PTC Guitar Overhaul - Hollowbody II With Coil-Taps!

The Paul Reed Smith Tech Center (PTC) is in the business of making your guitar dreams a reality. In addition to standard PRS repairs and maintenance, the PTC specializes in making unique modifications to your guitar to meet your needs as a musician. The PTC job we are exploring today features our Hollowbody II model with a few tweaks. Check out the work done by the PTC below!

In its stock form, we’re proud of the versatility offered by our Hollowbody II model! However, the customer sending his Hollowbody II to our PTC was looking for even more tonal variety! To get a better picture of what the PTC was able to achieve, it will help to take a look at the stock electronics on a Hollowbody II.


The three knobs seen above control volume, tone, and blend. The blend knob mixes in the piezo acoustic pickup installed on the Hollowbody II. You’ll also notice a mini-toggle and 3-way pickup selector. In the up position, the mini toggle selects only the magnetic pickups. In the middle position, the mini toggle selects the magnetic pickups and the piezo (this is where the blend knob comes into play). In the down position, the mini toggle selects only the piezo pickup.

The larger 3-way toggle is simply a pickup selector: Bridge humbucker, both humbuckers, or neck humbucker.

So what else could this PTC customer want? How about some single-coil tones! Our PTC guys got to work cutting two more small holes in order to wire up an additional two mini-toggles. One mini toggle controlled the coil-tap on the bridge pickup, the other mini toggle controlled the coil-tap on the neck pickup. Like all PRS guitars, the style in which we tap pickups results in a virtually unnoticeable change in volume.

Check out some photos of the final product below!



Another satisfied musician and a job well done by our talented folks in the PTC. If you would like to make some modifications made to your PRS, get in touch with our PTC here!

Comments (10)

Joe Gutierrez July 20, 2017 - 6:40am
I was just wondering, I know the archtop is no longer made but can I still have one made through my dealer through the custom shop? p.s. I have a 1992 custom 24 with a ed king rig in it. I can't find any information on the pickups you used, any information would be great. Thank you.
[email protected] April 07, 2017 - 12:29pm
Hey Jim, that can probably be done, but our PTC folks would know for sure! Reach out to them at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Jim Mooney April 06, 2017 - 7:55pm
I have a 98 McCarty Hollowbody II and was wondering if there is a way to have a push-pull switch on the tone control do the coil tapping instead of drilling holes into the gorgeous body...
Steve March 21, 2017 - 3:09pm
Just browsing through some old blogs, and was wondering how the mod to split the pups for single coil also changed the flame pattern! Of course, it is two different guitars - the birds also changed, and Dave had already asked about the pups! Still, a great mod to do, and maybe I'll have it done to my HB one of these days...
[email protected] August 30, 2016 - 4:56pm
Rob, if you contact the PTC they can fill you in on all the specifics! You can reach them here: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Rob August 30, 2016 - 2:58pm
[email protected], Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I just purchased a 2001, Hollowbody 2, it's a 10 Top and I'm curious what the expense would be to get this "modification" done to my guitar (the coil taps mini toggle switches). Thanks. Is there always going to be a slight (60 cycle hum, when humbuckers are split?).
[email protected] August 09, 2016 - 4:01pm
Hey Rob, probably a little more chime and clarity in the Starla pickups vs. 58/15's. However, both sound fantastic in their own ways! Maybe PTC could set you up with one of each pickup when you send in your new Hollowbody : )
Rob August 09, 2016 - 11:29am
This is EXACTLY how I want my dream guitar to be setup. I know the Starla pickups are different from say the 57/08, I own a Starla S2 and it gets more play time over my SC245 with 57/08s.....I just find the Starla pickups extremely clear and responsive (more than any other guitar I currently own). How would say a Hollowbody II, with Starla pickups sound over 58/15 or 57/08s? You guys did an awesome job on this mod for the hollowbody ii. I'm gunna get this done once I get a hollowbody ii!
Dave May 01, 2016 - 7:10pm
Looks like a great mod. I noticed the original pickups were 57/08's but the new ones don't have the same cover. Were the pickups changed to facilitate this mod?
David February 19, 2016 - 9:27am
This would be a huge addition to HB2 as a stock feature! I have a Studio, and the tone from the bridge 57/08 on single coil is SO useful. I have a HB2 as well, and wish it did this!

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