SE Standard Trem Bridge not at 1/16", and other problems

Discussion in 'PTC - PRS Tech Center' started by Rich14, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. Rich14

    Rich14 New Member

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    I've had my SE Standard for a little over a year and had never used the tremolo feature of the bridge until recently. So I had never really paid much attention to it. Now that I have started to use it, I've noticed that it floats just a skosh more than 1/32" above the guitar body, maybe 3/64". I understand it's supposed to float at 1/16".

    With the strings at tension, I've adjusted the bridge to be parallel to the top of the guitar body with the three trem springs that came in the guitar. I have a fourth in the bag.

    My model was made in Indonesia, but I understand they're inspected by PRS here in the U.S. before distribution, so I assumed it had passed such "measurements."

    The guitar came with 9 ga strings. I've changed to 10s, for which I've changed the intonation. I can't quite correctly intonate the low E as I've run out of adjustment room with its saddle which is as far as it can go toward the tail. The spring over the saddle's adjustment screw is fully compressed. The saddle needs to move a tiny bit closer to the tail. Other strings are correctly adjusted.

    Now that I'm using the trem, I find that the guitar does not come back to tune after even a slight move of the whammy bar (all strings). The high E and B do not seem to be binding at the nut, but the G (unwound) and the wound strings are all binding slightly, so I'm going to file those slots and try some lubricant in all the slots to see if I can get stable tuning.

    What is the consequence of the bridge not being at 1/16" other than losing a bit of travel at the extremes of the whammy bar?

    Any suggestions about intonating the low E, given the limitation of travel of its saddle? Cut a bit off the adjustment screw's compression spring to shorten it and allow the saddle to move more toward the tail?

    Would adding a fourth trem spring (and adjusting the claw screws) affect any of these issues?

    Thanks, Rich
     
    #1 Rich14, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  2. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    IMO, 1/16" is more a guideline than a strict rule. What you want (and need) is for the bridge to be floating and not resting on the body, and for the combination of bridge height and saddle height to give you the correct action. So, you can adjust if you want, but if it's working as is, if it ain't broke...

    As far as the intonation on the low E, that's s tough one. I agree with you on taking some off the spring to start. Make sure your neck relief and string height are properly adjusted, having to push the string way down because of high action will push you sharp in then middle of the neck.
     
  3. Rich14

    Rich14 New Member

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    Thanks andy474x. I'm going to leave the bridge height alone. I've got plenty of trem action as is.

    Since that post, I've put the fourth spring on the tremolo. Now, the tuning seems stable with use of the trem. I had to go back and forth quite a bit, especially with the high E, and tremolo action (strings were flat after tremolo use) but after about 4-5 retunings, everything's stable.

    I have not filed the nut where the wound strings are a little tight.

    The action is good. The low E intonation problem is still there, but It's a little less for some reason (bridge assumed a slightly different position with all my messing around) and I may just tolerate it for a while.
     
  4. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

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    Do not adjust fulcrum screws with tension on trem. Loosen strings and remove springs or you will ruin fulcrum screws. Then you will have tuning issues.
     
    andy474x likes this.
  5. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    Make sure the trem is flat/parallel with the guitar top before adjusting intonation. If it's leaning forward, you might run out of adjustment for some saddles.
     
  6. Rich14

    Rich14 New Member

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    Gush - I always loosen the string I'm intonating before turning the the screws. No tension on the screw at all while turning.

    Boogie - I've kept the bridge parallel to the top while making these adjustments. The Low E saddle just runs out of room as I've described.

    I've now set the bridge to 1/16" above the guitar top, raising it the last 1/64". That seems to have improved the low E intonation problem. It's not spot on, but it's better. The geometry of raising the bridge increased the distance between nut and bridge. The other strings needed slight correction due to this change.

    I'm still having very slight problems regarding strings detuning as a result of trem action or bending. I still have to lubricate the nut. That should help. That and maybe locking tuners.
     
  7. CatStrangler

    CatStrangler PRS Enthusiast

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    exactly this
     
  8. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

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    I was referring to the six screws that the tremfloats on. Adjusting those with string tension will ruin those.

    You had mentioned lowering the whole trem.
     
  9. Rich14

    Rich14 New Member

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    Yes. I had no string or spring tension when I raised those screws to get the bridge to 1/16".
     

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