Some models of electric hollow-body / electric arch-top guitars do not have seem to have any kind of access to the electronics (switches, pots, caps, wiring) beside the "f" shaped sound holes.

I have seen guitars with no pickguard on the front of the guitar, and no plastic plate which can removed with screws (like on a Les Paul). For example this guitar : http://members.shaw.ca/jeffflowerday/Images/PRSArchtop.jpg.

How are these guitars electronics parts serviced ?

  • Short answer? Very, very carefully XD. If no one else gets to this one before I make it home tonight I'll write it up.
    – Jduv
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 21:01

4 Answers 4


Through the pickup cavities and the f-hole. I've used a mirror probe and long, skinny tools to install a pickup inside of a parlor guitar; it must be hard as hell to do this work without a full-sized soundhole.

You'd need tools like an inspection mirror, tweezers or skinny pliers, long screwdrivers, and skinny flashlights.

  • 7
    And the first thing you want to do is write down the lengths of all the wires, because it's a pain in the neck replacing components and fiddling everything back in ... only to find the wire to the tone pot is half an inch too short. (bitter experience!)
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 22:13
  • I took my semi-hollow-body to a guitar tech, and he replaced the electronics by fishing them out of the f-holes. I was kind of impressed, as it's kind of like those guys who build ships in a bottle. Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 20:25

Pulling out the pickups, and using plastic tubing to hold onto the volume/tone pots as they slide in to the guitar.

For one example, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p29QN4ycHMU (Putting new pickups in a Gretsch Electromatic)


I have a small piece of 1/8" plywood with holes drilled to match the controls for my H'body. i just have remember to solder everything backwards (mirror image). Spenser forceps help quite a bit too, they aren't just for roaches ;-p


I solved this exact problem. I purchased a les Paul backplate, used my dremel tool to cut a hole a quarter inch smaller on all sides, mounted the removed wood from the hole and glued it with gorilla glue to the back of the plate. I mounted it with screws from an old strat pickguard. Now I have a hole where I can get to the electronics. I notice absolutely no sound difference on my Ibanez Artcore AF55 and I can change pickups in minutes. I also replaced a worn out switch temporarily with a telecaster switch, and I kind of like it and it is still there.

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