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Thread: SE Mods

  1. #281
    Weird. I hit "reply with quote" but it doesn't appear to have included the quote I was replying to so...here it is from Alister:

    Ha ha! ;-) No honestly it was meant to be for Xmas - I've been dropping hints for months to my wife that I would love the SE Navarro for Christmas but saw such an amazing deal on one the other day it had to be snapped up! Love the neck on the SE Navarro so comfortable and smooth. I guess as its 3 months til Xmas I may have to drop some hints about gold Phase IIs :-) ah man I bet the 59/09s sound epic in your Tremonti SE - post a pic I'd love to see it! Can't wait to get my SE CU 24 back. Will be like a new guitar! Really interested to see what the middle position will sound like with the 59/09 and Dragon II combined. Has anyone tried that?

    I just checked photobucket for pics of my Tremonti SE Custom and the only ones I have are "pre-pickup swap" photos. It doesn't look much different and the guitar itself is just a normal looking Tremonti SE Custom in black/gray flame. Tight flame...would be a 10 if it was a US slabtop with the same tight flame.
    So...just imagine a regular looking black gray one but with a 59/09 squabbin in the neck and a Duncan CC in the bridge. but....imagine that the guy who swapped the bridge pup was colorblind or just has NO taste. The CC is a black and blue bobbin pup. One navy blue bobbin and one black. Ewwwww. No seriously...EWWWWWW
    You cant see it at a distance though...nor can you tell that it has a squabbin in the neck, nor can you even see the figuring. I think I "undid" everything else I had done...well I removed the tremol-no. The nut you cant see. Oh..I still have the electrical tape covering the SE on the headstock. Did I mention I'm an IDIOT? Oh...you also can't tell that it has Shaller M6 lockers on it from looking at it either. That was an unnecessary mod that I left in place. Speeds up the changes.

    ANYWAY...how are you enjoying the 59/09 in the neck? Is it a Treble (bridge) or Bass (neck) pup? Mine is the Bass.
    Man...I'm not even joking around. I haven't tried a 53/10 and they get a LOT of neck pickup love but the 59/09 in the neck of the Tremonti...OH MY GOD!! Sorry Narrowfield equipped Studio. You haven't seen more than 2 hours of play since May. I feel terrible but....I sure don't SOUND terrible..NOT that you do or did. I still wanna be great friends. It isn't YOU...it's those damned 59/09s.
    Buddy bought a cheap old Ibanez recently and he put P90s in it. All he keeps saying is "you GOTTA hear the Ibanez". I kept saying stuff like...whatever..it's more the AMP you're hearing. I love P90s too but...no...YOU gotta hear this PRS!!!
    I swear, never have I been approached by so many guitarists saying...is that an SE??? :-O It sounds INCREDIBLE! Even better than the USA PRSs you played. Well ok...I've never before been approached by ANY guitarists asking about the SE...cause I never had one before. I mean I have just never been complimented or asked about my tone so much.

    Like I said..I haven't tried a 53/10...or a 57/08 in the neck position of a guitar. Maybe they are even more awesomer(?lol) but I can't see it...HEAR it...I cant HEAR it!
    Back to thee thread topic...my SE is I suppose what some might say is "heavily modified" but it isn't really and the mods that are done, didn't NEED to be done at all. Even the SE245 pickups were fantastic. The stock nut worked perfectly for .009s and the locking tuners did nothing to improve tuning with heavy trem use and big bends. The trem works as well as ANY non locker but it IS a non-locker. Not perfectly...so...I removed the tremolno and the bar and now I just play it like a Les Paul or fixed bridge SC. I would put my SE up against ANY Les Paul...or SC...or electric guitar. In fact..I had a late '80s LP Studio a couple of years ago. I buy one pretty much annually trying to bond with them but never works. I sold the LP to my drummer. It's beautiful and awesome sounding and playing. I'm gonna ask him to bring it to rehearsal tonight to have a wee battle. But...since Halloween is coming and I have some DR NEON coated strings to put on, that are going on today...they might give the LP an unfair advantage. Either way I should be back with a battle report/debriefing later tonight.
    Sorry for the rant.
    Last edited by blaren; 10-24-2013 at 02:53 PM.

  2. #282
    Quote Originally Posted by cayle View Post
    First mod for my Bernie Marsden. Replaced the stock plastic nut with a Graphtech Tusq cut and shaped from a slab.





    Why did you do this mod? Were you having tuning stability problems? Switch to fatter strings?
    I am a new SE trem equipped guitar owner. I went to .010s from .009s and there WAS a bit of binding so I just widened the slots a bit. Then buddy sent me a USA nut slotted for .010s so I installed it. NO difference compared to the properly slotted SE nut. I don't know what the material is for the Tremonti SE nuts that are black. Maybe plastic? Plastic is just fine for a nut though as long as it's properly slotted. And a nut will make NO tonal difference..even if it IS plastic...except maybe when playing open strings. Once fretter, the nut is out of the equation.
    Now saddles, different story. Especially on an acoustic where some can even hear the difference in bridgepin materials...BUT...a lot of people who replace the stock plastic saddles on say a Martin acoustic with a tusq, bone, fmi, elephant ivory...nut notice a degradation in tone and performance.
    Plastic is not ALWAYS the worst choice.

    All that said...modding is fun and satisfying and the more components you swap for higher quality ones ..or just different ones add a personal touch and actually improve the "relationship" you have with your guitar.
    Nice job btw.

  3. #283
    Junior Member cayle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wardog View Post
    I used the one that are put on the Maryland guitars on my white sc se. Added a great look and did not have to put in new wholes, it was an exact fit.
    Thanks, I'll check that out!

    Quote Originally Posted by blaren View Post
    Why did you do this mod? Were you having tuning stability problems? Switch to fatter strings?
    I am a new SE trem equipped guitar owner. I went to .010s from .009s and there WAS a bit of binding so I just widened the slots a bit. Then buddy sent me a USA nut slotted for .010s so I installed it. NO difference compared to the properly slotted SE nut. I don't know what the material is for the Tremonti SE nuts that are black. Maybe plastic? Plastic is just fine for a nut though as long as it's properly slotted. And a nut will make NO tonal difference..even if it IS plastic...except maybe when playing open strings. Once fretter, the nut is out of the equation.
    Now saddles, different story. Especially on an acoustic where some can even hear the difference in bridgepin materials...BUT...a lot of people who replace the stock plastic saddles on say a Martin acoustic with a tusq, bone, fmi, elephant ivory...nut notice a degradation in tone and performance.
    Plastic is not ALWAYS the worst choice.

    All that said...modding is fun and satisfying and the more components you swap for higher quality ones ..or just different ones add a personal touch and actually improve the "relationship" you have with your guitar.
    Nice job btw.
    Hi blaren. I swapped the plastic nut for the Graphtech one mainly for tone purposes. I don't know if it's just me, but I do notice a tonal change with the different nut materials. I always swap out the plastic nuts to camel bone or Graphtech TUSQ. I'm not having any tuning stability problems. This TUSQ nut is not the self lubricating one. Overall, I noticed more sustain and a rounder tone. Of course, saddle/bridge material can give a more tonal change, but I really noticed the rounder tone plugged and acoustically.

  4. #284
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaren View Post
    NO difference compared to the properly slotted SE nut. I don't know what the material is for the Tremonti SE nuts that are black. Maybe plastic? Plastic is just fine for a nut though as long as it's properly slotted. And a nut will make NO tonal difference..even if it IS plastic...except maybe when playing open strings. Once fretted, the nut is out of the equation.

    Plastic is not ALWAYS the worst choice.
    I do agree plastic isn't always the worst choice. Of course, this debate has been going on for a very long time. There are huge tonal differences (pickups and wood) and there are also subtle tonal differences (nut material, bridge plate material), depending on what you're swapping out. I played my friend's Yamaha starter pack guitar. The plastic nut was slotted nicely, strings sit in the grooves nicely. Tone-wise, it's what most modern beginner guitars sound like, it's nice but not nice enough. I found no problems with the guitar, apart from the fact that it's not a PRS what, I'm spoiled!

    I recently acquired a tusq material pick due to curiosity. I tried it back to back with celluloid and tortex picks. What I can confirm was, celluloids are less defined in the higher frequencies. The tortex is brighter sounding without losing bass, very balanced. The tusq pick, however, sounded very crisp and clear, kind of "trebly" with a tad less low-mid frequency.

    I guess the same thing applies for nuts. There won't be audible to a jaw-dropping extent, but there will be a subtle difference. Some people don't think it matters that much, but some people with PRSh's or Eric Johnson's ears, they sure can hear it!

    Go listen to Paul's Rules of Tone videos, see him dropping a few different nuts on the table and hear the sound, and you'll get what the buzz is all about.

  5. #285
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtuna26 View Post
    I do agree plastic isn't always the worst choice. Of course, this debate has been going on for a very long time. There are huge tonal differences (pickups and wood) and there are also subtle tonal differences (nut material, bridge plate material), depending on what you're swapping out. I played my friend's Yamaha starter pack guitar. The plastic nut was slotted nicely, strings sit in the grooves nicely. Tone-wise, it's what most modern beginner guitars sound like, it's nice but not nice enough. I found no problems with the guitar, apart from the fact that it's not a PRS what, I'm spoiled!

    I recently acquired a tusq material pick due to curiosity. I tried it back to back with celluloid and tortex picks. What I can confirm was, celluloids are less defined in the higher frequencies. The tortex is brighter sounding without losing bass, very balanced. The tusq pick, however, sounded very crisp and clear, kind of "trebly" with a tad less low-mid frequency.

    I guess the same thing applies for nuts. There won't be audible to a jaw-dropping extent, but there will be a subtle difference. Some people don't think it matters that much, but some people with PRSh's or Eric Johnson's ears, they sure can hear it!

    Go listen to Paul's Rules of Tone videos, see him dropping a few different nuts on the table and hear the sound, and you'll get what the buzz is all about.
    I "drop-tested" the nut on my SE CU24 when I swapped it out for a black tusq nut, and found them to be surprisingly similar. Both had a pretty convincing ringy "clank" sound to them. The Tusq was only a slight bit more lively, which surprised me.
    -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

  6. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    I "drop-tested" the nut on my SE CU24 when I swapped it out for a black tusq nut, and found them to be surprisingly similar. Both had a pretty convincing ringy "clank" sound to them. The Tusq was only a slight bit more lively, which surprised me.
    The SE nut was a pretty good material, it's always been the sloppy slot-cutting in Korea that causes tuning problems. I saw it on the forum here once, it was a quoted response from the PRS customer help, they said it's a teflon-impregnated nut that's pretty similar to the USA nut. I have no idea why PRS doesn't just source these nuts from Graphtech since they're identical, would have been cheaper, I guess.

  7. #287
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtuna26 View Post
    The SE nut was a pretty good material, it's always been the sloppy slot-cutting in Korea that causes tuning problems. I saw it on the forum here once, it was a quoted response from the PRS customer help, they said it's a teflon-impregnated nut that's pretty similar to the USA nut. I have no idea why PRS doesn't just source these nuts from Graphtech since they're identical, would have been cheaper, I guess.
    Sure would be nice if they did, the graphtec has more of a shallow groove than deep slots for the strings, and they're wide enough to handle pretty heavy strings.
    -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

  8. #288
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtuna26 View Post
    The SE nut was a pretty good material, it's always been the sloppy slot-cutting in Korea that causes tuning problems. I saw it on the forum here once, it was a quoted response from the PRS customer help, they said it's a teflon-impregnated nut that's pretty similar to the USA nut. I have no idea why PRS doesn't just source these nuts from Graphtech since they're identical, would have been cheaper, I guess.
    I think the SE nuts are harder than the USA ones; they seem like more of a typical plastic. Replacing the nut on my Soapbar II for bone was the least bang for the buck mod I made. Replacing the nut on my HBII for bone definitely made a bigger difference.
    --Garrett--

  9. #289
    Junior Member cayle's Avatar
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    Ordered Gotoh tuners, CTS pots, PIO cap and bell knobs for my Bernie. Should be here in 2 weeks or so.

  10. #290
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    Sweet. IMO, bell knobs just suit the singlecuts more, gives it a more classic feel.

  11. #291
    Junior Member cayle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtuna26 View Post
    Sweet. IMO, bell knobs just suit the singlecuts more, gives it a more classic feel.
    The bell knobs came from a friend of mine. It's from a Gibson Warren Haynes LP. I feel that it would suit the Bernie Marsden more than the speed knobs or the PRS lampshade knobs.
    Last edited by cayle; 11-01-2013 at 06:46 AM.

  12. #292
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    Nice mods guys!

    I have a whale blue SE CU24 2008 which ha Phase II locking tuners, Dragon II in the bridge & 59/09 in the neck & .10 gauge set up. Plays like a dream! The final mod will be US black lampshade knobs.

    Are US knobs easy to put on an SE? I've only ever changed my Strats knobs before. Does the old shoe lace method work on a PRS as well?

    Also got an SE Navarro which is going to get some gold Phase IIs & US HFS & VB!

  13. #293
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    Guys, I can't believe this. The other day, I brought my SE over to the shop to have the stock nut changed. The replacement nut was an SE nut, too. Apparently, I figured that I can't wait for the USA nut anymore, so I pulled the trigger. The old nut was pulled out and the guy was cleaning my guitar. Out of curiosity and also remembering the way Paul dropped the different nuts in his Rules of Tone video to show the tonal differences, I did the same thing. To my surprise, the newer SE nut sounded very crisp and bright, and the old one was a huge disappointment. It gave very dull thud, like it was some silicone plastic, and I was shocked at how different the nuts sounded. I also examined the nut surface, and it looked like the newer nut was made from a different material. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a few shots of the nuts side by side, I hadn't thought of that in the first place. Now it's already on my guitar. I don't hear a very drastic difference acoustically, but the intonation problem caused by the old nut was gone. And I'm a happy man now. That nut difference still bugs me all the time though.

  14. #294
    Junior Member cayle's Avatar
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    Replaced the stock tuners of my Bernie SE to Gotoh Vintage style tuners. Less green, more cream on the Gotoh, which I like.


    Stock









    Gotoh



  15. #295
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    threw some black and clear knobs on my Clint Lowery SE

  16. #296

    In from a fresh mod .......forum TRC !
    Last edited by prscat33511; 11-23-2013 at 08:10 PM. Reason: copied pic ok YAY

  17. #297
    Junior Member cayle's Avatar
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    Gibson bell knobs
    500k CTS potentiometers
    Switchcraft toggle switch and tip
    Switchcraft jack


  18. #298
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Some nice looking mods here gents!
    -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

  19. #299
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cayle View Post
    Gibson bell knobs
    500k CTS potentiometers
    Switchcraft toggle switch and tip
    Switchcraft jack

    Some nice mods there Cayle!

    Like the Gotoh tuners... Where they a direct replacement. I have no issues with mine on my Bernie other than that greenish tint.

    I think I mine is in this thread a few pages back (Page 11)... Cracking guitar!
    Last edited by Mikegarveyblues; 11-23-2013 at 09:07 PM.
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, SE Custom 24 2012, 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

  20. #300
    Junior Member cayle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikegarveyblues View Post
    Some nice mods there Cayle!

    Like the Gotoh tuners... Where they a direct replacement. I have no issues with mine on my Bernie other than that greenish tint.

    I think I mine is in this thread a few pages back (Page 11)... Cracking guitar!

    Thanks Mike!

    The Gotoh tuners are a direct replacement. I got them from Stewmac. I had a hard time finding a dealer that also stocks some of the parts I needed. The green pegs on the stock tuners makes the guitar look cheap!

    I think the lighting on that photo made the Bernie yellowish. It's more orange in tint. I was initially going for amber bell knobs, but I think the gold bell knobs looks great.


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