Bernie SE Upgrades

When I first received my Marsden, I was sort of disappointed at how little sustain it had. When changing the strings, I realized the chrome bridge posts and inserts had A LOT of slop in them. They could be rocked 5 degrees back and forth in all directions. Basically rattling around loose. Considering Paul's subtractive tone theory, I figured this was a good place to see about improving my sustain.

I was considering a full Mann 2300 bridge upgrade but since I had the brass posts and inserts leftover from my S2 SHSC (which I recently upgraded with the 2300 bridge), thought I'd chuck them in and see what happens. The S2 inserts and posts were much tighter in tolerance so having the leftover Mann metric insert removal kit,I removed the Marsden inserts and replaced them with the S2. Reinstalled the S2 brass posts and the original Marsden bridge and everything sings now. Combined with a USA nut, much improved.
I am happy I'm less subtractive. (Yeah, I'm shallow).
Just need to chuck a set of Rebel Yells in and I'll be done.
Ah, great! Do they handle a good variety of tones in your personal experience?
THey have a great classic sort of humbucker tone, with full bass response and good clear highs that are not too harsh. I usually run 9-46`s on that guitar. The single coil cut is good, but I never expected a Strat. All I wanted was more cut than a humbucker, and I got it.
Looks like I am going to have to invest in some do-it-yourself Bernie Marsden upgrades. Anybody have or know of a set of idiot proof instructions along with what to do first, so that I don't screw it up too badly? The order I'm thinking is nut, pick ups then bridge, but I have never operated on an electric guitar other than to change strings before now.

It's my first adventure into electric and not bad straight out of the box, but I believe it could be so much better...
You shouldn't HAVE TO modify anything. In the end, if you're happy with the gee-tar as-is, don't do anything. Mods are fun to do, not a necessity. If you don't like the guitar, get a different guitar.

As far as DIY, youtube is your friend and you can look up guitar nut replacement. Basically involves razor edging the nut lines to prevent finish chipping and using a small block of wood to knock the old nut off. Swapping out the nut with a PRS USA nut is easier and you shouldn't have to sand down the USA nut. Basically remove the old one and use a little Elmers glue on the new one. The glue is really there to keep the nut from sliding until set. The string tension really keeps the nut down. The height was fine and now the string binding is gone/fine tuning is smoother.

As for pickups, if you don't already have a soldering iron nor never used one, probably not the best project to start on. It's not difficult but the cramped Marsden electronics cavity/tunnel isn't optimum like a traditional les paul 4-knob cavity. You would have to remove the pots to get (easy) access. I would leave that to a tech. The hardest part is sampling all the different type of pickups available on the market and figuring out what you want.

Bridge replacement is also very easy but if you're going to an adjustable one piece, the intonation/setup is probably more challenging without a decent strobe tuner.
Here's John's video of how to replace the bridge with his post removal kit and action setup the bridge

If your not changing string gauge (10-46 is stock on the Marsden), chances are you probably don't need an adjustable bridge. Maybe just get some good posts like I did and put the original bridge back on. I was happy with that.
Mine should be back from the tech next week, excited to share! Trampas Green, Mannmade bridge, Bare Knuckle Mules. Just need to find lampshade knobs for a non-extortionate price in the UK...