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Thread: Got any thoughts about restoring this PRS guitar to working condition?

  1. #1
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    Got any thoughts about restoring this PRS guitar to working condition?

    Hi! First thing's first: This has nothing to do with NIN.

    In 2006, my sister was up front at a Jimmie's Chicken Shack show where his guitar broke (I don't remember if it was intentional or not), and when he threw the two pieces into the crowd, some dude got the neck, and she got the body.

    She had it for years but didn't really know what to do with it, so I offered to buy it off her, like older brothers sometimes do.

    It's an unusual guitar - it appears to be a body from a PRS Santana SE II, but it's only got one pickup - a neck pickup. There are wood plugs in the holes where the knob for the second pickup & the switch to toggle between the two go. For a brand of guitar known to be highly decorative, this is one of the least decorative PRS guitars: It's been stained and there's probably a layer of poly or lacquer or something protective, but that's it.

    I don't remember when I picked it up from my sister, but I do remember looking online to find out what the damage would be for a PRS neck, and learning that PRS doesn't sell parts. There were necks online, but they were either by independent guitar makers displaying different skill levels but almost all charging several hundred dollars a neck, and necks taken off existing PRS guitars, which if memory serves me, were being listed for nearly four figures. Even the bridge for this guitar, when bought new, can cost more than a used low-end PRS. So I reluctantly relegated it to a shelf. I've moved twice since then, and where I live now, the guitar body just kind of sits on the floor.

    After a chat with @tricil about the PRS that showed up in a video I recently posted, I was talking to him about this body, and when I went to look up the absurd price of PRS guitar necks, it became readily apparent that in the intervening years, China has discovered how to market replacement guitar parts on eBay. Last night, I won an auction for a new neck for just shy of $40, shipped, which is as ridiculous as the price they used to be, but in the other direction.

    Now, the thing about this is: The guitar's signed by the whole band. And although my sister had a great time at the show, she's not like, die-hard JCS or anything like that. I'm kind of thinking that I just... wipe the signatures away. At the same time, I imagine the feeling of horror people here would get if a band-signed NIN guitar piece, broken in the line of duty, got wiped out in order to "restore" the guitar using knock-off Chinese parts.

    I joined the PRS forum to gauge interest, but chances are, I'm going to get this thing going again. Guitars are meant to be played, right?

    Click the image below for the Flickr gallery.

  2. #2
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    Congrats on the neck! I wonder how this thing sounds once itís put back together.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leviathant View Post
    Now, the thing about this is: The guitar's signed by the whole band. And although my sister had a great time at the show, she's not like, die-hard JCS or anything like that. I'm kind of thinking that I just... wipe the signatures away. At the same time, I imagine the feeling of horror people here would get if a band-signed NIN guitar piece, broken in the line of duty, got wiped out in order to "restore" the guitar using knock-off Chinese parts.

    I joined the PRS forum to gauge interest, but chances are, I'm going to get this thing going again. Guitars are meant to be played, right?
    My two cents: fix it up first and see how it sounds before touching the signatures. Think of it this way:

    Say you bought a book. Books are meant to be read, right? Of course! Now, say the book is actually an editor's proof that the author had personally possessed, then you happened to get it in a chance encounter with them and they signed it for you. Now, for whatever reason, the binding is a bit fragile, and if you actually plan on picking it up and reading it, it might fall apart. Just buy another copy of the book and preserve this one as a one-of-a-kind memento! If you don't want it, someone else who loves that author surely will.

    But at the same time, since it's a pre-printed copy, it may be a little different from all the other hundred thousand copies of that book that are out there. So the question becomes...is it worth risking damaging the other things that make that piece special in order to read it? Or is it better to just buy another copy of the book and keep this one as-is as a souvenir?

    Point being: there are countless guitars in the world; this one has a story behind it and is unique. Is it also unique as an instrument in terms of its original functionality, or could that be easily replicated by another guitar?

    Personally, I haven't seen one quite like this before, so my gut says yes, it's probably going to have a different tone to it and it would in fact stand out as a plain old guitar - and that alone may make it worth just restoring it and to hell with the signatures.

    Final thought: clear coat. Do some research on a finish that wouldn't fuck up the acoustic properties, but would protect the integrity of the signatures. That would actually be my FIRST course of action. I don't know why I'm writing it last. Guess I'll put it in bold just in case.

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