PRS S2 594 String Tension

Rebus

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Jun 26, 2020
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Hi all,

This maybe an inexperienced question, but who knows!

I've been luck to pick up a DC S2 594. It's an absolute beauty and I'm delighted with it. The resonance is astonishing.

Unusually, though, the string tension seems quite high for a shorter scale guitar.

I've used a set of 10-48s, and bends, fretting, feel more akin to playing a set of 11s or even 12s.

Interestingly, the tension is also a lot lot higher than the same set of strings on my Core custom 24!

Is this something anyone else has experienced with the 594, either S2 or core? I'd prefer not to go down to 9s if I can avoid it. I find them a bit like cheesewire on anything other than Fenders.
 

veinbuster

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This doesn’t add up. Shorter scale, same string gauge, same tuning should have less tension in the strings.

And chance the strings are binding somewhere?
I assume you’ve put your own new strings on, which takes an unknown brand or old strings out of play.
 

RickP

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Equally silly question, but are they tuned the same? I can’t think of another reason, all other factors being equal. The total length of the string affects tension, but I’d say that even a C24 would be longer.
 

Rebus

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Hi all,

Sorry for delayed reply. Yup, same new strings, same tuning! That was why I was so confused. The only thing I can think is that maybe the nut's not quite cut right and it's binding there - it's a bit high - but that'd definitely be a first for a PRS for me!

I'm planning to take it to my tech in the next couple of weeks to get the pickups swapped, so I'll see what he thinks. Maybe it's just my brain after a year of lockdown o_O
 

Rider1260

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On a two piece bridge you can adjust the string tension via the height of the tail piece like a LP that is why some folks over wrap the strings on a LP.
Just my theory :)
 

Draconomics

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So, my suspicion is the nut. If its cut too high, you will feel like there is higher string tension, especially noticable on the first few frets. You wont just be fighting the string on bends but youll be fighting the string vertically too; it can feel very... tight. Couple that with certain play styles, say...someone who likes feeling wood when they fret and presses hard for example. Youll need to measure the action above the first with a feeler guage.

For what its worth I dont reccomend overwrapping the tail peice. I dont think it affects the "slinkyness" of the strings at all, but there is a risk the break angle from the tail to the saddles will not be high enough to keep proper contact on the saddle. I know lots of people do it, Ive just never seen any benefit when I tried it.
 

aphantomvaper

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So, my suspicion is the nut. If its cut too high, you will feel like there is higher string tension, especially noticable on the first few frets. You wont just be fighting the string on bends but youll be fighting the string vertically too; it can feel very... tight. Couple that with certain play styles, say...someone who likes feeling wood when they fret and presses hard for example. Youll need to measure the action above the first with a feeler guage.

For what its worth I dont reccomend overwrapping the tail peice. I dont think it affects the "slinkyness" of the strings at all, but there is a risk the break angle from the tail to the saddles will not be high enough to keep proper contact on the saddle. I know lots of people do it, Ive just never seen any benefit when I tried it.
I'll second this. I like a high/stiff action up there though as I feel a bit more control and the guitar doesn't "do" things I didn't intend. Not slide action high, just a little higher than normal, or higher than some would like.
 

Draconomics

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I'll second this. I like a high/stiff action up there though as I feel a bit more control and the guitar doesn't "do" things I didn't intend. Not slide action high, just a little higher than normal, or higher than some would like.

I've noticed that on higher actions. I feel like there's less errant string noise. I do set mine at just under PRS spec, but 3/64 treble is about the limit. After that, bends become anemic. Ack!

Wanted to mention on the tailpiece changing tension, I think someone else mentioned it...if you lower or raise it the overall tension will change (less or more string between bridge and tailpiece) but so will the pitch of all strings, so you end up compensating at the tuning keys and therefore end up with the same tension overall once you are tuned up, that is to say it fixes nothing. Particular string tension amounts is what gives us a particular frequency at which it can vibrate. I.E. if we changed tension, the pitch would change. Its like on a bend, we arent stretching the sting, we are changing tension, its why a string "fights" us the more we bend it. Ideally, I want my tailpiece as close to the body as possible so long as no contact is made with the edge of the back of the bridge. Too shallow of a break angle and the strings may vibrate themselves out of the saddles.
 
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