Stripped 58 original Bridge vs New 594 Bridge

Andrew Paul

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Stripped 58 original bridge versus new 594 bridge.

So a couple weeks ago I posted a thread titled “594 VS 59 Les Paul Questions” And in that thread I brought up that the bridge for the 594 has been redesigned and no longer uses the larger block style brass saddles and the bridge is shaved down, less mass, which according to PRS allows for more downward pressure by the strings to the guitar top resulting in better sound. Here’s the link to that original thread: https://forums.prsguitars.com/threads/594-vs-59-les-paul…-questions.52044/

So after obtaining the new style 594 Bridge I conducted a test. I was hoping for a more resonant sustaining sound out of my Stripped 58 if the claims regarding the new style bridge were true. Well regarding sustain I found just the opposite. My guitar lost sustain it was not as resonant. Not good.

Strange thing is in 2011 when the stripped 58 came out PRS claimed the greater mass bridge with larger brass saddles improved resonance and sustain.

See link below from Premier Guitar:

https://www.premierguitar.com/amp/prs-stripped-58-electric-guitar-review-2651079922

Now to be fair there are a lot of factors between these two guitars. First of all the stripped 58 uses 5708 pickups and the current 594 uses 5815 LT pups. Scale length is also different Stripped 58 uses 24.5” scale length versus 594 uses 24.594”scale length. From my research apparently they either once used or currently use the same tail piece which is made of aluminum. The tail piece is still unclear to me because currently their website says “594 model is anchored by a zinc two-piece stoptail bridge with brass saddles and studs for added resonance and vintage style tuners“. Another thing that I haven’t found yet is if earlier 594’s used same aluminum bridge like Stripped 58 before changing to Zinc or was it zinc all along. Earlier 594s definitely used the larger brass block style saddles. But what happened? Why did I lose sustain? Before asking me, of course everything was done properly like setting action, intonation etc. this new style bridge just does not work with my guitar. And I stress MY guitar, They work great for yours or it may be specific to the 594 series.

So I consulted a couple forum members in private messaging before creating this thread to make sure I had my I’s dotted and my T’s crossed. I created a very amateur video just to show the difference. Simple notes… it’s just terrible how fast they die out with the new style bridge.

Now my disclaimer, I am a huge PRS fan. I’ve owned and played PRS GUITAR’s since 1990. I own many! This thread and the video is in no way meant to bash PRS! With that said I would not recommend the new style bridge on any stripped 58. I would like to have a volunteer who has a 594 with the original style bridge (with the large block saddles) conduct an experiment by putting this new style bridge in their guitar. But, I am requesting that you must be able to make a video and post it on YouTube. I will send the bridge to you on loan. (I will send it to continental United States only and you must return it to me unless you want to buy it)

Here’s the video link:
 

LSchefman

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That's a really interesting video, Andy! Thank you for sharing it.

One interesting thing that wasn't part of the experiment is that the newer bridge seems brighter. Anyone else hearing that?

My main takeaway is that tiny differences in parts MATTER when it comes to guitar tone. You wouldn't think it'd make that much of a difference, but it does.
 

Andrew Paul

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That's a really interesting video, Andy! Thank you for sharing it.

One interesting thing that wasn't part of the experiment is that the newer bridge seems brighter. Anyone else hearing that?

My main takeaway is that tiny differences in parts MATTER when it comes to guitar tone. You wouldn't think it'd make that much of a difference, but it does.
Thanks for all your help in this Les.

I still can’t believe how fast the notes were dying out. I guess I could’ve done some chord comparisons. I think I did, I’ll have to look at my deleted videos let you know if I can still recover them
 

Broseph

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Def can hear the change in sustain. And like Les said the new style is brighter.

Another thing I notice that’s different than the 594 is the pickup rings. Your stripped has much lower rings. The pickups are set way above them. The 594 rings are thicker to accommodate this. I saw you mention that the older bridge was thicker. I would think that would require readjusting pickup heights too when you changed to the newer style. Enough to explain your difference in sustain? Highly doubt it. But could be a factor
 

Andrew Paul

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Def can hear the change in sustain. And like Les said the new style is brighter.

Another thing I notice that’s different than the 594 is the pickup rings. Your stripped has much lower rings. The pickups are set way above them. The 594 rings are thicker to accommodate this. I saw you mention that the older bridge was thicker. I would think that would require readjusting pickup heights too when you changed to the newer style. Enough to explain your difference in sustain? Highly doubt it. But could be a factor
Yes the original bridge is thicker but only in the center area shown in the video not where the wheels go. With the bridge comes in contact with the wheels there about the same height it’s not exactly the same. I really didn’t have to do much adjusting to the height other than very little and I measured everything and intonation was set properly.

Thanks so much for taking the time to watch the video and reply!
 

SinSir

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Def can hear the change in sustain. And like Les said the new style is brighter.

Another thing I notice that’s different than the 594 is the pickup rings. Your stripped has much lower rings. The pickups are set way above them. The 594 rings are thicker to accommodate this. I saw you mention that the older bridge was thicker. I would think that would require readjusting pickup heights too when you changed to the newer style. Enough to explain your difference in sustain? Highly doubt it. But could be a factor
My Stripped 58 pick ups are pretty low, about level with the rings, the neck anyhow. The bridge is a little higher but not much. I don't have a 594 to compare to but in general I keep my pickups pretty low in most of my guitars.

Very interesting video. Thanks Andy. Confirms I'm sticking with my 58 exactly how she is, perfection.
 

Johnny Rigs

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Interesting. Thanks for taking the time to record this. I had to move my Stripped 58 to get my 594, so I was never able to do a side-by-side comparison.
 

Andrew Paul

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My Stripped 58 pick ups are pretty low, about level with the rings, the neck anyhow. The bridge is a little higher but not much. I don't have a 594 to compare to but in general I keep my pickups pretty low in most of my guitars.

Very interesting video. Thanks Andy. Confirms I'm sticking with my 58 exactly how she is, perfection.

When I bought my Stripped 58 secondhand I needed to adjust pup height. Where I adjusted the height is VERY close to being what is recommended by PRS.

For there basic recommendations here is the link. Keep in mind you can fine tune pups to gage of strings you use and individual screws can be adjusted when necessary compensating for the bridge/fretboard radius. To far from stings weaken the sound potential to close can actually cause notes to go out of tune due to magnetic pull. Alway defer to a luthier if you're not comfortable with the adjustments.


Please keep in mind this was not a comparison between the Stripped 58 and the 594 guitars. It's about the bridge. ;)
 

SinSir

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When I bought my Stripped 58 secondhand I needed to adjust pup height. Where I adjusted the height is VERY close to being what is recommended by PRS.

For there basic recommendations here is the link. Keep in mind you can fine tune pups to gage of strings you use and individual screws can be adjusted when necessary compensating for the bridge/fretboard radius. To far from stings weaken the sound potential to close can actually cause notes to go out of tune due to magnetic pull. Alway defer to a luthier if you're not comfortable with the adjustments.


Please keep in mind this was not a comparison between the Stripped 58 and the 594 guitars. It's about the bridge. ;)
I use my own system for pickup height, same method for ever guitar but different heights. It's all by ear, and can't remember the last time I looked at a recommended spec. In general I find I prefer lower pickups.

But yes, this is about the bridge! Thanks again.
 

Andrew Paul

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I use my own system for pickup height, same method for ever guitar but different heights. It's all by ear, and can't remember the last time I looked at a recommended spec. In general I find I prefer lower pickups.

But yes, this is about the bridge! Thanks again.
By ear the 5708 bridge pup was really weak to me when it was lower so I slowly raised it till it sounded best to me. Like you I use my ears. Funny I was hoping I wasn't too high with the adjustment because I didn't go by the specs when I adjusted it. I checked before I answered you reply ;)
 

SinSir

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By ear the 5708 bridge pup was really weak to me when it was lower so I slowly raised it till it sounded best to me. Like you I use my ears. Funny I was hoping I wasn't too high with the adjustment because I didn't go by the specs when I adjusted it. I checked before I answered you reply ;)

Now, I'm curious if pickup height could make a difference between bridges? I wouldn't have even thought of it myself. But if the new saddles are higher/lower with the peak vs flat like the old, it could factor in?

I'm always surprised when dialing in pickups how small turns can make all the difference.
 

Andrew Paul

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Now, I'm curious if pickup height could make a difference between bridges? I wouldn't have even thought of it myself. But if the new saddles are higher/lower with the peak vs flat like the old, it could factor in?

I'm always surprised when dialing in pickups how small turns can make all the difference.
Interesting thought but I did adjust the intonation and string height with the new bridge so it would match the original. I'm really leaning towards bride composition..... new one is nickel plated zinc vs nickel plated aluminum and there is a obvious size difference between the saddles. I must say this experiment has been a bit frustrating. I don't want to rule out any possibilities.
 

SinSir

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Interesting thought but I did adjust the intonation and string height with the new bridge so it would match the original. I'm really leaning towards bride composition..... new one is nickel plated zinc vs nickel plated aluminum and there is a obvious size difference between the saddles. I must say this experiment has been a bit frustrating. I don't want to rule out any possibilities.
I lean with you, material composition and saddles. Though, I also agree the pickup height suggestion is an interesting one. The whole experiment is interesting to me. I thought the point of the old saddles was exactly what you found out in your experiment, more sustain. Why did PRS go to a bridge that looks more like what we're used to seeing if the old bridge was designed that way for more sustain?

Maybe it is other factors of the 594 that the new one works better on it over the 58?
 

andy474x

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Interesting. I thought your guitar sounded great with the stock bridge on it. And you just can't go wrong with 57/08 pickups!

I got my 594 right in the middle of some changes that happened in 2019/2020 - mine has the new CAB/nitro finish and TCI pickups, but still had locking tuners, and the block style saddles. This might be even more evidence that I should really hold on to that one... not that I was thinking of selling it anyways!
 

Andrew Paul

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Interesting. I thought your guitar sounded great with the stock bridge on it. And you just can't go wrong with 57/08 pickups!

I got my 594 right in the middle of some changes that happened in 2019/2020 - mine has the new CAB/nitro finish and TCI pickups, but still had locking tuners, and the block style saddles. This might be even more evidence that I should really hold on to that one... not that I was thinking of selling it anyways!
Oh yeah hold onto that one! Do you have singlecut or double-cut?
 

Andrew Paul

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Double. That means I need a singlecut, too, right?
I don’t know how much of a difference it makes DC vs SC but either way if you tried the new style bridge in yours we will be interesting to see what happens. If I were to buy a 594 now I would opt for the older style bridge with the block brass saddles and definitely locking tuners…. I like to convenience of locking tuners.
 
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