Trem Question

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by RickG, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. RickG

    RickG New Member

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    I recently picked up a 1993 CE24. This is my first PRS guitar. I've been reading about the trem and I want to run this by the experts here to see if everything looks OK. The trem stays in tune perfectly but the screws are not even. I only have experience with two point trem systems. Does this need to be adjusted? Or don't fix what ain't broken?

    The two outer screws are taller than the middle four, and the middle four aren't exactly even.

    [​IMG]
     
    grausch likes this.
  2. Tone-y

    Tone-y New Member

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    First off, I'd leave it alone if it's working alright. I'm sure aesthetically this would bother me too, but the screws are notched with a v shape to them and the trem a knife edge. You don't want to go around adjusting them for the sake of it and wearing the edge away
     
  3. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

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    Agreed. They are supposed to all be level, but if it works as-is then I'd leave it.
     
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  4. RickG

    RickG New Member

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    The only thing I have hesitation about is maybe the previous owner didn't really use the trem. If I start using it now maybe it will wear out the knife edge since they aren't even?
     
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  5. TFC

    TFC That guitar really tied the room together

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    I think you've got good reason for hesitating to use it. They should all be even so that the knife edge fits in the same spot in all of the screws. Be sure to remove the tension by removing the strings and springs before adjusting the height of the screws.
     
  6. RickG

    RickG New Member

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    Are there specific measurements for height? Or just adjust the outer screws in or inner screws out??
     
  7. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

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    RickG likes this.
  8. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    Easy adjustment here is a video from the Mann :)

     
  9. RickG

    RickG New Member

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    Thanks for that. I guess it's still yricky
    Thanks. I will watch when I'm off mobile. The outside screws should set the height, right? I don't want to adjust the bridge height, so I really should leave the outer two alone and raise the middle ones, correct?
     
  10. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

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    I’d get all screws properly adjusted. You’ll get abnormal wear that will require replacing screws at some point. Just follow John’s video to the tee and all should go right.
     
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  11. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf I'm a Dog! I do Dog Things!

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    these are highly engineered highly designed pieces of equipment, they have specifications and like all pieces of equipment they need to be maintained to perform at a high level.
    when I clearly see nuts and bolts and tolerances out of specification, I immediately bring them back, to proper fit. of course there is nothing wrong with experimenting with a piece of equipment modifying it to perform some other trick.

    it's a lot like asking I have noticed there's only1 lug nut holding my car tire on, haven't really noticed anything yet so it must be okay. should I get it repaired? a good mechanic would tell you take it up to 90 miles an hour for a few minutes to verify its ok.;)

    or definitely bring it back to specifications.
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Boogie, as usual, is right.

    It’s really simple. There’s a notch on each screw. The bridge needs to go into the notches on all the screws, not just the outside ones. If your bridge isn’t resting in all the notches, it doesn’t work to spec, and you could have wear and tuning issues when using the trem.

    All of the notches obviously need to be at the same height in order for that to happen. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. It’s not a matter of argument or speculation. It’s how the bridge was designed.

    This isn’t a Strat. It’s something different. Someone who didn’t know what he/she was doing set up that guitar incorrectly.
     
  13. swede71

    swede71 New Member

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    I use an EMG connector cable as a feeler gauge.The plug is 2.5 mm thick.
     
  14. gush

    gush New Member

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    I would adjust it to proper specs. The pic you took is what I do to mine. Snap the pic and expand it so you can see height differences.

    I'm a bull in a China shop regarding most anything you can think of. Using the Allen wrench as the spacer doesn't seem to work for me because I don't really feel adequate resistance to tell if it's touching.
     
  15. RickG

    RickG New Member

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    OK I set it up according to the video from Mann using 2.5mm between the bridge plate and screw head. I think it's too high for the neck angle (or lack of) on this guitar. I had to raise it significantly from where it was when I got it.

    I'll leave it like this for a bit but I might lower it to more around 1mm - 1.5mm on the next string change. I realize this gives me a lesser upward pull than intended in the original design but would be much more comfortable IMO.

    I realize it looks uneven in this picture but that's just the angle of the camera and the humbucker height.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf I'm a Dog! I do Dog Things!

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    that's looking extremely good to me, that screw height is designed to give 1/16 of an inch clearance between the trem plate and the guitar body, any lower and you can't really do upward tremolo. but I would say that you can adjust the screws upward or downward about one full turn (approx 0.5mm ) from where you're at to adjust the tremolo action to taste.
    I think you do have to complete the rest of the set up first.
    so your tremolo is also supposed to be level with the body which requires that you adjust the claw tension screws (or add or subtract springs) in the back. finally once you got the tremolo level with body and at the approx. correct (desired) height. but that 1/16 inch that Paul has engineered is extremely low and perfect I would not go any lower. I have mine set to bend one semi-one in upward direction on top 3 strings when it hits the body.
    Then you need to adjust the saddle heights with the saddle adjustment screws to get the action or the string height correct. measuring the relief at the 12th fret. if you change the level of the tremolo you usually need to adjust your saddle height.
    you're getting close. level the trem and set action, probaly have to intonate slightly too.
     
  17. RickG

    RickG New Member

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    The trem has already been leveled and the saddles adjusted. The outer saddles are nearly bottomed out.

    Also, the trem is level with the plane of the top of the guitar, correct? Obviously the carved top near the back of the trem means it isn't level with the body, but rather level with an invisible line extending from the flat part of the carve where the pickups are. Correct? I'm very familiar with trem setups, but all have been two point and none have been on a carved top.
     
  18. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf I'm a Dog! I do Dog Things!

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    seems like you've done everything correct, now I see it looks like those saddles are aftermarket, I would bite the bullet, put the correct saddles in, I know they are expensive like 150 bucks.
    but I can see that those saddles seem to maybe causing the problem.
    here is a 1990 CE
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. RickG

    RickG New Member

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    To be honest, the only reason I haven't replaced them yet is because I'm worried how those shiny new saddles will look on the nicely patina'd bride!

    I might just bite the bullet on some saddles, pickup rings (for the recessed screws) and some lampshade knobs.
     
  20. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf I'm a Dog! I do Dog Things!

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    actually really good deal only 75 bucks. I think putting the new shiny chrome bumpers on, will make it look spectacular. from the man himself John mann.

    https://store.guitarvaultusa.com/PRS_Vibrato_Bridge_Saddle_Set_p/4001.htm
     
    sergiodeblanc likes this.

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