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Thread: Help with intonation of a se custom 24

  1. #1

    Help with intonation of a se custom 24

    I have been trying to intonate my custon 24 but the low e keeps coming out sharp.Waited untill i put some tens on my 24 and 245. The 245 came easily. But for the life of me I can't seem to get the 24 to level out. Spent a. few hours but didn't get very far and I am extremely frustrated.

    I have the saddle backed of as far as it can go. Would have to pull out the spring to get it much farther.

    Would having the claw uneven help since its not centered with the block?

    The bottom of the trem wants to be level with the body right?

    I like the guitar especially now that I have the tens on. If I can't get the little guy to intonate I don't see me using it much wich would be a shame.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Michael B's Avatar
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    OK...sounds like your tuning to E flat if your low E saddle is all the way back. I would have your claw straight to start with, and give your adjustments a little time to settle in. Adjust and play a little and recheck your adjustments. Myself...I make the top of the trem parallel with the top of the body...maybe with a slight pull towards body on the bar end...that's what I was taught at the experience with the setup guru!!
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  3. #3
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Check everything else...

    Bridge should be parallel to the body with a 1/16th" gap.
    Adjust Truss Rod so that you have (When pressing down on the first and last fret - use a capo on the first if needed) a .010 (Guage of your high E string) gap between the top of the 8th fret and bottom of low E string.
    Adjust action so that your strings are roughly 2/32" on the high E at the 12th fret (Top fret / bottom of string) and 5/64" on the low E.
    Check the nut. The string should be leaving cleanly at the edge of the nut and not from within the slot. You can check this by bending the string near the nut and making sure it bends at the edge.
    Make sure the pole pieces of the pups aren't touching or too close to the string.
    Check the saddle itself incase the string is leaving from the wrong point.

    If any of these things are out then it will affect intonation. These are the factory settings so you may want to adjust to your own tastes, but if you can't get it to intonate properly with all these things checked you may need a pro to look at it.

    What tuner are you using?
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
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  4. #4
    Mikegarveyblues

    Thanks for all the tips. How do you adjust the action? I assume it is by the individual saddles heights?

    Haven't gotten to the action yet but the neck sure had a lot of arch in it. Took me almost a quarter turn to get it set.

    Was doing this after a long shift. Now that I have a more clear head I think I found my problem and it doesnt look good. I think my trem might be crooked. The pickup on my se 245 is a bit crooked so it may be because of that. The bass side of the trem is about 1-2 mm close than the treble side. Not a huge amount which is why I didn't notice it at first. I had originally thought it was just a worn out factory string.

    Is the edge of anyone elses trem not parralel to their bridge pickup?

  5. #5
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drastion View Post
    Mikegarveyblues

    Thanks for all the tips. How do you adjust the action? I assume it is by the individual saddles heights?

    Haven't gotten to the action yet but the neck sure had a lot of arch in it. Took me almost a quarter turn to get it set.

    Was doing this after a long shift. Now that I have a more clear head I think I found my problem and it doesnt look good. I think my trem might be crooked. The pickup on my se 245 is a bit crooked so it may be because of that. The bass side of the trem is about 1-2 mm close than the treble side. Not a huge amount which is why I didn't notice it at first. I had originally thought it was just a worn out factory string.

    Is the edge of anyone elses trem not parralel to their bridge pickup?
    Yep, just raise or lower the saddles. You want to have the strings follow the radius of the fretboard but (Perhaps) with a little bias to the bass strings so they have a touch more clearance.

    Hope the trem isn't crooked! I'd be very surprised as that's all routed out on machinery so in theory the screw holes and whatnot should be in the same place every time... Unless i'm wrong about the whole process...
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
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    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
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  6. #6
    The trem is definetly lopsided. The neck pickup is even with the neck and the bridge is far as I can tell parallel to the neck pickup. The trem is about 1mm closer to the bridge pickup on the bass side.

    Tried to measure the block but the cavity route is a bit uneven so I couldn't get a goid measure from the inside.

    This guitar seems strange. On the bridge pickup the face of the bobbins is lopsided. So the cream colored adjustable pole piece side is a ways closer to the strings than the other.

    The other thing that seems odd is the six set screws. I have no desire to mess with them. Just I thought the were the knife edge. The two far side screws under the two e strings are put in deeper than the rest. That may be normal for all that I know. I would have though they would all be even with the top plate to keep it fron binding and coming back to center.

    I don't know what else to do I have all the other strings set right. Just can't get the low e right its about there but its already pushed back farther than I am comfortable setting it to.

  7. #7
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Just measured mine and i'm just shy of 1mm closer on one side. I honestly wouldn't worry about that one bit.

    The six screws should be perfectly level and raised a little off the bridge plate.

    I've provided some close up pics of mine for comparison. Let me know if anything seems noticably different on yours. Can you take any pics?











    With the bar depressed in the last pic you can clearly see the notches so it's vitally inportant all the screws are the exact same height.
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  8. #8
    Wow thanks for those pics. I will definetly take some pics of mine when I get off of work at five tomorrow morning.

    That's a relief seeing that its a bit off on purpose. Just looking at your pick my low e is definetly higher. That may be a problem. Will check on that when I get home

    Thanks again for the pics my day at work will be better knowing the bridge is set in right.

  9. #9
    Ok here are some attempts to get a good picture. Will try again with better lighting.






  10. #10
    Ok spent another three hours working on it. Got the set screws level as I could. May have to take it apart again as I think I was just a bit off on one. Really hard to tell without whatever tool they use to level it out.

    Had to really lower the action but was finally able to get it to intonate out across the board.

    It works and I don't seem to have any fret buzz. Just feels odd to have the action so low on such a rounded neck. At least I know I really like this guitar. I have spent nine hours just trying to intonate the darn thing.

    Very interesting trem on this guitar lots of ways to fine tune the way you like it. Strings still feel a bit loose for me. May have to try some 11s. That would have to include a nut change to get that gauge in.

    Thanks for all the help. This has sure been a learning experiance. Now to get some sleep.

  11. #11
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Good to hear you've got it to intonate correctly.

    How's the level of the bridge? You got it close to 1/16th" on both sides? YOur high e saddle looks bottomed out. To set the screws i'd slacken the strings so the bridge has no tension and just keep an eye on the height measurements at the front end.
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  12. #12
    Junior Member MrGuitarDon's Avatar
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    Those SE Custom 24s are a seriously good guitar. GASing for an SE Singlecut of some sorts now!

  13. #13
    That's some pictures of the factory saddle height. So I thought that was how it was ment to be setup. Looked odd since the saddles looked all the same. Like how the low e slot wasn't deeper than the high e. Didn't understand why the high e was so much lower than the low e. Figured they knew better than I did.

    Got so frustrated I just dropped all the saddles down and pushed them all forwars to start from scratch.

    Interesting how they have the saddle exits sloped instread of a straight drop off like a nut. Makes for an interesting setup. Where you can adjust the intonation by setting the saddle at different angle altering its exit point on the saddle. Whoever designed this bridge put a lot of fore thought into it. Really a smart design. After so many hours working with it I have come out quite impressed with the design.

    Still have to fine tune it. Was a long 12 hour shift with half the crew gone and having to do a couple peoples jobs at the same time. Once I finally had it in tune all I wanted to do was sleep.

  14. #14
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    It's fiddly but I like this trem setup a whole lot better than on my Two Strats (vintage trem [decked] and two point fulcrum).

    The saddles would generally follow the raius of the board so your two E strings would be lowest and then the a and b higher and d and g higher still. Some (Like myself) prefer the bass side to be a touch higher than the treble. Each to their own of course but I generall have a reading of 1.6 - 1.8mm treble and 1.8 - 2mm bass.

    What reading are you getting at the 12th for the high e?
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  15. #15
    I don't have anything sensitive enough to measure that accurately. Just a wooden ruler like I had in school. I mainly just go by what feels right. Now that I have it all smoothed out it feels much better. I had to take a utility knife to widen the nut slot for my a. Was so fixated on getting the intonation right. I didn't notice it wasn't even seated in it slot. Explained why my low e felt set so incredibly low.

    Trying to check what you have listed is spot on to what I have. The bottom of the low e is say .2mm higher than the high e.

  16. #16
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Get yourself one of these... It's just a metal rule (6 inch I think) from a hardware store. Much more accurate than the normal wood or plastic rulers you can get. They start right from the edge so you can place it on the fret and get an accurate measurement.



    What do you think of the coil tapped tones on your C24?

    I completely forgot it had that feature when I tried it in the store. Nice surprise when I got it home and had a fiddle. Really sweet tones!
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  17. #17
    The single sound is great I think. Don't have much experiance with single coils. Quite a surprise how much cleaner it sounds in single coil mode. Makes me want to put it into my 245. The tone nob is a little loose and has a low curve. I just assume it is how it works when you add push pull to a knob.

    I do miss the warmer tone of my 245. But the 24 definetly has more than its fair share of qualities. Definetly a winner so glad I gave a prs a chance. Just loving these two guitars so different but great in their own ways. Exactly what people told me it would be compared to my 245.
    Last edited by Drastion; 02-09-2013 at 07:27 PM.

  18. #18
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    It's a nice contrast to the thicker sounds of the singlecuts. I'd have loved a wide fat on it - particularly a Bernie Marsden style wide fat as that neck is just perfect. This one is taking a little more getting used to, but nothing that concerns me. if I couldn't bond with it i'd know by now.

    I think when it comes to push pulls i'd prefer a switch. maybe one day i'll experiment with that but apart from the nut i'll keep it as is!
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  19. #19
    Think I am pretty set for a while. Curious to try a soap bar or eg single coil. The custom 24 covers that fairly well. So maybe the seven stri g or the clint lowrey. The clint has a mahogany wide fat neck and the first se to have a prs adjustable stoptail.

    In no rush to get them and really wish the lowrey wasn't so metal oriented. One can only own so many black guitars

  20. #20
    Angry Southern Gentleman Hopeful Sinner's Avatar
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    I put a Maryland Made Trem with Mann Made saddles on my SE and with a proper setup have had zero intonation issues since. Not to mention the immediate sonic improvement the brass block gives you... A small upgrade financially with massive improvement to the guitar...

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