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Thread: Two Piece Bridge Issues......am I the only one?

  1. #1

    Two Piece Bridge Issues......am I the only one?

    OK I've written customer service about this but I haven't heard back yet and I'm getting nervous. First off I'm 48 years old and have been playing PRS since 1988 when I found my first blue standard while going to G. I. T in Hollywood.
    Sweet switch and all. Since the I've owned and played 11 PRS guitars, 9 core and 2 SE. I always loved the tone and Idea of Les Paul's but every time I bought a Gibson it let me down and was such a pain in the arse, tuning etc. I'm used to the PRS quality, neck shapes.

    So 3 months ago I made the plunge for a used Stripped 58. I really wanted the 24.5 scale neck and the guitar has 57/08 pups, birds. The deal I got from the original owner was great. I have come to love this guitar more than any other.......................with one exception. The Aluminum 2 piece bridge. I gig in Anchorage AK and I gig regularly. Lately I've done a few back to back shows. I sweat but it's never been an issue with any guitar as I must have a normal PH, not overly acidic. We've all seen those guitars played by someone who has acid sweat, green metal, pitting. That's not me.

    Anyhow, the first thing I noticed is you when changing strings I have to seat the low E (52) just right or it buzzes like crazy. Not audible through the pups but it's bothersome...........whatever, no biggie. However, if you sweat at all on this bridge it turns black, especially with a little palm muting. I also noticed the posts corrode quickly. So for a while now when changing strings I clean the post, thumb wheels and bridge with a metal cleaner and lubricate with Blaster a marine grade WD-40 type product that is made to prevent this type of corrosion. First off this ritual is a lot of work. I really wish the bridge was milled from rolled cold steel. I played a double gig one night and was beat so I went to bed without doing this. I would clean and change strings the next morning. However, after just sitting overnight I now find that one of the thumb wheels is seized and I mean seized. I have carefully removed the post from the body and tried to free it in every possible way, soaking in WD-40, oil, carefully clamping with cloth and trying to break it free. Nothing is making this budge.

    I'm at the point..................and this is unreal to me considering it's a $2700.00 PRS but I'm considering putting a Callaham rolled cold ABR bridge on this instrument. I just can't believe the problems I've had. Yeah, I gig a lot and play hard but that's why I buy PRS. This bridge is beautiful and tuneful but I don't think it's been tested in this manner before it was rolled out. it was on some Jazz hollow bodies and whatnot.

    Has anyone else had any issues with this bridge design? Can an ABR fit the post spacing without surgery. What I would really like is PRS to step up regardless of the fact that it's second hand or not. No way a pro should have these issues. This is my main gigging guitar. I can only imagine the cost of a replacement bridge even if they will sell me one. I worry it would have the same issues going forward.

    I believe PRS wants to hear all feedback positive or negative so they can hone in on what works best. I'm not sold on the long term functionality of this bridge design. Any advice, feedback is welcomed on this topic.

  2. #2
    I've been using PRSes with the same bridge for several years, since getting my first Stripped 58 new, and have had no such problems. The nickel plating can tarnish easily, but my hands are pretty dry and so I've had good luck with it. So have most others around the forum.

    The posts are brass, and brass does what it does.

    But I've never had to take the bridge apart or do anything other than very routine and light polishing on these bridges. This is brass and machined aluminum. It's awfully hard to make it corrode enough to do this!

    What metal cleaner are you using? It might be the source of the seized wheel?
    Last edited by LSchefman; 07-16-2014 at 11:31 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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  3. #3
    Thanks for the quick reply. The problem developed before I touched it with any metal cleaner. I use Brasso currently. The blaster was recommended by Bill Callaham who I respect more than anyone regarding guitar hardware.

  4. #4
    i am happy to report PRS support is hooking me up with a new post and Thumb wheel.

    Thank you PRS. I had replaced the one post with a cheap Gibson while I tried to free the original part. Soaked it for days in oil, WD etc........won't budge.
    For any doubters about PRS research I noticed a negative tonal change.

    man am I happy, I can't wait to get it. I freaking love this guitar.
    "Life is what happens while we're making other plans" - John Lennon

  5. #5
    Senior Member Whitecat's Avatar
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    Great news!
    PS Starla (burnt orange smokeburst), Starla (vintage cherry, IRW neck, birds), HBII (faded gray black 'double' 10-top), HB12 (black gold), NF3 (antique white/birds), 25th ann. Mira 245 (frost blue metallic), KL1812, 2011 'Stripped' 58 (goldtop)

  6. #6
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of Brasso, in my experience it tarnishes quickly after use and if you don't get every little bit off, it can leave a nasty residue which can get in between moving parts.

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