PRS Guitar Upgrades

"Quicksilverizing" A PRS

This Page Is About Making Your PRS Guitar A Better Sounding & Playing Guitar.

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

Don't just believe it, read this page top to bottom

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

<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 For Both Brands 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 Black/Back Pickups
A Similar PRS Would Cost 3 to 4 Times As Much
Ed Roman Personally Guarantees
  You Will Like This One Better  !!!

Quicksilver Guitar VS PRS Guitar


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. Also Available As A Part For Less Money Than Previously Sold Used.

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 Corporately greedy 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
Ed Roman Is 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.

I have been informed this guitar sold around 2011 for $9,000.00 to a Major Rockstar who currently already owns 3 Quicksilvers and is a very big Ibanez endorser. We cannot mention his name on the page anywhere because he has a very lucrative deal with Ibanez & he is simply not allowed to




Ed Roman Say's "Prove It"

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

It’s as if they think consumers aren’t too bright,

I see a lot of image type advertising that I simply don’t 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 38 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 “Theirs Is The Best” Now anyone with even a pea sized brain can realize that only one can be “The Best”

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 Important….. 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


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.
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




Work We Have Performed To This Guitar

Install Ebony Fingerboard
Install PRS 1985 One Piece Original Tremolo
Ebony Overlay On The Headstock    Adds Tremendous Strength To Headstock
Change The Neck Headstock Angle 1 Degree Adding To The Overall Tone Of The Guitar
Install Go-Mag 18 to 1 Tuners For
Install Nickel Silver Frets
Install Abalone Bird Inlays On The New Ebony Fingerboard
Remove PRS Logo
Custom Eagle Inlay On Headstock

The Way To Spot A 1985 Tremolo Is The Saddles Will Be Shiny Chrome
The later model ones the saddles were not polished
The main reason to buy an original 85 is the one piece construction
The later model ones were bolted together like most other tremolos