NGD: PRS SE Custom 24 Zebrawood - Not Very Happy :(

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by TheAtomicDJ, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. TheAtomicDJ

    TheAtomicDJ New Member

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    Hello all... so my PRS SE CU 24 Zebrawood arrived, and unfortunately I have to report that the "3rd time was not a charm". Below you'll find some pictures.

    If you wanna know the whole story you can check my posts on this THREAD, but long story short this is the 3rd unit that I've received from Sweetwater, as the first two had different issues: Failing pickup switcher, bent pots, truss rod issues and microphonics pickups.

    For this unit I decided to pay Sweetwater for a full "Pro Setup". My intent was to have their guitar tech do more than the regular "55 point review" of the unit before shipping it to me. My guidelines for them for the setup was to have it as close a possible to factory specs with no fret-buzz, and I also asked them to replace the stock strings with a fresh set of Ernie Ball '9s (Super Slinky).

    Those factory recommended specs I gave them supposedly are: 0.010 in (0.254 mm) neck relief, 1/16 in (1.6 mm) Action and 1/16 in (1.6 mm) Bridge to body distance.

    What I've received was not even close to factory specs:

    - 0.013 in (0.330 mm) neck relief
    - 5/64 in (2 mm) action on 12th fret
    - And a whooping 0.1 in (2.5 mm) of bridge to body distance. This thing is floating like a Floyd :)
    - Also the tone knob is bent (similar to the first unit that I got)

    My main concern is that even with this very high action and extremely elevated bridge there's still fret buzz on the lower frets on the 1st to 6th frets on the low E and A strings (audible on the amp). My other concern is that as you'll see on the picture of the saddles, they not only raised a lot the bridge to 0.1 in (2.5 mm), but they also had to raise a lot the middle saddles.... so I can't imagine how much fret-buzz this unit would have if I even try to get it back to factory specs.

    At this point I'm very close to talk to my Sales Engineer and just request a return, but this time I will not ask them to send another one, I'll just simply request a refund and I'll have to bite the bullet and buy on a local GC... at least this way I'll have the opportunity to check and play the unit in person before buying it.

    Your thoughts and advice are very welcome!!!

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  2. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    It looks clearly as if the bridge has been knocked out of position, so that the knife edge is not in all of the screw slots. I wonder also if there is need of a truss rod adjust, which can sometimes be necessary when shipped to a different climate, or even baking in a hot truck for awhile. I have had many that needed some tweaks to the setup. Personally, I would have a go at the setup and see if it can be salvaged.

    Beautiful guitar though.
     
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  3. emesem7

    emesem7 New Member

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    That's a nice one. Learn how to set up a guitar. This is just the sort of guitar to try it on (vs a $3000 core).
     
    bodia likes this.
  4. Rollylama

    Rollylama New Member

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    Are you sure the knob shaft is bent? It’s possible the knob isn’t pressed down completely and/or straight
     
  5. TheAtomicDJ

    TheAtomicDJ New Member

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    I do know how to set it up and I have all the tools for it: feeler gauges, action ruler, fret rocker.... but my intent to pay them to set it up was to make sure that it wouldn't have any "unnoticed issues" that the 55-point inspection would not catch. The concern is that even with that high action created by the elevated bridge plus elevated saddles there's fret buzz on the 1st to 6th fret, so I believe that if I lower the bridge and the neck relief to factory specs the fret buzz will just increase. Keep in mind also that as I mentioned the 13th fret is raised, so as the action gets lower the fret buzz will increase both on the lower frets but then will also start to be noticed above the 13th fret.

    It's bent... the first unit I received had the same issue, but on that one it was on the volume knob and on this one is the tone knob. There's no wiggle on the shaft if you try to move it side to side, but when you roll the knob then you notice that wobbly rotation on the knob.
     
  6. Victek

    Victek New Member

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    The "action", as seen in the second photo, is crazy high for this kind of guitar. I haven't ordered from Sweetwater before, but I heard they had a good reputation so I'm baffled by the guitar's condition. If I were in your position I would cut my losses and get a refund. Regarding buying at GC what I do when they don't have the guitar at the local store is order it with "in store pickup". That way I can unbox it at the store and evaluate in front of the staff.
     
  7. Rollylama

    Rollylama New Member

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    It might not be loose. I’d try taking it off, checking the shaft itself, then reseating it just to totally rule that out.
     
    CyFan4036 likes this.
  8. DickBanks

    DickBanks New Member

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    Return it and get a used S2 Custom 24. Should be a nice one somewhere at about the same price you paid for the SE.

    And yes, do the setup yourself. Like me, you seem to be very picky about the setup. I don't trust anyone to setup my guitars BUT me. And then, if it's not right, I know who to complain to.

    Really its part of the fun of being an electric guitar player.

    For the price of one setup, you can own all the tools you need. A complete setup can be done on a small dining room table.
     
  9. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    It really appears that the package may have received a severe jolt during shipping, knocking the bridge out of whack, and possibly bending the pot shaft. I have seen a few pots with bent shafts, and it is a simple matter to remove the knob and straighten, usually just one of the “fingers” on the shaft is bent.

    I would further surmise that straightening the damage would make the fret buzz better, assuming that it is actually fret buzz and not something loose on the guitar, such as the tuner nuts. Just a thought anyway, worth a shot.
     
  10. TheAtomicDJ

    TheAtomicDJ New Member

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    Yes... that would be my thought. To order with "Store Pickup", or go to a GC that have these units in stock and ask them to bring one from the back that's still boxed.
     
  11. BeerBatteredPhish

    BeerBatteredPhish New Member

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    I've read far too many issues with Sweetwater guitars and their "55 point inspection"...as in, it's a scam, they don't do anything.
    After two bad examples, I'd have given up on the store and model. Go for the used S2 as someone noted above...those are superior guitars
     
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  12. Solteroblues

    Solteroblues New Member

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    That pot shaft isn’t bent, the hole in the knob just isn’t perfectly perpendicular. Take the knob off and twist it then. If you still see it off axis, it’s bent. But I could almost guarantee you that it’s just off center.
     
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  13. Black Plaid

    Black Plaid just another Alan

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    I dunno man, you are obviously very discerning. Not sure any SE is going to do it for you.

    I understand the budget issue. Were I you, I'd return it and see about saving up and getting a used core guitar.

    It's not going to be brand-new, may have some wear and dings, but there's just something about them that make the SEs pale in comparison.
     
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  14. Victek

    Victek New Member

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    I bought an SE Custom 24 from GC (2018 made in Korea) and it arrived in perfect condition.
     
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  15. kipkohl

    kipkohl New Member

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    Been lurking for awhile, 1st post.....any way, that is a really nice looking guitar. With Sweetwater's 30 day return policy, I would document the issues with them and get an OK for a return if you can't get it to spec (or to your satisfaction). Then you have 30 days to get a set up done, which it appears to sorely need...that bridge is totally whacked! I'm guessing all your issues can be fixed with a good set up, which it appears Sweetwater didn't do.
     
  16. dogrocketp

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

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    I’m baffled by the setup. Set it up properly, evaluate it, and send it back if you don’t love it.
     
  17. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    Notice the gap between the bridge mount screw head and bridge plate for the low E. Now notice the lack of a gap in the same place for the high E. The bridge plate knife edges are not properly in the grooves on the screws. There is no way that Sweetwater set it up like that.

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  18. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    As others have said from the looks of the picture your bridge in not in the screw slots as intended.
    Put the bar in and push down it should drop in place.
    The bridge height will be lower once the bridge is in the screw slots.
    I would email PTC and see if they want a chance to make it right for you ( I believe they would ) , I would ask for a refund for the setup from sweetwater at least.
    If you do go the full refund route there are TONS of great PRS dealers on this site I have don't 110% satisfied business with John Mann Guitar Vault and Eddies Guitars in St Louis and have great interaction with several others.
     
  19. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    If putting in the bar and pushing it down will drop the bridge in place, how is that a setup issue on Sweetwater's part? I can think of a few different ways that the bridge could be knocked out of whack like that after it left Sweetwater. ;)
     
  20. TheAtomicDJ

    TheAtomicDJ New Member

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    Yeah, it could be that they didn't do the setup like that, but that as others have said the bridge might've been whacked out of place due to mishandling of the box by FedEx.

    But one thing that brings my attention is that based on what I know the PRS factory recommendation is to have the same action on both bass and treble side, and if I measure the action on bass/treble side on the guitar with the bridge as I received it (as on the pictured) the value is actually the same (0.090 in / 2.25 mm), which could somehow indicate that it was setup with the bridge like that.

    FYI... I contacted my Sales Engineer at Sweetwater yesterday and he asked me exactly that, to confirm what was the action on both bass/treble side on the 12th fret that the guitar had as I received it. I've sent him this information and the couple of pictures that you'll see below. I'm assuming that he wants to check with his guitar tech to validate if that was the same action that they had setup before shipping it.

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