SE Mods

Alnus Rubra

Loving nature’s wonders
Joined
Oct 17, 2017
Messages
19,972
Location
Scotland
This was at Rick's Dockside Grill, which is part of Tellico Marina on Tellico Lake, outside of Maryville, TN. You can't see them in these pics, but there are some LARGE boats there!

kEt6U8m.jpg


yNdnwxM.jpg

Thanks for sharing Mark, great venue.

Just be careful when playing Timewarp!! ;)
 

dogrocketp

I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
4,332
Location
Washington, DC
I'm currently working on a theory, that for the SE CU 24 (or SE Trem Bridge) at least , the upgrade to the bridge should be made perhaps before the pickups...

A lesson I learned (and philosophy I adopted as an Audiofly) ... Is that the source components are the most important in your system ,as they determine how much and how accurate a signal gets passed on to the more "attractive" components like amplifiers and speakers that actually only represent "potential". If the signal is lost at the source (the turntable, back when I adopted the philosophy) it is lost forever, and amps and speakers cannot correct for it.

The bridge, is a crucial piece of guitar infrastructure (along with the nut and tuners) and ultimately provide the ability of the strings to provide signal to pickups (think amp/ speakers) Yeah , I know the pickups are essentially microphones ... and "bad signal" in ? They will only amplify what they are fed...

Replacing pickups definitely make a difference. I've already done that on one SE CU 24 . (Indo made) .But I'm going to do the bridge on the other , and leave the pickups in place (that happen to be Korean G&B as the guitar is Korean made) ... and I'll see ultimately what they sound like , before I move to upgrade them. The idea being, to know ultimately what the stock pickup sounds like, before I off them ...

I'm figuring John Manns' killa dilla, 100% brass 2040 bridge (I even went with X-Rated , Unplated, Nekkid, Raw Brass saddles) will get that goal accomplished ;)
I have a problem, I don’t think that you automatically need to replace the bridge or pickups to “upgrade” the sound. My front man plays an unaltered SE Singlecut Stoptail that is absolutely dead on out of the box. It took me a number of guitars to find it for him. The only thing it needed was a good setup. My SE Singlecut Trem needed new pickups to wake it up. I used USA #7’s. The original bridge gave me the sound I was looking for. It irritates me that people automatically think you need to switch out parts. It also irritates me when people like the feel, don’t like the sound, and then sell the guitar when new pickups would have given them what they wanted. IMHO, you live with the guitar for a month and then do what’s necessary. The only exception are locking tuners and a new nut if it ain’t right when you get it set up by a pro. Remember, replace and upgrade are not synonymous.
 

CrimesAgainstMusic

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
525
I have a problem, I
Dogrocketp ... Don't be gettin irritated ... :)

Mine is not a snap decision, or one that comes from not having tried other avenues . The "SE" is by definition, a "cost effective" PRS guitar. It is a great guitar off the shelf, and does not necessarily cry out for "upgrades" ...BUT they cost what they cost ... for a reason .

Several components are purposely engineered and constructed to cost less, , but to provide satisfactory results . The entire SE line excels at doing that. But there is an alternative approach that views the SE, as a Core on the "installment plan". Now, an SE, will never have the intensive hand worked bodies and necks, or even the "premium" cuts of wood... But a lot of SE components can be "upgraded", to approach the performance of a much more expensive guitar. Hence the "upgrades"

I have had both my SE CU 24's ... for more than two years...Not a snap or impulse or unconsidered decision to make a change. Already changed the pickups in one. But then I started wondering, if the pickup move should come first (or before) a possible bridge upgrade ???. That is what my "theory" is about.

My John Mann bridge will go into the guitar, with its stock G&B 85/15S pickups. People were concerned when manufacturing shifted from Korea to Indonesia about build quality. I find even after 2 years in, absolutely no differences in build quality between my Korean made Sweetwater exclusive "rosewood veneer" and my Indo made "Zebrawood" beauty . But the pickups ? The Korean version (G&B vs ???) sound a tad more satisfying. So they are still in the guitar. I will add the John Mann Killa Dilla 2040 all brass bridge to this guitar, to see if maybe I should have done this first, before replacing the pickups in the Indo version.

BTW, I think that if these (or any other of my guitars) get sold ... It will be my "Heirs & Assigns" that may do that ;)
 
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dogrocketp

I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
4,332
Location
Washington, DC
Dumble didn’t use all the highest quality components. He understood mating things for a reason. It’s always the sum of the total that gives us sound we either like or don’t like. You are doing this with thought. I get irked by people who think that just changing components willy nilly will give them the magic guitar. I have an example of each available trem bridge in one of my guitars. Like you, it’s done for a specific reason to get a specific sound. This wasn’t directed at you, but at the modders who don’t know what they’re doing. It’s always great to make something your owe.
 

DatGat

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2022
Messages
26
Can you marker pen ebony colour (or whatever has been used) over the Bird Inlays? Semi jokng, the serious side is I HATE the look of them, as do many people out there, but I like enough about PRS to own some and want some more. Im just not sure how to get a neck like on the Torero that is nice simple dot inlays?

Can you buy PRS bodies? Then again there are so many copies out there for 1/5th the price of an SE that are perfectly serviceable, probably easier to get a body I want that way and reset the neck, provided its not a neck through clearly.

JUst some random thinking on how to get a PRS, that I like.
 

Fullmoon 1971

Werewolf, there wolf, there castle
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Messages
428
Location
United Kingdon
Can you marker pen ebony colour (or whatever has been used) over the Bird Inlays? Semi jokng, the serious side is I HATE the look of them, as do many people out there, but I like enough about PRS to own some and want some more. Im just not sure how to get a neck like on the Torero that is nice simple dot inlays?

Can you buy PRS bodies? Then again there are so many copies out there for 1/5th the price of an SE that are perfectly serviceable, probably easier to get a body I want that way and reset the neck, provided its not a neck through clearly.

JUst some random thinking on how to get a PRS, that I like.
Check out Neckillusions.com they make a overlay that fit between the frets to cover the fretboard, their design are super cheap are only limited by for imagination. I have a plain ebony one plus a few fancier designs (check my werewolf Nick Catanese mods on page 83 or my heavily modded Santana on page 84 of this thread for a couple of examples)

Yes the birds aren't for everyone, virtually every guitar magazine review I've seen for both core & SE criticised the plain birds but it is what it is, just one of Paul's many quirks

I personally prefer the moon inlays.
 
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Jbyrd78

New Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
36
Finally got the sig on the headstock of my Paul's SE. I got this from a shop in Canada off etsy. Only cost about $15. Easy to apply, it's a metal laser cut sticker basically. The astute of you will notice I installed it upside down. Wish I could say there was some high concept aesthetic reason for it...I really just forgot the orientation. Meh.

Where does one find this vinyl for the headstock that you speak of?
 

DatGat

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2022
Messages
26
Yes the birds aren't for everyone, virtually every guitar magazine review I've seen for both core & SE criticised the plain birds but it is what it is, just one of Paul's many quirks
I don't get it. There are so many small things PRS could change to be more commercially viable. Clearly they make a solid guitar. But if they dont adapt they will be the next Gibson that everybody hates on.

I hadnt thought about inlays for the fretboard, thank you so much for that link, I can put PRS back in my searching for list. The other thing I think they need to consider is the neck, the radius. I think the best in between radius is 12" but the charvel 12-16" compound type radius is also excellent for allowing open chords but the neck gets faster as it flattens out for shredding. I dunno, Id be happy with 12". I dont like any of these extreme guys like 18 or 20" radius, that is too much. But I think a 12" or the compound would be commercially successful.

How hard are they to put on AND take off? I think for me something simple would work, it needs to look natural, I also worry about how long they last? Lastly which method of sizing did you find to work well, the custom version? Im guessing they rely on the guitar maker sticking to the rules, as such. I like this one https://neckillusions.com/collections/steel-string-guitars/products/arturina?variant=41464568512689


The last thing for me is the pickups, they are anemic. Its like when you start out with a squier and buy seymour duncans to make it sound good, but instead of $200 you are already paying the price for a guitar that other brands have high quality pickups in. People could argue they are good but Im just not even going to consider that. My current models have a Black Winter, but Id like a EMG 57 and a Sustainiac in my next project.

Dont get me wrong, I wouldnt waste my time on here if I was hating on PRS, but they do have a culture of stuffness about them. Id like to see them get the Ibanez or ESP signature list, obviously keep Carlos, he really started it for me. I think Hendrix would have moved to a Charvel eventually, maybe his own line in say Ibanez with a similar signature to the Satriani line, which is similar to a PRS but has one of the best bodies ever made, the S and SR series. If Ibanez made an S series with a 12" radius, with their Edge 2 and ZPS system, that would be me sorted. But you have to buy into the Satriani line which aint overly cheap. My point is, just like PRS, no guitar company is perfect, outside Charvel haha. Kiesel is probably the hottest semi mass production but still fairly "custom" gat shop.
 
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DatGat

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2022
Messages
26
I quite like this one too, in either mother of pearl or "sky". Amazing you can change inlay type etc. I see Steve Vai uses them.

Anyway change this to MoP or Sky, I think they could suit the white Dave Navarro?
 

Fullmoon 1971

Werewolf, there wolf, there castle
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Messages
428
Location
United Kingdon
I don't get it. There are so many small things PRS could change to be more commercially viable. Clearly they make a solid guitar. But if they dont adapt they will be the next Gibson that everybody hates on.

I hadnt thought about inlays for the fretboard, thank you so much for that link, I can put PRS back in my searching for list. The other thing I think they need to consider is the neck, the radius. I think the best in between radius is 12" but the charvel 12-16" compound type radius is also excellent for allowing open chords but the neck gets faster as it flattens out for shredding. I dunno, Id be happy with 12". I dont like any of these extreme guys like 18 or 20" radius, that is too much. But I think a 12" or the compound would be commercially successful.

How hard are they to put on AND take off? I think for me something simple would work, it needs to look natural, I also worry about how long they last? Lastly which method of sizing did you find to work well, the custom version? Im guessing they rely on the guitar maker sticking to the rules, as such. I like this one https://neckillusions.com/collections/steel-string-guitars/products/arturina?variant=41464568512689


The last thing for me is the pickups, they are anemic. Its like when you start out with a squier and buy seymour duncans to make it sound good, but instead of $200 you are already paying the price for a guitar that other brands have high quality pickups in. People could argue they are good but Im just not even going to consider that. My current models have a Black Winter, but Id like a EMG 57 and a Sustainiac in my next project.

Dont get me wrong, I wouldnt waste my time on here if I was hating on PRS, but they do have a culture of stuffness about them. Id like to see them get the Ibanez or ESP signature list, obviously keep Carlos, he really started it for me. I think Hendrix would have moved to a Charvel eventually, maybe his own line in say Ibanez with a similar signature to the Satriani line, which is similar to a PRS but has one of the best bodies ever made, the S and SR series. If Ibanez made an S series with a 12" radius, with their Edge 2 and ZPS system, that would be me sorted. But you have to buy into the Satriani line which aint overly cheap. My point is, just like PRS, no guitar company is perfect, outside Charvel haha. Kiesel is probably the hottest semi mass production but still fairly "custom" gat shop.
I use the custom version and yeah thier fairly easy to apply and remove and if you keep the backing paper they should last for years. the company says 5 years but my son has one on one of his Gretsch's that been on there for 6 years with not real signs of damage or wear. Just remember to triple check each measurement before you order.
 

Ovibos

Naughty Wood Librarian
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
2,871
Location
Wilmette, IL
I don't get it. There are so many small things PRS could change to be more commercially viable. Clearly they make a solid guitar. But if they dont adapt they will be the next Gibson that everybody hates on.

I hadnt thought about inlays for the fretboard, thank you so much for that link, I can put PRS back in my searching for list. The other thing I think they need to consider is the neck, the radius. I think the best in between radius is 12" but the charvel 12-16" compound type radius is also excellent for allowing open chords but the neck gets faster as it flattens out for shredding. I dunno, Id be happy with 12". I dont like any of these extreme guys like 18 or 20" radius, that is too much. But I think a 12" or the compound would be commercially successful.

How hard are they to put on AND take off? I think for me something simple would work, it needs to look natural, I also worry about how long they last? Lastly which method of sizing did you find to work well, the custom version? Im guessing they rely on the guitar maker sticking to the rules, as such. I like this one https://neckillusions.com/collections/steel-string-guitars/products/arturina?variant=41464568512689


The last thing for me is the pickups, they are anemic. Its like when you start out with a squier and buy seymour duncans to make it sound good, but instead of $200 you are already paying the price for a guitar that other brands have high quality pickups in. People could argue they are good but Im just not even going to consider that. My current models have a Black Winter, but Id like a EMG 57 and a Sustainiac in my next project.

Dont get me wrong, I wouldnt waste my time on here if I was hating on PRS, but they do have a culture of stuffness about them. Id like to see them get the Ibanez or ESP signature list, obviously keep Carlos, he really started it for me. I think Hendrix would have moved to a Charvel eventually, maybe his own line in say Ibanez with a similar signature to the Satriani line, which is similar to a PRS but has one of the best bodies ever made, the S and SR series. If Ibanez made an S series with a 12" radius, with their Edge 2 and ZPS system, that would be me sorted. But you have to buy into the Satriani line which aint overly cheap. My point is, just like PRS, no guitar company is perfect, outside Charvel haha. Kiesel is probably the hottest semi mass production but still fairly "custom" gat shop.
The closest SE they've made to what you want is the old Torero (EMGs, Floyd, no inlays, 25.5" scale).

The 245s pickups in my SE Zach Myers are anything but anemic, and neither are the ones in the Holcomb - but they are very different in most other specs from what you want.

But it does really sound like you want PRS SE to be LTD or something else and might find your axe of choice elsewhere - which is totally cool, I want everyone to find their happy guitar!

You've got all these folks on message boards and YouTube demanding stainless steel frets on everything, but I think that's a loud minority.

PRS sells a ton of what they make now (and have very long backlogs!) As Paul always says "if you stop buying 'em, we stop making 'em." They're aiming to fill the niches they're in...for now. If the market dictates it, they'll change.
 

DatGat

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2022
Messages
26
for now. If the market dictates it, they'll change.
No I love PRS, its just I hate some very small things they could do to make the company more accessible. They are a good basic no frills well made gat and thats what they do well, but I have to disagree about the zach myers pickups. Each to their own. Mind you I enjoy a p90 humbucker size in one of my PRS, Id put a single coil in but then Id need to put a pick guard on, but might be worth it if it were a cheaper model or I got it cheap.

The Torero is indeed my favourite PRS, we rarely see them here, one was for sale at auction no reserve of $400 US. I forgot to set my alarm and it got 1 bidder :-(. That was about a year ago. Then you got the Floyd but they often ask a lot. Being a small country things cost 50% more, not just currency, I expect it is simply economies of scale and all that.

But I can make a Floyd from any PRS, Ive put Gotohs (japanese alternative based on the floyd rose) in a few strats. If PRS were bolt on necks Id probably just change the neck and add a floyd, thats the beauty of super stratting.

Ive been considering putting some green glow in dark dots along the side of fretboard of my next PRS. Actually I wonder if they have decals for that, certainly less skill involved to put on if there was. If they work on the fretboard, shouldnt be an issue on the side.
 

DatGat

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2022
Messages
26
Just remember to triple check each measurement before you order.
Yes indeed, that would be a horrid mistake. Im wondering if they do glow in the dark side FB dots...... if not, they should haha. I have done them the real way on strats, but this would be much less hassle.
 

dogrocketp

I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
4,332
Location
Washington, DC
I don't get it. There are so many small things PRS could change to be more commercially viable. Clearly they make a solid guitar. But if they dont adapt they will be the next Gibson that everybody hates on.

I hadnt thought about inlays for the fretboard, thank you so much for that link, I can put PRS back in my searching for list. The other thing I think they need to consider is the neck, the radius. I think the best in between radius is 12" but the charvel 12-16" compound type radius is also excellent for allowing open chords but the neck gets faster as it flattens out for shredding. I dunno, Id be happy with 12". I dont like any of these extreme guys like 18 or 20" radius, that is too much. But I think a 12" or the compound would be commercially successful.

How hard are they to put on AND take off? I think for me something simple would work, it needs to look natural, I also worry about how long they last? Lastly which method of sizing did you find to work well, the custom version? Im guessing they rely on the guitar maker sticking to the rules, as such. I like this one https://neckillusions.com/collections/steel-string-guitars/products/arturina?variant=41464568512689


The last thing for me is the pickups, they are anemic. Its like when you start out with a squier and buy seymour duncans to make it sound good, but instead of $200 you are already paying the price for a guitar that other brands have high quality pickups in. People could argue they are good but Im just not even going to consider that. My current models have a Black Winter, but Id like a EMG 57 and a Sustainiac in my next project.

Dont get me wrong, I wouldnt waste my time on here if I was hating on PRS, but they do have a culture of stuffness about them. Id like to see them get the Ibanez or ESP signature list, obviously keep Carlos, he really started it for me. I think Hendrix would have moved to a Charvel eventually, maybe his own line in say Ibanez with a similar signature to the Satriani line, which is similar to a PRS but has one of the best bodies ever made, the S and SR series. If Ibanez made an S series with a 12" radius, with their Edge 2 and ZPS system, that would be me sorted. But you have to buy into the Satriani line which aint overly cheap. My point is, just like PRS, no guitar company is perfect, outside Charvel haha. Kiesel is probably the hottest semi mass production but still fairly "custom" gat shop.
If they have a backlog of orders, then your complaints about the”small changes” they could make don’t resonate. I’ll be the first one to say I’ve changed some things on my SE’s. Like every guitar line ever made, there will be differences from one guitar to the next. My bandleader has a stock SE Singlecut that is a magic guitar. Because of the SE price point, you can buy one and mod it to have it bat WAY ABOVE comparible models. Our mantra is make it your own. I don’t expect to ever find a guitar that has everything I want. It’s a good excuse to have several.
 

aphantomvaper

Cogent Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
2,359
Location
Illinois
Thought I'd share a couple of mods I made to my SE 35th Anniversary. Awhile back I swapped out the pickups for a pair of 58/15-S (stock were uncovered TCI-S), and just now ditched the black speed knobs for Abalone-topped ones to match the bird inlays. Nothing too fancy, but I'm very happy with it!

35th-Abalone-detail.jpg

35th-Mods.jpg
How do you like those 58/15s pickups in there? Approve those Abalone knobs, they look great!
 

show_a_little_faith

New Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2022
Messages
291
How do you like those 58/15s pickups in there? Approve those Abalone knobs, they look great!
Thanks! I was a big fan of the 58/15-S already from my SE Hollowbodies. The TCI-S that came stock were too bright for my taste, but the 58's are perfect, IMO. And I was able to sell the TCI-S ones for just about the same price as I paid for the 58/15-S set, so it was basically a free mod for those
 
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