Baimun's PRS + Piezo custom build Blog...
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From This thread Baimun's PRS + Piezo custom build Blog
Okay, I've never done a blog before, so bear with me if I don't do this right the first time.
The origins of this project go back to my obsession with the Rory Gallagher strat... it was raw, relic'd and felt like your favorite pair of broken in blue jeans, holes in the knees and all. Most PRS guitars have fancy tops, smooth shiny finishes and are the furthest thing you can get from a well worn strat like that. On the old Birds and Moons, I saw a guy had a Custom 22 project that hadn't gone too well and he was getting rid of the corpse.
It used to be a Whale Blue custom 22, but the previous owner had sanded all of the finish off the entire guitar, including the face of the headstock. He left a tiny patch on the back of the headstock with the serial number, but this was never going to be a guitar worth normal PRS prices ever again. Also, some of the edges and points of the headstock had been sanded a wee bit too round. There was also some serious fret wear, so after receiving the guitar, I worried it could be too far gone.
I had already bought some LR Baggs Piezo Acoustic saddles a while back, but was waffling on which guitar to put them in. Once PRS came out with their P22 model with a hard tail piezo bridge, it stoked the fire and I knew which guitar HAD to receive the piezo electronics.
I ordered the following LR Baggs Control-X preamp to select between, or mix together, Magnetic Pickups with the Piezo Acoustic signal.
I got the following Piezo plate from PRS... it's designed for their Hollowbody and P22 instruments. I like the location of the battery door. I blacked out the word "Mix" on the one output because I plan on the Magnetic out being a true bypass for when I just want to play the guitar without any preamp circuitry in the mix.
To fix the edges of the headstock, I decided to glue a rosewood veneer to the headstock. I routed (free hand) a little opening for the truss, and then glued the plate in place.
I cut the excess off, drilled out the tuner holes, and rough sanded the edges. There was a little tear out (I drilled from the back when normally you would drill from the front) but nothing the tuner rings won't cover, and some of it may yet sand out.
If you've seen the Koa Charvel, Spalted Maple Axis, and some other instruments I've done, then you know that I'm capable of super clean, shiny, factory looking installs. The combination of the starting guitar's condition along with the fact that it will have a semi-relic feel when I'm done doesn't give me license to be purposefully sloppy, but if there are a few finish imperfections along the way, I'm not going to knock myself out to make the guitar flawless... I'll embrace the "relic" side of this (Rory's strat had mis-matched inlays, mismatched tuners, plugged and refilled holes) this instrument is really about the sonic textures I'll have at the end, and will be a guitar that I can flog at a dive bar gig with reckless abandon.
Updated 05-01-2012 at 02:41 AM by baimun