CE24 Owners: tightness?

Kinsman

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Lots to absorb here. Very appreciative of the help!

I'll be visiting my tech tomorrow and I think I'm going to have him look at the relief and/or go with 9s, I'll start there.

Then I think I'll try removing the 4th spring. Question, though, how do I balance the springs with only 3 of them, when the slots are evenly spaced out? What's the trick there?

Thank you all, again!
 

Rider1260

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If you were a short scale player ( read Gibson ) than the PRS with its longer scale will feel tighter, if the Trem feels tight then it is set to low to the body. you can check out John Mann Video on Youtube.
I have always been a 10s or 11s guy so I am no help as far as a guitar feeling tight, I did put 9.5s on a PRS 305 but that was a 25.5 in scale
Also running less springs does not necessarily make the Trem feel looser on my SCT I ran 5 looser springs for awhile and it helped a bunch John Mann told me its a feel thing some guitar like 3 springs mast 4 and some 5 whatever feels best
 

dsenoj

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Then I think I'll try removing the 4th spring. Question, though, how do I balance the springs with only 3 of them, when the slots are evenly spaced out? What's the trick there?
There's room for a 5th spring in the middle. Just remove one of the inside springs and move the other one to the center.
 

Kinsman

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If you were a short scale player ( read Gibson ) than the PRS with its longer scale will feel tighter, if the Trem feels tight then it is set to low to the body. you can check out John Mann Video on Youtube.
I have always been a 10s or 11s guy so I am no help as far as a guitar feeling tight, I did put 9.5s on a PRS 305 but that was a 25.5 in scale
Also running less springs does not necessarily make the Trem feel looser on my SCT I ran 5 looser springs for awhile and it helped a bunch John Mann told me its a feel thing some guitar like 3 springs mast 4 and some 5 whatever feels best

I do generally play Gibsons, but my SE doesn't feel as tight to me. In fact, I love playing it.

To be clear, it's not a Trem tightness, I feel, it's the tautness of the strings that feels off to me.
 

Ferrinbonn

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I'm so confused by all the responses on this thread. Why would a new trem change anything? Or the number of springs?

The tension of a string is determined by scale length, string gauge, and the pitch it's tuned to, right? Nothing else should make a difference. I'd be wary about dropping cash on a bunch of mods to try and fix this.

I have a CE and it's my only PRS. I use 10s on all my guitars. The CE feels tighter than my LP (which has a shorter scale length) and looser than my strat (longer scale).
 

Tim185

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I use 10/46's on my P22 AND I tune to E flat!
Me likee.
Considering going up to 52's, but concerned I may get binding at the nut, Im not sure on that, so Ill probably stay with the 46's for now.
 

Atomic

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I'm so confused by all the responses on this thread. Why would a new trem change anything? Or the number of springs?

The tension of a string is determined by scale length, string gauge, and the pitch it's tuned to, right? Nothing else should make a difference. I'd be wary about dropping cash on a bunch of mods to try and fix this.

I have a CE and it's my only PRS. I use 10s on all my guitars. The CE feels tighter than my LP (which has a shorter scale length) and looser than my strat (longer scale).

While it is a fact that scale length determines the tension that the strings are under for a given pitch, when it comes to feel it doesn't tell the whole story. On trem equipped guitars the trem actually gives ever so slightly while the guitar is played and more so during a bend, contributing to how the guitar feels.

Case in point I have two custom 24s; each has the same scale length of course. One has three trem springs and the other has 5. The one with 5 springs feels quite a bit stiffer than the one with 3. While the tension hasnt bchanged between each, the perceived tension or "feel" is different.
 

shinksma

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I'm so confused by all the responses on this thread. Why would a new trem change anything? Or the number of springs?

The tension of a string is determined by scale length, string gauge, and the pitch it's tuned to, right? Nothing else should make a difference. I'd be wary about dropping cash on a bunch of mods to try and fix this.

I have a CE and it's my only PRS. I use 10s on all my guitars. The CE feels tighter than my LP (which has a shorter scale length) and looser than my strat (longer scale).
What Atomic says is true.

Plus, with the way the trem is built, you can have more or less string behind the bridge saddles. Although it doesn't directly affect the tension, when you bend a note (which is what you do every so slightly even when you just fret a string) the added tension on the string is distributed along its entire active length (not just the scale length between nut and bridge saddle), which is from the tuning peg across the nut, to the bridge saddles, to wherever the ball end is mounted. Imagine an absurd example: the string ball end is 4 feet beyond the bridge saddle. You now have to add tension to about 6 feet of string instead of just over 2 feet (25" scale). Obviously the differences between the trem block designs is going to be a lot more subtle, and many (most?) folks may not even notice. But guitarists seem to be remarkably sensitive to such things...
 

Ferrinbonn

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What Atomic says is true.

Plus, with the way the trem is built, you can have more or less string behind the bridge saddles. Although it doesn't directly affect the tension, when you bend a note (which is what you do every so slightly even when you just fret a string) the added tension on the string is distributed along its entire active length (not just the scale length between nut and bridge saddle), which is from the tuning peg across the nut, to the bridge saddles, to wherever the ball end is mounted. Imagine an absurd example: the string ball end is 4 feet beyond the bridge saddle. You now have to add tension to about 6 feet of string instead of just over 2 feet (25" scale). Obviously the differences between the trem block designs is going to be a lot more subtle, and many (most?) folks may not even notice. But guitarists seem to be remarkably sensitive to such things...

I disagree that added length beyond the saddle would change perceived tension by any significant amount. Possible if you made a huge change as you referenced, but one trem block to another that would still fit in the same guitar is negligible.

As to Atomic's point about trem springs, the looseness or tightness of the springs determines how much the trem is going to give when you bend strings. If you have more springs, it will give less during a bend and counteract your bend less. Looser springs will allow more counteraction, which would allow you to bend the string the same physical distance with less effort, but then your bend would be flat. Once you bent the string back to the correct pitch, the string tension will be the same between either set of springs.
 

DreamTheaterRules

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Another vote for trying 9.5s. I play 9's on "other guitars but my PRS all play SO well, that 9s feel too slinky. 10s are great. 9.5s are more bettter. Perfect, IMHO

Also setup can absolutely affect this. PRS guitars by their vary nature play better than other guitars. If you're familiar with the affects of scale length etc., then once you factore that in, there are numerous other factors which improve the "feel and playability" of the PRS guitars, compared to others. I've never heard someone say "I play 10s on my other guitars but they're too stiff on my PRS" or similar. Usually the opposite. While the trem IS part of the setup, I'd say it's setup needed, not a new trem.
 

Kinsman

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Well, I'm just about ready to give up on this guitar. I've tried all the normal things (setup, string type, bridge height, saddles, removing a spring, etc) and it still feels tight. The next step would be something drastic or expensive.

The interesting thing is that I own an SE Custom 24 and I LOVE the feel of that 450$ guitar! So I'm not quite understanding what might be going on. Could the bolt on neck be contributing to this? I'm not really sure. I appreciate all the responses, I'm just a little saddened that I can't seem to make headway here.
 

Rider1260

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Thats a bummer I have heard such great things about these guitars, I would at least contact PTC and see what they think a trip to its maker might be in order, I know they have been great to me in the past
 

dogrocketp

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I'm so confused by all the responses on this thread. Why would a new trem change anything? Or the number of springs?

The tension of a string is determined by scale length, string gauge, and the pitch it's tuned to, right? Nothing else should make a difference. I'd be wary about dropping cash on a bunch of mods to try and fix this.

I have a CE and it's my only PRS. I use 10s on all my guitars. The CE feels tighter than my LP (which has a shorter scale length) and looser than my strat (longer scale).
Wrong. Neck angle can affect a guitar`s feeling of tightness. The number of springs will absolutely change the string tension. If you change the tuners,that can also affect the string tension by changing the string angle after it passed through the nut. Even changing the string brand can change the feel. When I put a Mann made milcom on my SE Cu 24, it instantly changed the feel dramatically, and for the better. As Paul himself has said, everything affects everything. I always recommend starting with the easiest (and cheapest) mods first, and then working from there till you get what you want. Remember these are suggestions of possibilities only.
 

Atomic

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Brotha if you don't like it or aren't meshing with it then it's not the guitar for you. No need to be heartbroken over it. Sell it and try another one. They will make more. ;)
 

Fro

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The only way to make it play looser is to lower the string tension. The only way to noticeably lower string tension is to go with a smaller string gauge.
 

bluenova

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Well, I'm just about ready to give up on this guitar. I've tried all the normal things (setup, string type, bridge height, saddles, removing a spring, etc) and it still feels tight. The next step would be something drastic or expensive.

The interesting thing is that I own an SE Custom 24 and I LOVE the feel of that 450$ guitar! So I'm not quite understanding what might be going on. Could the bolt on neck be contributing to this? I'm not really sure. I appreciate all the responses, I'm just a little saddened that I can't seem to make headway here.
Where do you most notice the tightness? Is it when you bend? Is the action height the same as the SE?
 

Kinsman

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Where do you most notice the tightness? Is it when you bend? Is the action height the same as the SE?
I feel most in the upper frets. Almost like hitting a wall when you get past 12. Not just bends, simply fretting the notes, I need to push a bit harder. The action is the same as on the SE.
 

CatStrangler

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I feel most in the upper frets. Almost like hitting a wall when you get past 12. Not just bends, simply fretting the notes, I need to push a bit harder. The action is the same as on the SE.

At this point I'll echo those who suggest a lower string gauge and not by much. Half a gauge makes all the difference.
 
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