SE Pauls Guitar - High Action **LATER**

Draconomics

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Yes, I thought the same about the price.
But if the PRS guitar is new, how much work actually needs to be done?
String height and relief adjustment? These guitars are made so well and QCd again before shipment?

It varies from guitar to guitar. Some are perfect outta the box, some may be sick puppies. At the very least, action and truss adjustment. If you change gauges or use lower tunings, the truss rod will need a tweak and if its a trem bridge, so will the claw and springs. The guitar just being here in another climate will necessitate it. Indonesia is a hot, humid, tropical climate. The States vary wildly and the neck will move more than you think. Even domestic made guitars will need a little setup attention at least every season.

Sometimes the climate change may cause a fret to pop out, then its hammer time. You will always have a buzzy fret unless fixed, no matter what you do.

As far as price, an average tech will charge around $60 per hour, generally (at least in my neck of the woods). Sometimes flat rates based on difficulty of the job. The chain you are looking at...I dont even know what "unlimited for two years" means exactly. Nobody I know would charge $50 for two years of setup services....unless they are GC, cause their setups involve eating sandwiches.
 

Dolebludger

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Yes, you can do it yourself, save money, and get it the way you want. Adjusting the bridge, truss rod, and intonation will usually do the job. Also, most new guitars I have bought came with the nut slots cut too high. The height of an open string above the first fret should be no higher than a first fret fretted string is over the second fret. This is easy to “eye ball”. If the open string is higher over the first fret, a small set of mini diamond files (about $10 on eBay or Amazon) can fix. This is especially easy on a PRS as the strings run pretty straight through the nut slots so (unlike Gibson) string binding at the nut is not a great problem unless the slot is too narrow for the string.
 

CandidPicker

Because Opportunity Seldom Knocks Twice
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Yeah, thats an important one. You can lower the strings under tension, but never raise them. Its even possible to damage the saddles by doing that.

Still makes sense to not try adjusting the bridge studs without loosening the strings first. Your bridge studs might not look so clean otherwise.
 

steves

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Pauls SE - Update - So I've been making some set up adjustments, getting the strings a bit lower ( 5/64 & 4/64 ) by lowering the saddle. The saddle has now reached the bottom, the screws can't go any lower. I like the action, low, but now I have little buzz at the 5 and 6th strings, around the 12 fret. But also , there's no relief now, before the adjustments, there was .010. Does this mean I should now tweak the truss rod? Loosen or tighten? Also, after adjusting the truss rod should I raise there saddle too? The nut is fine. Appreciate any input!
 

Draconomics

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But also , there's no relief now, before the adjustments, there was .010. Does this mean I should now tweak the truss rod? Loosen or tighten?

Short answer: yes. You need more relief, probably why your strings are buzzing around the 12th fret. You wont need much, probably a quarter turn. PRS rods do not loosen either, since they are dual action they can tighten in the opposite direction, meaning you have way more control over relief. As for the bridge, yeah, she may need a slight tweak but not much to compensate. Fascinating that you have it decked and cant get under 4/64". Never had that happen on an SE.
 

steves

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Short answer: yes. You need more relief, probably why your strings are buzzing around the 12th fret. You wont need much, probably a quarter turn. PRS rods do not loosen either, since they are dual action they can tighten in the opposite direction, meaning you have way more control over relief. As for the bridge, yeah, she may need a slight tweak but not much to compensate. Fascinating that you have it decked and cant get under 4/64". Never had that happen on an SE.
Thanks, sorry but what should you be able to get the 1st string under? PRS specs call for 4/64 and 5/64 on the 6th string?
So does duel action mean it only goes one way, towards us?
 

Draconomics

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Thanks, sorry but what should you be able to get the 1st string under? PRS specs call for 4/64 and 5/64 on the 6th string?
So does duel action mean it only goes one way, towards us?

OK, so PRS recommends 4/64 under the treble side, 5/64 under the bass side. Typically, you should be able to go lower so long as the fretboard is leveled and will allow it. A decked bridge should put the strings resting literally on the frets, so there should be adjustment room unless the neck angle is off. My PG is somewhere just north of 2/64". That's about as low as you can realistically go until its useless.

- Neck relief you want between .005-.010. If you do alot more blues playing or just bending in general, shoot for .010.

- Dual action rods mean they tighten in both directions. Normal one-way rods can only tighten toward the right,putting the neck into a back bow. Dual-action rods can tighten to the right as normal but also left too so they can create forward bow, really useful if the natural direction of the neck is a backbow when all tension is off.

- Since you are taking away backbow, the strings can be tuned to pitch and the neck under tension. You need to decrease string tension if you go the other way.

- Again, quarter turn to the left (when looking from the truss rod hole down the fretboard) will probably be all you need, maybe even less. Make your adjustment then let her sit for 15-30 min. Take a measurement after and if you need more adjusting, you can do it after that time. You want to give the neck a chance to settle into its new shape. You will also want to check the neck the day after and see how it moved overnight. PRS guitars usually don't need much tweakery in this department. Most of mine need an adjustment every season and thats it. The neck on my Ibanez bass moves all the time.
 

steves

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OK, so PRS recommends 4/64 under the treble side, 5/64 under the bass side. Typically, you should be able to go lower so long as the fretboard is leveled and will allow it. A decked bridge should put the strings resting literally on the frets, so there should be adjustment room unless the neck angle is off. My PG is somewhere just north of 2/64". That's about as low as you can realistically go until its useless.

- Neck relief you want between .005-.010. If you do alot more blues playing or just bending in general, shoot for .010.

- Dual action rods mean they tighten in both directions. Normal one-way rods can only tighten toward the right,putting the neck into a back bow. Dual-action rods can tighten to the right as normal but also left too so they can create forward bow, really useful if the natural direction of the neck is a backbow when all tension is off.

- Since you are taking away backbow, the strings can be tuned to pitch and the neck under tension. You need to decrease string tension if you go the other way.

- Again, quarter turn to the left (when looking from the truss rod hole down the fretboard) will probably be all you need, maybe even less. Make your adjustment then let her sit for 15-30 min. Take a measurement after and if you need more adjusting, you can do it after that time. You want to give the neck a chance to settle into its new shape. You will also want to check the neck the day after and see how it moved overnight. PRS guitars usually don't need much tweakery in this department. Most of mine need an adjustment every season and thats it. The neck on my Ibanez bass moves all the time.
Thanks very much....very helpful!
 

steves

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LATER ...So after making adjustments several times, I got it to fty specs, but the buzz would not go away , 5th string 9-10th fret.
Took it to my local dealer their tech guy, who is very good, played it and said , it's very playable and not to worry about it. All guitars have "some" buzz on the low strings. The buzz was not coming through the amp. After some more looking , he found the 10th fret is not level, possibly the 15th also, not as bad. Much to my surprise, a brand new PRS! So the decision is try and let him level it, or send it back to PRS?
Very disappointed with everything I hear about PRS and their QC this one slipped buy. What would you do?
 

Axis39

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LATER ...So after making adjustments several times, I got it to fty specs, but the buzz would not go away , 5th string 9-10th fret.
Took it to my local dealer their tech guy, who is very good, played it and said , it's very playable and not to worry about it. All guitars have "some" buzz on the low strings. The buzz was not coming through the amp. After some more looking , he found the 10th fret is not level, possibly the 15th also, not as bad. Much to my surprise, a brand new PRS! So the decision is try and let him level it, or send it back to PRS?
Very disappointed with everything I hear about PRS and their QC this one slipped buy. What would you do?

I'd let them level the frets and then get on to playing.

This may not have slipped through QC. Could be something that showed up during shipping. I wouldn't be in a panic over it at all.

Let them fix it, then never look back. Enjoy your new guitar and be happy PRS and the dealer stood behind their product.
 

Draconomics

Celebrating 16 years of crappy tone
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LATER ...So after making adjustments several times, I got it to fty specs, but the buzz would not go away , 5th string 9-10th fret.
Took it to my local dealer their tech guy, who is very good, played it and said , it's very playable and not to worry about it. All guitars have "some" buzz on the low strings. The buzz was not coming through the amp. After some more looking , he found the 10th fret is not level, possibly the 15th also, not as bad. Much to my surprise, a brand new PRS! So the decision is try and let him level it, or send it back to PRS?
Very disappointed with everything I hear about PRS and their QC this one slipped buy. What would you do?

All that needs is to be leveled. Not a big deal honestly. You can get away with a spot level so long as you know what youre doing, and just focus on those frets. Its possible you might only need to tap it in too. Like I always say, these things happen from time to time especially on import guitars because there is a large amount of time between manufacture and being at a dealer, during which they are sailing through salty, moist sea air. Sometimes a fret pops out a wee bit. Also bear in mind, the acoustic sound will never be crystal clear, there will always be some extraneous noise just due to the physics of a vibrating wire being pressed on a steel bar. If you can't hear it through the amp, don't worry about it too much.
 

SamIV

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I bought a used Tremonti SE that needed frets leveled. I would not expect an SE to have perfectly level frets. I like very low action, which is below factory specs, and do my own fret levels with the strings under tension. Then I tweak after that per string. Takes me a few hours to get it to my liking. If you like lower action, and not to factory specs, you will have some buzz somewhere. I say level it and move on if you like the guitar. And I enjoy this PRS tremendously. Thinking about a CE24. The Core series are out of my budget.
 
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Fullmoon 1971

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I've never found a SE yet or virtually any other guitar that I've owned that hasen't benefitted from at least a little spot levelling, I must admit though that I play with a insanely low action and virtually straight necks (I grew up playing scallopted fingerboards i.e Blackmore, Malmsteen and tradional medival styled stringed instruments) as a result I have a super light touch so can play with a much lower action without buzzes or fretting out on bends.

My height @12 fret and neck relief & string gauge

2001 Core standard 22 = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
2001 McCarty = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
2006 CE-24 = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
2015 McCarty = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 10-46 strings
SE Bernie Marsden = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 10-46 strings
SE Bernie Marsden “McCarty” 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 10-46 strings
SE Chris Robertson = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
SE Nick Catanese = 3/4mm (treble side) 1mm (Bass Side) .003 relief, 10-46 strings
SE Santana/Customm 22 "hybrid" = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
 

steves

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I've never found a SE yet or virtually any other guitar that I've owned that hasen't benefitted from at least a little spot levelling, I must admit though that I play with a insanely low action and virtually straight necks (I grew up playing scallopted fingerboards i.e Blackmore, Malmsteen and tradional medival styled stringed instruments) as a result I have a super light touch so can play with a much lower action without buzzes or fretting out on bends.

My height @12 fret and neck relief & string gauge

2001 Core standard 22 = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
2001 McCarty = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
2006 CE-24 = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
2015 McCarty = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 10-46 strings
SE Bernie Marsden = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 10-46 strings
SE Bernie Marsden “McCarty” 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 10-46 strings
SE Chris Robertson = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
SE Nick Catanese = 3/4mm (treble side) 1mm (Bass Side) .003 relief, 10-46 strings
SE Santana/Customm 22 "hybrid" = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings

So I had the fret leveled by their tech guy and picked it up. The buzz is all gone and plays great. He didn't even change any of my set as he thought is was done correctly. Good decision not to send it back to PRS!
 

Draconomics

Celebrating 16 years of crappy tone
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I've never found a SE yet or virtually any other guitar that I've owned that hasen't benefitted from at least a little spot levelling, I must admit though that I play with a insanely low action and virtually straight necks (I grew up playing scallopted fingerboards i.e Blackmore, Malmsteen and tradional medival styled stringed instruments) as a result I have a super light touch so can play with a much lower action without buzzes or fretting out on bends.

My height @12 fret and neck relief & string gauge

2001 Core standard 22 = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
2001 McCarty = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
2006 CE-24 = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
2015 McCarty = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 10-46 strings
SE Bernie Marsden = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 10-46 strings
SE Bernie Marsden “McCarty” 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 10-46 strings
SE Chris Robertson = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings
SE Nick Catanese = 3/4mm (treble side) 1mm (Bass Side) .003 relief, 10-46 strings
SE Santana/Customm 22 "hybrid" = 1mm (treble side) 1.25mm (Bass Side) .004 relief, 9-42 strings

Wow, that's some Jeff Beck level neck relief. I totally agree with you on almost every guitar needing some kind of spot leveling somewhere. I've only run into two that did'nt, ironically they came from Dean. Go figure. I'll post my specs too, why not.

2020 Paul's Guitar SE .040 (Treble), .050 (Bass), .009 relief, 8-38 Rubber Bands
2020 35th SE .050 (Treble), .055 (Bass), .010 relief, 8-38 Rubber Bands
2012 DBZ Bolero .040 (Treble), .050 (Bass), .010 relief, 8-38 Rubber Bands
2008 Dean Soltero .045 (Treble), .055(Bass), .009 relief, 8-38 Power Rubber
2020 Angelus SE .055 (Treble), .065 (Bass), .010 relief, 11-52 strings
 

dogrocketp

I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!
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I bought a used Tremonti SE that needed frets leveled. I would not expect an SE to have perfectly level frets. I like very low action, which is below factory specs, and do my own fret levels with the strings under tension. Then I tweak after that per string. Takes me a few hours to get it to my liking. If you like lower action, and not to factory specs, you will have some buzz somewhere. I say level it and move on if you like the guitar. And I enjoy this PRS tremendously. Thinking about a CE24. The Core series are out of my budget.
Think about a used core. Because they are not cheap, people tend to take better care of them. Plus you can sometimes find PRS that are unique.
 
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