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Thread: Over my head...

  1. #1
    Junior Member PastorDame's Avatar
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    Over my head...

    Recently, I acquire a PRS SE EG from a local pawn shop with the intention of learning how to fix/work on my guitars. My end game with this piece is to completely converted this single-coiled, tremolo-tailed beauty into a hum bucking, hard tail beast. As I get deeper into this project, I'm discovering how little I really know about the instrument that I truly love and realizing that I haven't the slightest clue where to begin. Each piece that I'm changing has an impact on the others. So, rather than pretending that I know what I'm doing, I wondered if I could ask the experts a few questions before I ruin anything. I realize that the questions that I'm about to ask are ridiculously novice, but, as I've learned with most things in life, it's better to ask questions than assume you know what you're talking about/doing.

    Question 1: My aim with the tail of the guitar is to replace the tremolo with a 2Tek bridge. This is going to require some cutting to make space for it. Is there a certain distance from the neck/nut/12th fret that the bridge needs for good/proper intonation?

    Question 2: I'm working on a pick guard template at present and struggling with the dimension for pickup spacing. Is there a possibly that the PTC has a .pdf or other scale image file that I could use for a template? If not, any guidance for cutting humbucker holes from the SSS pattern would be wonderful!

    Thank you for the opportunity to field my questions! I'm looking forward to drawing from others' wisdom on this area and hope to be able to pass it on some day.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    PRS SE Bernie Marsden, PRS SE EG Crazy Ivan (work in progress), Epiphone Les Paul ES
    Fender Supersonic, Vox Valvetronix VT20, Line 6 POD HD500
    "I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds, Serenity

  2. #2
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Wow, tackling a bridge conversion when you have no experience modifying guitars is a big ask! I've done a bit of work on mine (trem piezo install, new pickguard, body routing for additional controls, wiring etc) but nothing this drastic! Having said that, if you have a lot of woodworking/joinery experience you should be fine.

    The trem to 2Tek conversion is pretty involved from memory, there has been one (can't find pics) but it will involve precision routing of the body (2Tek have a special template and jig) and also plugging of the gaps left over (e.g. the side of the trem where the arm goes in). Obviously you'll need to paint to "hide" the work.

    To answer your question, the SE EG has a 25" scale length, so this is the distance from the nut to the bridge, where the string contacts the saddle. You'd probably want to ensure you have enough adjustment fore and aft on the saddles to correctly adjust the intonation. Best bet is to intonate the guitar as is, measure to the middle point of string contacts on the saddles of the closest and farthest (or the average of all 6), adjust the saddles half way on the 2Tek, and line them up with the measurement you got previously.

    Personally, I would leave it to the experts but power to you if you want to have a crack yourself!

    As for the pickup spacing, the EG already has the routing underneath for the neck and bridge humbuckers. Use this as the location on the pick guard and then just split the different for the middle. Recommend having the pickups central on the routes to allow doe clearance.

  3. #3
    Junior Member PastorDame's Avatar
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    Thank you for all of the advice on this crazy project!

    After the original post, I was able to make a paper pick guard prototype that seems to have turned out pretty decent/even: http://www.flickr.com/photos/100013081@N02/9507640612/

    As noted from the picture, I've already removed the tremolo bridge... making it slightly difficult to test out the intonation... the measurements help though as I'm looking at making some cuts in the body. My biggest fear has been cutting in the wrong direction and complete and definitively destroying the guitar - hence my rushing to the forums for help! As far as hiding the hole... I'm thinking of getting creative with the pick guard...

    Given that I have zero experience with woodworking, it's sounding like this part of the project may be one for a luthier.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    PRS SE Bernie Marsden, PRS SE EG Crazy Ivan (work in progress), Epiphone Les Paul ES
    Fender Supersonic, Vox Valvetronix VT20, Line 6 POD HD500
    "I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds, Serenity

  4. #4
    Angry Southern Gentleman Hopeful Sinner's Avatar
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    Strap the 2-Tek idea, pretty sure PRS has rejected using that bridge even in the Private Stock program.

    Definitely go with a USA PRS Trem and you'll learn just the same about working on your guitars... Maybe even more so!

    Oh, and regarding the hard tail aspect, it's block the Trem and it'll sound killer. I have done this to an SE in the past with stellar results.

    Just my .02

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    I don't think I would go with the 2-Tek for this particular project...for a couple of reasons...the guitar being a trem model and the lack of experience of the op....however being an owner of a PRS with a 2-Tek....I can tell you the bridge rocks...definitely like having one in the stable....they sound great...unique but great...string changes kind of suck but the clarity and string seperation is striking...I didn't buy into the hype until I tried it...the whole piano like quality to the notes...it is indeed true....also adds a very fendery vibe...I played it last week with the band and they loved it...they noticed the clarity right away.
    -Bob

  6. #6
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    I once saw a PRS where someone (a BaM forum member, I don't remember who) had converted a trem based PRS to a 2-TEK and the results were functional but aesthetically less than stellar. The 2-Tek rout is not as wide as the trem rout do you either have an extra hole straight through the guitar body or you have to mess with filling and refinishing part of the body.

    I have no experience with a 2 TEK so I can't comment on whether it would be enough of an asset to warrant the work done, but I can say that either a USA PRS bridge or a MANN made bridge are drop in replacements on SEs with trems and reportedly are a big upgrade tonally. My Custom 22 is blocked using a Tremol-no, works great.

    By the way, your pickguard looks like it's going to work really well as far as the shape is concerned. I have tried to make a pickguard in the past using a dremel, and it turned out badly. You really need to have the proper tools including a belt or disc sander and a router (or a LOT of spare time). Also, it makes a hell of a mess. I still find little bits of pickguard around my garage several years later.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

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