11' Custom 24 Tuning Issues

Discussion in 'PTC - PRS Tech Center' started by Rocknrory, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. Rocknrory

    Rocknrory New Member

    Jul 4, 2015
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    Hey fellow PRS friends, I'm having some issue's with tuning stability with my 2011 Custom 24. When I first purchased it brand new, it stayed in tune incredibly well. After a few years of owning it, I decided to have a bone nut installed by a mediocre guitar tech. After she botched the job and made my tremolo non-floating, which I didn't ask for, I took it to the old local shop down the street from my grandmother's home. They've been working on guitars for many, many years and charge a solid price. I had them set-up the guitar the way I like, and it was pretty good, perhaps not as proper as when I first bought it, but the tuning was good.

    Eventually, I became more aware of how some of the strings, primarily the G and B, went out of tune half-way through one song before it sounded off enough to disrupt harmonic alignment; it sounded bad. I took it to the same shop down the street and had a new bone nut installed (it looks better than the old one, done by machine I was told), and a set-up. It has still been giving me issues.

    I'm not sure if its the bone nut that is causing the issue, the tremolo, or both. I'd ideally like to keep the bone nut because I dig the tone of it on the open strings, which I play quite often. I have a feeling it has something to do with the tremolo, more so. During the last set-up, Lou the tech changed the range of the G, B, and high E strings to raise from half a step (what it used to be, originally), to a full step (what it is now). He told me this is what he does to most guitars, as it's more usable. I was fine with it, but I'm not sure if this change is exasperating the issue.

    What do you think I should do? I'm thinking about taking it back, telling him it still isn't top shape, and having him change the higher strings back, tremolo wise. I don't even have the tremolo arm in my guitar, and it's still being affected. It's discouraging me from playing it as much as I used to. Hope you guys can help me figure this out, thanks!
  2. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

    Nov 4, 2012
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    If all else fails, send it to prs. Their work is top notch, and it will be perfect.
    BMiller likes this.
  3. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ

    Jun 26, 2012
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    I don't understand what you are saying here.

    Are you talking about string gauge?
    Or adjustments to string height at the bridge saddle?
    Or adjustments to intonation at the bridge?
    Or some other adjustment???

    My suggestion would be to return the guitar to absolutely stock and start over. You didn't have a problem until people started changing things on it

    Then, if you must, change ONE THING at a time an play it a while to be sure it is stable.

    ...and PTC is the way to go.
  4. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

    Apr 26, 2012
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    A third recommendation to send it to the PTC. They will fix it.
  5. bluenova

    bluenova Electrified since '84

    Aug 5, 2014
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    I'm guessing he means the range of the high strings when pulling up the trem arm. More range there will have more effect if the strings are hanging up in the nut. There could be many little things that cause your guitar to go out of tune like that. I'd start with making sure the strings are stretched real good and that you tune after you've played for a few minutes as the tuning will change as the strings slightly warm up from your hands. Then if the problem continues I'd be real suspect about that bone nut and how it was cut, machine or not.
  6. ReptilianNosewood

    ReptilianNosewood New Member

    Nov 20, 2016
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    PRS got it right with their nuts... Bone nuts and floating trems dont mix imo. I went down that route and it was a pain in the ass. Even a locally reknowned tech set me up with a bone nut and it wouldnt stay in tune, 3 visits and it still wouldn't stay in tune with trem use.
    sergiodeblanc likes this.
  7. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc PRSf certified

    Apr 26, 2012
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    It's your nut. It's always the nut unless you've got wraps around your tuning posts now, which could be possible since it sounds like both of your techs are unfamiliar with how PRS guitars need to be set up.

    The only thing that could be affecting tuning stability in the trem is if the holes your strings go through in the block magically developed burrs or if you went to Fender "bullet" type strings that aren't perfectly smooth.
  8. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

    Jun 9, 2013
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  9. daddski1

    daddski1 New Member

    Dec 10, 2017
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    THis is an old thread but I would like to know what the outcome was? My Zach Meyers will not stay in tune either, but I've been working the issue. In mine the factory nut is cut wrong I'm pretty sure now. I replaced the strings with the correct 10-46 D'Addario's and still the issue so I added graphite to the nut... helped some. I had a set of D'Addario NY xl 8-38's that I had just laying around. They are too thin for my liking but with them the thing stayed perfectly in tune. Back to the 10's and out of tune again. So... more graphite and at least now it will stay in tune for maybe 15 to 20 min instead of the 1 min I was getting.
    Online a lot of new posts are saying throw out the PRS nut completely which is interesting considering the fellas here say its done right. I wonder... did they change nut materials after 2015?
    I contacted PRS becasueits a brand new guitar and don't want to mess with the changing the nut or filing the one it has unless they approve of me doing that. THe graphite though is easy, you can use a #2 pencil lead and just use it in the slots a few times and it gets better.....
  10. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

    Mar 20, 2014
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    The ZM comes stock with 9s.

    If you put on 10s, depending on how the factory nut was cut, you may encounter binding at the nut. Since your guitar stays in tune with 8s, I imagine that is your issue. It is fairly easy to widen the nut slots to accommodate the slightly bigger strings, from what I understand (never had to so it myself).

    Alternatively, you can put on a Core PRS nut, which is cut for 10s.

    An aside: The SE line uses a different nut from the Core line (beyond the nut slots cut for 9s vs 10s), and some folks don't like the SE nut material. I personally don't have an issue with any of mine, even using 10s.

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