NBD (New Bernie Day)

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Big Eric Bee, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Big Eric Bee

    Big Eric Bee New Member

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    Well that didn't take long. Just a couple weeks after getting my first PRS in a few years, I've now doubled the count. Found a 2012 SE Bernie Marsden at a local shop. Tried it out last Saturday. Wow, it's a whole lot heavier than my Mira X. Sounds nice. Doesn't entirely sit great on me when sitting on a stool and no strap. So decided to think about it for a week. During which time I realized that it would probably feel better with a strap. (Also helped along by a whole lot of searching on Google). So talked the spouse into stopping back today properly armed with a strap (and some trade bait). That was it! A whole new "beast" shall we say. :rolleyes: Played well. The wide fat neck is actually a touch smaller than the Mira. But that's not bad. Definitely looks nice. Sounds good. And most importantly is really easy for me to play. Even as set up with what I believe are 12's.

    As it is now, I like it. Am going to put different strap buttons on. And maybe some other modifications (tailpiece, pups, tuners). But as of now, am quite satisfied. Came with the original gig bag, but no case candy (boo!). However, there was a Levy's suede strap, a cheap cord and a set of D'Addario 12's.
    Can't really call the guitar mint as we replaced the switch at the shop. (It was very sticky and reluctant to move.) But there are no real marks anywhere on the guitar. There does look to be some staining around the 2nd fret (glue?) Otherwise remarkably nice.

    So now have two different ends of the spectrum from PRS. The lightest and possibly the heaviest guitars out there. Both cool in their own way. Gives me a great excuse to spend the evening practicing.

    Going to try pics or it never happened -

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG] [​IMG]

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  2. veinbuster

    veinbuster Freeze zone

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    Nice choice.
     
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  3. bodia

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

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    The Bernie is great as is, or as a mod platform. Definitely more guitar than its price. Search a for a couple of threads here and you'll find some cool upgrades (including mine!).
     
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  4. sergiodeblanc

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

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    Congrats!
     
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  5. drawshot

    drawshot Just one more...and that's it!

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    You chose WELL!

    Bernies are so awesome, in so many ways.

    If you leave it as is, it's a winner.

    If you mod it, it's a winner.

    For giggles, I spent a bit of time with an LP Traditional...just to kill some time. Within 30 seconds, I knew my Bernie blew it away, on all fronts.

    Enjoy your new SE BM, sir...and play in good health!
     
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  6. prsrocker1988

    prsrocker1988 New Member

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  7. Alan Manning

    Alan Manning Well Love a Duck Mary Poppins.!!!

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    Great guitars for the money. There's a lot of love for an Uncle Bernie.!!!
    Got mine at a great deal and bought it with a view to modify. Took me 6 months to get round to it as it was good as it was.
    Many congrats and check out Bodia's Baby. I'm just a copy cat. !!!
     
  8. Ethelread

    Ethelread New Member

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    Nice! Congratulations!
    I have the 'gold all over' one. I love the feel of the neck on these.
    Now I've had mine for three months or so, I've decided to upgrade the pickups to:-
    Seymour Duncan SH-PG1n Pearly Gates Zebra - Neck
    Seymour Duncan SH-11 Custom Custom - Bridge.
    Apparently that's a combination favoured by Bernie.
     
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  9. toothace

    toothace We've got, you know, armadillos in our trousers.

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    Congrats!
     
  10. dogrocketp

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

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    If there is glue on the 2nd fret, here`s how to get it off. When you next change strings, borrow your wife`s fingernail polish remover. Put some on a paper towel and then wait three seconds for a little of it to evaporate. Use as much pressure as necessary to remove the stain, rubbing back and forth. Be extremely careful no to get any on the inlays, they will be irrevocably damaged if you do. Let the fingerboard sit for a minute after wiping so that any traces of the fingernail polish remover can evaporate, and then oil the fret. I use lemon oil. I did that an my old Mira when I got it. it worked perfectly.
     
  11. Big Eric Bee

    Big Eric Bee New Member

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    Had a planned vacation day today so decided it was a good time to do a whole bunch o' mods to the Bernie. Unfortunately, Photobucket appears to be down, so no photos yet.

    From the top on down - new Gotoh tuners. Keystone buttons and no locking mechanism. Much better quality than the stock tuners. However, the holes barely cleared the grommets; Tusq nut in white. Prefer the look of it to the black core nut. Seymour Duncan 59 bridge pup. Raw nickel covers added to both pickups. Gudeman PIO .022 capacitor and Switchcraft jack.

    Now it's a lot of changes for one time. Plus, I haven't had time yet to evaluate everything. Looks cool. Will update how it plays and sounds once I can post photos.
     
  12. Big Eric Bee

    Big Eric Bee New Member

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    Photobucket finally came back, so here are a couple photos

    [​IMG]

    New covers and new bridge pickup - not shown new output jack and tone capacitor.

    [​IMG]

    New tuners with just a glimpse of the new nut. Also have discovered the s/n is from 2013, not 2012. The sticker is from the store that originally sold the guitar. And am fairly sure I saw the guitar sitting in the store when it was new.

    After a couple hours of playing last night, in general the changes are good. The pickups seem to play well together. Nothing too odd about them. Tuners are definitely smoother than factory. Nut works, as do the other changes. Overall, am pretty satisfied.
     
  13. bodia

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

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    Nicely done!
     
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  14. Mikegarveyblues

    Mikegarveyblues Cream Crackered

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    Congrats on the Bernie Big Eric!

    Some nice mods there too!
     
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  15. Big Eric Bee

    Big Eric Bee New Member

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    Did what is probably the last mod tonight. TonePros locking studs. Used the teflon tape trick to get them tighter in the wells. Installation was fairly easy. Want to say it's a bit louder acoustically. But couldn't swear to it. Did seem a bit more focused when practicing through an amp.

    While the bridge was off, also decided to solder the pup covers on. Again, no real reason to, but had it apart so why not?

    So now that everything is done would say the only thing that was "necessary" was the new nut. Everything else worked fine. Duncan '59 is more to my taste in a lead pup. But again, that's subjective.

    Still having a great time playing this guitar. Already it's making the Mira X jealous.
     
  16. Big Eric Bee

    Big Eric Bee New Member

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    Guess the above post was another case of "famous last words". Over the last couple nights did a pickupectomy on the guitar. Now has Duncan 59s in both positions. But neither has the original magnet. Swapped over to an Alnico 2 in the neck and an unoriented Alnico V in the bridge. Ended up being more work than planned with the classic, pull pups, unsolder covers, change magnets, test, solder covers back on, tune up, realize the mid position is out of phase,:mad: unsolder cover, reverse one magnet, solder cover back on retune. Good.:rolleyes:

    Does it make a big difference? Not really. Did it make any difference? I believe so. Neck is slightly warmer and softer. Bridge changed, but not sure how to describe it. Really changed in the middle position and it's now a nice blend of the two. Without either being overwhelming.

    If nothing else, it was a fun experiment and helps keep my mind off of the band issue. (I may end up posting about that later. Not sure yet.)
     
  17. Bill SAS 513

    Bill SAS 513 Just another old guy in a T-shirt

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    Wow...nice job with the mods...and its good to try those PU options. Sounds like you almost have the perfect axe for you!!!
    Congrats!!!
    (And good luck with the band issue...short of being in the realm of lead singers sleeping with everybody in the band, we've all been through our fair share of them.)
     
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  18. Big Eric Bee

    Big Eric Bee New Member

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    Was able to sit down and practice a bit this evening. This is my evaluation of the pickups as now configured. All through a small practice amp, clean tone. With the UOA5 in the bridge - a broader tone with less of a quack the 59 can have. Would almost call it creamy sounding. Smooth might be better.

    Neck with A2. Not as hot as with the A5 and a broader bottom. Not quite Spinal Tap mudflaps big bottom. But more than a regular 59 (or the stock pup). Reminds me a bit of a really big clean P90 style pickup.
     
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