That $550 2021 Tremonti SE

Aether

New Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
34
Location
Maryland
I own 5 Maryland made PRSs. A Custom 24 25th Anniversary, latter day CE24 Semi-Hollow. DGT, Custom 22 Piezo and a Special Semi-Hollow. Fantastically well made guitars each with their own niche. What I didn’t have was a big ole chunk of mahogany Singlecut with a trem.

Having looked at the slim pickings that were available,I ran across a “used” 2021 Tremonti SE in Dave’s Guitars used listings at a helluva lot less and in better shape than most of the used cores on the market right now, so I decided to take a leap at my first SE. I entered this decision with the knowledge that I was buying it for the “bones” and was likely going to sink a few hundred more into it to get it where I wanted it to be tone wise. The stock Tremonti wasn’t going to fit the bill for my preference for traditional blues/classic rock sounds - often more clean, but also capable of late 60’s/early 70s hard rock/metal sounds. I’m distinctly NOT looking for modern power metal tones.

So, here’s what went into making this guitar “mine”:

Suhr Thornbucker pickup set (Raw nickel covers/50mm spaced neck/53mm spaced bridge)
PRS core Pickup rings
Switchcraft 3 way switch
Switchcraft jack
2 CTS 500k audio taper pots
2 PRS push/pull tone pots
.22uf orange drop caps
PRS Core black/clear knobs
Mannmade trem
PRS SE Locking Tuner
Graphtech TUSQ nut
EBay eagle truss rod cover

Here are some comparison pics between Dave’s listing photos and the final product.

51644094693_18ab7318b7_k.jpg

51644728450_eed6da2e96_k.jpg


51644094683_59bafd364f_k.jpg


As noted in a separate thread, I think the nut upgrade was not necessary. After pulling off the stock nut and examining it, I realized that PRS must no longer be using those semi-hollow plastic nuts. The material looked exactly like the Graphtech (minus their specific markings), had the same weight and sounded exactly the same under the drop test.

I wired it up 50’s style - no need for treble-bleed circuit with separate coil split on each tone knob. Full split to ground - no partial blend as the Thornbuckers sound fantastic fully split without a massive volume drop. Yeah, you do get some more hum without a bit of the second coil, but so be it.

I cannot speak highly enough about the Thornbuckers. Split they have that great creamy bluesy Strat neck tone and twangy bridge. Full humbucking mode, they’re classic Gibson PAF territory but with a bit more clarity/note separation under gain. Great clean and dirty through both my Mesa Mark V and my 25 year old Peavey Classic 50 2x12 tweed Fender-ish combo.

All in all, I’m really happy with the results as it plays fantastic and has a sound that rivals - yet differs - my core models. Not that it was about looks, but I think it looks like a premium guitar now too.
 
Last edited:

Palmguy

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
23
Very nice project. I just received a used SE Tremonti from Dave’s as well…really good deals there. There is a small ding in the face of the headstock but aside from that, this looks new. I’m planning on a similar set of upgrades to mine, though it’ll be getting core Tremonti pickups.

 

SamIV

New Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
168
Very interesting mods. I keep reading about the Suhr Thornbuckers. Much more affordable than PRS offerings. Not that I don’t like PRS offerings. Recently sold off 4 guitars and all I own are PRS guitars now. I did extensive fret work on my SE Tremonti Custom and it now plays as well as my higher end PRS. All of the SE’s I have owned benefitted from fret levels. My A2 and CE did not need fret levels. I also hear the Thornbuckers split well. Something PRS humbuckers excel at.
 

Aether

New Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
34
Location
Maryland
I really like the PRS 57/08 pickups. I have them on two of my cores. I’m also good with the DGT and 58/15LT sets on my others. The 85/15 set that came on the CE24 sounded too bright/harsh - likely due to the maple neck (I swapped them for 57/08s), but they sound fine on the Custom 22 Piezo.

Since I wanted a bit of variation on this guitar, I went with the Thornbuckers as I had prior positive experience with them on a Carvin Holdsworth that I stupidly sold off. I’d say they are close to the 57/08, but the splits sound even more authentic and a bit more clarity at the top end (which can easily be rolled back with the tone knob). They are also very responsive to picking dynamics and sound fantastic with a little bit of grit added from my Klon clone (Wampler Tumnus) - almost P90-ish. HIGHLY recommended if you want a more classic tone and use clean sounds as part of your arsenal.
 
Last edited:

Doug B

New Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Messages
102
That’s an excellent “do-over”. Classic looks and a killer body!
 

TheRustyStarman

stupid dumb Tremonti fanboy
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
60
I own 5 Maryland made PRSs. A Custom 24 25th Anniversary, latter day CE24 Semi-Hollow. DGT, Custom 22 Piezo and a Special Semi-Hollow. Fantastically well made guitars each with their own niche. What I didn’t have was a big ole chunk of mahogany Singlecut with a trem.

Having looked at the slim pickings that were available,I ran across a “used” 2021 Tremonti SE in Dave’s Guitars used listings at a helluva lot less and in better shape than most of the used cores on the market right now, so I decided to take a leap at my first SE. I entered this decision with the knowledge that I was buying it for the “bones” and was likely going to sink a few hundred more into it to get it where I wanted it to be tone wise. The stock Tremonti wasn’t going to fit the bill for my preference for traditional blues/classic rock sounds - often more clean, but also capable of late 60’s/early 70s hard rock/metal sounds. I’m distinctly NOT looking for modern power metal tones.

So, here’s what went into making this guitar “mine”:

Suhr Thornbucker pickup set (Raw nickel covers/50mm spaced neck/53mm spaced bridge)
PRS core Pickup rings
Switchcraft 3 way switch
Switchcraft jack
2 CTS 500k audio taper pots
2 PRS push/pull tone pots
.22uf orange drop caps
PRS Core black/clear knobs
Mannmade trem
PRS SE Locking Tuner
Graphtech TUSQ nut
EBay eagle truss rod cover

Here are some comparison pics between Dave’s listing photos and the final product.

51644094693_18ab7318b7_k.jpg

51644728450_eed6da2e96_k.jpg


51644094683_59bafd364f_k.jpg


As noted in a separate thread, I think the nut upgrade was not necessary. After pulling off the stock nut and examining it, I realized that PRS must no longer be using those semi-hollow plastic nuts. The material looked exactly like the Graphtech (minus their specific markings), had the same weight and sounded exactly the same under the drop test.

I wired it up 50’s style - no need for treble-bleed circuit with separate coil split on each tone knob. Full split to ground - no partial blend as the Thornbuckers sound fantastic fully split without a massive volume drop. Yeah, you do get some more hum without a bit of the second coil, but so be it.

I cannot speak highly enough about the Thornbuckers. Split they have that great creamy bluesy Strat neck tone and twangy bridge. Full humbucking mode, they’re classic Gibson PAF territory but with a bit more clarity/note separation under gain. Great clean and dirty through both my Mesa Mark V and my 25 year old Peavey Classic 50 2x12 tweed Fender-ish combo.

All in all, I’m really happy with the results as it plays fantastic and has a sound that rivals - yet differs - my core models. Not that it was about looks, but I think it looks like a premium guitar now too.

Any specific recommendations for finding truss rod covers like the one you bought? I'm doing a similar project with my SE Tremonti Standard, and none of the aftermarket covers I've seen on Reverb and eBay are really doing it for me
 

Aether

New Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
34
Location
Maryland
Any specific recommendations for finding truss rod covers like the one you bought? I'm doing a similar project with my SE Tremonti Standard, and none of the aftermarket covers I've seen on Reverb and eBay are really doing it for me

Here’s the seller that I bought it from:

https://www.ebay.com/str/wectrussrodcoverinlay

He doesn’t currently have one listed in the exact same style listed as the one that I bought, but they’re all handmade and he posts new ones all the time as he makes them.
 
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