New SE Custom24 - Dealer Setup??

Discussion in 'PTC - PRS Tech Center' started by Merlin01, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. Merlin01

    Merlin01 New Member

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    I just received my 2016 SE Custom24 from an out-of-State dealer. I arranged to have 10-46 replace the stock strings and had it setup with Eb tuning. Out of the box the back of the bridge was already resting on the body and the screws looked high to me - but I really have no reference except a 2-screw pivot Strat.

    Anyways, I have a few questions about this guitar/setup and if anyone can spot any issues or problems can you please let me know.

    Firstly - The bridge itself (manufacturing).
    The SE spec. says it's a PRS-Designed Tremolo. The PRS Setup/Bridge page says:
    2. The pocket in the tremolo bridge keeps the six individually adjustable saddles from moving sideways, thereby eliminating another traditional cause of tuning instability.
    I'm not sure if there is a variable or allowance they have for this 'pocket', but my low-E saddle sits a good 1mm inside the edge of the pocket. Is this by design or manufacturing within tolerance? (Don't expect a Low-E to be bent/moved upward)
    Saddle Pocket Space 01
    Saddle Pocket Space 02

    Another thing that stood out to me was the Bridge mounting screws height. I don't know if this is normal or not, it just stood out to me because they are different. Do you know if this is normal?
    Bridge Screw Height

    The bridge angle is troubling to me, and it's something I didn't discuss with the dealer. I've setup a 2-screw tremolo on my Strat before and that has a pivot on it, but this one does not. The back of the bridge is actually sitting on the body and I fear it may cause damage. So even without a 2-way pivot, is the bridge meant to touch the body on these guitars?
    Bridge Angle

    The dealer offered the option of Low/Standard/High action and I opted for low. I couldn't find any specs for SE action/string height but mine seems to increase up the neck, my Strat does too, but not by this much. I measured between the top of the fret and the bottom of the low-E string and got these approximate numbers.
    1mm @ 1st Fret
    1.6mm @ 12th Fret
    2.1mm @ 24th Fret
    Would these be acceptable numbers? (I've had some fret buzz on low frets and the thick strings (E/A) but it can be controlled by a lighter picking hand :)

    And even though pickup height is a personal/subjective thing, my pickups came at about two times lower than recommended.
    I'll season to taste once everything else is sorted out :-D
    Neck Pickup @ 5mm, Bridge Pickup @ 4mm

    Anything stand out as problematic?
    Any concerns for the instruments health and functionality?
    Thanks for any advise.
     
    #1 Merlin01, Apr 16, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  2. bretwomack

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    Your dealer doesn't seem very educated on how to set up a PRS trem. The bridge angle and mounting screws are issues, and I would consider giving the guitar back for a proper setup or, if the trust is lost, try someone else. You can definitely fix these issues yourself if you're comfortable trying, but you'll need to study up. I wouldn't try to play it with the bridge like that.
     
  3. Merlin01

    Merlin01 New Member

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    I'm willing to fix it myself, but get a little scared when hearing "You can Damage your guitar" if you mess with the bridge without knowing what you're doing - I saw some UK PRS SE tech say that in a YT video.
    Which makes me think, if the dealers tech didn't know what they were doing, how could I tell if it has been damaged already?? Any handy hints for where to start studying? I haven't found any start-to-finish YT explanations on PRS bridge/trem setups, I've seen people gloss over it but nothing really specific.
     
  4. Merlin01

    Merlin01 New Member

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    Found a couple more issues this morning.

    Nut Width
    I assume the Nut width should be the same or match the contour of the neck/head stock? My Nut comes in short on the Low-E side and leaves a sharp edge of the fretboard exposed.

    A-String Nut Slot
    As mentioned above, they replaced the factory 9's with 10-46's and told me nothing would have to be done to the Nut. But the A-String appears to be sitting high, like its sitting on the nut slot and not in it like the E and D strings next to it. I can run my finger across the top of the nut and feel a bump when going over the A-String. It should be sitting in the Nut right?
     
  5. DHW

    DHW New Member

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    There is a setup guide on the PRS support site and John Mann has a video for replacing the bridge, that also tells you how to set the pivot screws up obviously.

     
    claythomas likes this.
  6. DHW

    DHW New Member

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    You have significant setup issues after looking at those pictures... Can you return the guitar and buy one from somewhere else that know's what they are doing? I'd be awful worried about the knife edge on the bridge and that nut wasn't worked over to accommodate the 10's. In fact, I would say there was nothing of benefit done with that guitar. The springs weren't even adjusted. The mounting screws are all at different heights and that nut was not placed very well. It needs a full working over if you keep it.
     
  7. Merlin01

    Merlin01 New Member

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    The guitar was bought from an out of State Dealer, I could return it but am waiting for them to respond to my questions RE: Manufacture (Bridge saddle/pocket & nut/neck alignment) and Setup (same as above).
    I'm worried about the bridge too, but if I start messing around with it and it's already damaged, then I'm sure they'll just turn around and say I must have damaged it, so I haven't touched it :-(
    Thanks for the video...
    Do you have an opinion about the bridge saddle/pocket issue? Is that 1mm gap by design or should all the saddles be contained with no room for movement?
     
  8. John Mann

    John Mann olslowhand
    Authorized PRS Dealer

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    Merlim01

    I would be happy to help you work thru these issues. I am in the shop most days 10am - 8pm EST
     
    Merlin01 and snfrd84 like this.
  9. Merlin01

    Merlin01 New Member

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    Wow, thanks so much for the offer John. I had already watched the video posted above by DHW while searching for more info on the bridge problem.
    Can you advise me on a way to check the health of the bridge (knife edge) without taking it off the guitar or risking damage to it?

    I understand it's not aligned with all 6 screw notches, but it's also already under tension. The only difference between when those pics were taken and now is that my original request of Eb tuning also wasn't delivered. After I took the photo's above I tuned it and still had to come down about 50cents (they were basically half way between Eb and standard E tuning). So at least there is a little less string tension on the bridge now opposed to when it got here - don't know if it'll help any, or if the damage has already been done.

    Today is the second business day since I reported the issue to the dealer without a reply (3hrs of trade left). Honestly, I don't know who gives out PRS dealership rights in Australia but from my experience this dealer is not doing PRS any favors that's for sure.
     
  10. John Mann

    John Mann olslowhand
    Authorized PRS Dealer

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    Merlim01 - Have you resolved the issues? Has the local dealer stepped up to take care of you?
     
  11. Merlin01

    Merlin01 New Member

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    I've tried John.
    Took the bridge off to have a closer look at the holes, I couldn't see any damage.
    Under the Bridge

    Re-fit the bridge as per your demo video & had to come up a little to get 1/16th off the body.
    Bridge @ 1/16 Floating

    I think the bridge will be alright.
    The nut is the issue now, A-string catches using trem, and tuning is not stable.

    As for the dealer I bought it from (out of State, not local), they won't acknowledge my existence.
    The PRS importer here says they can't act on my complaint unless authorized by the dealer.
    - catch 22 - So they're out of the picture as well
    .
    Unfortunately, Australia doesn't have a first line of defense for all imported SE's like the USA and the UK do. There's no PRS tech waiting to fix any issues when SE's land here, and obviously that leaves a big hole in the quality assurance chain when one of their dealers can't be trusted to do the right thing by the brand or the customer.

    Have to move forward, nut files are next on the list.
     
    #11 Merlin01, Apr 28, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  12. John Mann

    John Mann olslowhand
    Authorized PRS Dealer

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    Good luck...
     
  13. Jeffery Kintz

    Jeffery Kintz New Member

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    Been reading posts for a few days, and I too am having issues with the setup on my 2017 se custom 24. Nothing too major, just tuning stability on low E and A strings. If fretted with moderate pressure they both go sharp. Seems like it may be and issue with the nut and those strings not sitting down far enough in the groove. The issue seems to diminish as you go down the fretboard. Is this a common issue coming from a dealer?
     
  14. timr

    timr New Member

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    Hey Merlin, I'm in Australia too and have to agree with you regarding the quality of the setups the shops are selling here. I bought an SE Mark Holcomb from a shop in Sydney. Everything was off on the guitar. It came with 10-46 strings and tuned to standard instead of the factory 10-52 and dropped C. Intonation was sharp by +14 cents on average and action was set to 2.4 mm at the 12th fret. Neck relief is good and the nutt seems to be at a good height, but dropping the action below 2.3mm at the 12th and I get pretty nasty buzz. Tbh I'm tempted to take it back - though I'm pretty sure they wont take it back even though I've only had it for 10 days. The issue being there's no published standard spec for these guitars so they'll just say 2.4mm is the action you get with this guitar.
     
  15. Ovibos

    Ovibos Unsure why all necks aren't rosewood

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    They took off the stock strings? Why would they do that unless it was used...
     
  16. timr

    timr New Member

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    Looks that way. I don't know why. It was tuned to E standard when I got it so either someone in the shop thought it would be easier to sell with the lighter strings in e standard or it was returned by a previous owner that changed them. So yes it appears that someone was messing with the stock setup. When I tuned it down to Dropped C I noticed it right away - not something Mark Holcomb would spec on his guitar.
     

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