Sergio....love the rip grip! I had loads of that stuff on my decks! Never dreamed of using it like that!
    ​Secretary of Crackwood Addiction

  17. #17
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justmund View Post
    CE22 with Graphtech Ghost Piezo and preamp (installed by me). One mini-toggle replaced the pickup selector, the other is mag/both/piezo, also has stereo split capability (no longer mine):



    SE EG, CNC router cut aluminium pickguard, loaded with 2 x narrowfields, a 59/09 and Kinman K9-H switching. The first tone knob is a push-pull to split the 59/09, and the other tone knob winds in the neck pickup in parallel. Also has USA nut, bridge and Grover locking tuners:



    SE Semi-hollow, 53/10s, USA nut and Grover locking tuners. Eventually I'll try and get hold of a USA bridge, replace the pots and switch with spare US ones I have, and install Siggy switching (2 x mini-toggled for individual coil tapping, there's totally room between those 2 pots!):

    You are killing it dude...AWESOME!!!
    Plank Owner

  18. #18
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WEDGE View Post
    Sergio....love the rip grip! I had loads of that stuff on my decks! Never dreamed of using it like that!
    You got any in your sticker drawer? They're sooo hard to find!

  19. #19
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    You are killing it dude...AWESOME!!!
    Thanks man! You should see what I have planned next...

  20. #20
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justmund View Post
    Thanks man! You should see what I have planned next...
    Is it a secret?

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