New: SE Swamp Ash (Bridge Screws Issue)

Nathan Shane

New Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2023
Messages
28
Location
Dallas, TX.
Greetings PRS’ers…I purchased a new SE Swamp Ash (Iris Blue) from zZounds and received it this past Saturday. There were some minor issues with the guitar, one of which I wanted to share with the forum. Understand, I’m not posting out of anger but simply for sharing information. As the attached photos show, the 6 pivot screws are not aligned. Oddly enough, the guitar was setup correctly and the bridge was floating parallel to the body. And believe it or not, when using the tremolo, the guitar actually returns to pitch. I’m obviously going to need to correct this issue to keep the 6 screws from wearing.







 
I would see if ZZS will a.) replace the guitar, b.) reset and properly set up the bridge, c.) pay to have someone close to you reset and properly setup the guitar, d.) throw you a partial refund, and reset and set it up yourself (if you know how without damaging the screws and bridge)
 
If I understand your problem correctly, I think John Mann had a video on YouTube about how to correctly set this type of bridge up. It's somewhere in my history, and if you're interested, I'll look for it.
 
That sucks, but good thing it's a simple fix. Zzounds has been good in my experience about a setup credit.

I wouldn't even consider returning a guitar as advised above. That's beyond extreme in my opinion.
 
Yep, that is definitely not right and needs fixed. Just loosen the strings and make sure there is no real tension on the bridge when you adjust the screws. Pull the bridge toward the back of the guitar a little to get the screws in the middle of the holes so you are not putting any torque on the knife edges when you turn the screws. Turn them a small amount at a time while checking to see if the slot in them lines up with the base of the bridge, go about 1/4 at a time. You can manually set the bridge into the slots on the screws to see that they are all lined up before putting the bridge back in them and tuning it back up. You have to use the grooves in the screws as your guide. The tops of the screws won't necessarily be the same when the grooves are lined up.
 
It won’t be an issue for me, I’ve been setting up my guitars for over 30+ years. It’s just disappointing when you purchase a new guitar and the inspection coming from PRS is signed off on despite having minor issues. In regards to zZounds, I spoke to them on the phone before purchasing the SE Swamp Ash, asking if they could at least send me a picture of the guitar’s body showing the wood grain pattern and the Iris Blue stain coloring. Unfortunately, zZounds informed me that they have 4 different locations from which they ship their merchandise and it’s not in their business model to provide actual photos of the specific guitar you’ll be receiving. Sweetwater and Chicago Music Exchange have spoiled me by taking great photos with great lighting, so you really see what you’re getting.

If I really wanted to be total nit-picky, I’d return/exchange every Swamp Ash guitar until I got one which I liked the wood grain and staining. Just to give you an example of what I don’t like, look at the following images, this is exactly what I dislike about the Swamp Ash guitars, when you can clearly see the body is made from three different pieces of swamp ash. And because of this, each piece stains differently also. But I’m of the opinion that a little more time could be spent trying to make the entire surface of the body consistent in color and choose grain patterns that didn’t clash so much.





 
I wouldn’t buy a transparent finish guitar without seeing the grains first. That’s critical to me. Even if it’s a great deal.
 
I think it looks great OP...where are you gonna find a better guitar for under 7 new?? I bought one and am enjoying it but when I pick up one of my S2s or Core there's no contest but I'm expecting that...
 
That’s a great looking one! The bridge score issue is a drag but it’s easily fixed. Just follow John Manns video and don’t forget to loosen up the string tension when you do it or you could jack up the knife edges.

I also made a video here that’s a little more in depth but John covers it nicely as well. Mine is more about installing the MannMade upgrade kit which includes block and saddles and setting up the bridge.

 
It won’t be an issue for me, I’ve been setting up my guitars for over 30+ years. It’s just disappointing when you purchase a new guitar and the inspection coming from PRS is signed off on despite having minor issues. In regards to zZounds, I spoke to them on the phone before purchasing the SE Swamp Ash, asking if they could at least send me a picture of the guitar’s body showing the wood grain pattern and the Iris Blue stain coloring. Unfortunately, zZounds informed me that they have 4 different locations from which they ship their merchandise and it’s not in their business model to provide actual photos of the specific guitar you’ll be receiving. Sweetwater and Chicago Music Exchange have spoiled me by taking great photos with great lighting, so you really see what you’re getting.

If I really wanted to be total nit-picky, I’d return/exchange every Swamp Ash guitar until I got one which I liked the wood grain and staining. Just to give you an example of what I don’t like, look at the following images, this is exactly what I dislike about the Swamp Ash guitars, when you can clearly see the body is made from three different pieces of swamp ash. And because of this, each piece stains differently also. But I’m of the opinion that a little more time could be spent trying to make the entire surface of the body consistent in color and choose grain patterns that didn’t clash so much.





I am with you on the multiple piece body thing. I could live with that middle one though. It looks kind of cool with the center being where the difference is. I saw a picture of one on a site somewhere when I was looking around that was two piece and it looked like a one piece. You had to look real hard to find the seam where it was glued together. It was right along the bottom of the pickups and blended in really nice. If I were in the market for one of these, I would have bought it.

If you are someone that cares about the weight of the guitar that adds another whole level of complexity to buying one of these. Finding grain that matches up well with a weight you are okay with could be a very long search.
 
Do you own a screwdriver? If so turn the high screws down to the level of the lowest one and you’ll be good to go.

Bob
 
Do you own a screwdriver? If so turn the high screws down to the level of the lowest one and you’ll be good to go.

Bob
You can’t just have at the screws, Bob. I bought and flipped PRS for 15 years to get what I have now. If the holes on the bridge plate get out of round, it’s scrap metal. Loosening the strings and disconnecting the springs is the safest way to go.
 
You can’t just have at the screws, Bob. I bought and flipped PRS for 15 years to get what I have now. If the holes on the bridge plate get out of round, it’s scrap metal. Loosening the strings and disconnecting the springs is the safest way to go.
Spot on post!
 
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