Dead spots on CU24 guitars

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Serious Poo, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Shoegazing Member

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    OK, I've been sitting on this annoyance for decades and finally got irked enough today to want to talk about it openly:

    Almost every Custom 24 I've ever owned or played has some sort of dead spot on the 12th fret of the B string.

    I'm curious what other's experiences are with this.
     
  2. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    About 50/50. Some of mine do but they aren't always the 12 on the B.
     
  3. steved

    steved New Member

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    Not mine, but it's the older style of neck.
     
  4. Daniel Elam

    Daniel Elam New Member

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    I only have a CE 24 but it has zero dead spots.
     
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  5. ViggoP

    ViggoP New Member

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    I have two Cu24s and neither have any dead spots that I’ve noticed.
     
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  6. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    I played all my 24 frets last time this came up and don’t have that problem. Only one is a CU24, others are Santana.
     
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  7. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Shoegazing Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    FWIW, I've only seen this problem with core Custom 24 PRS's. My experiences with this model have just been an exercise of frustration. It's like, they almost built a great guitar. So many things right, yet one annoying thing consistently not right. At least that's been my experience over 28 years of trying to like this model. Trems, stoptails, regular, wide/thin, pattern, old strings, new strings, different pickups, 9's, 10's, 11's, it just doesn't seem to matter - I almost always get the same results when I play that note on a CU24.

    What set me off on this topic was that I visited a local store yesterday with the intention of trying and hopefully buying a drop dead gorgeous 35th Anni CU24. Open the case = stunning. Pick it up = lightweight and well balanced. Play a few chords and notes in the first 5 frets of the guitar = awesome. Go up the neck = great. Play the B note on the 12th fret B string, and...

    There it was again, the curse of the CU24.

    A dead spot.

    Arggh...
     
  8. Steve Dombroski

    Steve Dombroski New Member

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    I must have lucked out. My custom 24s do not suffer from this. However, they are hard tail 24s...maybe that helps o_O
     
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  9. ESW

    ESW New Member

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    Not on my 35th.
     
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  10. docteurseb

    docteurseb New Member

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    I don't notice anything on my CU24 either.
     
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  11. SinSir

    SinSir Mad Scientist

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    I have one core 24 and nothing here either. The finish bubble is anothet story.
     
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  12. Solteroblues

    Solteroblues New Member

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    I've owned about 10 Custom 24's of some variance (Artist, 35th anny, 30th anny, 24-08, core CU24, etc...)over the years, and I've never experienced a dead spot anywhere. Just checked my 35th Anniversary, and that note rings out just like the rest of them.

    Weird that you've experienced it on all of them.
     
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  13. Daniel Elam

    Daniel Elam New Member

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    Do you have other guitars where that note is clear? I’m wondering if it’s something with your hearing rather than the guitars. Just a thought and maybe a dumb question but I just thought I’d ask.
     
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  14. bodia

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

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    High gain, screaming metal.....you’ll never notice it
     
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  15. GuitarJammin

    GuitarJammin Guitar Player

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    I've had/have 2 regular trem and 4 floyd rose Custom 24s....all of them no dead spots. I wonder what it is?
     
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  16. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Shoegazing Member

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    Insightful question!

    Thankfully, I can hear B just fine on every other guitar in my collection. FWIW, I have about 20 PRS's and another 10-15 guitars from other makers right now. Been playing for over 40 years, and I practice, write & record every single day. My favorite PRS these days is the ME V, which has completely knocked my socks off with just how fantastic it sounds.

    My issue is how Cu24's respond to notes that are played on the 12th fret of the B string. Not the 7th fret of the E string, or the 16th fret of the G string, just the 12th fret of the B string. And only on CU24's. I own a couple of 24 fret SVN 7 strings and they don't have this issue at all. To me, there's something - whether it's harmonic resonance or phase cancellation or whatever I don't know, but my experiences with the CU24 have been so consistent that I thought I'd bring it up here.

    I've heard this issue on nearly a dozen of the CU24's I've owned, and on another 20 or so I have played. Notes just seem to go "thud" on that spot of the guitar for me.
     
    #16 Serious Poo, Jan 22, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
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  17. zerolight

    zerolight New Member

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    I returned a totally killer CU24 for this exact problem. Well a similar problem. For me it was the Low E string around the 12th or 14th fret depending on the guitar. The note just dies out almost immediately but a fret to either side and it sustained fine. The replacement didn’t sound as good but was fine from a dead spot perspective, I returned that too and bought a Suhr. This was maybe 18 months ago. My Santana seems fine. I also had this problem on a McCarty Rosewood that I owned between 2005 and 2008. A Navarro CU24 was fine.
     
    #17 zerolight, Jan 22, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
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  18. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    You are on the right track. I recently posted this but I'll copy it here for discussion.

    So, fret location and tone quality 101.

    There are the normal tones one expects to hear.
    There are dead spot tones no one likes to hear.
    There are wolf tones many people love to hear.

    Wolf tones and dead spots are not the same thing. Wolf tones are those howling harmonic leftovers when you hit a note and it starts to go into that infinite sustain thing that's really cool. Only a few places on the neck will do it without massive gain, and there is a good reason for it that I'll explain. Dead spots are just the opposite. The sustain just poops out. Really quickly and really disappointing (...that's what she said). Both wolf tones and dead spots come from the same thing. Harmonic interference. With dead spots the frequency cancels itself out killing the sustain. In wolf tones it amplifies and so the sustain goes on much longer. That is why it only happens on one fret or another, you can only get it on what is called a "node", a location where the frequency can reach resonance with the neck length in either a positive or negative mode. Positive = wolf tones, negative = dead spots. 24 fretters (with a 25 inch scale) have more dead spots than 22 fretters due to the change in mass, but both have them. That is why PRS tried to change the heel of the 24 fret guitars to try to minimize the dead spots. He knew what he was doing.

    The location on the neck changes with the mass of the neck, so on one guitar it might be on one fret and on another guitar a different one (remember all wood has different density). What is more, you can change the location of the offending fret by putting a mass on your headstock. Try it. Put a small C-clamp on your headstock (use a cloth to protect the finish) and watch the offending fret move up or down the neck by 1 or more depending on the mass of the C-clamp.
     
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  19. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    I have had guitars from time to time have dead spots BUT I have always been able to get rid of the issue with a good well done set up.
    Its about playing the angle between the fretted note and the bridge.
    Sometimes is just a tap on the fret , or playing with the relief , tiny turn on the bridge screw ( one was a bridge screw not firmly down )
    My first CU 24 did fight me , similar to your issue tweaking the truss rod and flattening out the bridge saddle did the trick for me.
    In your case I would go to the trouble of sending one back to PTC.
    Best of luck
     
  20. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I haven't had that problem with my CU24s. It's good to be lucky, I guess.
     
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