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Thread: SE nuts. Why not just spend the $5 at the factory

  1. #1

    SE nuts. Why not just spend the $5 at the factory

    I just got a new Tremonti SE Custom.
    I have "real" PRSs and I always have a "beater" guitar that I use as a backup at a lot of gigs. Normally a strat partscaster. I grew-up playing strats but I always wind-up giving them away to "impoverished" young people or schools when I'm on the road.
    I've always loved the looks and tone of a les paul. I've owned many and a nice old 335. Just about annually I try again and buy another paul but everytime I can't bond with them. It's the soft/loose action/feel of that short Gibby scale.

    Well after giving away my latest (AWESOMEST one I had ever owned or played) strat in February I finally realized/decided that I should get an SE as my beater. My partsdrawer is almost depleted of SC pups and fender parts and I have a B-Day coming on June 9th so my awesome wife decided that she would take me SE shopping last week. I had only ever tried one SE, a HB while I was in the Cayman Islands this past winter. It was sweet but didnt make me go :-O.

    To compress this story a little, we got me a Tremonti SE Custom..and that guitar DOES make me go :-O ...but I'm not allowed to TOUCH it till my B-Day. The thing lives in my closet taunting me :-(
    Naturally, all I'm able to do with/about it (while my wife is home and awake) is think about it and research it and think of all the mods/improvements I'm gonna do. So far all I got is to change the TRC, nut, and probably pickups. Oh and a tremolno which of course I already had but of course, I went and gave it away to a member of "another" PRSForums lol.

    OK so now the point of this thread...
    It's obvious that the stock nuts on the SEs are pure garbage. That is the one mod that it seems EVERY SE owner (with trem) has to do. Replace the binding stock nuts with tusq, bone or stock USA nuts.

    We can't say (now that this forum exists) that PRS is unaware of this problem. Anyone with a computer, eyes and an internet connection who looks up PRS SE will see that the nuts are junk.
    WHY can't PRS just spend the extra 25 cents or so it costs in bulk and put proper nuts on the SEs?????

    I won't even get started on the other "under a dollar" upgrades like the 5way rotarys that had TEN numbers on them....
    Come ON PRS!!

    Disclaimer: I LOVE my PRSs.

  2. #2
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaren View Post
    OK so now the point of this thread...
    It's obvious that the stock nuts on the SEs are pure garbage. That is the one mod that it seems EVERY SE owner (with trem) has to do. Replace the binding stock nuts with tusq, bone or stock USA nuts.
    Based on what? Replacing the nut on my SE was the least beneficial mod I did; it wasn't necessary at all. Plenty of people are happy with theirs. If it binds, the slots need to be tweaked a little bit and lubricated. Same thing could happen with bone or any other material.
    --Garrett--

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    Quote Originally Posted by blaren View Post
    I won't even get started on the other "under a dollar" upgrades like the 5way rotarys that had TEN numbers on them....
    Disclaimer: I LOVE my PRSs.
    For years I could never understand why the original 5 way rotary had 10 numbers on it. Probably the reason I stayed away all those years until recently. Couldn't figure out which was "1" and which was "10".....I mean "5".

  4. #4
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    I'm in the "SE nuts are fine" camp. Much like the stock tuners, the nut gets a bad rap, but it's unwarranted. I've had 5 SEs and none have had tuning issues or any sort of binding at the nut once I got the slots wide enough for my preferred 11 gauge strings. As with every guitar, a proper setup will cure most issues.
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  5. #5
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    I can't speak from personal experience but every review I have read of a new SE with a trem says the same thing, that the trem stays in tune until you get crazy with it and divebomb etc, which if you're into you're prob better of with a Floyd and the associated hassle that goes along with one.

    As for why SEs have inferior components to the US models, when there's a minimal price gap between those, I can only guess it's a "where do you start/stop" deal. Pots, knobs, nut, switch etc could all be upgraded for a few bucks at the factory but it possibly defeats the purpose of the SE model, and brings it too close to a US model.

    Anyway, modding a SE is great fun!

  6. #6
    Pincher of Harmonics Blackbird's Avatar
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    So your wife took you SE shopping but didn't offer to upgrade your nut? And she won't let you play with it until your birthday?
    I feel a small amount of sadness for you.
    12 408 - 12 DGT - 09 Tremonti II - 98 CU24 - 97 CE22 - Mesa MarkIV - Kemper Profiler Amp - EVH 5150 III - PRS Archon

  7. #7
    DEEPER STRIATIONS markie's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    I got a new nut in my PRS thank you package... you didn't get one?

  9. #9
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    To agree with Hans, yes, let's PLEASE keep it civil here. We have had a few threads get pretty ugly in the last month or two and it's not fun for anyone here and it just looks bad.

    I will agree that it would be nice of PRS paid a little more attention to the nuts on SE's. At a minimum, they could be slotted for a larger string gauge, because lots of players want to go bigger than 9's right off the bat. That being said, I got my TUSQ nut for 6 or 7 bucks precut, so I would think PRS could get them bulk for pretty cheap. There are a lot of places on a guitar where improvements are pretty subjective (pickups, tone, woods, colors) but intonation is pretty black and white, and a better nut would help. Intonation problems with heavy trem use or bigger strings is the one thing that might take away from the "right out of the box" reliability that the company strives for. Just giving some constructive criticism. In defense of the company, maybe there are intricacies of overseas manufacturing that make it a lot harder than we think. But if its possible for $5-10 bucks extra, sure would be nice.
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

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  10. #10
    Member lgk1208's Avatar
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    I put EB cobalt 10's on my SE CU24. I had to take a little sandpaper to the E, A, and D (wound strings) slots just enough to make sure they moved thru the slot without binding up. Now I have to give a little tug up on the trem arm after use to pull back in tune and from what I understand that is normal on a floating trem.(or am I wrong)
    2012 SE Custom 24

  11. #11
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    I think the nut material itself is fine. The slots are just too narrow even for the stock '9's. Out of the box the trem was unusable because of the tuning issue. I widened the slots, a dab of silicone grease, and now it's all good.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    I got a new nut in my PRS thank you package... you didn't get one?
    LOL!!! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    So they DO know!! lol
    Good to see you Sergio brother.

    Yeah I do use the trem maybe a little aggressively. I think this guitar was made for that though..what with the up route and the fact that it isnt a bigsby.
    But yeah...maybe the trems (same bridge pretty much) on the USA models only are for divebombing? Otherwise those locking tuners are kinda pointless on them no?

    Either way...I can't WAIT till I officially GET it. So far it's feeling like my favorite guitar. The Tremonti SE Custom is a MONSTER...even compared to my USA PRSs...so far :-(
    Who knows...maybe it'll remain bone stock but like was said...modding is FUN. I know a bunch of people with ex partscasters of mine who will back that up. I'm really looking forward to messing with this thing.
    Hey, which knob is the vol for the bridge pup? Is it the one closest to the bridge? I hope so.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by lgk1208 View Post
    I put EB cobalt 10's on my SE CU24. I had to take a little sandpaper to the E, A, and D (wound strings) slots just enough to make sure they moved thru the slot without binding up. Now I have to give a little tug up on the trem arm after use to pull back in tune and from what I understand that is normal on a floating trem.(or am I wrong)
    Not normal. You need a good setup.

    A PRS trem should float in a horizontal position relative to the guitar top, and should return to that position after it's used, just by the action of the springs. That's how mine work, and how they were set up at the factory as well.

    If yours needs a tug on the trem arm to return to position, you should take it to someone who really knows how to set up a PRS.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 05-29-2013 at 10:17 PM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
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  14. #14
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    The material is perfectly fine.

    On SOME SE's the cutting of the slots isn't quite up to scratch.

    I'd love to see them cut for 10's regardless of what they're strung up with.

    Personally, I'd be happy to pay that extra few quid for a well cut nut rather than having to have it seen to or replaced.

    Regardless, the SE's are fantastic guitars that punch well above their weight. This is a minor issue but one that comes up regularly.
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, SE Custom 24 2012, Fender Strat
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    personally i think the nut isn't perfect but it's works for stoptail models, but doesnt work for trem models. Plus like many others said, not everyone uses 9's, even Bernie's sig model shipped with 10's and Clint's sig model ships with 11's. Just a suggestion and they may have their reasons for not doing so, but why don't PRS just source the Tusq nuts for SE models from Graphtech?

  16. #16
    Yeah...of course it probably isnt always necessary to swap the nuts. I was originally commenting on the fact that a very common mod for SEs is a nut replacement. Check out any SE Mods thread. I aint making this stuff up just to infuriate people lol.
    Anyway...the SEs, though wicked in their stock form..and relative to the USA PRSs are very affordable (maybe not so much when compared to Fender's Squier line or Gibby's Epis ..I know some SEs are very..umm...inexpensive) are awesome modding platforms..or for the "Student" (who these were presumably designed for) are more than enough guitar in their stock form.

    I got a Tremonti SE Custom in my closet that I'm not allowed to TOUCH until my birthday in ten more sleeps. In my head it's already modded. In reality it's well on it's way. An awesome member of another "PRSForums" ;-) member is mailing me a FREE USA nut. For some reason, when PRS sells nuts they come in pairs!!?? Do they think we have 12-string double-nutters? Do they think there's a nut at both ends of the string?? Or do they just assume one will break?? Whatever the reason, it got me a free nut..whether it'll be necessary or not...well from reading most SE threads it IS necessary. From reading this thread, it isn't...but I have one coming either way.
    Have a custom Blaren TRC in the works.
    I have a covered 57/08 and a Duncan Custom Custom (and many more like an old HFS, plenty of Dimarzios, Gibsons, GFS etc). I was thinking of going with the CC in the bridge (so far that is my all time fave bridge bucker) and the 57/08 in the neck. I would add to the Tremonti vibe having uncovered bridge and covered neck..HOWEVER...yet another awesome member of another PRSForums ;-) sold me his 59/09 squabbin for a hundred bucks. It's actually a bridge pup so is a little hotter than a standard 59/09 neck pup which might be a better match for the ~14K CC in the bridge. We'll see.
    I think I'll also change the pot orientation. I'd like the bridge pup's vol to be right beside the bridge.

    Other than the TRC, the only other (cosmetic) mods I would do would be maybe some lampshades?
    Oh...one day probably, depending on how well it holds tune with the stock ones...some locking machines.

    That's it for now. Pretty tame so far...but all this is without even plugging it in! (embarrassed). It would be pretty cool (and stupid at the same time..well I'd be stupid) if I find that it's perfect just the way it is. Stock...but stock just isnt ME.
    The only bone stock guitar I own is the McSoapy Standard.

    Either way...I can't WAIT!!
    Here's the pickle.
    My B-Day is the 9th and we have a gig on the 8th. Will Luanne be THAT mean to me? Man I hope not :-(
    If so..oh well. It's festival season and there are shows every weekend. It WILL get a lot of stagetime this Summer but I want it to start next weekend!!!!!!

    Pics and everything will be posted when he day comes.

    Did I mention that I LOVE PRS guitars??

  17. #17
    Member lgk1208's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgk1208 View Post
    I put EB cobalt 10's on my SE CU24. I had to take a little sandpaper to the E, A, and D (wound strings) slots just enough to make sure they moved thru the slot without binding up. Now I have to give a little tug up on the trem arm after use to pull back in tune and from what I understand that is normal on a floating trem.(or am I wrong)
    OK so I did some more filing on the nut of my SE CU24 and added a fourth spring and now it stays in tune when using the trem(even super dive bombs). but this is all due to me putting 10's on it. As far as I can remember it worked fine with the stock strings.
    2012 SE Custom 24

  18. #18
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    My first SE soapbar singlecut had a lousy nut. My second soapbar has a decent nut, as does my korina. The big difference I hear is the slightly better string definition of the Tusq. It's all in what we want. As others always say, they're affordable to mod, and the fretwork and neck are very, very good. Now to change the pots and the caps.........

  19. #19
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogrocketp View Post
    My first SE soapbar singlecut had a lousy nut. My second soapbar has a decent nut, as does my korina. The big difference I hear is the slightly better string definition of the Tusq. It's all in what we want. As others always say, they're affordable to mod, and the fretwork and neck are very, very good. Now to change the pots and the caps.........
    Let us know how much difference the new pots make... I'm curious. I've always found the stock ones to have a very useable taper, but I wonder how they compare in tone.
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE 30 Head/Cab

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