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Thread: Dull high E with wrap around stoptail bridge. SE Semi hollow

  1. #1
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    Dull high E with wrap around stoptail bridge. SE Semi hollow

    Hello all, new to the forum and PRS. Just picked up a semi hollow SE on ebay and really love it. Unique sound and super light, however.. I'm getting a dullness on the high E string especially on bends. Its noticeable on every fret but gets worse higher up the neck. Sounds like the string is being pinched, and I'm assuming its the bridge since I can't really hear it when the string is played open.

    Wanted to ask if this is a common thing with these guitars, maybe an easy fix before I take it to a shop. I see they sell replacement bridges on the PRS site for $48, so I guess that would solve the problem if it is the bridge. Any ideas, suggestions welcome. Thanks.


  2. #2
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    did you check if the bridge is level? i assume the string didn't stay in contact properly with the string slots when played, hence the muted sound. Or, it could be the nut problem, SEs are infamous for badly cut nuts. I don't think the bridge is the culprit here, unless it's been tinkered with in the first place (used guitar)
    Last edited by maxtuna26; 07-29-2013 at 09:14 AM.

  3. #3
    Wheels cjmwrx's Avatar
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    Check the nut slot. If the front side of the nut slot is lower than the back side (towards the tuners) the string will produce a dull vibration from between the slot. You will also not be able to produce harmonics on the fretboard with that string.

    There could also be a burr on the bridge, some 400 grit sand paper will help to smooth that out. Though that issue will usually also produce broken strings.

  4. #4
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjmwrx View Post
    Check the nut slot. If the front side of the nut slot is lower than the back side (towards the tuners) the string will produce a dull vibration from between the slot. You will also not be able to produce harmonics on the fretboard with that string.
    I'm not sure the part about the harmonics is correct...

    If the string rings ok unfretted, producing a harmonic by inducing a node, say at the 12th fret, should sound like doing it on any other string on that guitar. Since the nut and the bridge are working as nodes for the open string, there is no reason that they would not perform the same for a harmonic since the string is essentially vibrating in the same plane and not pushed closer to the fretboard.
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

    ísɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

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    Wheels cjmwrx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerpc View Post
    I'm not sure the part about the harmonics is correct...

    If the string rings ok unfretted, producing a harmonic by inducing a node, say at the 12th fret, should sound like doing it on any other string on that guitar. Since the nut and the bridge are working as nodes for the open string, there is no reason that they would not perform the same for a harmonic since the string is essentially vibrating in the same plane and not pushed closer to the fretboard.
    Sorry, not in the mood for an argument on something I have experienced on my own guitars.

  6. #6
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjmwrx View Post
    Sorry, not in the mood for an argument on something I have experienced on my own guitars.
    I wasn't picking a fight
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

    ísɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  7. #7
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Had the same problem on an SE CU22 on the B string.

    My problem was the bridge, but check to make sure you don't have a high fret. Go up the string and see if you have any dead spots, if the problem goes away after a certain fret, that might be the issue. The problem I had with the bridge was that the angle of the string slot in the bridge was such that the string wasn't in solid contact with the bridge as it came out, so it would vibrate in the slot, giving that dull sound. Sometimes the stoptail posts allow for too much angulation of the stoptail, and the result is a bad break angle of the string over the bridge. Look at your bridge from the side and you'll see what I mean. I tried a new bridge, and that worked. But I've since gotten a tonepros with the locking studs, and I would really recommend it. Much less chance of this problem, and I think the tone is better as well!
    -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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    Thanks for the quick replies! Turns out the bridge was indeed at a forward angle. I put a metal shim in between the head of the bolt and bridge, re-tuned, and the problem was all but gone with just that tiny difference. Now that I know its the bridge I'm going to order one of those tonepros. Assuming that works out maybe a graphite nut and coil taps will be next. Are the stock prs pickups wired for coil splitting? Guess I can research that myself, but thanks much for solving the problem!

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    Could you elaborate on how you corrected the forward tilt with the shim? Was it a half-moon shape or a circular shim (washer)? I have both a SE Semi-Hollow and a SE Singlecut with the same problem.

    Thanks!

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