SE 245 Upgrades.

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Chris34, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Chris34

    Chris34 New Member

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    Hi all, i bought my PRS SE 245 back at xmas and have improved my playing since but don't feel that i'm good enough to start building a huge, expensive guitar collection. So i'm looking to upgrade my guitar for now. I was thinking of starting with an RS electrics upgrade, but not sure which one (Premium vintage or modern?) followed by a Tusq nut, with a set of DiMarzio 36th Anniversary PAF's and maybe a bridge upgrade too, Schroeder perhaps?.................Any thoughts or suggestions would be gratefully accepted. P.s. I play mainly classic rock, blues, classic metal, 60's 70's 80's type stuff if that helps.:p
     
    #1 Chris34, Jun 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
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  2. gball

    gball New Member

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    Hi Chris, you picked a great platform to work with! The SE245 is a favorite and responds really well to modes.
    I like the idea of the 36th anni pickups in that guitar, would put it right in the zone of the influences you mention. Me, I'd go with the '50's wiring.
    I almost put a new bridge on mine but I realized I really like the design of the PRS bridge, so instead I just put on locking studs.
     
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  3. blaren

    blaren New Member

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    Skip the new nut. IF you are experiencing binding, file it.
    There is NO NEED for a new nut. It will do NOTHING for your tone. If it DID...it would only be on OPEN strings.
    The SE nuts are fine unless you go up to fatter strings than it came with and you get binding. Otherwise..pretty pointless.
     
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  4. Chris34

    Chris34 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, i was told the vintage wiring was for guitars that are too 'bright'? Is that good info? Also thought about a pair of Bare Knuckle Mules? Any thoughts on those or any better suggestions?
     
  5. Chris34

    Chris34 New Member

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    Hi there blaren, thanks for the heads up. I did change out my strings for 10 - 46's which does cause the strings to bind. However, i thought about changing the nut as the factory one is quite a large, bulky and unsightly lump. Can you file it down in situ?? Without too much risk of damaging the head/neck?
     
  6. gball

    gball New Member

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    I'm not sure I would characterize it as a cure for a guitar that is too bright. I like the '50's option on a singlecut-style guitar because it seems to make the high-end more open sounding, especially when using both pickups together. Before buying a wiring harness you can try to just rewire your 245 and see what you like better - if you are handy with a soldering iron it is a pretty simple change.

    No experience with the Bare Knuckles but I have heard nothing but good things about them.
     
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  7. Chris34

    Chris34 New Member

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    Thanks gball, thats a big help. I asked about the wiring kits (premium vintage or modern) because i asked the same question to RS Guitarworks and the reply was that the vintage was better for guitars that are too thin or bright and visa versa for the modern. This did not help me at all! I thought my 245 was fairly balanced as it was, and didn't require a "cure". I merely wanted to improve on that sound and perhaps fit coil taps to add a little more range and versatility. I fancied the vintage kit too as i felt it would add some warmth and the type of tone needed for some classic Led Zep! :D
     
    #7 Chris34, Jun 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  8. Duffy

    Duffy New Member

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    I have done very little modifying of any of my SE's.

    The only modification I have done is to put Grover 406C locking tuners on my Singlecut Tremolo SE that is similar to your guitar and I like way they work.

    The only other modification I have done is to install raw nickel/silver metal covers over the zebra pickups on three or four of my SE's. I have another set on hand that I'm going to put on my Santana yellow SE later this week.

    The raw nickel/silver pickup covers look so cool and make my guitars look like expensive collector's items, plus they just have that "Antiquities" look that I like so much. They are five dollars each from Philadelphia Luthier supply online.

    As far as future upgrades, I might install more Grover 406C locking tuners on some of my SE's.

    The pickups sound wonderful stock and look especially good covered. I did the soldering to cover them and they took me five minutes each. This is a very easy mod to do and can give you some rudimentary soldering skills for future use. I would stay away from replacing any bridge parts or anything else on the guitar. These are already made from well selected components.

    You would be better off putting the money toward a better amp or your next PRS.
     
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  9. Chris34

    Chris34 New Member

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    Hi Duffy, thanks for your input. I don't really need the locking tuners as i have a stop tail bridge. I agree that SE's are pretty good out of the box, i just felt that an electronics upgrade with some new pickups would increase the range and tone of the guitar, especially if i add coil taps. Also bearing in mind with a sub 600 axe, they have to save money somewhere which is usually the pots, caps, and wiring. Just trying to make a pretty good axe very good without spending 800 - 1000 on another guitar. Also i wanted the versatility of an adjustable stop tail bridge like a Schroeder, so i can play about with string thicknesses without fear of losing the tonality of the guitar.
     
  10. DarkPenguin

    DarkPenguin New Member

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    They save money by having them made by World Musical Instruments Corp. (Not that they do bad work. They do excellent work. For an insane number of guitar makes. They just do that work for a lot less than the Maryland folk.) I'd get new pickups before buying any new wiring. Separate out your changes so you know what actually made a difference. A new nut is an easy change at least if you buy a tusq nut. Drop in replacement for an SE 245. Can't speak to the bridge. I'm constantly adjusting my strats so I like that the 245 has a bridge that you can't really adjust too much.
     
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  11. Duffy

    Duffy New Member

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    I enjoy modifying guitars. I just like the stock SE pickups and put covers on them.

    I really dig the ideas of one of those high quality adjustable stop tail bridges.

    You would be surprised how well the Grover 406C locking tuners keep your guitar in tune. They really work well and are inexpensive, about fifty dollars or so.

    Have you tried Cobalt strings? Or the new Daddario "EXP" coated strings? I dig both types. I especially like the Cobalts because I have been using them longer but I just put a set of 12's in the "EXP" on my new Taylor 110ce, which to me is a very nice acoustic/electric. These strings have some tone that was absent before I put them on there. Factory strings always seem to be missing something. I have to do my Taylor 150e twelve string next - that is going to take some time. It sounds great with the factory strings, but maybe that is the power of wishful thinking.

    How about putting some of those brass bridge string saddles on your guitar? The always seem to look super cool. I should try that myself.

    What color is your 245? I have some nice colored SE's myself. One of my Custom 24's is vintage yellow and it looks awesome; my SE Tremonti Custom has the black/grey flame with a dark green undercoat type thing the radiates thru the flame and it looks awesome. I also have a couple other really nice looking ones.

    They always look better when I put those raw nickel/silver pickup covers over those unsightly zebra pickups. They just look a lot more classy.
     
    #11 Duffy, Jun 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
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  12. gball

    gball New Member

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    So, I tried a crazy experiment:

    My SE-245 had a Vintage Bass in the neck and a Tremonti Treble in the bridge. Lately I have been switching over all my guitars to a more "vintage" setup with regards to the pickups, meaning a PAF/low impedance type of vibe. It's just been working better for the music we have been writing lately, and so I decided I wanted to try something with the 245.

    I removed the Tremonti, and moved the Vintage Bass from the neck to the bridge (despite the name "Bass", the specs appear identical to the pickup they used to sell as the Vintage Treble, 8.5k, same wire and winds, A2 mag, so I took a gamble) and dropped the DiMarzio PAF Pro that I recently removed from my Mira into the neck. Wired the VB in series and the PAF Pro in parallel.

    I haven't gotten them completely dialed in yet, but so far it is looking like an amazing transformatio. The VB is a KILLER bridge PAF-style pickup, and it seems to be complemented well by the Dimarzio, with it's characteristic honkiness. In fact, the VB seems really hot as a bridge pickup and responds much better to the volume control than it did in the neck. Once I get the heights and pole pieces set on both I think this is going to be a really nice update.
     
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  13. Chris34

    Chris34 New Member

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    Cool!! Sounds like i'm on the right track with my upgrades i have pencilled in to do soon. Keep me posted!!
     
  14. Matt Richards

    Matt Richards New Member

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    Bollox
     
  15. Gac

    Gac New Member

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    Duffy, you have good information. So the 406 tuners will fit an SE 245 with not problems? If so, looks like an economical upgrade. Do I just unscrew old ones out and install the 406?
     
  16. Gac

    Gac New Member

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  17. Gac

    Gac New Member

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  18. Gac

    Gac New Member

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    Will the Grover’s 406C tuners install easily on a PRS SE 245?
     
  19. Fullmoon 1971

    Fullmoon 1971 New Member

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    Hi Chris, I think your on the right track with 99% of your ideas,I own 7 SE's that have all been modded to some extent, my breakdown would be.

    Tuners = Grover 406c (I believe these fit perfect but never tried them -The only tuner I've felt the need to swap were on my bernie and then only because I didn't like the button colour)
    Nut = GraphTech do a great replacement or get a PRS core one
    Pickups = Sounds like your got these covered but I i'd do some of the other swaps first (with a decent tone capacitor 245 pickups can sound fantastic)
    Wiring = If you want coil taps then of course your gonna have to a get a new harness & pickups, make sure you get good quality capacitors either way
    Bridge = I have both the Schroeder adjustable and the ABM replacement bridges and neither really do much for the guitar. They both suffer the post guitar being too deep in the bridge making setting intonation a PITA.
    [​IMG]
    Bridge only held in place by the locking nuts (adjustment grub screws too short to be effective)

    ABM bridge on "Bernie"
    [​IMG]
    Again bridge short than normal so Adjustment screws end up at the end of their length.

    I'm suprised you've not thought about the John Mann "MannMade" Adjustable bridge, price wise there not a not difference between this and the schroeder (about $30) also check out Johns "Phase II" style locking SE tuners.

    http://store.guitarvaultusa.com/MannMade_USA_Intonatable_Stoptail_Bridge_Assembly_p/2300.htm
    http://store.guitarvaultusa.com/MannMade_USA_Locking_Tuner_Set_p/7030.htm

    Here's a link to my modded SE's if your interested
    https://forums.prsguitars.com/threads/se-mods.629/page-54#post-349081
     
  20. Eddie kim

    Eddie kim New Member

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    Super easy to swap out...
     

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