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Thread: Loving new Custom 22 - thinking about raising action

  1. #1
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    Loving new Custom 22 - thinking about raising action

    About a month ago, I got my first PRS - a Custom 22 with tremolo, what was described as "old school" bird inlays.

    Dealer's photo:


    You are mine!


    I'm loving the guitar on many levels, but it has the lowest action of three electrics I currently own and while I'm seeing the obvious benefits of this on many levels, it's a bit of an issue for bends. On my other guitars, I can keep the adjacent, unbent string balanced on the tip of my bending finger for a really clean bend. With the low action of the CU22, there's no choice but to have the unbent string creep under the bending finger. Maybe I'll get used to this, and the intonation and other playability aspects of this guitar are light years ahead of anything else I've played. I've had no problem fixing intonation and action issues on my Les Paul and SG, but am a bit wary of the PRS trem bridge due to the dire warnings about the knife edge. I gather you don't necessarily have to mess with the pivot screws to change the action height - would be a matter of adjusting the pairs of tiny allen screws on the saddles and then re-intonating. However this guitar is just so dialed in from the factory I'm not sure I want to mess with it... (lame, I know)

    I realize this would be more informative if I could give some measurements of action heights on the PRS and the other guitars I'm comparing with, but don't have this on hand right now. Also wondering if a slight raise of action wouldn't bring out a bit more punch in the tone, but this seems to be a controversial topic.

    Thanks for any comments on this -

    PR

  2. #2
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    I am really no expert, but as long as you make small adjustments equally to all six screws that the bridge pivots on, you should be fine. E.g. turn one slightly, then the next the same, then the next very very small increments. I have done this on my SECU24 and SE Santana with good results.

    You also might want to see if you can adjust the truss rod for just a tad more relief before you mess around with the bridge.

    I have learned enough on this forum to gain the confidence to make small tweaks like this myself, with very good results. I am sure others who know far more than I do will have additional information.

    Congrats btw she's beautiful, always loved that color combo.
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  3. #3
    I might give it a little more playing time, plus in the winter the action might be lower simply because of the lack of humidity.

  4. #4
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CantankerousCarl View Post
    I am really no expert, but as long as you make small adjustments equally to all six screws that the bridge pivots on, you should be fine. E.g. turn one slightly, then the next the same, then the next very very small increments. I have done this on my SECU24 and SE Santana with good results..
    Dude no! Sorry but that's the worst advice you could possibly give. I can only hope Mr. Roll hasn't gone ahead and done this! This is my biggest fear when buying a 2nd hand PRS, that someone has messed with a PRS trem that doesn't now what they're doing.

    http://prsguitars.com/csc/bridges.html

    The correct adjustment of the six brass screws, which act as a pivot and anchor the tremolo system, is level with each other so the bridge floats 1/16" off the body. These 6 screws are factory adjusted and you really should not have to adjust them at all. If it becomes necessary to adjust the 6 notched screws, make sure the guitar is detuned or you will ruin the knife-edge.

    The correct way is to raise each saddle up or down, using the allen key supplied with the guitar. You need to make sure the saddle is raised up by the same amount on each side of the saddle, so it sits flat to the trem body. Once you've set the action of each string, don't forget to check the intonation and neck relief while you're there.

    Carl - Sorry if I'm sounding harsh here, but I'm just trying to get the point across that if you're making adjustments to your PRS, you need to follow the instructions that PRS give you. I don't know who told you to adjust the trem that way, but it's not the way PRS intended!

  5. #5
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Dont worry about changing the action height.Just raise the saddles.When raising the saddles the trem can tilt forward alittle,adjust that with the tremolosprings on the back.DONT touch the six pivot screws.
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  6. #6
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    Thanks to all who replied - got the point: don't mess with the six screws (probably not relevant for action height anyway and can trash trem if done wrong) and go with the allen screw pairs on the saddles.

    Will give a bit more time with current action but relieved I should be able to experiment with the saddle screws - not afraid to adjust intonation if needed.

    PR

  7. #7
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    Hey Guys,

    I've always been a little confused by this - but, is the entire bridge supposed to float 1/16" above the body? I.E., Perpendicular to the body around the entire bridge.

    While at rest, is leaning forward or backward just wrong?

    Anyone have pics of a perfect adjustment and / or something less - the pic on the PRS site doesn't display it so well.

    Hope I didn't hi-jack the thread ( I don't think I did)

    Thanks a heap.

    Shultzie

  8. #8
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    Yes, it should be level or perpendicular to the body! This adjustment is done with the trem claw screws!

  9. #9
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    No advice from me but beautiful guitar!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Steph's Avatar
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    Beautiful guitar! Congrats.

    And same with me. Don't mess with the trem screws. They should be your LAST option. And if the guitar is factory fresh, it should'nt be an option at all, IMHO.

    Enjoy!
    "Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better." - Albert Camus

  11. #11
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Very nice guitar, congrats!

    Can't add anymore than what's been said. Combo of raising / lowering the saddles and adjusting the two screws at the back will see you right.

    I do need to adjust the 6 screws on mine as the bridge is too high off the body.... I'm just going to take it nice and slow!!!
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