modifications?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by the_doc735, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. the_doc735

    the_doc735 New Member

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    I've just obtained the
    Paul Reed Smith SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow 2018 (with trem bar & push pull pot).

    I have quickly realised this isn't like Gibson/Fender, there are not thousands of after market parts available for this brand in general.

    for example:
    bridge
    pickups
    nut
    tuners
    pots/caps/ sockets & switches
    wiring.
     
  2. Eddie kim

    Eddie kim New Member

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  3. jxe

    jxe babe en der wood

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    my 97 has factory dimarzio pickup rings on it.
     
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  4. NBW

    NBW New Member

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    I like adding locking tuners. However, I think there is some agreement that changing the nut to the core (USA made) version is probably the biggest bang for the buck.

    I don’t have a 22 semi-hollow, but I’ve played them and I really like them.
     
  5. the_doc735

    the_doc735 New Member

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  6. the_doc735

    the_doc735 New Member

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    cheers!
     
  7. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

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    As a serial modder, I disagree.

    The only area where I'd say you have fewer options than other brands is the bridge. Whether it's the wraparound or trem, there aren't a lot of alternatives, but fortunately the stock parts are great and the couple of aftermarket products are super.
     
  8. the_doc735

    the_doc735 New Member

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    OK ~ So, really excited! Please provide links for your mods. Many Thanks! Thinking of graphtech, CTS, Switchcraft, Sprauge etc. i.e. everything except the tremelo, unless there is brass or carbon adjustable saddles for it?

    Paul Reed said: "everything effects the sound that touches the string", the bridge. the saddles, the nut, string trees, tuners.
     
  9. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    There is a modification thread on here.
     
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  10. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

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    John Mann (maker of the original PRS trem and all around awesome dude) has your bridge needs covered.


    You can see my 12 and a lot more here: https://forums.prsguitars.com/threads/lets-see-those-modded-prss.42382/unread
    Dedicated SE mods thread: https://forums.prsguitars.com/threads/se-mods.629/
     
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  11. Eddie kim

    Eddie kim New Member

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    What’s making you wanna look into aftermarket parts in the first place? Is it sound, or feel? Just curious.
     
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  12. the_doc735

    the_doc735 New Member

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    A you tube video I saw suggested that there are improvement for 'SE' models.
     
  13. Em7

    Em7 deus ex machina

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    Please tell me that you have not fallen for the composition or manufacturer of a non-polarized cap affects tone myth. Capacitors are linear components. What "linear" means is that capacitors operate in straight lines according to the equation i = C * dV/dt, where i equals current, C equals capacitance in farads, dV equals the change in voltage, and dt equals the change in time. Any capacitor that does not behave in this manner is considered to be defective. The only way two different non-polarized capacitors with the same rated capacitance can result in a difference in tone is if the capacitors have different measured capacitance values. For example, polyester film Type 225P Orange Drop capacitors can have tolerances as high as 20%; therefore, two caps from the same manufacturer can have substantially different measured capacitance values. A lot of people purchase from Mouser. Mouser sells the 10% tolerance version of these caps, which means that a Type 225P 0.022uF cap from Mouser can measure as low as 0.0198uf and as high as 0.0242 and still considered to be in spec. That is a difference of 0.0044uF or 4.4nF, which is enough to affect the how the tone control responds when rolled all of the way down. Additionally, the tone cap in a guitar does not shunt or pass frequencies. What it does is combine with the distributed capacitance in the pickup coil(s) to lower the circuit's resonant frequency (see my "Delving into TCI" post for an explanation of how capacitance affects resonant frequency). The fact is that there two types of people who propagate capacitor myths; namely, those who aim to make a buck from higher-priced caps and those who have been taken advantage of by those who aim to make a buck from higher-priced caps. If two capacitors with the same rated value result in a difference in tone, then they need to be measured with an LCR meter. I guarantee that they will have significantly different measured values.

    The PRS core pots are not standard CTS pots. I believe that they are custom CTS-manufactured copies of the old CRL/CentraLab pots that Paul used during the early days. CRL/CentraLab audio/log pots have a faster taper than standard CTS pots, which is great for guys who ride the volume control(s) on a PRS. The pots used on the SEs are good pots. In fact, many boutique amps use Alpha pots. Another thing that needs to be considered is that Alpha pots are 8mm metric, CTS pots are 3/8" imperial, which means that you are more than likely going to have to take a reamer to the guitar to enlarge the stock holes.

    There is no such thing as voodoo wire either. Heck, wire diameter does not even factor into the equation at audio frequency. Given that it is sized to current load, wire diameter does not seriously come into play until one hits radio frequency, which is where the "skin effect" comes into play.

    The nut is about the only area where one achieve a big bang for the buck on an SE. A core nut is not that expensive. Locking machine heads (a.k.a. tuners) are a nice upgrade because they make stringing a guitar much easier. An improvement can be achieved by changing the bridge, but I do not think that the cost warrants the improvement. The CE24 I recently acquired new has an import trem. I thought about upgrading it to a MannMade trem because I discovered that the ball ends tend to stick in the block when I set the guitar up for 9.5s. I do not recall that ever occurring with my '95 Standard 24 or '11 Custom 24. It is a minor nuisance.

    The moral of the story is that you should play and enjoy the guitar. If a pot wears out, replace it with another pot. The same thing can be said about the switch. However, replacing everything on an SE can rapidly raise the cost of the instrument to that of a nice used core Stevensville guitar.
     
    #13 Em7, Mar 30, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
    madhermit, John F, Ovibos and 5 others like this.
  14. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    I agree with Garrett and Em7; and there are good bridge alternatives for the stoptail. The core trem bridges are fantastic,and so are John Mann’s. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that everything affects everything. Before you start changing things, get a new nut professionally installed by a qualified luthier and live with it for a month or two. Different doesn’t always mean better, and you will not get your money back if you sell a modified guitar. I’ve bought a couple SE’s in my past that were horribly modded by the owner who had no idea what he was doing. Some of the SE’s are so beautifully made they don’t need anything other than a new nut and maybe locking tuners. Enjoy it, it’s a fine guitar.
     
  15. the_doc735

    the_doc735 New Member

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    Can I use any make of nut and tuners?
     
  16. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    PRS core, or graph tech nuts are the best. I use hipshot open back tuners with the UMP plates. They are very light weight. Others have used John Mann or PRS SE locking tuners. I’m guessing that you haven’t done much modding. The tuners, you can put on yourself. The nut should be put on by a LUTHIER, not some kid named Joe who works at a chain store who has 3 weeks training. My luthier, Phil Jacoby, believes that a properly installed nut can make or break a guitar more than most anything. While you’re at it, get a setup done. If the person adjusts the trem wrong, he/she can ruin it. Don’t take your Ferrari to a Kia mechanic. And I own a Kia.
     
  17. jxe

    jxe babe en der wood

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    use a brass nut and it’ll sound just like a les paul custom.
     
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  18. the_doc735

    the_doc735 New Member

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    I was thinking of Gotoh or Kluson tuners and a graphtech nut. I have changed over one or two nuts before. Changed: pots/caps/wiring, switches & sockets; stop lock bridges & tuners. Plus re-finished gibson guitar tables (front body surface) both matt and gloss. Not messed with frets or necks though! (LOL)
     
  19. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    I’m not aware of a Kluson model that fits an SE, and I prefer to use US made machined parts when available. I also want the highest tuning ratio available. I can’t play fast anymore, but I can sure as hell hear a guitar even slightly out of tune. I believe that Gotoh may make a model that drops in, but I don’t know which model. I don’t buy by name familiarity. The name doesn’t mean the part is any good. Whatever you buy, make sure it fits an SE. And after 50 years of playing, get a pro to put on the nut. Just because it’s on the guitar doesn’t mean it’s properly installed. I do most of my own setups, but I’ve seen too many badly installed nuts, and even worse, wrong videos on YouTube.
     
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  20. Eddie kim

    Eddie kim New Member

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    I”m with this guy on the nut and the tuners.
     

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