Quicksilver Neck Mounting Options

Bolt On Necks Get An Unfair Bad Rap !!!

Bolts Actually Transmit Vibrations & Energy
Bolts Mean Wood To Wood Contact & Tighter Tolerances.
(If you are looking for a versatile sound make your next guitar a bolt in)

We Mount Pickups To These Flanges's On The Neck.
Different Neck Tongue Routes To Accommodate Different Style Pickups.

 

Neck Mounting Myths #1

Bolt on Necks Have Gotten a Bad Rap

By Ed Roman

This has been printed repeatedly in various ways around my site !!!!
I think this is an important thing for a guitarist to realize !!!!
I believe it is the most important thing you can learn on this site

 

Many players assume that to build a good guitar it should have a glued on neck. I for one definitely do not believe that. Just because most companies charge extra for that option I think people just assume that itís better because it usually costs more.

I am going to attempt to dispel that myth. In fact I personally think that a normal set neck is the absolute worst way to construct an electric guitar!

It actually costs less to glue in a neck than to bolt one in correctly. Gluing up a neck is pretty basic. You apply glue inside the neck joint, slide the neck in and clamp it down.

A bolt in neck if done correctly requires a lot more work, there is no room for a sloppy fit like on a glue in neck. The cost of stainless bolts and press fittings are far higher than the cost of a little glue. The labor factor requires 4 holes drilled and countersunk. The tolerances are extremely tight on a good bolt on neck where the tolerances are far less important with the application of glue. If you make a mistake and drill incorrectly itís time to throw away the body on a glued up neck there are no holes to drill and less chances of a mistake.

I know, I know itís been done that way for 60 or 70 years! why change now? Why not keep our heads buried in the sand and continue thinking like we did in the 50ís & 60ís ?   Many People Do !!!

Any luthier will tell you that the neck breakage occurs more on set neck guitars than all other guitars combined. The fact is I have repaired less than 15 bolt on necks in 40 years. I have repaired well over 2000 set necks and at any given time there are probably at least 6 of them broken in my shop.

First of all there is absolutely nothing wrong with a bolt on or bolt in neck as long as itís done right. I must stress the part about it being done right !!!!!

The glue between the neck & body of a guitar will prevent 60% to 70% of high end tone transference. For example, try to get a funky nasal ducktone twang on a glued in neck guitar. It wonít happen.

 

NECK THRU THE BODY
Great For Sustain & Low End Fat Tone, But You Lose Some Versatility

 

Bolt on necks got their bad reputation during the 70ís when companies were making them with ill fitting or loose neck joints. A loose neck joint causes instability and detracts horribly from tone quality. A loose neck joint will also cause tremendous loss of sustain. Some companies in the 70ís were mass producing guitars as fast as they could and were simply not paying attention to the neck joint! The necks were not fitted correctly and in many cases the strings were actually hanging off the edge of the neck.

A lot of criticism is leveled at the 3 screw neck mounting plates of the era. Personally I like the concept of the tilting neck which of course is only available with a three bolt neckplate.

Thanks to modern machinery and woodworking techniques neck joints are a lot better & tighter today. We now know much more about guitar construction than we used to. Guitars in general are a lot better today, even the Mexican ones are better than some of those USA guitars from the 90ís. A tight neck joint equals a good guitar !!!

The neck-joint is the heart of the guitar, If the neck-joint is set up properly the guitar WILL always sound better.

In my shop we make it a rule to mount each neck so tightly that itís almost a force fit. The technician should be able to physically pick up the guitar by the neck so that the body is suspended and the fit alone should be enough to hold the body to the neck.

My sure fire test is to take a thin guitar pick and try to slide it between the neck and the body. If I can get the pick into the crack then I know the guitar will be lacking in tone & sustain.


Synopsis

Bolt On Vs. Bolt In

Both ways work very well as long as you get a tight neck fit. The bolt in like the Quicksilver is superior because there is no protruding flange to bolt the neck onto. The neck actually bolts in through the back of the guitar. Consequently you get better stability, even more tone & sustain and as an added bonus you can reach higher up the neck. More notes, more better sounding notes !!!!

The Quicksilver goes one better, The Quicksilver actually incorporates the rhythm or neck pickup right into the neck joint. To my knowledge no other company affixes one pickup directly to the tongue of the neck and the other one directly to the body. We have been doing this modification to PRS guitars for more than 15 years. It really works well on a PRS the difference is noticeable even for a novice player. The modification is completely invisible and you cannot tell it has been done except by listening to it. We do it to set neck models and to Bolt In models. Personally I think it works best on a Bolt In Model but even a novice can easily hear the difference on a set neck version of a PRS.

 

Quicksilver Neck Thru Body Construction


Quicksilver Guitar With Beautifully Figured Macassar Ebony Neck

 

Example Of Our Bolt In Neck


 


Bolt In Neck With Macassar Neck & Korina Body


Unlike all of our competitors we do not charge extra for set neck construction

The PRS Heels From Hell !!!!

PRS IS GETTING STEADILY WORSE AND WORSE !!!!

PRS Goes To A Flanged Heel 2007
it looks like they are trying to camouflage the original Heel from Hell
In my opinion they made it worse.  The old way it could be fixed
This way makes it super costly to fix.  It almost seems like they did this on purpose so you could not fix it !!
 

I have been busting on PRS for close to 15 years when they came out with the original Heel From Hell, This time they really screwed the pooch.  I have been the target of much bashing because I have called attention to their original blunder. When I first exposed the original Heel From Hell I received 500 or more hate mails from PRS dealers, Investors & owners whose multiple guitar investments were in danger of losing their value because of my articles.

PRS built great guitars back in the 80's & early 90's probably the best guitars that were available then.

In 1993 they hired Ted McCarty from Gibson and then they proceeded to ruin all the original great designs. True they gained a lot of sales because McCarty legitimatized the line in the eyes of the name brand seeking uninformed Gibson type consumer.
By 1995 they were in full mass production competing with Fender & Gibson, They ignored their original boutique custom guitar roots and went after the big box stores like Guitar Center, Sam Ash etc etc.

I never did understand why they went from Paul's original superior designs to McCarty's old fuddy dud Gibson designs. They went for a 22 fret model with pickups physically placed in the wrong place. The quality of the guitar has always been good but the new designs have gotten deplorable.

This heinous abortion on the orange guitar above literally makes me want to vomit. They actually made it so you could not fix it.  Well,  Yes, maybe you can fix it, but it will now be more costly to do so. This will discourage people from repairing it. Could this have been the plan??  Is this why they destroyed their in body superior design. This is incredulous and I still cannot believe they actually did this !!!!!

Below on the blue guitar is their original blunder, We could fix those for less than $100.00 !!!!   We probably fixed more than 2000 of them in the last 16 years.

I hate to think this, but it seems to me that they must have sat down around a meeting table and planned this on purpose. They went back 30 years in design so that people could not modify their guitar to make it play better.

As long as I am pointing at this, I must call your attention to the other problem here. The neck does not go through the guitar. It is simply glued in the mortise in front of the neck pickup. The glue stops most of the high end from reaching the pickups. Glue is a dampener and the worst place on the guitar to use it would be between the neck and the body. 

On the old Heel from Hell They were GLUED IN necks
On the new Heel from Hell They are GLUED ON necks

I guess now I should be expecting a fresh dose of Hate Mail !!!!
In days of old when someone delivered bad news they killed him !!!!
Please Don't Kill The Messenger !!
Ed Roman August 2009 

 

Original Heel From Hell, Really Long Heel that flies in the face of any modicum of comfortably playing high up on the neck..  BTW  this guitar is usually only 22 frets.

IMPORTANT INFO

The absolute worst part about this antiquated very poor design is the fact that PRS opts to glue the neck into the body.

First PRS charges you an arm & a leg for the guitar !!!  Then they over charge you a testicle for the oh so resonant solid rosewood neck. 

Then the actually smear a layer of glue between the neck and the body thus preventing any of that supposed resonance to even reach the body... never mind reaching the pickup..  "This Is A Complete Travesty"  What In The Name Of Hell Were They Thinking That Day.  


Look At That Monster Heel Behind The Neck
Look At The Zero Adjustment Bridge  
Wraparound Bridges Went Out With 54 LP's
The Pickups Are Floating Not Attached ??


A Beautiful Paint Job, Nice Wood, & Impressive  Build Quality Means Nothing If The Basic Design Is Simply No Good.   The Usual Buyers For PRS Guitars Are Quality Conscious Well To Do People Who Sadly Have No Real Clue About Modern Guitar Design. The Kids Who Sell These Guitars In The Big Box Stores Are Usually Totally Ignorant About Anything Written On This Page.

Ed Roman

 

PRS              QUICKSILVER                  PRS
Large Heel                      No Heel                             Large Heel
These guitars have no protruding flange. These guitars


Quicksilver                        PRS                  Quicksilver

  (Look At Heel)

Job started out with stock 1999 PRS Hollow Body 10 Top.

The customer did not like the heel profile or the thickness of the neck. 
He contracted me to do the reduction surgery. It is rare that someone will buy a brand new $4,500.00 (Very Overpriced) Guitar only to have someone do major surgery on it immediately. 

We contacted PRS to try to get some information on just how deep we could cut before we struck truss rod. 
They weren't very helpful so we had to proceed into this job very very carefully.

Currently I do this job on the PRS CE Models at least 10 times a month and the custom models about twice a month.  There has never been a single problem with one of these jobs to date.

 

This photo taken after the stock neck was stripped & carved down

I had a little trouble getting an exact match
but we got the color exactly right.

 
 Reshaping the large bulky "Heel From Hell"
We took off almost 3 inches on this one

Other dings go away in the process at no charge
The customer also wanted the neck shape changed

You Can Buy  Ed Roman Necks at This Link



Custom Made Truss Rod Cover

The Perfect Finishing Touch for your Guitar
$50.00  We Can Make One For Any Guitar  !!!!


PRS Heel Conversions

PRS with Absolutely No Heel
Or Convert to the Old Heel (Your Choice)
Includes satinizing & reworking the entire neck

TOTAL COMPLETE HEEL REMOVAL

 ABSOLUTELY NO HEEL LEFT AT ALL


We have done this job 1200 or more times and we have never had a problem or a complaint
Not a single complaint !!!!!!!!!
We can do the job as pictured above
Total Heel Removal !!!!
Or we can do a return to original stock size short heel as pictured below

Newer PRS Design 1995 2007                           Original PRS Design 1985 1995

Worst Design I Have Ever Seen In My Life PRS 2007 
Ed Roman


 

Above is my first attempt at designing the deep set neck tenon. Currently we have improved on it tremendously. We now add 6 dowels (3 per side) to get even better sustain & wood to wood contact. I cannot show the picture because it's a trade secret.  If a competitor wants to find out how we do it they will have to cut one apart to find out.  Notice the dual graphite rods in the neck on each side of the truss rod cavity.

A deep set neck tenon is an extremely stable way to build a guitar. It also helps the tone and sustain characteristics.  Currently, we are carrying several brands of guitars that are built this way:  Centurion, & now Quicksilver's are available in a deep set neck tenon.   Personally I favor the standard Quicksilver neck mounting system for versatility in sound. Plus it greatly reduces the cost.

How Guitars Are Usually Built.

Most archtop style guitars are built by taking a rectangular piece of Mahogany and laminating or "gluing" a rectangular piece of Maple to the top.  Then the basic shape is cut out on a bandsaw and carved from that.   Of course Mahogany and Maple are the common woods used, but guitar builders aren't necessarily limited to those two woods.   I am just using them as an example for the sake of simplifying this explanation.   For example, Gibson, Paul Reed Smith, and  even my own Quicksilver guitars are constructed from rectangular laminated billets of wood.  The Quicksilver's are now available with Deep Set Neck Tenon, They sound totally different from an original Quicksilver. We are also building them with a set neck and a neck thru body. We have to use completely different pickups with the set neck to get the guitar to sound as good.

Very Few Guitars Are Constructed Differently.

The Centurion Guitars are all designed using a deep mortise and extra long neck tenon design.  This would totally eliminate dead spots on a neck and give the guitar a tremendous amount of stability.  This type of construction would also serve to add volume, tone, and incredible sustain.  Centurion also makes a fitted archtop that gives them the ability to  install the neck at the correct angle underneath it.

3/4 Deep-Set Neck Tenon

This idea in itself was not completely original.  Other builders, such as, Grover Jackson, BC Rich, Alembic, myself, and even Gibson, with the Firebird, had built guitars with a neck-through body design.  When Les Paul originally designed the SG, he had intended it to be a neck-through body.  Of course, Gibson did not produce them that way.  Gibson opted for the much less expensive set-neck style like the Les Paul or a PRS Custom.  Les Paul & Gibson parted ways for most of the 60's because of Norlin's redesign of the SG neck (to this day the SG neck is considered to be one of the most unstable on the market.  The first SG's 1961 actually were called Les Paul's however Les Paul wanted no part of that neck design and left Gibson.

Over the years, I have learned a lot of things from some of the industry's best and most innovative builders.  People like Bernie Rico, Paul  Reed Smith, Dean Zelinsky, Grover Jackson, and Joel Dantzig of Hamer, have proven themselves to be worthy mentors.  For example, in my conversations with Joel Dantzig, I gained  valuable insight regarding the construction of guitars.  I questioned Joel about the reasons why Hamer never did a neck-through body.  His answer was, "He didn't want to break the soundboard, tone-board, or the top of the guitar."  The normal construction method for a neck-through body involves using a neck slightly longer than the one in the picture with glued-on  "sides" or "wings" on each side.  This method of construction does not lend itself well to an archtop because the main soundboard or "top" of the guitar is broken in half and separated by the neck itself.

How can this be prevented?  Randy Curlee surmised the ultimate construction technique would be to have a neck-through body with a one piece top.  Very few manufacturers offer this construction technique today. It comes on the Centurion and the Gledura guitars. We have done a few Quicksilvers that way but the Quicksilver is designed to be a cost effective guitar and come in for less money than a PRS.  

Insurmountable Construction Problem

Q. How can you get the 3/4 deep neck tenon set into an archtop style body?

A. It simply can't be done using any normal or even computerized woodworking tools.

This of course means that PRS, Gibson, Ibanez, Jackson, Duesenberg, BC Rich, Hamer, Fender, G&L, or any of the other mainstream companies will never do it.  (It's way too expensive.)

To accomplish this feat you have to make a separate body and a separate top.  (Twice as much work.)  Then you have even more work to attach the two.  First the pre-made body with a 12" mortise is attached to the vacuum table.  Then the pre-made neck with the 12" tenon is fitted directly into the body.   When that is all glued up, you then attach the pre-carved archtop directly to the guitar.

Abstract uses only quartersawn Maple, Korina, Mahogany or Premium Sapele for neck wood.  Slab cutting (cutting the tree up into pancake style pieces) works well for tops, backs, and veneers; but, it simply isn't straight grained, strong or stable enough for a neck.  If you ever see a guitar with quilted neck avoid it like the plague.  No matter how pretty the wood is, I guarantee there will be huge problems with the neck.

IMPORTANT NECK INFO

It doesn't take a college degree to see which neck design is the best.  The Fender is a bolt-on neck.   It attaches to a large flange that sticks out from the body.  It was designed half a century ago and it is the hardest one to reach the top frets in the picture.

The Gibson Les Paul neck is not pictured here because I simply didn't have a loose one to photograph.  (What you need to know...)  The Gibson Les Paul neck is by far the shortest and stubbiest of all of them.  It butts up against the guitar at only the 16th fret.  The remaining 6 frets lay on top of the body.  I personally hate that design.  Look at a Les Paul from a side view.  You will immediately notice how incredibly short the neck is.  This neck was also designed 50 years ago.  It's even harder than the Fender to reach the high frets.    See Why They All Break

Guitars are available in a set-neck, bolt-in neck, and even deep-set neck tenon.

The Quicksilver &  PRS necks are both designed in a similar fashion.  The Quicksilver neck is improved because it employs a hard mount pickup cavity right in the neck; whereas, the PRS pickup only floats on springs above it. 

PRS necks and Quicksilver necks are both 25" scale and they are completely interchangeable. 

You Can Buy An Ed Roman Neck Click Here

 

Look at this Abstract double cutaway guitar. The neck tenon actually extends to well below where the bridge and tailpiece are positioned.

It is available in solid body, hollow body, or hollow body with an F hole.  The F holes are available in many different styles.

 This guitar is our answer to Gibson's double cutaway guitar from the early 60's.   Available in neck thru body construction & bolt in

Leslie West with his   Bluzeman.....


 Quilted Back Option

The Quilted back is now available on most of our guitars. 

This option from Alembic is $1,500.00  just for the back to match the front.  PRS charges $1,700.00 additional for this option.  But PRS includes the top also.

I try to give my customers an education on what items cost from some of the larger companies.
Currently our prices are still way below our competition.

Notice the 5 piece super stable neck, you can see it extending through the tremolo cavity.
The back and sides of this guitar are all quilted.
We could not do the neck in quilt because it would definitely break if we did.

 

 Many Types of Neck Construction

Bolt-On Cheapest to manufacture, it has a unique tonal capability and is very common.   Not recommended because the heel is too big. The design is very old and the neck joint is cumbersome.  Tonal abilities are excellent as long as the neck is a very tight fit.   (Sometimes you have to play 30 of them before you get one that sounds good.) That will be the one with the tight neck joint.
Fender, Ibanez, G&L, ESP, Ernie's Balls, Washburn, Charvel,  most imported guitars.
Bolt-In Excellent alternative to bolt-on.  Same excellent  tonal ability, plus many of the set-neck abilities.  Very few companies offer it.  Highly recommended because the heel is buried in the body.  In fact, I highly recommend it over just a plain set-neck. (Works best acoustically coupled.) Currently no other companies have this except PRS & Quicksilver.  Best for tone & sustain if the neck is tight & pickup is mounted directly in the cavity.  (Call for information--702-875-4552)
Set-Neck Less expensive most common.  I am not a fan of this one.   Are millions of Les Pauls poorly designed & wrong?  (A Very Definite YES !!!!)  Not recommended as highly due to limited tonal abilities.  (Glue does not transfer sound well.)  Plus, set-neck guitars are the ones that always break easily.  Gibson, McInturff, Hamer, Warrior, Epiphone, Guild, Heritage, & many more. PRS went to this antiquated design in 2007 Ouch, Take a giant step backwards.       Click Here For Details
Neck-Thru Expensive & uncommon, I used to like this type the best until I discovered Deep-Set Neck Tenon. (Pictured Below)
Highly recommended, due to much more sustain, plus pickups are mounted right in the neck.  BC Rich,  Jackson,  Rickenbacker & Abstract. Quicksilver Now Available Neck Thru
Deep-Set Neck Tenon Most expensive to do, not necessarily the most versatile sounding and the most cosmetically appealing.  Very highly recommended due to same reasons as a neck-through, but with the added attraction of keeping the top intact.  You may sacrifice some Strat and Tele tones but the blues tone is awesome.  Rick Gledura,  Centurion,  & Quicksilver.

You Can Buy An Ed Roman Neck Click Here

Quicksilver Neck Joint (middle)           PRS Neck Joint (on each side)

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see which one is the better one!

You Can Buy An Ed Roman Neck Click Here


By Using Standard Quicksilver Parts We Can Improve Your PRS 200%

The Best Of Both Worlds
An Interesting Story About PRS & Other Companies


QUICKSILVER PRS HYBRID
<PRS & Quicksilver Have Sex & This Guitar Is Born>

Quicksilver Guitar With Original Paul Reed Smith Body
These Two Brands Use Interchangeable Parts.
Ed Roman Has All Parts Available & In Stock

 

  The Above Guitar Uses A Quicksilver Neck With Ebony Fretboard & Block Inlays:   (Not available from PRS)
This Guitar Features An Original Brand New 1985 One Piece PRS Tremolo  (No longer available from PRS)
This Also Features The Exclusive Quicksilver Direct Coupled Neck Mount System:    Not available from PRS)
It Also Features The Hard Mounted Pickups One In The Body & One In The Neck:   
(Not available from PRS)
Beautiful Pearl Paintjob By Ed Roman & Seymour Duncan Blackback Pickups
A Similar PRS Would Cost 3 to 4 Times As Much
Ed Roman Personally Guarantees
  You Will Like This One Better  !!!
 


THE PRS STORY BY ED ROMAN

I First Met Paul Reed Smith In The Mid 70's many many years before he came out with the PRS line of guitars in 1985.  His first guitars were very expensive and really a bit overpriced considering they were just OK.  Any of those pre production guitars today are worth a fortune to collectors, Not because of their quality or looks but because of their pedigree & lineage.  Dateline 1985 Paul became a real business with absolutely fabulous average priced guitars.  They were not very pricey and they really were great.   In fact they were miles ahead of anyone else they were absolutely revolutionary !!!!

PRS Started Producing Guitars in 1985, Their Guitars Were The Best Money Could Buy.
In Fact They Were The #1 Guitar In My Book For The Ten Years Between 1985 & 1995 Which Is A Very Long Time For Any Company To Maintain That Top Position.

They Employed An Exclusive One Piece Solid Cast Tremolo. These Tremolos Sell On The Second Hand Market & Ebay For $750.00  With Wear On Them.  Ed Roman Has Acquired A Box Of Original Ones From One Of Paul's Original Disgruntled Partners & Is Now Offering Them For A Limited Time On The Quicksilver PRS Hybrid.

Originally PRS Guitars Used Some Of The Finest Tonewoods Available & Paul's Designs Were Way Ahead Of The Curve.  In Fact The Original Neck Joint Was & Still Is A Major Stroke Of Genius.

Like Many Start Up Companies PRS Put All Their Focus Into Making The Absolute Best Product They Could Make.  In Almost Every Case When A Brand Name Reaches A Certain Level Of Posterity The Focus Moves Away From The Product & Starts To Concentrate On The Bottom Line. It's An Old Story I Have Seen It With Gibson, ESP, Hamer, Dean & Too Many Others To Mention.

It's Important To Keep In Mind, That This Is Just The Natural Order Of Things. Usually The Owner Sells Out & Tries To Retire But When He Starts To See What These Corporate Slime-Balls Are Doing To His Beloved Company They Try & Start Over.

Sadly, They Almost Always Fail, Because They Are Older They Just Can't Afford To Make The Sacrifices We All Have To Make When A New Company Is Started. I've Seen This Happen Over & Over Again. When You First Start Up A Company You Could Conceivably Go For Months Even Years With No Paycheck. I Know I Put Everything I Had Back Into My Company.

I Feel I Have A Small Advantage Because I Have Realized This Before It Has Happened To Me. If I Ever Sell My Company Which I Probably Won't I Will Demand Control Over Quality & Design. Otherwise I Will Not Sell The Name.
 

Ed Roman 

Below A Quicksilver Guitar With A PRS Neck
Too Bad PRS Doesn't Offer Ebony Fretboards !!!!

 

These 2 PRS Hybrid Guitars Are Available
Both Have Reduced Heels, Hard Mounted Duncan Pickups, Tone Pros Bridges, Push Pull Pots
Korina & or Mahogany Backs, Koa Or Maple Top
 

This guitar was custom re-made from the ground up

Custom Guitar Order Form 

This is a full PRS conversion. 
It started off as a boring opaque red PRS CE with zero personality!!!

Improvements include, korina wood body, tone/pros, tune-O-matic bridge, Duncan pickups, high grade quilt top, 1500G neck mod. heel removal, push pull pots, new Quicksilver body with slightly longer upper bout for better balance. original PRS neck.

 

PRS is still a pretty damn good guitar. The fit, finish & basic quality easily surpasses Gibson, and most other corporate guitar brands that are billed and sold as top quality, high end instruments.  The customer service, is usually much better than most other corporate brands also.
However, the original 1985 excellent design, has been modified over the years too much !!    In my opinion, there needs to be pretty major modifications made, to make the present day PRS guitars as good as the originals!   It is easily possible to do that if you are lucky enough to have selected the right model. 

Originally, 25 years ago when PRS was highly concerned about creating their original excellent reputation, their guitars were far better than they are today. They sounded better, played better, and looked better than what you can buy today. The ones you can buy today leave a lot to be desired.  This speaks to our whole industry today. In fact there are very few companies today that I can recommend wholeheartedly. These few companies are JETDuesenberg, Veillette, Abstract  Mosrite, Gretsch & Quicksilver.

If you are reading this page in it's entirety, it's relative to know that I personally own the Quicksilver & Abstract brands. Naturally the reader might take this article as self serving.  I of course have to grant you the fact that it is most definitely self serving.

However, I am positive I can convince any relatively intelligent open minded person, that the modifications needed to make a PRS better are effective and very real !!  In fact that these mods are already on the Quicksilver coupled with the fact that the Quicksilver costs less!!!  

Quicksilver's are superior by far. I hope to do it with facts figures and downright common sense. No doubletalk, no mumbo jumbo.

 

Ramsey Elkholy's PRS Conversion & Upgrade
Building A Much Better Guitar !!!

  
I am exceptionally proud of how this guitar turned out !!!!

This is actually the original PRS 10 Top with the original finish
We removed the original neck by heating the glue until it came out easily.
We custom made him a Brazilian Rosewood neck that is even thinner than an Ibanez Wizard neck!!

Ramsey's guitar came out awesome.
Originally I had recommended an Ebony fingerboard but Ramsey insisted on the Rosewood.
Nevertheless the guitar came out sounding at least 40% better than it did originally.
The original neck was glued in, with the addition of the direct coupled bolted in new neck
This guitar came out sounding like one of the best PRS guitars I have ever played.
Another reason it sounded better was we removed the poly finish from the back of the guitar.

This was the perfect guitar to do these modifications to !!!
When Ramsey shipped us this guitar it sounded awful, it had no sustain and the tone was dead.
He had tried everything to fix it.
 


 

He had completely destroyed the resale value of this guitar !!!
By converting this to bolt in we eliminated all the glue that was choking the tone !!

 He had added a third pickup which sounded bad until we redesigned the electronics circuitry.
He drilled extra holes to accommodate all kinds of useless tone switches which we also redesigned.
The neck on this guitar is now thinner & smaller than any Ibanez guitar we have ever seen !!!
It plays as smooth as warm butter when we finished it.
Plus we came in several hundred dollars below his budget.

This is the perfect guitar for someone who plays & doesn't care about originality !!

Thoughts & Commentary from Ed Roman

Before Ramsey started this project, I advised him against it, I told him that it would make a lot more sense to simply buy a Quicksilver new rather than try to Quicksilverize his PRS. Well Ramsey being a stubborn individual was Hell Bent on making his PRS sound better, He had owned it for years and was very unhappy with all the previous modifications. He was in search of the perfect tone. In a way I can't blame him, if he had simply traded his PRS in and bought a Quicksilver he could have saved several thousand dollars. If he had bought a Quicksilver in the first place he could have saved 5,000.00 over the course of several years. Effectively he would have ended up with the same thing.
Even though this guitar turned out to be one of the magical sounding ones there is also the element of luck.
On his we got very lucky. The original mahogany body turned out to be better than 95% of the PRS guitars we have seen and of course removing the finish on the back really helped the sound immensely. We learned a very valuable lesson doing his guitar and from now on all of our customers are going to benefit from what we learned.

I believe that besides converting this guitar to a bolt on the removal of the finish on the back was the actual catalyst that made this guitar sound so good. We are now offering Quicksilver guitars in what we call a 3070 finish.  Simply put you can now buy a Quicksilver with a glossy top and an oil finished back.

This is a very cost effective modification for a PRS, we are already doing these 3070 mods several other PRS guitars and I have done it to my own Quicksilver guitar. The difference is quite noticeable.

 

IF YOU LIKE PRS GUITARS !!!

 YOU REALLY SHOULD READ THIS ARTICLE

Ed Roman Say's "Prove It"

Every company always says that their guitar is the best.  But nobody ever bothers to prove It !!!!

Itís as if they think consumers arenít too bright,

I see a lot of image type advertising that I simply donít approve of. I believe that if someone says they build a better anything, they had better be ready to prove it.  (The ads for Gibson & Taylor make me sick all image no substance.)

I have been in the music business for more than 37 years, I am or have been a dealer for over 400 different brands of guitars. In fact I cannot think of any brands that I have never carried, except maybe some obscure house brands, or something no one has ever heard of.

In almost every case every company says that ďTheirs Is The BestĒ Now anyone with even a pea sized brain can realize that only one can be ďThe BestĒ

In my opinion The Best Guitars usually come from small boutique builders who build between 50 & 100 guitars a year. (That leaves a lot of people out of the equation including some of my own brands)

Very ImportantÖ.. Just because someone builds a small amount does not necessarily mean that their guitars are good. In fact I have seen some incredibly poor examples of craftsmanship.

Design & Execution

Very few builders are capable of this, PRS for example came onto the scene in 1985 with radical new designs and extremely good execution. No one else even came close at the time. In fact no one came close for more than 12 years.

PRS made the best guitar that I carried between 1985 and 1995 !!! I am ultra positive that no one made a better guitar during those years !! Then horror of horrors they hooked up with one of Gibson's Ex Presidents who became heavily involved with PRS and redesigned their guitars. It seems that this guy, Ted McCarty, was the individual who's name appeared on all the patents & trademarks of the Gibson company during their glory days. To make a very long story short. These design changes made the guitar more Gibson-esque and in my mind they ruined the guitar. For a couple of years I had nothing to recommend to anyone as a really great guitar except for used PRS guitars.

So, I sold my company "East Coast Music Mall,"  I then started "Ed Roman's World Class Guitars" which was a company that would specialize only in used Pre 1995 PRS guitars.

I actually followed the business model of a friend of mine from Florida, Jay Wolfe who at that time had a company that primarily specialized in PRS used guitars.

Paul Reed Smith was and still is a far better guitar designer than Ted McCarty but PRS changed all their new cool designs and great ideas over to Ted's antiquated retro designs. Of course many uneducated guitar players immediately went out and bought the McCarty designs thinking that they must be good. After all this Jibroney had been with Gibson for years and everyone knew PRS was a great guitar at that time.

In my opinion Ted McCarty made PRS a household word and PRS became very famous but the instruments themselves took a back seat to the bean counters as usual. They simply don't have the original Mojo.

For example very few people don't even realize that,  Every one of the Original PRS guitars (The Good Ones) were all 24 fret and they either offered a Mil Com Tremolo system or a Tune O Matic bridge.

Today you cannot get anything but a lightweight trem or that horrible wraparound bridge that even Gibson abandoned except on their cheapest models. The 24 fret models are now only available on their lesser expensive models unless you special order it on a custom and pay huge additional money.

PRS has taken the stance that their 22 fret guitars sound better. They have also taken the stance that their glued in necks & wraparound non adjustable tailpieces sound better,  I strongly disagree.   And I must remind everyone again that PRS made their stellar reputation building 24 fret models with small heels and no wraparound bridges.  How can they argue with that logic ???   Well don't ask me how or why but they do !!!!

A good design must sound good be very playable and preferably very attractive. It must balance well and it should be comfortable seated or standing.

 

 

The letter below is one Ed Roman's personal favorites
Getting a letter like this one makes all the BS worthwhile

Ed

Wait till you hear this one.  I recently bought a used PRS from my local Guitar Center in Dallas. The salesman told me it was the best sounding and playing PRS he had ever had in the store. It had a Tone Pros Tun O matic bridge on it and the body was slightly slimmer than usual. The salesman at GC told me (I think his name was Harry) said that the guitar was no ordinary PRS, Supposedly it was made for someone in Creed  blah blah blah (I found out later that was an outright lie). Several other salespeople all agreed that this guitar had the PRS magic and it was the reason why PRS had such a good reputation.

I played the guitar and it truly did feel great, The neck was rock solid and was incredibly highly figured. The body has a beautiful blue flame top and a natural back. I sat there and tried about 12 PRS guitars, The salesman was right, none of them came close. The guitar had almost twice the sustain of any of the other ones and the neck was smoother and faster.

Anyway I could not resist buying the guitar, In fact I had to borrow most of the money from my bass player. They sold it to me for only $800.00. The reason it was so cheap is there was no serial number on the guitar and the PRS logo was not on the headstock. There were no bird inlays but that was cool !  I was a little worried about buying a guitar with no serial number and no logo but they gave me a fully paid receipt so I figured it had to be OK.

The suited guy at the counter remarked that this guitar held tune better than any other guitar he had ever played. He told me that I made a very wise purchase and reassured me that I had made a good move.     (He didn't know how right he was).

I took the guitar home and I used it that weekend on a gig, It performed superbly and I was one happy guy to say the least.

About a week after I got the guitar I discovered there was a push pull pot on it and that it split the coils on the pickups. What a great surprise. further fiddling around with it I noticed that the pickups were bolted down solid instead of floating on springs like all the other PRS guitars. I unscrewed the pickup and removed it and lo and behold there was the inscription.

"Ed Roman Was Here."  Everything I had read on your website came tumbling back at me like a ton of bricks.                                                                                     PRS Tone Pros Conversion With Bigsby

This guitar appeared to have had a custom body not a PRS body, It had the step route pickups like on your site and the neck has that 1500G system that I read about on your site. The neck appears to be an original PRS but I see now the modifications you made to the heel and the tongue where the pickup bolts directly to it like a Quicksilver. That accounts for the extra sustain! I am assuming there is a Buzz Feiten System on this guitar because of the tuning stability.

I could probably sue Guitar Center for falsely representing this guitar. But I am thanking them from the bottom of my heart because I have one of the most awe inspiring guitars I have ever owned or for that matter even played.

Whoever this guitar was originally built for might have misrepresented it to Guitar Center but I am the luckiest guy in the world.

I was going to buy a PRS decal off that store in Cleveland that sells them but now I would rather it said nothing.

Long Live Ed Roman
Pete Posintini
Plano TX

Note From Ed Roman

Hello Pete

Glad to see you like that guitar, I originally rebuilt that PRS for a NYC police detective by the name of Manny Poole, As I remember he lived somewhere in Jersey. The last time I talked with him had been injured in the line of duty and was partially paralyzed.  So he must have sold it, I'm surprised it ended up in Texas. I did a number of cool PRS rebuilds for Manny.

Several other things that you missed.

The guitar has a Korina Body and Seymour Duncan Pickups, There were also 2 small stainless steel barrels inserted in the tongue of the neck to add mass and stability.

The original PRS fingerboard had been removed and a new ebony one was been installed.  look carefully at the frets you will notice you can't see the fret tangs on the side. look at a regular PRS and you will see the tangs are completely visible.

I usually sign the PRS mod's in the pickup cavity and I usually Jokingly print " Ed Roman was here"   Ala Kilroy was here... Just a little private joke between myself and someone who will remain anonymous right now.

If you want a letter or perhaps a copy of the original invoice for the work please let me know.

Ed Roman


 

Totally Rebuilt From The Ground Up

This is a later model 22 fret PRS and one of the very few 22 fret ones that we have done major modifications on. This guitar still uses the original body. The guitar had sentimental value to our customer who spent more money than a new guitar to have us completely rebuild and reconstruct his instrument.
1, This Guitar has been converted to a bolt in neck

2, We built the customer a new neck we utilized the original fingerboard.

3, We hand inlaid the Eagle in the headstock

4, We removed the poly finish and restained the guitar the exact shade of green the customer wanted

5, We did an oil finish, short heel and 1500G Neck treatment.

6, We switched out the pickups and added hard mounted Seymour Duncan Pickups.

7, We used our trademarked neck mounting insert kit to attach the neck super tightly.

It is rare that we do a job like this and don't dump that wraparound bridge, but this was one of them.

 


This is another PRS that thinks it's a Quicksilver
(See the bridge we installed)
Retopped Body, with Bird Inlays done at Ed Roman's
Personalized at the 12th fret
PRS does not offer nice tops or bird inlays on their bolt on models !!!!!

 


PRS Retop & Custom Paint Job

What you will read below I have said before
about 20 times in 20 different ways in 20 different places.
I don't mean to be overly redundant but different readers read different parts of the website.
If you are an avid reader of this site there will be little here you don't already know !!!

Basic upgrades that need to be made in order to improve the sound !!!

1, Remove the pickup mounting springs, hard mount the pickups so that the vibration & resonance of the wood is not compromised by the springs. this will require installing wood into the pickup cavity. The tonal difference will be immediately apparent. You will hear more overtones and it will sustain far better.

2, Remove the 4 wood screws holding the neck on and mount 4 brass inserts into the neck. Re-attach the neck using 4 hardened machine screws and inserts . This will tighten the neck joint more than it was with the wood screws. The tone, especially the high end will be much clearer and crisper.  (Bolt In Models Only)

2a, The above paragraph pre supposes that your PRS has a tight neck fit, About 80% of the PRS guitars have a good tight neck fit. The original handbuilt ones were all excellent, however I have found that on the newer production models tightness of neck fit can be sporadic.

Proper neck fit means that you almost have to force the neck into the neck pocket or mortise. 

If your neck is a loose fit, then you are going to have to build up the sides of the pockets with shims. Do not attach the shims with glue. Glue acts as a deadener and in my opinion it has no place being anywhere near a neck joint.


Exceptions are almost non existent to this rule.
The only exception I have discovered is that when using a single coil soapbar style pickup a glued in neck might complement the fatter single coil tone.  Hence I only use a glued in neck for Jazz style guitars and/or in situations where a soapbar pickup is employed.

3, Converting the glue in neck models to a bolt on is not a job for the weak of heart and not something that your basic guitar tech is going to be able to pull off smoothly. It requires a great deal of work to remove the glued in neck. It makes a fantastic difference tonally when the job is performed correctly.

I am a strong believer that for music from the 60's to present day there should be absolutely nothing in the neck joint but raw wood touching raw wood, No paint, No Glue, No fillers of any kind. This will give you the most resonant tone and allow your notes to bloom effectively.

Early PRS custom conversion guitar. Fine example of the first ever PRS lefthanded guitars.

Built in 1991 by Ed Roman's Custom Shop using a stock PRS neck & hardware

We have done about 20 of these since 1990



There are other theories of course but even though I have been flamed and called vile names by a certain group of retro guitarists who own and play glued in neck guitars. I have never received even one letter with a different theory. I have built glue in neck guitars myself, and most of them came out sounding great. I just wonder how much better they would have been if they were bolted in.

4, Direct Coupling The Guitar is essential to improving the sound It adds ton of tone & sustain.

5, Hard Mounting The Pickup in the Neck/Pickup cavity eliminates the shaky sound and gives you much more sustain.

6, Replacing the cheap Indian Rosewood fingerboard with Ebony. This not only gives you a much more percussive tone but it hold

7, Replace The Pickups, I suggest using the Seymour Duncan Black/Backs TM  they were developed over a 5 year period to be used in our LSR guitars & Quicksilvers. They are available and they sound great no matter what guitar you put them in.

8. Install Push Pull Pots they will allow you to switch to single coil and or out of phase in an instant and it doesn't affect your unity gain as much as the PRS 5 position knob. It's quite a bit easier to use also.

9, Change to the Gold Adamantium Fretwire which sounds like the nickel silver but wears like Stainless Steel.

Or you can simply purchase a Quicksilver Guitar they all come with most of the above modifications as standard

 

This is yet another PRS that we retopped and refinished. We also inlaid purfling around the entire body. I would have liked to redo the fingerboard with ebony and do some really nice inlay work to it.
Rosewood is such a blah wood, it doesn't do much for the inlay. In fact rosewood camouflages the abalone and tends to make even the prettiest abalone look blah....

We also inlaid an eagle on the headstock of this one. This particular guitar was the 100th PRS we retopped. It was done for Winn Wilson of Connecticut in 2001.

Today Ed Roman retops about 20 PRS guitars a year.
Back in the 90's we did about 50 a year. Today people just buy a Quicksilver instead. 

 

 Improve Your Playability.
1,
Remove the plastic finish on the back of the neck. this will also improve your tone but that's only half of the modification. On our 1500 G neck mod we sand & oil the neck in such a fashion that the friction is greatly reduced. People really rave about how much they like this mod. Click Here for more info.

2, Remove the Heel from Hell that comes on the later models after 1995. The early models (Pre 95) don't have that silly big heel on the base of the neck. It's not very expensive to remove on the CE model and you will love the way the guitar plays and feels after it has been removed.

Or you can simply purchase a Quicksilver Guitar they all come with most of the above modifications as standard

Removing the Heel From Hell on a PRS Custom is a very common job
We have done 350 of these
We have done over 1000 on the CE Models

PRS                      QUICKSILVER                          PRS
No Heel

Basic upgrades that need to be made in order to improve the cosmetics.

1, Ebony fingerboards make your inlays show much better !!!

2, We offer 45 different types of wood for the top of your guitar. See our PRS Retop Page   Gibson Retop Page

3, Unlimited paint finishes imagine A Rickenbacker Style Fire Glo on a PRS truly awesome, or a Metalflake job or anything you can think of. We Do It All   Portraits, Themes, Flames, Pinstriping etc etc

4, We offer custom inlays including Dragons, Vines, custom designs or anything you can imagine

 

Or you can simply purchase a Quicksilver Guitar they all come with most of the above modifications as standard

 


Stock PRS body With Ed Roman Maple Top

As a large dealer of Rock Star Owned Stage Played Guitars I often come into contact with many stock guitars that the artist simply does not want. In many cases these guitars are given to them as a bribe to try to get them to switch the brand that they play. I also get many heavily modified customized guitars from these same individuals because they are used to high quality and will not settle for the usual off the rack guitars.
There are people on the internet who would flame me and call me a butcher for customizing many of the iconic guitars but I must be in good company because offhand I cannot think of a single pro guitarist that doesn't modify their guitars to suit them.

 

2 Beautiful PRS Conversions
They Play Better, Sound Better, Stay in Tune Better, Weigh Less & Look Much Better.


Early PRS Retop Job
Tasmanian Blackwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come To Las Vegas
There is nothing like this fabulous city anywhere in the world !!!
Las Vegas is Home to Ed Roman Guitars
Come Meet Ed Personally
Let Ed design you the custom guitar you have always wanted.


Big Money Guitar Designers

Being a guitar designer I am always looking for cool ideas, I recently found an incredible guitar designer from Switzerland. Claudio Pagelli, his guitars sell for $50.000.00  I saw one sell at Namm last year.  Another amazing builder is  Germany's Jerry Auerswald,  Jerry's guitars sell for much less only about $40.000.00 each.  Jerry is the guy who is building all those really cool "Prince Guitars" From what I'm told these guys only build one of each model guitar.  I am lucky to Have an Auerswald guitar, I paid under $10,000.00 for it about 15 years ago.

I have put a few pictures below of some other items designed by my all time favorite designer.  Milano Italy's Luigi Colani,  He has never done a guitar but he has done almost everything else from ladies shoes to Magnetic Levitation Trains, To Automobiles, To Urinals & Bidet's, To Scissors, To Hovercraft.  If you like his designs Google "Luigi Colani"  Prepare to be astounded
Ed


 
From Pianos To Cars To Urinals  Colani is my favorite designer!!
One of his famous quotes was
 "There are no straight lines in the universe"
Ed Roman 2007

I am looking for cool Colani designs for my collection of photos
Anyone who can help me.  It would be appreciated

 

Colani BMW

   

Hovercraft By Colani

Colani Horch
Horch were the original cars that the Nazi officers used as staff cars
They changed their name for publicity reasons to Audi

Luigi Colani Designer Extraordinaire
I would love to get him to design a guitar
Ed Roman

 

 

Laiglon by Colani

Colani Ferrari Experimental

 

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