Silver Sky String Height

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Darrell456, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. Darrell456

    Darrell456 New Member

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    Ok, i'm looking for a bit of input both in education and on my personal expectations/preferences on action.

    Alright. I love my Silver Sky, but I just feel as though the strings are little higher than I prefer. I like low action. Not shredder low (whatever that means) but I cant get the Silver Sky very low without a lot of buzzing.

    I have a Les Paul that just plays like butter and I think it just messes with the feel of the other instruments being that it feels lower than my other guitars.

    I took my Silver Sky to Glaser instruments and had it Plek'd. Played a bit better but I still lowered the strings a little from where they set it. The frets are level. Perhaps I just have a skewed perception? A few luthiers have told me that the 7.25 radius makes it so the string height has to be higher. I understand that for bending, but all other things equal, does it affect string height otherwise?

    Looking at the attached pictures of the Silver Sky, where do some of you others sit? If lower, are you getting much buzzing or is that just something you live with in terms of this type of radius?

    See attached pictures of the Silver Sky, Hollowbody II and Les Paul.

    Be critical too if you think I'm just a too picky. I can take it :) (Also, I don't apologize for the crotch shots)


    Silver Sky
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Hollowbody II
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Gibson Les Paul
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    Hey Darrell,

    How is the neck relief/bow set?
     
  3. Darrell456

    Darrell456 New Member

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    Just put some new strings on it and added a little relief to. 008. I have tried less and more relief. I suppose the vintage spec of this guitar just isn't ment for low low action?
     
  4. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    That seems too little relief, should be at least .010, maybe even .012.

    Your action seems pretty low to me already, have you compared your settings to the factory specs?

    Also, check the neck tilt. Is there a shim in the neck pocket?
     
  5. Darrell456

    Darrell456 New Member

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    I purchased it new so I doubt the there is a shim in there. That's done to float the tremolo correct? As for factory specs I couldn't find anything on PRS website. Is that where it is?
     
  6. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    I’m not familiar with the SS, but many F type guitars use a shim to adjust the neck angle to the body, nothing to do with the bridge necessarily. Not sure where the setup specs are, all I found was the relief measurement of .010. I think it’s safe to assume similar setup specs to a vintage F type guitar.

    Maybe contact PRS for some guidance.
     
  7. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    The question is where is it buzzing.
    I can't really read your measurements unfortunately
    You may need to change the neck angle to get your action that low.
     
  8. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    I've worked on 2 Silver Skys the first had a small shim from the factory , mine did not. I did set both bridges to float , I used the 5 degree shim from stew mac on mine on the other I left the factory shim an added a flat shim. The Stew Mac shims are expensive as hell and they need to be trimmed to fit the smaller PRS neck pocket but they are very accurate.
    I bet a 1 degree shim would get you sorted
     
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  9. Darrell456

    Darrell456 New Member

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    Hey thanks so much for the input. I'll have a look at that.
     
  10. Geo408

    Geo408 New Member

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    A 7.25 radius will drive you crazy. You’ll never get it as low as I believe you want it. The math will not allow you to have extremely low action, like your LP..which, by the way, has a 12” radius. Most PRS guitars have a 10” radius, which allows for a very comfy low action..the SS, is the exception. I have worked on guitars for 40+ years, and short of planing the fingerboard down a bit, you won’t be able to get action to rival your LP. From what I can see in your pics, the action looks about as good as you’re going to get, so if you’re looking to go lower, have the neck planed down to 10”, and you’ll be a happy camper..I know a couple of people have done this, and are in love with the SS...good luck!
     
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  11. Darrell456

    Darrell456 New Member

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    It's really good to hear this from you all. The action on the SS is not bad at all... its just when I play the LP and go back to the SS it feels high and I was trying to dial it in as similar as I can on each instrument so the transition is similar. Of course there is also the same effect of going from the Bass to the SS. :) Very subjective stuff
     
  12. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    One other thing to take into account is the scale length ( nothing to do with action of course ) I ended up going down to 9.5s and or 9s on my 25.5" scale guitars instead of the 10s I use on my 25" scale PRS. Keeps all the guitars with a more similar feel for me.
    I was able to get my SS as low as any of my PRS there is just a bit more arc to the strings because of the 7.5" radius , I can't feel it just a visual thing for me. but the measurement from the fret to string is the same.
     
  13. JSTN

    JSTN New Member

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    mine had three .0070" shims in it when I bought it new. straight from the factory.

    as is w/o the shim the neck angle was angling down into the guitar. so we now know why the three shims were needed.
    I was trying to float the bridge as per the prs video recommended. needing to add two more paper shims was just a ridiculous idea.
    or adding a wood shim from stewmac that corrected the angle THAT much for a from factory new guitar also seemed crazy to me.
    I ended up with a new guitar.
    silver sky is a great guitar and why yes shims are an acceptable way of slightly correcting neck angle... IMO not by that much. especially when a lot of the people using the guitar will want to float the bridge. also the stock silver sky bridge is a fail IMO.

    the bridge is designed to sit above the body as are all the bridges using the GENIII screws which have a knife edge bevel in them. this works for very fluid movement with all the PRS trems (video showing this below).
    when it arrives from the factory it is decked (we all know this), but the front edge is still lifted above the wood (because of the screw design).
    with the back of the bridge decked there is certainly enough vibration transfer and I understand why it was John's choice to 'deck' it.
    the thing is. it's obvious PRS bridges aren't meant to be decked, nor was this one.
    because of this design when using the wang bar it lifts the bridge plate completely off the guitar and the only contact is between the screws (again watch video below of PRS Trem design)
    you also will notice a very slight loss in volume when using the trem bar. it's not enough for a layman to notice but I noticed.
    also remember John doesn't even use the bar.

    Also when floating the bridge, it's recommended that you use shims? isn't that weird? anyway...
    I switched bridges all together. which is actually really hard because the GENIII screws are a lot larger than other screws.
    I talked to a company in UK that solved this problem in previous PRS guitar with their retrofit bridge that remains in contact with the body at all times even when floating or being used. they make a retrofit bridge that uses the existing screws.

    http://www.wudtone.com/product/prs-silver-sky-upgrade/

    I just ended up using their 52.4 spaced bridge dowelling and gluing the bridge holes with hide glue then using the reinforced screws they offer.

    watch this video to see what I'm talking about when floating the bridge...


    EDIT: not only does the bridge work better, smoother and remain in contact with the body... just like the video it is LOUDER, more succinct, better string retention and and overall better toanz.
    I mean in the video the level difference is so different it clips the camera.

    even after this I ended up switching the stock PRS saddles as well. again for another improvement.

    also no affiliation...
     
  14. Andy80

    Andy80 New Member

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    I play 11-52 on my SS and I had to screw in the bridge assembly further into the body to get the action to where I need it to be. It's still not quite right, but 99% there. The radius is difficult to get the action super super low. I find I can bend really well and it doesn't fret out even though the action could still lower a bit. Actually I had to screw the bridge in quite a bit. I feel like adding another spring might work but I didn't try it
     
  15. JSTN

    JSTN New Member

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    if you went up a gauge in strings screwing in the bridge while yes is lowering the action... (im guessing you aren't using the trem) isn't the proper fix for that problem it would be to loosen the truss rod a bit. PRS' usually ship with a small amount of relief 0.004-0.006" adding 11's may have actually made your neck bow quite a bit...while playable it would make sense that your action would raise quite a bit by going up to 11's without adjusting the truss rod.
     
  16. Andy80

    Andy80 New Member

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    Great points and I have no doubt you are correct. Probably should not be doing my own setups haha. I really don't like messing around with necks.
     
  17. JSTN

    JSTN New Member

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    No way man... by all means you should be doing your own set ups...
    Just watch some reputable videos on Strat type guitar setups.
    You’ll save hundreds of dollars.
    I live in New York and once paid a guy from rivington guitars $260+ to do setup on my mustang and fix a switch. Now I’m all for paying people their worth and for their trade but that price didn’t include cleaning or fret crowning. I vowed to learn how to set up my own guitars so I bought a MIM Strat and started tinkering.
    You shouldn’t be afraid with messing with the neck as long as you are turning in small 1/8-1/4th turns. You can always bring it back to where it was if you measure before hand.
     
  18. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    The bridge on the Silver Sky ( at least my 2 ) will float a little without a shim just adjusting the trem screws will give you some wiggle.
    As far as changing the bridge goes, that cool that its good for you but it does change the tone, when putting a Mann Made on my Stratocaster even with the steel block the guitar became smoother and more midrangie ( if that's a word ) and added sustain all good trates but more PRS sounding and less Strat like.
    I have for years shimmed the necks of bolt on neck guitars as unlike glued in necks the sanding and finishing in the pocket causes a natural variance from guitar to guitar , I favor a hard plastic or wood shim, if the neck angle is correct I sometimes shim to raise the neck to get some height on the saddles of vintage trems and a better setup on the trem.
    There is something different about the bent saddles of a strat and the old brass saddles on a Tele that make them sound the way they do.
    I do LOVE my SS with its trem floating, plenty of transfer from the bridge to the guitar, no loss is sustain or volume ( after you adjust the pickups )



     
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  19. Tricko

    Tricko New Member

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    Just lower your saddles a bit. My SS has decently low action (not as low as my LP)... but pretty darn good, no buzzing, can bend great. I also find that after playing the SS for a bit, my 10 radius Strat feels really flat (and actually a bit harder to play).. Getting accustomed to the SS radius and it’s actually pretty great. Feels easier to play in a strange way because you don’t have to press down as far .. maybe it’s my imagination but flatter boards now feel like they have a noticeable fretboard edge and also feels like I have to position the hand more accurately to get to press down just right. I guess it’s what you get used to.. I can switch between different radiuses and not really notice too much but I’m liking the SS radius. The one thing I don’t like, lowering my saddles, is the saddle screws protrude up and cut into my hand.
     
    #19 Tricko, Aug 12, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  20. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    That is a good reason to use a shim instead, changing the neck angle a bit, so you can leave the saddles with the smooth feel.
     

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