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Tony McManus / Loreena McKennitt / PRS ... 911 call

Grace under pressure ....

As Loreena McKennitt and her all-star cast of musicians ...

Tony McManus, Brian Hughes,
Ian Harper, Ben Grossman,
were rehearsing and ramping up
for the start of their European tour;
Tony McManus was having issues
with the acoustic / electric system
in his beautiful PRS "Angelus" proto-type bouzouki.

When Pro-Tour-Tech  Phillip
called me on Sunday afternoon,
I was working peacefully at my workbench
and finishing up a fret job on a maple-neck strat....

then ... uh-oh ....!

this was one of those " drop what your doing .. all hands on deck, "
panic-button, 911 calls.

Find the problem ( in this case problem"s" ) and fix them,
whatever it takes.

I fabricated this mini-plate out of rosewood, adhered the pickup strip to this plate,
 and then glued this mini-plate to the actual bridge plate with wood glue.
The small black plastic tab / connector has a piece of 2-sided cloth tape 
that was used to adhere a small foam cube to (after the wood glue set ).

The foam cube, created a "buffer",
between the plastic connector tab
and the underside of the X-brace and soundboard surface, 
eliminating any chance of , rattling or
extraneous sympathetic / mechanical vibration
being transmitted
between the wood and the plastic tab. 

PRS mini bridge plate

After removing the loose, bubbled piezo film strip ( see below )
and inspecting the bridge plate ( above )
 it became evident, by the left-over "footprint"( residue ),
that there were 3 previous install attempts ( by others );
and that I would be the fourth 4th in line to take a 
run at installing this pickup.  

After taking the time to meticulously,
scrape and wash the rosewood bridge plate clean;
I finally got it ready for gluing in 
 the mini-rosewood plate
that I had fabricated.

PRS pickup install

The second malleable wire clip ( above ) ,
was used to "press" the black plastic tab/ connector
into the foam cube, that I previously mentioned.

The "0" tolerance for the placement of the pickup
 is evident in the (above) photo.
In the previous installation attempts ( by others ),
the proximity of the ball ends of the strings were
so close, that they were overlapping
and "nipping " into the the piezo film, causing it to
 short out !

In all fairness to the others who had attempted this install ...
the "smaller than usual" space at the apex of the X-brace,
 meant that there was much less room
 than you would normally have for this type of installation.
A regular guitar would allow much more space 
at the intersection of the X-brace.   

After successfully re-engineering a whole new approach
 to the piezo film install, I discovered that
 the pre-amp was shorting out as well !!

Welcome to "Murphy's"  place
 .. just step right in .. and scrape the dung from your boots!

PRS got right on it and Fed-Ex-ed a new pre-amp,
from Maryland USA, and it arrived Monday AM !
I proceeded to transfer all of the leads
 from the old faulty circuit board to the new replacement;
battery terminal leads, volume pot leads and piezo pickeup leads. 

(32 solder points in all, dis-connected and re-connected !)

This job is definitely another good argument for the
 leather padded TechDeck workstation's virtues. 

This $3500.00 one-of-a-kind
proto-type was built the week before I worked on it !

(See date on label below)

It is essentially, ... a brand new instrument

Over the course of a few days,
I had to get in and out through the soundhole,
 flipping the instrument up on it's edge etc
... dozens of times in order to complete
all of  the various tasks.

The smallest, most minuscule scratch,
 or mark from mis-handling ,
would have shown up like a neon sign.

The only thing that came in contact with this instrument
while doing this emergency repair/ install,
 holding it in the various positions; was  "AAA" grade leather.