SE CU24 - High action/setup help.

Discussion in 'PTC - PRS Tech Center' started by spilla, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. spilla

    spilla New Member

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    The action is high on my PRS SE CU24 even though the saddle is bottomed out. Also, the tremolo is sitting 2mm off the body (not the reccomeneded 1/16"). Is there a set of instructions i can follow to set the 6 screws up properly? Preferably with video or pics.

    Also, another issue. The 6 tremolo screws are poking through into the trem cavity, where they have cracked and chipped the paint (only a mm or so) . Is that a common occurrence? Im a bit worried, as from what i can tell, i will need to lower those screws to get the trem height right? So they will be sticking out further?

    FYI, im decent at setting up hardtails/flyods/fender trems. The nut is fine, i have a little relief and the tremolo is floating evenly (2mm off the body)

    I found this vid that explains how to setup a replacement PRS trem but im not sure if those instructions are valid for the stock trem.
     
  2. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    The John Mann Video is the correct way BUT you can adjust to taste, my latest needed to be just a bit lower ( a very slight turn ) and a flatter relief than I would normally do but it plays great now and I have some adjustment back in by saddles
     
  3. spilla

    spilla New Member

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    Thats good news. So when he says to use a 2.5mm hex as a feeler guage, could i instead use a 2mm guage? or do i have to keep it pretty close to 2.5mm?
     
  4. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    If you use a 2mm the bridge will be lower than spec. That isn't really a problem except that you won't have full range of motion available to use the trem. I understand that you want the action lower, but IMO you have a problem with the bridge that isn't normal. The saddles should not be bottomed out. Maybe the bridge is not parallel with the body and they have lowered the saddles to get the action lower, but if you level the bridge your saddles can come back up. Something is not right. Give us a few photos to look at it.
     
  5. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    Using a 2mm key I believe would be to low.
    Here is what I do on troublesome guitars -- Use the 2.5mm allen but go a bit tighter than suggested in the video ( let the bridge lift a bit at the rear when the key in inserted ) this is a VERY small turn but it makes a big difference.
    if you want to be more accurate I would file down an allen to 2.3 or 2.4 mm and start from there.
     
  6. spilla

    spilla New Member

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    Ok, thanks for the info guys. I'll strip her down and try setting it up with the 2.5mm and maybe tweak from there. If im still having issues ill come back with photos.
     
  7. spilla

    spilla New Member

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    I had time to try fixing this again. Made some progress but theres still some issues. When using the 2.5mm hex feller gauge (as shown in the vid) i only had 1mm of clearance between the trem/body. So i used a 3mm hex and that brought it up to PRS preffered 1.5mm (1/16"). There is an even gap between the trem/body on all sides.

    With that setup the action issue was fixed, however im now having a tuning stability issue. Big bends or trem use with throw the guitar out of tune. Also the trem screws are still sticking out the back of the trem cavity (which looks really bad, i dont believe it was designed this way... surely that alone means theres something wrong here).

    I dont know what to try next. Relief is good, the trem is parallel with the body (1/16"). Trem claw is even with block. The trem screws seem to be at the right height with the trems knife edges sitting in the screw notches. Gave the nut a slight kiss with the files to help with any binding. Here are some pics that might help with some suggestions on where to go next. also included a pic of the trem screws sticking out of the trem cavity.

    I think this has beat me. Might be time to take it to a tech.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    Looks like you've done a good job so far. Did you check the knife edges of the trem before you put it back on? If the previous set up was bad (and it sure sounds like it was) they could have damaged the knife blade surfaces and that would make it go out of tune. Also check to make sure the blade edges are indeed setting in the grooves of the screws. I've seen the trem ride above them and not slide down into them before.

    As for the screws sticking out into the trem cavity, that is not normal. Maybe someone tried US trem screws instead of SE's. Something's not right.
     
  9. spilla

    spilla New Member

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    Unfortunately i didnt check the knife edges, i only back the screws out a little then reajusted. And im almost certain the knife edges are sitting in the screw notches. Even had a friend double check and he thinks its good to. Im confident its not a setup issue now. I to think the knife edges are damaged. Im going to replace the nut and if that doesnt fix the tuning issue then ill jsut block the trem.

    Also i asked on another forum and a few guys also ahve their screws sticking out of the trem cavity, even a PRS Inspector step in and said its common.


    Thanks for your input guys! at least now i know how to set one of these up!
     
  10. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    As for the screws poking through, I have a 88 CE24 and 2003 CE 24, both come through.
     
  11. John Mann

    John Mann olslowhand
    Authorized PRS Dealer

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    Just a few observations...
    - The trem claw should be straight
    - Check the knife edges for dings, dents, oval shape
    - Check the screws for dings & dents
    - Put a slight dab of clear grease, silicone, or even vaseline in the knife edges
    - Check the nut to make sure strings sit and are not hanging up there
    - Check that the tuners and all hardware are tight (but not crazy tight!)
    - Check for excessive fret wear. That will cause you to be out of tune when fretting notes up the neck.

    If all this is good, consider upgrading some of the SE parts
    - PRS core nut (by far the biggest bang for the buck)
    - locking tuners
    - bridge component upgrades
     
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  12. Christian King

    Christian King New Member

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    I'm having the exact same issue. High action on my SE custom 22 but the saddle is already bottomed out (low E). I lowered the term but that didn't give me much range and the action was still too high. My tech is currently working on it but he mentioned that the saddles shouldn't be bottomed out. He thinks it slipped through QC. He suggested dropping the trem entirely but what defeats the purpose of having one.
     
  13. John F

    John F New Member

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    I read this and the other thread on SE height of saddles and trems, and I have a fix that I would use. Seems obvious that the trem should be set to the correct height. Next lower the screws into the saddles a few threads to ensure there will be room to raise/lower the saddle after final assembly. The fix will be to file down each saddle in the string slot as necessary to set the string height to the value you desire. Be sure to polish the notch in the saddle that the string sets into to ensure the string slides over it smoothly to ensure it returns to pitch after bending or trem use.

    The SE saddles may come from the factory with very poor tolerances where it affects saddle/string height. Maybe these should be checked on SE before the gutars leave PRS here in the US. Maybe PRS should put a QC spec on the factory that builds the guitars overseas.

    Lowering the string height into the saddle followed by a polish should allow all these problems to be corrected with the least impact to the trem height and preferred action. StewMac sells abrasive cord in 200 grit for $8 for polishing the saddle. Give it a try!
     
  14. Christian King

    Christian King New Member

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    I suggested it to my tech. He'll work on it. But I'd prefer a US tremolo as an upgrade. He told me to hold off on that for now. Let's see what he can do.
     
    John F likes this.
  15. Ovibos

    Ovibos Naughty Wood Librarian

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    One thing to keep in mind when installing the US trem is you need to widen the 6 holes for the trem knife edge screws. I didn’t, and sheared a head off one trying to install.
     
    #15 Ovibos, Sep 5, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
  16. John Mann

    John Mann olslowhand
    Authorized PRS Dealer

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    Christian reached out to me directly. Here is my reply...

    Since the SE bridge is basically an PRS approved import copy of my original design, the dimensions are very close.
    IMHO, our bridge is far superior in tone and performance to the SE bridge.

    There is nothing technically wrong with the saddle being bottomed out... if that gives you the action you desire.
    If your bridge is floating parallel at 1.5mm (.060") above the body, then you are at factory spec.
    Try adjusting your truss rod so that the neck has less relief. You can get away with .25mm (.010") relief and not buzz.

    Watch this video for correct setup procedure -
     
  17. John Mann

    John Mann olslowhand
    Authorized PRS Dealer

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    BTW... there is also nothing wrong with lowering / shrinking the gap between the body and the bridge.
    It only means that that your pull up range is reduced.
     
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  18. Christian King

    Christian King New Member

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    My tech made it work. He lowered the trem, did some work on the nut and dialed everything in. It plays so good it's a completely different guitar. But he said that the angle the neck was glued on isn't right. That's why the action was super high in the first place. Nothing I can do about that.
     

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