PTC Guitar Overhaul - Artist V Model

Posted May 22, 2017

Behind The Gear / Tech Tips

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 an older limited-edition PRS model called the "Artist V." Check out the work done by the PTC below!


Before visiting our PTC, this guitar began as a limited run Artist V model from around 2011.

If you're unfamiliar with the Artist V, we'll bring you up to speed with its stock features.

The Artist V comes stock with 22 frets, gold hardware, Artist V pickups, and a 5-way pickup selector. This particular guitar had a stock Fire Red finish with a microburst on the edges.

Here's what the guitar looks like after its PTC modifications:

As you can see, the guitar was refinished and the customer opted for Fire Red again, but this time having a stronger and darker contour burst.

Significant modifications were made to the electronics layout. For reference, here are the standard Artist V pickup switching positions.

  • Position One: Bridge humbucker
  • Position Two: Bridge humbucker with neck singlecoil, in parallel
  • Position Three: Bridge and neck humbuckers
  • Position Four: Neck singlecoil with bridge singlecoil, in parallel
  • Position Five: Neck humbucker

The new modified layout adds two mini-toggles for individually coil-splitting the pickups. Divots were hand-cut into the guitar around the mini-toggles to make sure they looked great.

The 5-way still operates as it would in its stock form, but now the customer has the ability to change the humbuckers to single-coil in any position.

There's more!

The guitar's tone pot was converted to a push/pull pot which adds the ability to reverse the phase of the neck pickup. This control layout gives the musician incredible control over the pickup coils to create a total of 17 achievable sounds in one instrument.

After the refinish and electronics modifications, the pickup rings were swapped from white to black, the guitar received a new nut, fret polish and leveling, and a full setup.

When the customer received his guitar back he mentioned, "The guitar has the best setup I've ever seen. The action is absolutely perfect at every fret."


Another job well done by the talented folks in our PTC. If you're interested in having work done to your PRS, contact them here!