Cracked Trem Block
Earlier this year, I purchased a used '05 SAS for a great price. I spent quite a bit of time fixing the setup, as the trem had been screwed right down to the body. No matter what I did, i couldn't get the trem arm into the trem itself. Finally, I got a brand new PRS trem (didn't trust the previous owner not to trash the knife edges, and in fact he had) yesterday and took the old one off the guitar and apart. Inspection of the insert itself shows no obvious reason why the arm will not go in. There is something internally wrong, but what really surprised me is that the trem block is cracked and split open in 2 places where the insert fits in. I am at a loss as to how someone could cause that much damage.
The new trem has the brass block and string contact points on the saddles, so I am looking forward to hearing it when I have it set up again. I'm also taking this opportunity to drop in a set of 53/10 pickups before I use my last set of Thomastik Blues Sliders on it.
Wow, you'd have to hit it with a hammer to do that sort of damage!
Got any pics?
Probably a stupid comment (but since you didn't mention anything) did you make sure the grub screw was set correctly?
Yes, I checked everything. I'm no stranger to proper guitar setup. I can't say the same for the previous owner, though. Judging from the damage to both the trem block and a couple of the knife edges, I suspect tremendous force was used at one point.
Hmm. I took a photo, but I'm not permitted (yet) to post it.
On a side note, the new bridge intonates easier than the original (more reasonable saddle adjustments), and I still can't figure out why none of the 3 PRS trem arms I have fits the old insert. It's almost as if the old trem does not belong on this guitar, and may be a cheap repro although I know it's not. Also, the combination of the 53/10 pickups and the original SD Vintage Rail middle is magical through my Mesa Studio Pre and 2:95. With a little help from an Eventide Timefactor, Santana's late 70s Moonflower tone is right there. Clear and articulate without the mud of the original McCarty pickups.
Maybe it's a SE trem....? From feel the trem arm is slightly thinner than the US one.
Also, someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought PRS was using brass blocks back in 2005? I play a CE24 from '06 and that's 100% got a brass block (I can check my 2001 CU22 Soapy tonight, but pretty sure that's brass as well)
Does the casting look "better" on the new trem? As in, on top of the bridge, under the saddles, is the casting finer?
The casting on the new one and old one appears identical, but the saddles are much rougher than the new one or those on my CE24. A close look reveals a the old one is a bit rougher around the pivot screws as well. I just took a look at my '97 CE24, and it has a brass block. Clearly this old trem on my SAS is not the original. Perhaps it was changed for an SE trem just before I bought it, or even before the person who sold it to me bought it, which would explain the incredibly bad, almost unplayable setup and cracked block.
oh well I'm glad you worked it all out, sounds like an awesome axe!
Oh and to post pics you should use an external host like photobucket or flickr and use http://xxxx.xxx.xxx.jpg tags
In other words, post some pics of the guitar please!
Sorry for the poor lighting. Macro photos are not my strength.
You know I think you are right that that is a SE Block, it would also explain the arm not going in.
Nice Mesa rack too.