Dead spot on 594, B string, 12th fret?

iLookLikeElvis

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Hi all,

Noticed last night that I have a dead spot on my new 594, B string at the 12th fret - the fretted note quickly decays/has little sustain. This also happens at the 11th fret to a lesser extent. I haven't really noticed it anywhere else on the fretboard.

When I place the headstock against a wall and fret the note, it rings much truer, suggesting this is a resonance issue (I guess). It also is alleviated if I tune the string higher.

I know this happens with guitars, but this location is pretty annoying. Any suggestions to minimize the impact in standard tuning? Would moving to heavier strings help (I use 10s, wouldn't mind 11s)? The intonation seems ok on the string as well, but I might try resetting it to make sure there's no quirk in the bridge saddle.

Thanks!

Justin
 

Tone-y

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How old are the strings? I have a few guitars which demonstrate this, even my PRS to some degree. You are right that it is a resonance issue. New strings should help. Different guage strings will probably shift its position. Adding mass to the headstock will likewise shift position and maybe also adjusting the truss rod. Will probably involve a bit of trial and error but it's likely that you will never be able to remove it completely. Do you notice it when plugged in? Normally they are most noticeable when playing acoustically
 

iLookLikeElvis

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How old are the strings? I have a few guitars which demonstrate this, even my PRS to some degree. You are right that it is a resonance issue. New strings should help. Different guage strings will probably shift its position. Adding mass to the headstock will likewise shift position and maybe also adjusting the truss rod. Will probably involve a bit of trial and error but it's likely that you will never be able to remove it completely. Do you notice it when plugged in? Normally they are most noticeable when playing acoustically

Hi, thanks for the reply.

Strings are maybe a month old (the guitar is only about 2 months old). I notice the issue more when plugged in that not, actually. The decay sounds like a step function down - it isn't gradual.
 

Tone-y

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I know what you are describing and have experienced it myself. Every guitar will have it somewhere to a greater or lesser extent. If you were to take any other guitar and play every string on every fret you would notice some die off quicker. It's annoying when it's pronounced and when you notice it. You can't unnoticed it then! My Taylor acoustic is terrible for this. The easy though maybe not satisfactory answer is to learn not to hold a note at those positions
 

iLookLikeElvis

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Sure, I agree with you. I have noticed similar spots on my other instruments, though in this case it is more apparent. The location is more bothersome than the existence of the issue though - not unusual for me to spend time playing around the 12th fret.

Maybe it is the strings though, as I didn't notice it until last night (and as I mentioned, I do spend a fair amount if time playing in that area).
 

88prs

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On my core CU24 it had a dead spot 10th fret B string (A), When I changed from Chrome to Ebony tuner buttons it moved to Bb (11th fret B string). Weird, I thought only 24 fret necks were prone to this because all my 22 fret guitars are fine, at least not so you would notice.
 

iLookLikeElvis

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I changed them once since buying the instrument a month or so ago, so that would have happened probably about 4 weeks ago.

I'm waiting on a set of 11s before changing again.
 

ZoomP

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Sad to tell you the dead note will probably be there regardless, albeit slight improvement. I have a guitar that I've changed the Nashville bridge to ABR-1 with Faber conversion kit. (in the process of hammering in the stud, I've actually caused a dent on the top). Did a plek which helped somewhat... did a Tonerite too which helps. It's still there, even though the note is ringing better now. I was told when the guitar is very resonant, dead note can happen. All the best! Either live with it or sell it. Mine, G string 12th fret.
 

iLookLikeElvis

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I did some tweaking. Loosened the truss rod a hair and re-intonated, seems to have helped a bit. Heavier strings arriving on Monday so I'll swap those in too.

Not a deal breaker. But annoying on a guitar of this price.
 

ZoomP

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Are you able to return it? PRS should be pretty consistent in terms of build, so you should be able to find another one with no dead note and yet plays and sounds great. Another option is to approach PRS about this issue. It will bug you. I have this guitar since 2000 and it still bugs me.
 

ZoomP

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I did some tweaking. Loosened the truss rod a hair and re-intonated, seems to have helped a bit. Heavier strings arriving on Monday so I'll swap those in too.

Not a deal breaker. But annoying on a guitar of this price.

And you shouldn't have to compromise your favourite string action becos of the dead note. Anyway, not trying to be a dampener, but I've gone through this and I know you will never really be 100% with the guitar.
 

iLookLikeElvis

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The action is fine, not major change (it was pretty low from the factory anyway).

I'm not so hung up on the issue that I want to sell the guitar. But certainly disappointed. I've got 2 other electrics from other manufacturers that don't exhibit this issue, one cheaper and one considerably more expensive.
 

Tone-y

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I did some tweaking. Loosened the truss rod a hair and re-intonated, seems to have helped a bit. Heavier strings arriving on Monday so I'll swap those in too.

Not a deal breaker. But annoying on a guitar of this price.
I honestly don't think the price of an instrument really has anything to do with it. It is the nature of things that vibrate that there will be frequencies that cancel out vibrations and other ones that enhance at resonance frequencies. As has been said, often it is most noticeable on the more resonant guitars as there is a bigger difference between a normal note and the wolf note.
 

iLookLikeElvis

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I honestly don't think the price of an instrument really has anything to do with it. It is the nature of things that vibrate that there will be frequencies that cancel out vibrations and other ones that enhance at resonance frequencies. As has been said, often it is most noticeable on the more resonant guitars as there is a bigger difference between a normal note and the wolf note.

That's true, although that's kind of what I was saying.

But frankly I don't really like the "more resonant" catch all. If potential dead spots are a function of resonance, the manufacturer should make that clear. Otherwise, it's a flaw.
 

AP515

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On my core CU24 it had a dead spot 10th fret B string (A), When I changed from Chrome to Ebony tuner buttons it moved to Bb (11th fret B string). Weird, I thought only 24 fret necks were prone to this because all my 22 fret guitars are fine, at least not so you would notice.
Not weird. You just proved one of the characteristics of dead spots. If you change the mass of the headstock you will change the location of the dead spot. You can prove it by putting a cloth on the headstock, (so not to damage the finish), and lightly clamping a small C clamp on it. The dead spot will move to a different fret.
 

dogrocketp

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I agree with AP515. My keeper instruments are ones where I can live with the dead spots. That’s an endorsement for playing the instrument before buying, whenever possible. Any electric that is not a PRS is now gone, because of the dead spots and other intonation issues. All my guitars have different action, some lower some higher according to what my ears hear. The guitar tells me when I finally get it tweaked to my liking. It’s trial and error because it’s YOUR guitar and depends on what your ears hear. I have a friend who has 20 guitars, and I’ll only play one of them because I can’t stand the way they sound in my hands. He sounds good on them.
 

AP515

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... I have a friend who has 20 guitars, and I’ll only play one of them because I can’t stand the way they sound in my hands. He sounds good on them.
Great point. It isn't really about the dead spots, but my guitars sound great to me and in another's hands they sound ...blah. Or other guitars that sound great when they play them sound ...blah in my hands. It's as if we migrate to a set up that is very personalized because that is where we sound the best. I hadn't meditated on that before. My action is a little higher than most like it, but I can't get my tone without it. I thought it was for "feel" but it also changes the tone.
 
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