taking all strings of a tremelo bridge

Tim185

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Nov 25, 2016
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Hi All,

I would like to clean my fretboard on my P22.
It has a floating bridge, is there a way all strings can be taken off at once safely without messing up the set up?
Or is it best to not attempt?
Thanks!
 

Kynlore

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Nov 13, 2015
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I blocked mine but you can just put a pencil or something in there to hold the bridge for you while you clean it up.
 

1BlinkGone

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Dec 23, 2015
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I can only speak to my prior experience...all my 80's PRS guitars had trems (my 3 2007 PRS guitars had stop tails). I always removed all the strings at once, gently let the trem lay where it is; cleaned (and conditioned) the fretboard, then restrung with nary a problem. The PRS trem is not like dealing with a Floyd Rose trem. The guitars were always back to right where they were before restringing. If you're interested, the best stuff I've ever used for bare fretboards is a product called "Fret Doctor". It's derived from real bore oil (for woodwind instruments) which is derived from plants and has NO PETROLEUM DISTILLATES. It's the only thing I'd use on a fretboard, esp a PRS. you can google the product as I won't post the link here.
 
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Tim185

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Didnt you put something under the bridge to stop it moving...and coming back on the body itself?
 

1BlinkGone

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Didnt you put something under the bridge to stop it moving...and coming back on the body itself?

Nope. Never had to. Such a miniscule amt of room between the bridge and the top to begin with. Just releasing string tension was gentle enough to let the trem rest on the face of the guitar. No damage, no chips, and no problems with where the trem came back after restringing. It came back to where it was before, every time.

None of my OEM PRS documents with my new guitars said anything about doing anything special. Unless it's a fully-floating trem (like my Tom Anderson/KahlerSteeler trems), or floating Floyds (a nice 9v battery behind the bridge before slacking the strings works wonders)...no nothing special at all with the PRS OEM trem. Just loosen the strings, clean fretboard, and restring. DONE. Not really any difference than restringing a Stratocaster with a vintage trem. Simple.
 

dogrocketp

I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!
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I use a trem stop plate on my guitars. Got it 25 years ago for a Floyd equipped guitar I sold.
 

Tim185

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Nope. Never had to. Such a miniscule amt of room between the bridge and the top to begin with. Just releasing string tension was gentle enough to let the trem rest on the face of the guitar. No damage, no chips, and no problems with where the trem came back after restringing. It came back to where it was before, every time.

None of my OEM PRS documents with my new guitars said anything about doing anything special. Unless it's a fully-floating trem (like my Tom Anderson/KahlerSteeler trems), or floating Floyds (a nice 9v battery behind the bridge before slacking the strings works wonders)...no nothing special at all with the PRS OEM trem. Just loosen the strings, clean fretboard, and restring. DONE. Not really any difference than restringing a Stratocaster with a vintage trem. Simple.
OK thanks for that,
I was also worried about the affect on the neck, but I guess I shouldnt worry with strings off for less than 30 minutes.
 

Herr Squid

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I think Alan turned me on to this trick: take a magazine subscription card, wrap it in a couple of layers of 2" painters tape or masking tape. Pop it under the back of the tremolo as you loosen the strings. Done!
 

1BlinkGone

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OK thanks for that,
I was also worried about the affect on the neck, but I guess I shouldnt worry with strings off for less than 30 minutes.
Gotcha...nope, no worries. Neck should be fine in that interval of time.
 

Smitty

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Mar 16, 2016
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I’m glad this was posted.

My last string change on a CU24 left the trem sitting at a funny angle that I couldn’t seem to figure out so I took it to a tech. Turns out the knife edge on the trem unseated itself from the notches on the anchor screws. This was caused by me removing all the strings and not supporting the trem.

I’m using a stack of business cards to try to stop this from happening again..
 

bodia

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I think Alan turned me on to this trick: take a magazine subscription card, wrap it in a couple of layers of 2" painters tape or masking tape. Pop it under the back of the tremolo as you loosen the strings. Done!

Yep, this is what I do, too.
 

alantig

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Sounds like another PRS Lexicon entry - the Len Johnson Business Card.
 

1BlinkGone

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I’m glad this was posted.

My last string change on a CU24 left the trem sitting at a funny angle that I couldn’t seem to figure out so I took it to a tech. Turns out the knife edge on the trem unseated itself from the notches on the anchor screws. This was caused by me removing all the strings and not supporting the trem.

I’m using a stack of business cards to try to stop this from happening again..
Very interesting and useful. I haven't had the trem edge unseat itself as you did, and this was between 3 guitars and 20 years of use; but I can't say it couldn't happen. And there's not much room to slide anything under there...the business cards or magazine subscription cards as-described would be perfect.
 

Smitty

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The guitar tech did say it was an easy fix. His instructions were to fully depress the bridge and it should reseat itself.
 

Cbouty

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Im confused with this thread? I’ve always just slowly lowered my trem to the body by loosing the tuners, cleaned up the fret board for a few seconds, and then restrung my guitar if it needed a full string change. Is that bad for it? How would that be different than diving the trem hard? Thanks ahead for any info as I’m obviously uneducated on this one :D
 

1BlinkGone

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Im confused with this thread? I’ve always just slowly lowered my trem to the body by loosing the tuners, cleaned up the fret board for a few seconds, and then restrung my guitar if it needed a full string change. Is that bad for it? How would that be different than diving the trem hard? Thanks ahead for any info as I’m obviously uneducated on this one :D

IMO, you're fine. The extra precautions don't hurt. But none of my PRS guitars were damaged in any way whatsoever, doing just as you described. You're good, my friend.
 

Smitty

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I’ve done the same several times (lowering the trem to the body) before I had this one hiccup. I’m only pointing out the risk and the fix should this happen. I wouldn’t claim its bad for the guitar, but that there is something to be aware of.

It would be great if someone from the PTC would chime in with some truly expert input.:D
 

1BlinkGone

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I’ve done the same several times (lowering the trem to the body) before I had this one hiccup. I’m only pointing out the risk and the fix should this happen.

It would be great if someone from the PTC would chime in with some truly expert input.:D
You know, I might have had that happen once, and it was a nothingburger. Just pops right back in. I thought nothing of it, really. Yep a PTC comment would be nice, if possible. I cannot overstate that in the 80s case candy and directions with my guitars, there was nothing specific directed regarding the trem, iirc. Just directions on restringing regarding the locking tuners themselves. I basically treated the bridge the same way your treat a Stratocaster with a vintage trem. But I digress. ANYBODY from PTC that can weigh-in?
 
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