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!