Upgrades!

cjlloyd

Modern seagull
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
103
Thought I would share with you what I’ve been up to this weekend as I made a few upgrades to my CE.

I bought the SE bridge upgrade kit from John Mann which comprises a brass block, new springs, and higher quality saddles and mounting screws. I have to say everything is beautifully machined and finished. I can practically see my reflection in the saddles they’re so highly polished. Definitely a massive upgrade on what seem to be the pot metal castings that come stock.

https://i.imgur.com/ZVxHQFH.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/VL8AIHw.jpg

It’s hard to tell immediately what kind of difference this has made to the sound as it’s a fresh set of strings, but it sure is singing at the moment and I’m fairly certain it’s sustaining a bit better as well. My hope was that the brass block would help to accentuate the mids and tame the high end on what is a pretty bright sounding guitar.

The trem arm you can see above is also from John Mann. It’s longer and a little thicker (ladies…) than the stock one. For me it sits in a better position, higher off the body and with the end hanging over the top of the neck pickup, just beyond the screw coils. I’ve never liked the look or feel of the plastic tips so this is a big improvement for me.

Finally, I bought the silver sky tuner thumb screws which was a bit of a risk as I didn’t know for sure whether or not they’d fit. Turns out they do, and I reckon they look great. They look like standard non-locking posts from a few feet away which is sort of what I was going for.

https://i.imgur.com/7jiRs1v.jpg

Overall I’m very pleased with how it’s turned out, and as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing really separating this from a “proper” core instrument anymore, as the bridge was the only significant compromise.
 
Here are the photos in line. I followed the guidance but got a server error when trying to post the thread with these in the first post...

ZVxHQFH.jpg


VL8AIHw.jpg


7jiRs1v.jpg
 
Love the thumbscrew look! Few questions in case i decide to go down this path: Is the tremolo arm one you ordered from John or found elsewhere? And is there foam under the tremolo springs? If so how come?
 
...is there foam under the tremolo springs? If so how come?

I've seen this often done to silence the springs from sympathetically ringing from the guitar's vibrations. (On certain guitars, you can sometimes hear them ringing if you stop playing quickly.) Some other methods include feeding a short piece of surgical tubing around each spring, or even a small piece inside each of the springs. But the foam underneath is a quick & easy solution, too.
 
...And is there foam under the tremolo springs? If so how come?

Not speaking for cjlloyd, but I also put a foam under my springs to dampen it. It is said that the pickups catches the spring vibrations messing up your tone. I don't know if it's true, but I noticed that my guitar is more quiet eversince.

However, I bought noiseless springs. I haven't installed them yet, so I couldn't attest for them.
 
Love the thumbscrew look! Few questions in case i decide to go down this path: Is the tremolo arm one you ordered from John or found elsewhere? And is there foam under the tremolo springs? If so how come?

Yes the trem arm is from John Mann. It's product # 5065.

As others have suggested, the foam is to help prevent the springs resonating at certain frequencies. To be honest, I'm not entirely convinced it actually makes much difference because I still get a bit of resonance from time to time. The notes affected seem to change depending on how the guitar is set up; if you move something, you get resonance on a different note. No doubt the heavier trem block will affect this as well. It's a bit weird.

I used to run sponge strips through the inside of each spring to do the same thing, but seeing as that's a bit of a faff, for the new springs I thought I'd just stick a piece under the claw. It just so happened that a pop-out piece of the sponge packing the kit came in fits perfectly under there.
 
I've seen this often done to silence the springs from sympathetically ringing from the guitar's vibrations. (On certain guitars, you can sometimes hear them ringing if you stop playing quickly.) Some other methods include feeding a short piece of surgical tubing around each spring, or even a small piece inside each of the springs. But the foam underneath is a quick & easy solution, too.

I'm putting surgical tubing inside the springs. Both foam under and stuff over (such as heat shrink) can restrict the springs one way or the other.

The tubing I'm using is one from stewmac - its pickup spring tubing but fits right in the tremolo springs.

https://www.stewmac.com/electronics...hzX4Olg6ux2dPAsFtRcpsDhm6mLrPUpkaAmd5EALw_wcB

Word of caution - if you are using Gotoh springs, they have different diameter and it's a ballache putting the tubing in. With stock PRS / Fender springs no issues at all
 
I used “raw vintage” springs for a strat. Gotta say I like the feel. Not nearly as stiff as the cheaper new ones. Change of tone? I’m not that good to have noticed a difference.
 
I have a trem guitar, also semi-hollow that the springs give more sustain to. A natural reverb if you will.

It depends on your taste.

Real spring reverb built in! I’ve noticed that on some of mine, Strats included.

Do you guys find that this applies generally whatever you're playing, or that the effect only happens at certain frequencies?
 
With me it rings random frequencies, usually upper and it drives me crazy. 30 quid amazon pedal gives better reverb.
 
Love the look of the thumb screws against the maple headstock!
 
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