My experience with strap-locks on PRS CE 24

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Shawn A., Dec 8, 2018 at 8:00 PM.

  1. Shawn A.

    Shawn A. New Member

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    I just got my first PRS a few months ago (PRS CE 24) along with a nice PRS black leather strap (the one with the birds embossed on it). I love the strap and its holes (which are really more like slits) fit fairly well over the large stock PRS strap buttons. But, being a new PRS owner, I've been really babying the guitar and I worried the strap's soft leather might be able to still slip over the strap buttons without too much effort. So, I decided to start researching strap locks and quickly found people have a lot of favorites (Schaller S-Locks, Schaller original strap locks, Dunlop strap locks, Loxx, and even Fender rubber washers).

    I tried the simplest and cheapest solution first which was the Fender rubber washers for $5. The advantage being I didn't need to really "mod" my guitar and worry about possibly enlarging the strap button screw holes. My problem was I couldn't seem to get washers over the large stock PRS strap buttons. I guess maybe I could've actually gotten them over the strap buttons if I really forced them on but at that point I felt it be a real pain to remove them every time I wanted to take off the strap to put the guitar in my PRS hard shell case. I wound up ruling out the rubber washers based on that. Note: I didn't try real Grolsch beer cap rubber washers. Maybe they would be easier to put on and take off -- I don't know.

    So at that point I decided I needed actual strap locks. But, which ones? I looked at the Schaller S-Locks which are the latest from Schaller. They looked really nice and secure but I was worried most about the strap button screw size for fear of splitting the guitar's wood or maybe somehow cracking the finish (not sure if that's actually possible). The Schaller screws definitely "looked" like they had a much larger diameter (I can't say for sure) and the last thing I wanted to do was bore out the existing screw holes.

    I also considered the original Schaller strap locks which apparently allow you to optionally reuse your existing PRS strap button screws. I'm sure you can find these somewhere online but I didn't see them at the local G.C. store. Based solely on pictures I saw, the only thing I thought I potentially wouldn't like was the profile of strap lock with the attached strap -- it seemed like it would stick out pretty far. To someone whose never used strap locks like me, I thought that would look odd.

    At that point, I looked at the LOXX strap locks on the recommendation from others here in the forums. From what I read, they were simple install with no drilling on PRS guitars, had a lower profile than the Schallers, and I'm guessing equally secure. So I went ahead and took the plunge and bought them online for about $19 with free shipping. I got the nickel version to match my existing PRS hardware. I installed them today with no drilling and can attest they work and look great.

    Before installing, I used some calipers to measure the original PRS strap button screw outer diameter (threads included) which is 3.5 mm. The Loxx strap button screw outer diameter is 4 mm and have a length much shorter than the PRS screws. I can tell you, though, that 0.5 mm difference gives good wood bite in the existing screw hole so the shorter screw length shouldn't be a concern. I used the included Loxx hex wrench to install the screw but a socket would've worked a bit better since you wouldn't have to worry about the pointy end of the wrench (used for attaching the button head to the guitar strap) possibly scratching your guitar's finish if it were to potentially slip off when you were tightening the screw down. I took a bunch of pictures which I'll try to post later in this thread.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd share my experience in case anyone else wanted to research strap locks for their PRS. Hopefully, this will help someone else who loves their PRS and is overly protective like me.

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 Shawn A., Dec 8, 2018 at 8:00 PM
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 8:33 PM
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  2. bodia

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

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    Glad you found something that worked. For the record, the Schaller S-Lock screws are the same size, or very close to it. They went in 4 of mine with no issue.

    Congrats on your first PRS!
     
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  3. Shawn A.

    Shawn A. New Member

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    Cool, thanks for sharing that. Do you know if all PRS guitars have the same strap button screw size? I'm just wondering if the PRS CE 24 is different.
     
  4. stratlanta

    stratlanta How do brushstroke birds fly?

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    Yeah good write up - thanks. I just went through a very similar, well almost exact, process. I ended up with the old style Schallers mainly because I could pull the existing PRS screw out of the strap button, drop it in the Schaller button and put it right back in. Something about that just felt the least intrusive. I did buy some of the new Schallers too. They are nice and seem to be well made but just visually the screws looked fatter and shorter so I decided not to try them, and they are set into the button so you can't pull it out. I'm sure they would have worked but as mentioned, I was looking to use the original screw if I could. Also bought some Loxx and I will try those but I have Schallers on other guitars so it just worked out.
     
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  5. bodia

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

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    Nope. They're all the same. The SE line may be different. Not sure about those.
     
  6. Shawn A.

    Shawn A. New Member

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    Pictures I promised. Sorry, I don't know how to resize these within the forum so they're smaller.
    1) Pic comparing screw sizes. Shorter 4.0 mm diameter screws with felt washer stuck on top are LOXX. PRS are longer and are 3.5 mm diameter screws.
    [​IMG]
    2) PRS before pics to compare with how far LOXX strap locks stick out
    [​IMG]
    3) After with LOXX installed
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Rusty Chos

    Rusty Chos New Member

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    I don’t trust mechanical strap locks. The guitar should hang directly on the strap in my opinion, then have a system to make sure the strap can’t slip off.
    I use those plastic bread loaf wrapper closures, a couple on each end usually.
    PRS strap buttons don’t seem to need it.
     
  8. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I use the Dunlop dual design on all of mine. It's a strap lock that works great, but also it has an integrated strap button for when you don't have a strap already rigged up.

    I've never had an issue installing or returning the guitar to stock with the original hardware.
     
  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Just for the record, I used the soft leather PRS straps (also the suede ones) for a very long time - probably since 2000 or so - on the stock buttons with zero issues. Before then I used whatever strap was handy from 1991, when I got my first PRS.

    No guitar has ever fallen off the strap or even come close. Kept the stock ones on guitars playing out, and of course in the studio where I do move around a lot with the guitar on to operate gear, make adjustments to mic placement, and so on.

    Yet I’ve seen friends’ guitars with strap locks have the strap fall off from time to time. So I guess I don’t get the obsession with strap locks, especially for folks not doing gymnastics on stage. Then again, I never had a guitar come off the stock strap on my ‘65 SG Special, and I used that one from ‘67 to...well, haven’t played it in a few months, because it lives at my brother’s now.

    A year or two ago I started also using heavier memory-foam padded straps by Richter, simply to help with the weight, but it had nothing to do with issues relating to PRS’ strap buttons.

    You may think I’m crazy, but strap locks seem to me to be a solution in search of a problem on a PRS.
     
    #9 LSchefman, Dec 10, 2018 at 3:26 PM
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018 at 3:32 PM
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  10. stratlanta

    stratlanta How do brushstroke birds fly?

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    I actually wouldn't disagree with this at all. I do think that PRS has a superior design with the buttons they use. I've actually never had a strap come off either. I often use strap locks to make it easier to move a strap from one guitar to another - just click it on without having to worry about whether it's stretched out from a bigger button or if it's stiff enough to hang on to a smaller one. It's a convenience for me.

    Ultimately though, I think it speaks to how our respective brains work. Some people, as evidenced above, would never trust a mechanical lock and I totally get that. Some.... ahem not ME of course... haha, can't sleep at night until there's some sort of locking system installed.... I blame Clapton and his performance in The Last Waltz. I've never been the same after seeing him lose that Strat mid-solo... LOL
     
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  11. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I did a film called The Last Polka on the accordion in 1959, but it didn’t fall off the straps.
     
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  12. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I've had straps disconnect and almost dropped them. Never had a mechanical lock fail.

    I can see how the PRS button would tend to hold a strap nicely, but I have a heck of a time getting straps onto buttons like that. I find it fastest and easiest to use the locks.
     
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  13. alantig

    alantig Sassyless pants

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    I was in a film once - it was a reverse-gender version of Last Tango In Paris. Had to stop eating in restaurants for years because I'd have a panic attack when the waiter/waitress asked if I wanted buttered buns.
     
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  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I’m pretty sure there’s a joke in there somewhere, but it’s probably a good thing that I don’t get it. :)
     
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  15. Shawn A.

    Shawn A. New Member

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    Man, I'm glad you've never had an issue with the strap slipping off and I sincerely hope you never do. I agree the large PRS strap buttons are a definite improvement and it's a lot less likely you're ever going to have an accident. For me, though, I had one close call with my new soft leather strap even with those PRS over-sized strap buttons. That's all the convincing that I needed for getting my strap locks... Being as anally-retentive as I am about this new PRS, I'm pretty sure I had that new strap completely around the button as it could be, but, you never know... Maybe it was just a 1 chance in a million type of thing. All I can say is, if you're not using strap locks then just don't get complacent.
     
  16. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I started playing in 1967. That’s pretty much a lifetime of unpunished complacency!

    Plus, material goods don’t really matter.

    “Les, that’s not at all like you. You’re a fussbudget about your gear.”

    “I realized my gear doesn’t matter.”

    “Then why are you here?”

    “Way, way too much time on my hands.” ;)
     
    #16 LSchefman, Dec 11, 2018 at 3:34 AM
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018 at 4:08 AM
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  17. alphasports

    alphasports New Member

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    This.
     

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