PRS Trem - Need Advice (Maintenance/string change)

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by iR4lf, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. iR4lf

    iR4lf New Member

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    Hi guys,

    After playing several PRS guitars with stoptails I purchased a nice 2014 PRS Tremonti with a trem bridge. Loving it since the first day. I had it set up by my trusted guitar tech (drop cis tuning) with 10-52s strings perfectly.

    Now due to the fact that I haven't played a trem bridge before, is there any advice you could give regarding regular change of guitar strings (not the gauge, just new strings) / maintenance? Just change one string after another? I do know the trem is more sensitive to tuning changes, but will the bridge take regular switches from drop to standard (more me half step down) on the lower E string? So just changing the tuning of the lower E string from Cis to Dis? Other strings stay in the same tuning? Is there any advice regarding the saddles while changing strings? I don't want to fix intonation after changing strings...
    I have heard the PRS trem takes a lot, but either way...I am happy about any advice...

    So give your experiences to a Tremolo greenhorn:) Thanks guys.
     
  2. XiXora

    XiXora New Member

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    For me, the lower three strings will detune slightly after switching to drop tuning from standard.
    I think that'll do if you change from standard to drop tunings a lot. Not much else you could do.
     
  3. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

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    If I do a drop D then the other strings go out of tune slightly. Not so much with themselves but if you have another guitar player you may notice it more that way. Being the only guitar player in my band I seem to get away with it. A tremol-no will fix that. I have one but didn't install it so I can't say how well it works.

    I put a piece of cardboard under back of trem and take all strings off at once for string changes. I have Eb tone on my phone and use that to get guitar close to pitch during string changes then actually tune it at the show during setup.

    Some guys lube string slots on the nut with nut sauce or graphite but I use chap stick. You may not need to do this but if you have one string that slips out of tune then give it a try.

    PRS recommends light machine oil on fulcrum screws for lubrication.

    Good luck.
     
  4. drgordonfreeman

    drgordonfreeman New Member

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    Remember that the trem is "floating", meaning that the bridge's operability and tuning stability is dependent upon string tension. If you change the tuning on one of the strings, thereby changing its tension, that will affect the total tension on the bridge, thus changing the tuning slighlty on all the other strings.

    This isn't a problem with PRS trems in particular, but a problem with all trems (e.g., Fender, Jackson, Ibanez, ESP, etc.). And it's not really a "problem"; it's just the nature of floating trems.
     
  5. dogrocketp

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

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    The Doctor has spoken, and I agree.
     
  6. iR4lf

    iR4lf New Member

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    Thanks guys...

    Okay then let's cover string changes...Is it better to change each string without taking all strings off to safe the proper trem setup? After 2-3 months I usually take all the strings of with my fixed bridge PRS to clean the fretboard and the frets...What about the trem? Thanks...
     
  7. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    I prefer to swap out strings one at a time - the least amount of change at one time seems to provide more stability when tuning back up.

    You can also "deck" your trem if you want to go back and forth between drop and regular tunings - the trem will only be able to be bent "down", no pull-ups, but that may be OK for you. To deck your trem you detune the whole guitar a bit, down a full step or so (because the next step will add tension!), then tighten the claw screws in the trem cavity on the back of the guitar until the back part of the trem bridge hits the body (you might use a small piece of cardboard or other material to protect the wood if paranoid). Check your tunings, and you might need to tighten up those screws a bit more.

    Your guitar won't have a "factory" floating trem set up, but it will make changing tunings a lot easier.
     
  8. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    Nah - no need to do them one at a time. This is the master at work:



    I asked Len about that - he uses a magazine subscription card or a couple of business cards covered in painters tape. It takes a surprisingly small piece to do this - I thought the pull of the springs would easily overcome the magazine card, but it doesn't. I've been using it since then w/no issues. Just cut the card in half and toss a layer or two of tape on it.

    Or PM me your address and I'll fire one out to you.
     
    #8 alantig, Apr 14, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2015
  9. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

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    I do them all at once. I put a piece of cardboard under back of trem and take them all off. While I'm bringing guitar back to pitch I work the trem up and down all the way to get things settled.
     

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