IMPROVING BRIDGE AND WIRING ON SE

Discussion in 'PTC - PRS Tech Center' started by David1111, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. David1111

    David1111 New Member

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    I am a new member. Joined today.

    I bought a pre owned SE a few months back..Made in S Korea with the old SE logo and dots instead of birds so price was very good. I know my way around guitars a bit and used to gig with an amateur band (around 35 years ago) performing covers.

    I got back into electric guitars around 14 months ago when I bought a MIM Tele (also pre owned ) I use a Vox 50T Amp and have an ancient Digitech RP80 multi effects pedal. (again all pre owned) Am currently on a bit of a budget as still recovering from the costs of a divorce.

    The SE is not that bad. I did some fret work ( mainly rounding and polishing the ends..took quite a while) and cut away and reshaped the top of the nut and have got the first fret. string gap height pretty good. Love the neck shape. The guitar plays good with minimal relief and a fairly low action.. I changed the pots to CTS push pulls and have separate coil cuts for both pups.Knobs did not fit new shafts so had to fit some Tele ones.
    Am not that happy with sustain for which PRS are supposed to be excellent. Am thinking a better bridge might help. I am currently using PRS 9.5 strings. Anybody have experience of upgrading an SE with either a core or possibly a Mastery bridge and getting a marked improvement?.

    The pick ups are not that brilliant but get plausible sounds with my Amp and multi pedal . Not that keen on the clean tones . Am thinking of improving single coil sound by doing Paul wiring. I have played one of the new SE Pauls in store and was quite impressed . I checked out the schematics in the PRS site but they seem to be down. Am I right in assuming the Paul single coil sound is mainly achieved by a resistor in series with the earthed coil? I think I read somewhere that the resistor values are 8.8k for the neck and 2.2 k for the bridge although others recommend 4.7 k on both. Has anybody tried this mod? Did it achieve?
     
  2. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

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    You talkin’ stoptail or trem?
     
  3. David1111

    David1111 New Member

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    Stoptail
     
  4. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

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    I’ve played around a bit with every version of PRS stoptails (except the Paul’s with the brass inserts) the TonePros, and the Mann 2300(?)... they’ve all had subtle tonal and tension differences, but to be honest, the SE one is just as valid, well constructed, and accurate as the ones they put on the Core guitars.

    If money is an issue with you at the moment, I’d put a bridge change at the very bottom of your list of things to upgrade.... unless of course you’re into really down-tuning your guitar or using really heavy strings.
     
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  5. David1111

    David1111 New Member

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    Thanks for that.. I thought,for some reason that all the core models had the brass inserts.I was told by a dealer that the SE Paul had the core model bridge. Presumably he meant the Paul core model. Anyway the cost of upgrading the bridge (over $200)in a guitar of this second handvalue ( under $150)was probably not viable anyway. .The sustain is not that bad but could be better following hammer ons and slides. Just have to be a bit more aggressive with the vibrato.

    Any views on the Paul wiring mod? Are there recommended resistor values for SE pups.. I was informed by the seller that one of the previous owners had "upgradedt" the pups by installing 3 wire pups from a later SE model so the pups could be split as the stock ones had been only 2 wire. Could be true. Not that relevant to the current mod program.
     
    #5 David1111, Aug 16, 2019 at 3:44 AM
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 3:49 AM
  6. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    If you want to address the bridge without spending big money, I recommend a set of the Tonepros locking studs. Some older SE’s had an issue with the bridge leaning forward under tension, due to the space in the stock studs being excessively larger than the actual thickness of the bridge. Basically causes an unfavorable change in break angle over the bridge, which can affect sustain. There’s also a cheaper mod using some thin washers that someone posted her a few years ago, I’m sure you could google and find it, but the locking studs aren’t too expensive.

    Regarding the coil splits, I do feel the resistors help, have not tried the 4.4’s but based on the fact that the stock 2.2’s on my S2’s still leaves the bridge sounding pretty thin, I would give it a shot.
     
  7. David1111

    David1111 New Member

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    andy474x.....Really appreciate all that imput. Especially bridge info..The Tone Pros look a good idea Have looked for the thread you suggest but have not found it yet. Will proceed with rewire. Gonna try a 8.8 in the neck and a 4.7 in the bridge. Or similar values...depends whats available.

    Good forum . Glad I joined just to get the feedback I did. Not sure if I can personally contribute anything useful myself. Despite my experience of tinkering with guitars, I'm sure most here are far more knowledgeable.
     
    #7 David1111, Aug 16, 2019 at 5:04 PM
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 5:48 PM
  8. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

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    I upgraded the bridge in my SE245, but honestly, I completely forgot! The difference between the SE and core wrap around tail piece was so negligible, I completely forgot I spent the money. Intonation is exactly the same, so I’m not sure I’d do it again. It’s only a piece of the overall puzzle, so I wouldn’t upset the gorgeous balance I’ve happened upon with this guitar. It fells, plays, and sounds - to me - as good as many Private Stock 245s I’ve been fortunate enough to play. If you closed your eyes, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference.
     
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  9. Dirty_Boogie

    Dirty_Boogie Still got the ol' tagger on it

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    If I closed my eyes, you could tell the difference - I'd be playing all the wrong notes! ;)
     
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  10. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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