Brand new 10 Top. No mater what I do it feels unplayable - is it me or did the factory rush it out?

BuckTennington

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Aug 6, 2022
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My first post is going to be a long one but I want to give you guys a much important information as I can.

Background
In late April 2022 I ordered a Custom 24 McCarty Burst through Sweetwater. There was one customer ahead of me who placed the same order in July 2021 and was still waiting. Apparently the customer got sick of waiting and canceled their order earlier this July. Fortunately for me PRS finished the guitar a week after the order was cancelled and I got the guitar. Sweetwater sent me the guitar last Saturday.

For reference
I’ve been playing the same Les Paul Standard since 2004 so maybe this is why the PRS feels weird.

Rewind to last Saturday
Out of the box, drop. dead. gorgeous. Unfortunately, the PRS had extremely high tension and action. The high e string measured 8/64. At the time the neck relief looked fine (it wasn’t). The height at the 1st fret was in spec. The floating trem is a little higher than 1/16 (3/32~4/32?) off of the body. The bottom of the trem looks to parallel with the strings.

Originally I lowered the saddles and both e saddles ran out of room at 5/64 the 12th fret. I tightened the truss rod to .007 at the 8th fret and I was able to set the action to factory spec.

Unfortunately, the string tension and action look and feel high beyond the 12th fret. Set to 4/64, the high e string reads 5/64~6/64 at the 24th fret. Action should increase (geometry), but I don’t get this type of disparity on my LP (it’s 3/64 at the 12 and a hair over 3/64 at 22).

I’ve reached out to Sweetwater and PRS and I should hear from them next week.

Is it me? Is this just how the PRSs feel? Did PRS rush it out? The only thing left is to mess with the trem and I’m not going to mess with the knife edge since PRS recommends against it.

Thanks in advance for your time reading and any recommendations you have.

P.S.

I’m not looking to disparage PRS and I’m not looking to return this guitar. I’m excited to be apart of the family. I’ve watched and read all the PRS setup videos/articles, I’ve watched other YouTube videos and this doesn’t feel right. I’m not looking to disparage PRS or return this guitar - I want to play the heck out of it for the rest of my life.

Edit here’s some pictures

This is at the 9th fret so that you can look at the relief at the 8 fret:

d1K5lA5.jpg



pManby3.jpg


Action (5/64 low e, 4/64 high e)
ZtjbxjF.jpg
 
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Revelation

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You sound like a very technical person who evaluates things on guitars that I nor anyone else I know has ever done. (There is nothing wrong with what you do of course). I just play the guitar and if the action is a little high or low I just adjust it.
My big question is when you play the guitar (not when you measure the specs) how does it feel, are you comfortable with it?
 

Aether

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First off, congrats on the NGD.

So, sounds like a couple of things are in play here. First off, never expect that an instrument shipped in the middle of summer is going to be immediately perfect out of the shipping carton. Differences in heat and humidity can definitely mess with the neck and requires a few days to settle in upon arrival. Immediately unboxing and trying to adjust to spec isn’t going to work as it takes time for it become acclimated to the new environment.

You mention tension. You’ve gone from a - albeit slightly - shorter scale instrument to a new instrument, so there’s going to be a feeling of higher tension. If you are not good with it, you should consider dropping the string gauges. Figure out if that’s where you want to go before making any further adjustments. After THAT, you need to take it systematically through all of the steps of a setup. Sounds like you already have a line on that, but just in case…

 
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Revelation

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Aug 14, 2019
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First off, congrats on the NGD.

So, sounds like a couple of things are in play here. First off, never expect that an instrument shipped in the middle of summer is going to be immediately perfect out of the shipping carton. Differences in heat and humidity can definitely mess with the neck and requires a few days to settle in upon arrival. Immediately unboxing and trying to adjust to spec isn’t going to work as it takes time for it become acclimated to the new environment.

You mention tension. You’ve gone from a - albeit slightly - shorter scale instrument to a new instrument, so there’s going to be a feeling of higher tension. If you are not good with it, you should consider dropping the string gauges. Figure out if that’s where you want to go before making any further adjustments. After THAT, you need to take it systematically through all of the steps of a setup. Sounds like you already have a line on that, but just in case…

I agree with what you said and which was more helpful than what I said
 

Birdsofprey

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Um, well you did the right thing by contacting the seller in this case Sweetwater. I would like to think that any dealer looks over the inventory before it goes on the shelf. The few PRS guitars I bought new were set up before being shipped to me and I’ve never been disappointed. With new guitars I set them up myself no matter how nice they are or were described. PRS has factory specs on there website as a guideline, they don’t work for me as I like low action and very little neck relief. One last comment I always change strings when I get any guitar as my preference may be different than as bought. Good luck.
 

Drew

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Sounds like you already diagnosed the problem. If the trem is even a tiny bit higher than factory spec you'll have high action. PRS trems are fairly easy to adjust so that the screws are perfectly in line and you don't have knife edge issues.
 

ViperDoc

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You’re now playing an axe with a longer scale length, flatter neck angle, likely smaller neck carve, a trem bridge, etc. You may have to tinker a bit between neck relief and spring claw tension, but you should be able to dial the neck and bridge float height to nail the action your after. You might also consider a lower string gauge (.095 if you’re playing 10s?) or slinkier bridge springs. I personally like mine DGT-style, with 5 springs and a shallow float so I can still “palm trem” but with nice stability. Congrats on your new axe!
 

BuckTennington

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Aug 6, 2022
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First off, congrats on the NGD.

So, sounds like a couple of things are in play here. First off, never expect that an instrument shipped in the middle of summer is going to be immediately perfect out of the shipping carton. Differences in heat and humidity can definitely mess with the neck and requires a few days to settle in upon arrival. Immediately unboxing and trying to adjust to spec isn’t going to work as it takes time for it become acclimated to the new environment.

You mention tension. You’ve gone from a - albeit slightly - shorter scale instrument to a new instrument, so there’s going to be a feeling of higher tension. If you are not good with it, you should consider dropping the string gauges. Figure out if that’s where you want to go before making any further adjustments. After THAT, you need to take it systematically through all of the steps of a setup. Sounds like you already have a line on that, but just in case…

Thanks for the reply! I will definitely consider a lighter gauge string! It’s funny that mentioned that because last night I thought it might be a gague issue, but it looks like the PRS Classics are the same as the Ernie Ball Slinky 10s (please let me know if I’m wrong). I am pretty used to the Ernie Ball 10s.

You also mentioned scale length! Is it reasonable that the action could increase by 1.5/64 from the 12th to the 24th? Something just doesn’t feel right.

Thank you for the link and the other things that you said!
 

BuckTennington

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You’re now playing an axe with a longer scale length, flatter neck angle, likely smaller neck carve, a trem bridge, etc. You may have to tinker a bit between neck relief and spring claw tension, but you should be able to dial the neck and bridge float height to nail the action your after. You might also consider a lower string gauge (.095 if you’re playing 10s?) or slinkier bridge springs. I personally like mine DGT-style, with 5 springs and a shallow float so I can still “palm trem” but with nice stability. Congrats on your new axe!
Thanks for the reply! You mentioned spring claw tension that’s the one thing that I haven’t messed with. Do you think that could help? Which way and how much would you recommend turning the screws?

Thanks for mentioning the neck angle and fretboard radius. I’m going from a 12 to a 10, and I Did start to wonder if that is why I was having some trouble hitting the e string from the g string on some Paul Gilbert licks.
 

BuckTennington

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Sounds like you already diagnosed the problem. If the trem is even a tiny bit higher than factory spec you'll have high action. PRS trems are fairly easy to adjust so that the screws are perfectly in line and you don't have knife edge issues.
Thank you for the recommendation. I gotta be honest, I’m super scared to mess with that knife edge and I’ll always be paranoid that I messed it up. However, you’re totally right, dropping that thing even a little bit would had positive results on the action.
 

ViperDoc

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Thanks for the reply! You mentioned spring claw tension that’s the one thing that I haven’t messed with. Do you think that could help? Which way and how much would you recommend turning the screws?

Thanks for mentioning the neck angle and fretboard radius. I’m going from a 12 to a 10, and I Did start to wonder if that is why I was having some trouble hitting the e string from the g string on some Paul Gilbert licks.
You can drop the bridge float by tightening the spring tension: macro change with the number and tension of springs, micro change with the claw screws. Tighten the screws to pull on the bridge, loosen to raise. I’ve got 5-springs and .011s on my DGT, nice, low action and I can bend no problem. It’s much easier on my 594 tho, for reasons you know all too well. Divide and conquer and you’ll love that new axe.
 

11top

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so you’re saying give up and go back to the les paul?

Do I look like a guy who “gave up“ on PRS?

I have a few.

I am saying they are different, both both make GREAT guitars. The difference, in my opinion, is that to get a great Gibson, you normally have to get a Custom Shop. Whereas PRS makes routinely great guitars at all price points.

I’m also saying that the adjustment from a LP to a PRS will be easier with a 594 (IMO).
 
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bodia

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Thanks for the reply! I will definitely consider a lighter gauge string! It’s funny that mentioned that because last night I thought it might be a gague issue, but it looks like the PRS Classics are the same as the Ernie Ball Slinky 10s (please let me know if I’m wrong). I am pretty used to the Ernie Ball 10s.

You also mentioned scale length! Is it reasonable that the action could increase by 1.5/64 from the 12th to the 24th? Something just doesn’t feel right.

Thank you for the link and the other things that you said!
The 10s part is right, but they’re made by D’darrio. Not sure if they are just rebranded or made to PRS specs.
 

Turkeyhead

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I don’t remember how the strings are made but in general, I feel like Ernie Ball strings are more loose feeling than D'Addario / PRS strings. I’m a heavy handed ogre with strings and I have never been happy with Ernie Ball and love D'Addario / PRS.

My suggestion is to put Ernie Balls on it and it may feel better to you. The scale length will effect this for sure too.
 
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