Lessons Learned - US Parts on SE

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by MichaelS, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. MichaelS

    MichaelS Jam. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

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    Some lessons learned on installing the following parts on a 2017 Custom 22 SE
    (Please post additional lessons learned of issues you encountered with US parts on your SE, S2, or CE)

    - PRS Lampshade knobs
    - US HFS/VB
    - PRS Pickup Rings
    - MannMade NOS2000 Trem
    - PRS 3-way, pots (push/pull tone)
    - PRS core nut
    - PRS core strap buttons
    - Switchcraft jack

    Do US Lampshade knobs fit on SE pot shaft?
    Although I ended up changing to US pots, yes, they did fit on the SE originals. If it's tight or loose, you can adjust the shaft. Best way to remove knobs: a spoon.
    [Edit: great tips in the comments about using two spoons or a showstring]

    US HFS/VB
    Straightforward. Fits in SE pickup rings as well. The killer is to get them mounted on the pickup rings. The spring is very long and strong. Best to install on pickup ring BEFORE even running the wire into the body and soldering. Place pickup upright on a cardboard. That way you can push down, while guiding the screw with one hand and pushing down the screwdriver with the other.
    [Edit: just now realizing that the springs on installed pickups are cut shorter. The springs supplied with PRS aftermarket pickups are really long and can easily be cut to proper length for easier install]

    PRS Pickup Rings
    Note which direction the slant is and install higher edge towards bridge so the pickup slants along the string/neck angle.
    The US ring to body screws are thinner than the Korean screws. I put superglue in the holes and let that dry up to make the hole tighter.

    [​IMG]

    MannMade NOS2000 Tremolo
    Definitive tone upgrade. Oh so shiny saddles. And the bar has substance compared to the SE bar.
    Rule #1: Watch the installation video on his website!
    DRILL OUT THE HOLES per included instructions. Although the bridge screws went into my CE without issues, I did drill a little on the SE, but not properly. So I sheared one of the heads. Luckily there were 7 screws included so I was able to complete the install after really drilling out the holes a lot. Be generous shaving the edge and go low speed on the drill. The drill bits were included.
    How to get the sheared screw out with only 1/8 of an inch showing? I put a small piece of polishing cloth over it with a hole in the middle so the screw can poke through. Then a wrench to turn out the screw while the cloth protect the body from scratches. I hear John Mann has a cloth covered wrench, but his worked well for me.
    I haven't used the claw since the screw spacing is different than SE or CE.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    PRS 3-way, pots (push/pull tone)
    I got the pre-wired harness from PRS. Saves some time soldering and figuring out connections. It's been 20 years since I wired guitars, so I had to read up a lot on how to wire. The new hardware feels much more solid than the SE parts. The support section on the PRS site has decent diagrams.
    Custom 22 SEs don't come with coil split, so this push/pull is great. You could even split the original 85/15'S', but I couldn't exactly figure it out since they seem to be wired slightly different than US pups. But they have the split wire in the cavity.

    Stuff to watch out for:
    - the tone shaft is higher than the original, so you need some spacers or nuts on the cavity side to offset that and get the right height. US models must have a thicker top at that section. I used the old spacers and nut from the SE pot.
    - the switch shaft is SHORTER than the original, so I needed to dremel inside the cavity to make it fit. about 1/16" or so.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Core Nut

    The SE nut popped off easily after scoring the edges. The US wide/fat nut is just a tad slimmer, but not biggy. Width is the same, but check out the string spacing! SE looks more like Regular spacing.
    Had to scrape off some glue residue with a small file.
    The US nut has a solid bottom. The SE has a cavity.
    With a bit of superglue, the new nut was secured within seconds.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Core Strap Buttons
    The core screws are longer than the SE screws. so a bit more drilling. But no issues with finish flaking at all.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Switchcraft Jack
    Nice solid jack, but needed to bend the contacts in a bit to make it fit the hole. Only came with one spacer and nut, so I had to recycle the SE nut for the inside of the jack plate.
    [​IMG]
     
    #1 MichaelS, Jun 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  2. toothace

    toothace At least I'm good at dentistry

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    Nice work there! And thanks for the install tips!
     
  3. bluenova

    bluenova Electrified since '84

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    That sounds like a good way to dent the top. :eek: Try a small shoestring next time to do it like the pro's.
     
    bodia and Imgettingcloser like this.
  4. MichaelS

    MichaelS Jam. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

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    I'll try that.
    I put a piece of cloth under it just in case. The spoon tip gets right to the shaft so the leverage is applied at the best spot and allows the knob to slide off without too much pressure.
    I've seen 'pros' use a screwdriver and just cringed.
     
    #4 MichaelS, Jun 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  5. Stoptail22

    Stoptail22 Infected with PRS

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    Best way to remove knobs: TWO SPOONS. Put them lying opposite under the knob to lift.

    Very easy, no brute force needed, no dents on the top.
     
    grausch and Glide-bpm like this.
  6. Glide-bpm

    Glide-bpm aCk!!! Thbfftt!!! :P

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    So one of the mounting screws that the knife edge of the bridge pivots on actually sheared off? Wow, they must have been a lot bigger than the other bridge screws. I've never removed a PRS tremelo bridge before. Have thought seriously about putting a Mann on my SE Orianthi, but have always chickened out. Dohhhh
     
  7. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Shoestring gets my vote. Works like a charm!
     
  8. MichaelS

    MichaelS Jam. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

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    If you measure them you would think they are the same. I think they just catch easier in the SE. The veneer, the finish, the cap or body wood grabbed tighter than the mahogany-only on my CE Satin.
    Drilling only shaves the edges and even there you can be generous. Then they go in very smoothly and easily.
    I went very low speed on the drill.
     
    #8 MichaelS, Jun 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
    Glide-bpm likes this.
  9. Callan

    Callan New Member

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    I'm Curious why you'd get core strap buttons on your se?
    They are the first things off my guitars when I get then home, replaced with Schaller strap locks.
     
  10. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Rah rah ah ah ah!

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    +1 The pile I have of them is only matched by my pile of non-winged tuners.
     
  11. Stoptail22

    Stoptail22 Infected with PRS

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    Just to illustrate it.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. MichaelS

    MichaelS Jam. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

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    more for looks I guess. won't be touching the buttons on the CE and Santana anyways. And the US version is a little tighter than the SE ones.
    I play mostly sitting anyways... I slouch too much standing and then my neck gets messed up with the strap (even the wide ones).
     
  13. MichaelS

    MichaelS Jam. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

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    might be a personal problem. others see them. I have this problem when trying to go on the forum at work. Some photo and file sharing sites are firewalled.
     
  14. Jimi D

    Jimi D New Member

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    I have at least six pairs of good condition Schaller strap locks I'd gladly trade set-for-set against core model strap buttons... Gold and Chrome versions... I went from using Schallers to just mounting the strap permanently with the strap buttons when I shifted from Gibson/Fender to predominantly PRS guitars...
     
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  15. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Likewise, with the exception of nitro finished guitars.
     
  16. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Rah rah ah ah ah!

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    I'm actually more of a Dunlop strap lock guy, but remind me in a couple of months after my home renovation/move is done and I can dig 'em out.. I'll just send you what I can find.
     
    Jimi D likes this.
  17. MichaelS

    MichaelS Jam. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

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    Haha, up yours PhotoBucket. Switched my pics over to Imgur...:p
     
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  18. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Great tips, nicely put together. Have experienced many of the items and you're right on, also plenty of new info for my future mods!

    I move to sticky this post...
     
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  19. DaveDaveDave

    DaveDaveDave New Member

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    I prefer the Dunlops too, if only for the reason that they still work with regular straps just in case you forget one.

    One local luthier I know hates them and claims that the screw always gets stripped. Pondering this, I found that you absolutely need to use a thin enough screwdriver that can fit all the way into the hole before attempting to installl them.
     
  20. DaveDaveDave

    DaveDaveDave New Member

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    True that... and to get'er in the case for the gig! ;-)
     

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