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Electric guitar overhaul - help me restore former glory!

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New Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1
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New to the forum, had a look around and this seems like a good place to ask all the questions I currently. have.

Here's the basic story, I have an electric guitar, I have owned it for a while, neglected it, messed around with it, now wanting to do some "proper" work on it (by myself, I will need a lot of guidance :P).

The guitar in question is a PRS Santana like this:

I love this guitar but haven't treated her as well as I could've.

This whole idea started when one of the plastic washers fell off the tuning peg, I replaced those easy enough (after finding a supplier eventually!) and the more I looked at the guitar the more problems I saw.

A lot of the issues are have are purely cosmetic, some screws have become rusty (I have sweaty hands) and the volume/tone knobs have seen better days.

However, I'd also like to replace many of the components, including but not limited to: pickups, bridge, all the electrics inside, pickup surrounds etc... the list can go on.

But where do I start? Looking to invest some money back into this guitar, some may say it's not worth it but I'm not going to ever get rid of this guitar. My knowledge and skill is limited. I don't know what some parts are called and in some cases what purpose they serve.

Where do you suggest I start? With the electrics? Pickups?


Eminent Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 45

Start with the pickups, and the reasoning is simple, changing everything else will give you minimal results, changing the pickups will give you HUGE results.
Im a huge fan of seymour duncan pickups, take a look at their website, they have excellent expllanations of sound and videos of most, if not all of their models being tested.
find a sound that you like...and go for it.
SD pickups also come with full, easy to follow wiring diagrams... it will be hard to go wrong.

Eminent Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 19

Pickups are the way to go but do you need them? it's a PRS right? those can be expensive and assuming yours is, the pickups should be good. However, if you need to get new pickups but want to keep the guitar sounding more or less the same try getting replacements from PRS. if you're looking for some new tones seymours are always excellent as are dimarzio, emg, gibson, fender and all the other name brands but they are expensive. a good alternative is carvin. They sell factory direct and make quality pickups starting at around $35 each going up from there. I would suggest which ever brand you buy, get 5 wire pickups (also called 4 wire pickups (+ground wire=5)) and consider changing your knob layout to get more tonal options (ex: make 1 knob a combo volume + tone knob then use the unused hole for a 3 way switch. This and the existing 3 way switch can be used for single coil tones or phase switching providing you with a bunch of new options. Also consider materials and pickup output. humbuckers tested at 6-7k and as high as 8.4k have been used on gibsons. I've seen metal pickups run as high as 23k! on the other end, single coils can be as low as 3k in older or cheaper guitars but are generally 4.5-7k. Higher output = overdriving your amp sooner and louder output at the amp BUT output is not king. humbuckers with ceramic magnets can get muddy when wound too high (around 13k or so) but have a brighter over all tone. Alnico magnets produce a slightly warmer tone but can be would to a much higher output.