Tonal balance for a 2020 SE Paul’s Guitar

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Louie S, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. Louie S

    Louie S New Member

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    This is my first electric. I finally assembled all the pieces yesterday and sat down and started to play. My amp is s Bassbreaker 007.

    My first experience was wow, a really nice rich full sound. However, as I played through several songs and exercises I noticed a significant dead spot around the low A. This starts at G# and continuous up to E or F on the D string. The low E by itself produces a booming resonant tone that changes to dull as I move up to A.

    I have pretty much tried every setting I can think to do. All the pickup settings that are possible and while each setting produces a different overall tone the balance remains off.

    If I crank the bass on the amp while that brings the A in better balance with the upper register the E goes over the top. The mid has no effect.

    I don’t think that this is normal but I’m not sure at all how diagnose the problem. So I thought I would post here to see if anyone has had a similar situation.

    Thanks in advance.

    -louie
     
  2. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Energized

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    Louie,

    I think some of us are not sure about what you're saying.

    What string(s) are you referring to, and where on each string do the dead spots occur, in order from low to high, please?
     
  3. Louie S

    Louie S New Member

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    Thanks let me try to make it clear.

    I have the amp for comfortable level. Input and master at about 9-12 o’clock and the guitar volume at approximately 5. A nice clean tone.

    Now when I play the 6th string open E, I get a resonant tone. However, playing the 5th string open A is dull and noticeably muted. This seems to be frequency dependent as playing 6th string 5th fret is also muted.

    That’s the problem in a nutshell.

    -louie
     
  4. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    Sounds like a setup issue. Has the guitar been worked on, and by the way how old are the strings? They should be changed periodically. If they’re the ones that came with the guitar, they should probably be changed right away.
     
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  5. Louie S

    Louie S New Member

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    I bought it used on Reverb from an authorized PRS dealer. It was advertised as being in "very good" condition. After receiving it I did a close inspection and I could not see cosmetic flaws.

    There are some obvious setup issues, buzzing on several strings that need to be addressed. It could be as simple as adjusting the truss rod slightly to get a little more relief or It could be more involved. Maybe this is why the condition was described as "very good" rather than "excellent" or "mint", either of which seem to apply (IMHO). This is pretty noticeable and I am surprised it got out of the store that way unless if fell out of adjustment during shipping.

    I suppose that it could be a problem with the strings. Obviously I don't know the age of the strings and they probably should be replaced just to know that they are fresh. However, the fact that the 6th string sounds great (maybe even a little hot) open and then looses it's punch when fretted up to an A seems to point to something else going on. This is not a subtle difference, it is pronounced. It's almost is if there is an graphic equalizer in the channel with the mid bass completely suppressed.

    It's also possible that there is a problem with the amp, also purchased used on Reverb. So I'm going to make a trek to the local guitar shop and see if I can isolate where the problem is occurring, guitar or amp. Then go from there to see what to do.

    -louie
     
  6. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    Start with the truss rod. If you've never done a PRS, they tend to need less turning than other brands. Before you put strings on it, turn the truss rod about an eighth of a turn towards the high E, wait 5 minutes retune and check your neck relief. Once or twice should get you where you want to be. If you're not comfortable with doing this. I'd suggest that you take it to the best luthier in your area. Any of us could suggest someone if we knew what area you're in.
     
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  7. alex1fly

    alex1fly New Member

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    Throw some fresh strings on there. Some strings are just dead. Make sure they aren't choking at the nut. This will at least eliminate a major variable. From there you look at action, relief, etc. You could reach out to the dealer too. I'd consider doing this after the string change.
     
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  8. Louie S

    Louie S New Member

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    Hi, Over the weekend I put a new set of D'Addario XL 10-46 strings on. A different guitar the A string is alive.

    This also seemed to fix the buzzing almost completely. I did take off the truss rod adjustment cover and could see that I needed a proper tool to make that adjustment. So I ordered on so it will be handy in the future.

    Lesson learned. Start with new strings especially on a used instrument and probably on a new instrument as well.

    Thanks for the help, I was a bit worried that I had stumbled on a dud, but now I'm really loving how it sounds.

    -louie
     
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  9. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    If you bought the guitar new, there should be a truss rod wrench in the guitar case/bag.
     
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  10. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    I have an extra. PM me if you want it and are in CONUS.
     
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  11. Louie S

    Louie S New Member

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    Thanks for the offer but I already purchased one from the online store. Also I’m don’t know what CONUS is either.

    -louie
     
  12. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    CONtinental United States.

    Or what conjoined twins who share a digestive tract have.
     
  13. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    CON-testine?!
     
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  14. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    No, they get along.
     
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  15. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    CON-sphincter?
     
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  16. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    They could be, but only if they were female, older, and unmarried.
     
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  17. Louie S

    Louie S New Member

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    This is a follow up on my initial post.

    Long story short all the "tone" issues were due to the slowly failing amp. A couple of weeks ago the amp went all fizzy and grumbly and then went silent. A quick look in the back revealed a glowing red plating EL84, so off to the repair shop. After only a week I got the amp back with a new diode in the cathode bias circuit and a replacement EL84.

    With the amp now working at full spec it is a totally different experience playing my guitar. All the problems I described above are gone and I can really hear and play with all the nuances of the split coils.

    -louie
     
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  18. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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  19. aphantomvaper

    aphantomvaper New Member

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    Good to hear. The SE PG is one of my favorite guitars!
     

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