2018 SE Custom 24 - Upgrade questions (bridge, nut, and tuners)

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Tru-Blu, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    12
    I've been loving my 2018 SE Custom Exotic Spalted Maple, and want to take it up a notch with some upgrades (not that the original parts are bad in any way). I'm hoping someone here can answer some specific questions that will help steer me in the right direction. I did try searching, but only got results that were a bit more general. Hopefully my questions below will justify the need for this thread.

    1. Bridge - I'm pretty well set on getting a Mann Made bridge for it. However, I'm not sure as to which one. I thought I had narrowed it down to a 2000NOS or the 2040. My understanding (which could be way off) is that the main difference is the 2040 is a 2-piece unit with a brass block. I've sent 2 emails to Mann Made with this question using the Contact form on their website, and have never gotten a response. I know that the owner posts here occasionally, and suppose that I could probably call them as well.

    2. Nut - I know Graphtech makes a nut for PRS SE guitars, and I've used their products on a few of my Fenders and Epiphones with great success. What I don't know is whether or not the 2018 SE line still has a plastic nut, or if they have implemented the U.S. core line nut. I've also read that Mann Made sells the U.S. core line nut, but have not confirmed that myself. My primary question is whether or not the 2018 SE's still have a plastic nut or not. Secondary question would be for an SE owners that have replaced it - in regard to what you went with (Graphtech, PRS core, etc).

    3. Tuners - I've seen several threads here that indicate that Grover 406C's are drop in replacement for the stock SE tuners. I'd really prefer to use the Grover 502C's, which appear to have the same mounting footprint as the 406C's, but haven't found anyone that has used them on an SE. Does anyone have experience with installing 502C's on an SE?

    Thanks in advance for any help that can be provided,

    Todd
     
  2. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,076
    Likes Received:
    1,313
    Hi Todd!

    The Mann 2000NOS is dope, get it. I believe he just finished a batch, and they tend to sell out.

    I went with the TUSQ XL nut on my SECU24, because I use it for lower tunings and with larger gauge strings. The TUSQ nut is different in that the string slots are more of a shallow bowl shape than a deep "U" as found on the PRS nut (SE or core). So the TUSQ will accept a wide range of string sizes, if you need it, and also if you use the trem aggressively, the strings won't stick/bind on the sides of the slot as they will in the deep PRS nut slot. Although I will be the first to say, my opinion on that is not the norm around here, most people claim the PRS nut works well with the trem, but my experience has been that the TUSQ is slightly better. If you just use the trem for a little wiggle here and there, the PRS nut, filed and lubed, is fine.

    Looking at the Grover 502c's, it looks like the screw hole on the back is in a different location than on the SE tuners? Which isn't the end of the world, if you really want those tuners. John Mann can get you a set of modded SE tuners that have a phase II style screw on top to lock the string in, I've not tried them specifically, but the phase II's in general are awesome. I prefer them to the 406c's on my SECU24, because I like the locking mechanism better, Grovers slip a little on the plain strings until you get a couple winds sometimes, which kinda defeats the purpose. Also, the tuning keys on the Grovers, if they're the same size as the 496c's, are smaller, so they don't look the same. Not bad, just different.
     
    Tru-Blu likes this.
  3. Sillyak

    Sillyak New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    8
    I replaced the nut on my 2017 SE CU 24 with a graphtech black TUSQ PT-6643-00.

    The stock nut appears to be plastic and not overly high quality. It was grabbing the G and sometimes the D strings. Could have probably worked on it a but with a file, but the TUSQ works very well. It is a drop in fit, just have to sand the base to the correct string height. As mentioned the TUSQ nut has a different slot profile that, to me, is superior.
     
    Tru-Blu likes this.
  4. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    934
    I have one of each of the Mann bridges on my 2 -24 fretters. My ears like the 2000nos a little better. It is a great bridge. The nuts always get replaced, on the SE's I use the Tusq. I use hipshot open back locking tuners with UMP mounting plates on all 6 of my SE's. They have an 18:1 tuning ratio. My luthier finishes the setups on everything when these mods are done together. The nut is terribly important.
     
    #4 dogrocketp, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
    GavQuinn and Tru-Blu like this.
  5. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    12
    Thanks all for the replies so far - really appreciate it! I'm somewhat prepping to do all the mods for the next string change (which will probably be a while). If the bridges are a hot item, it may take me a while to get one anyway. I was kinda bummed that I didn't get any response from Mann Made on my questions, but I understand that they're probably really busy.

    @andy474x - I thought the Grover 502c's had the same mounting points as the 406c's, but I really haven't looked super close between the two. Admittedly, I could just pull one off of one of my Epiphones to see if it lines up or not. I would definitely prefer the locking knob on the back as opposed to the locks on top - if nothing more than it's just what I'm used to on my other 3x3 guitars. The Schallers look nice, but I'd also like to have the highest ratio I can get. I really don't know if there is a big difference between 16:1 of the Schallers and 18:1 of the Grovers.

    All the best,

    Todd
     
  6. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    12
    UPDATE - a bit of an ID-10-T error on my part. The mounting holes are completely in a different spot on the 502c's vs. the 406c's. @andy474x - thanks for being overly nice and not just calling me what I was (an idiot). Anyway, do you or anyone else know what the ratio is for the Mann Made tuners? I'm sure they are more money than the Schallers, but they sound better than the potential slippage problem with the Grovers. I'm going to be facing the same thing with my Diamond Monarch (which I believe is made in the same factory as the PRS SE's). Whatever I do I'll probably end up doing for both guitars.

    Thanks again for the help!

    Todd
     
  7. bigcraigie_1

    bigcraigie_1 New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    14
    The Mann Made trem was the one upgrade I did to mine which absolutely blew my mind. I had no idea that a bridge could make such a difference to the guitar. Totally brought my Custom 24 to life and it absolutely sings now.

    Tusq nut is also a worthy upgrade and a good set of locking tuners. I can't remember the exact ones I got, maybe 506 which seems to ring a bell.
     
  8. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    12
    Thanks, bigcraigie_1 - here's my list of confirmed upgrades so far:

    1. Graphtech Tusq Nut - PT-6643-00
    2. Grover Locking Tuners - 406c
    3. Mann Made Bridge - not sure which one I will get - 2000NOS or the 2040. I've made several attempts to email and call Mann Made, and none have been returned. Denise took my second call and took a message for John to call me back, but that has never happened. I'm starting to feel like I'm not worth the time of a reply in being a potential customer with questions.
    4. PRS Core Amber Knobs - was potentially planning on getting them from Mann Made but not sure if that will happen or not, as I don't know if they will fit the existing pots or if I have to replace them as well

    I'll swap out the strings for Elixir 10's when I make the changes.

    All the best,

    Todd
     
  9. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,076
    Likes Received:
    1,313
    Ha! If we were in the habit of calling people out for being idiots here, I surely would be the biggest one! I don't think missing the location of a mounting screw is a capital offense.

    I like your mod list though. Don't give up on the Mann gear. They're a mom n pop operation, afaik, I will admit they aren't always the speediest, but John is active on the forum occasionally and his hardware is worth the wait. Sometimes they're out of stock and making more (they literally machine the stuff themselves), I know I waited a little longer when I ordered a couple bridges, but it was worth the wait. Maybe try PM'ing him here on the forum?
     
    dogrocketp, sergiodeblanc and grausch like this.
  10. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    12
    Appreciate the reply, Andy! I didn't think about trying to PM Mann Made. I'll need to try and find a post where he's posted to send him a PM.

    Thanks again,

    Todd
     
  11. bodia

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

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    11,939
    Likes Received:
    11,734
    andy474x, Tru-Blu and grausch like this.
  12. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    12
    Went ahead and just ordered the NOS2000 and some knobs from Guitar Vault instead of trying to ask the questions. There have been too many people here who have already done this and raved about it - I figure it's a pretty safe choice. I was just curious as to what else was significantly different between the NOS and the 2040 - aside from the NOS being one solid piece. The NOS was a good chunk more of money, and I didn't know if there would be any benefit to being able to swap the block out for different materials should the need and/or curiosity ever arise.
     
    sergiodeblanc and andy474x like this.
  13. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc The pullout king.

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    15,344
    Likes Received:
    12,851

    You made the right choice. John’s stuff is the best of the best.
     
    bodia likes this.
  14. bodia

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

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    11,939
    Likes Received:
    11,734
    This! You can't go wrong with the NOS2000!
     
  15. Victek

    Victek New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    43
    I'm looking forward to hearing what you the think about the various upgrades when they're in place. I have a new SE CU24 coming soon and may consider some of the same mods eventually.

    By the way, why not throw on some strap locks while you're at it? :)
     
  16. Sillyak

    Sillyak New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    8
    I also upgraded the pots, caps, switch and jack to premium American made components.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice