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Thread: SE Mods

  1. #301
    Super Broski nosidamde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ESPImperium View Post
    PRS Mike Mushok SE Baritone

    Mods List:
    Schaller M6 lockint Tuners
    Di Marzio Air Norton DP193 (Bridge)/Di Marzio 36th Anniversary Bridge DP223 (Neck) (Ibanez style wiring)
    CTS Pots
    5 Way Allparts Superswitch
    ESP LTD F-50 Black Metal Knobs

    Pics:


    Looks great! I had a couple questions though...
    1. What size strings are you using on your SE MM, and did you have to modify the Schaller M6 tuners so the 6th string would fit through?
    2. What is the benefits to adding the CTS Pots and 5 Way Allparts Superswitch, is it for tone or durability? Is there a noticeable difference?
    Thanks.
    2014 PRS Mark Tremonti - 2007 PRS McCarty Korina Brazilian - 2013 PRS SE MM Baritone - 2014 Archon
    2012 ESP Eclipse II - 2002 Gibson SG Special Faded - 2012 Taylor 414CE

  2. #302
    Junior Member cayle's Avatar
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    Here it is now.




    Gotoh Vintage Style tuners
    Graphtech TUSQ nut
    CTS 500k potentiometers
    Switchcraft toggle switch and jack
    Gibson Gold bell knobs















    My brother has a Mike Turk bridge pickup that I'm thinking of putting in this guitar.

  3. #303
    Senior Member jimistephen's Avatar
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    The tone pots are going to give a little better sound and be more durable. The 5 way with Ibanez wiring is going to give you more tone options. Neck series, neck parallel, both humbuckers, both inside coils, bridge humbucker in series.

  4. #304
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    Not to keep beating a wounded horse (YAH MULE!!!Giddy-UP!)
    Nut, saddle, and bridgepin materials' effects on tone are hotly debated in the world of acoustics.
    Bridgepins they say, can have an effect. Most say it's due to the mass/weight of different materials and their dampening effect on the top.
    Saddle material can definitely make a tonal difference. Go from plastic to elephant ivory or FMI and you WILL hear a difference. Sometimes the plastic saddle will sound "best" on some guitars.

    Pick material and intensity of string attack is absolutely audible. Try a quarter and then use your fingertips. Nothing really to do with nut material though.

    BUT...a nut on an electric guitar....if it makes much difference it will only make a difference on open strings. Again...once you fret a string the nut is out of the picture. Hey, bridgepins are behind the saddle too but they do affect the top's movement/freedom.

    Not to go against PRSh the master, but you can drop all kinds of materials on a table and they will sound different. Even if one plays Sweet Child O Mine when it's dropped, the guitar is NOT going to play that tune by itself when you strum the guitar (at least not after you fret it).

    On open strings will a glass nut sound different than a rubber one? Yup I'm sure they will. Well..I assume they will.

    I DO think that different mass or weight on a headstock can affect tone. I'm still unsure as to whether more or less mass is "better". They used to have clip-on headstock mass-adders in magazines years ago.."increased sustain, better tone, blah blah blah"...and then PRS releases the new Phase3 LOW MASS tuners. uhhhhh OK.?

    But what's the weight difference between a Tusq, Ivory, and plastic nut? 2 grams?

    Anyway...I too am stunned that they don't just use the same nut material on all their guitars or why they don't just properly cut them in Korea. REALLY PRS? HOW much are you saving by using different nuts on the SEs? You already make USA nuts for your USA guitars. SE sales FAR outstrip core sales numbers (units). It probably wouldn't even cost ANY extra to just triple or quadruple production od USA nuts (maybe less with bulk discounts?) and ship em over to Asia? But I also don't GET why they use Korean hardware and electronics on the S2s. Is it SO much cheaper to make the bridges in Asia? Do you use material that is THAT much cheaper or sub-standard? I've never found any issues with the SE bridge compared to my USA ones. And again, youre already making USA bridges. Would it be that costly and suicidal to just punch 1000pcs into the CNC machine's program instead of asking for 100pcs?

    Sorry. I just have a big problem with companies who ship jobs overseas only to save a few pennies or dollars per unit. Juts make MORE pieces at home in the USA. If it means an S2 is gonna cost $25 more, add it to the end price. You'll get it because more Americans will have jobs and be able to afford to spend 25 bucks more. There'll be more money in your economy.
    I guess I'm just na´ve.
    It just seems WRONG to ship your jobs to Asia. You gotta ship stuff to Korea, have it made and or assembled, ship it back to the USA and pay duty and import fees (as well as shipping both ways) and install those components into guitars stateside.
    I wonder what the actual end cost IS for a USA bridge versus an S2 bridge from Korea...after all is said and done and it's all shipped all over the planet (ships still burn oil so that too is another added-hidden future-cost). How much more does that USA bridge cost PRS than the Korean one? Anyone care to guess? Is it 5 bucks or $200? My guess will be that it probably costs (if any) $15 more for that USA bridge? And it burns a lot less oil, will put more money into the AMERICAN economy.... You might be saving 15 bucks per unit but the cost to the American economy is much higher.

    That rant seems pretty off topic but it's related.
    How much MORE does it cost PRS to use USA nuts than Korean ones per nut? $100??? $10? or...more probably...twenty five CENTS??? plus shipping and burning fossil fuels, shipping jobs away that would stay in the USA, where the PRS employee would spend that extra $.25 at home....
    Hey I'll say it again....if Canadian guitar building companies can afford to build and/or assemble guitars in the USA (Godin, Larrivee...) and remain profitable (yes, they could probably squeeze a few more points of margin out of each unit if they built them in Mexico or Asia like the USA companies do but....) why can't American companies make guitars in the USA and remain competitive? Well...they CAN. They just DON'T. I guess it's just another of the things that seems so strange when you're standing outside of the USA. Doesn't make a lot of sense to us but clearly it makes a few cents for those companies?
    SO..
    I'd say that PRS COULD start using USA nuts on the SEs and S2s without going broke or even FEELING it.
    That said...why would they? A properly cut Asian nut on a PRS is going to sound EXACTLY the same as a USA one...at LEAST as soon as you fret a string.
    Well I have ONE reason they should. Maybe it would keep ONE job in the USA.

    Finally...in case it isn't clear lol, MY position on the Korean PRS nut saga is that they bind JUST as badly as a USA nut that was slotted for .009s (like they were back in the day), they sound the SAME and for the measley cost to PRS of using the USA nuts on ALL their guitars, PRS would be doing the USA a service and would act like responsible citizens if they made them at home.

    My $200 on the subject.
    Back to your regularly scheduled SE Mods programming. Sorry fellas. Morning coffee rant.
    Last edited by blaren; 12-21-2013 at 11:46 AM.

  5. #305
    I never thought the nut made a difference in tone until one day a few years ago.

    I had an Epi Sheraton that I modded with a Graph Tech Tusq nut. It sounded great. One day while playing it I decided to file the slots a bit cause I felt the action on the first few frets could be better.
    I filed one slot too low and had that string fretting out so I temporarily put the stock nut back on and ordered a new Tusq nut.

    With the stock nut back on it the guitar sounded dead. It's hard to describe but the complexity of the notes was gone. Yes even fretted notes. It sounded like a different guitar. It was only an hour or so after playing the guitar with the Tusq nut so the tone was still fresh in my head. Playing the same songs through the same rig the guitar sounded dull.
    When the new Tusq nut came and I replaced the stocker (again) and it was all back. The guitar sounded "musical" again.
    There are some very involved physics that explain why the nut does affect fretted notes but I can't recall all that now. I only know that it does from personal experience and I am not one of these guys with dog ears and can hear the difference in brands of 9V batteries (sorry EJ) or anything like that.
    Since then I have used Tusq nuts on all non-Floyd guitars that I own (except USA PRS, those are really good)

  6. #306
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    lol...no a carbon 9v battery DOEs sound very different (in some pedals) than alkaline or a power adaptor. It isn't BS it's because of the resistive load and other factors. Very real and very true.

    People often hear what they want to. It's a reason I ALWAYS taught my kids to believe half of what you see and NONE of what you hear. Even when you think you SEE something it could be an illusion.
    Hey I'm not arguing that you heard a difference in open strings with a different nut. The way the slots are cut...amount of relief, width, clearances...will all affect the tone of open strings but once you fret a string, I'm sorry but I "think" (no scientific backing...no frequency analysis before and after...but someone SHOULD do this once and for all...it isn't rocket surgery and this debate would be instantly settled) that, once you put a capo on the neck for instance, the fretwire composition of the frets behind the capo will have NO EFFECT on tone. Neither will different colored headstock paint or tuner buttons. You probably wouldn't even hear those on open strings. A headstock faceplate made of rosewood isn't gonna SOUND any different than an ebony one...fretted or not.

    Hey, I'd LOVE to be proven wrong when someone posts screenshots of the different frequency responses of a guitar with a capo on the 3rd fret with different nut materials. I just don't see it. I don't think I'd see it even if I saw it.??

    Strings, pickups, picks, batteries (YES batteries...but only when the pedal is ON), cables, tubes, caps, pots, frets, slides, switches, saddles...they all make an audible difference.
    Nuts on fretted notes, stamped vs painted serial numbers, tuner buttons, TRCs, dirtbirds vs mop, blue vs red paint, ....things like that, if you ask ME...make absolutely NO tonal difference. As soon as someone posts those Spectrum Analyser screenshots clearly showing a major (or any) difference...well THEN I'll change my tune (no pun intended) and gladly eat my words.
    So let's see the data.
    And data does NOT include a recording of the tone difference you hear when you drop a beef shinbone nut onto a glass coffeetable vs a plastic or tusq one. If we were making drumsticks out of them...to play our GLASS drum heads with then the "drop-test" might matter but dropping a nut onto a hard surface has about as much effect on the fretted string's tone as dropping a JJ 12AX7 and then a longplate Mule onto a pile of rocks and thinking that how they sound as they smash has ANY parallel when it comes to plugging one into an amp.
    Yes you do taptests on acoustic guitar top and backsets. You do not...EVER tap test nuts. That's just...I hate to say it and I'm not trying to offend anyone...that's just stupid.

    So you want the nut material to thud or ring? There are materials that thud and ring a lot more and less than plastic, tusq, bone or graphite. Does tuning fork material make the best nut or does WOOD make the best? Both ring and thud WAY more than any of those other materials so if it's "ring" you want...use tuning fork not tusq. If it's thud...use hard rubber and not whatever they use on the SEs.

    HEY...I AM that corksniffing gearqueer who wants to squeeze EVERY last drop of tuneful performance out of my nuts...I mean guitars. I AM that guy who hears a half dead battery sounding better in an old Ge Fuzzface. I can hear the difference in cables, strings, picks....If there's ANYTHING I can do to improve the performance of my guitars, I DO it. And it doesn't have to be drastic. I can hear a major (well feel) difference between Mallory, Sozo and Mustard tone and coupling caps. I hear the improvement old tubes will always provide.
    If nut material played any role in ANY of my guitars (and I have plenty..acoustics and electrics...NONE of my acoustics have stock saddles. They ALL have stock nuts).
    I'm not saying I'm Senor Physics. I am not a luthier or a physicist. I AM a serious gearhead who doesn't own a single piece of unmodded stock gear. NOT ONE. Not a mic, not a pedal, not a cable or a pickup. Except nuts. And IF they DID make a difference, I would change them I PROMISE.

    What kind of a nut does a Floyd have? Can you hear it SUCKING when you fret a string? I can't.

    YMMV

  7. #307
    No, it's not a matter of hearing what I want. It was an absolute, discernible difference. Same day, same song, same strings, same rig, same everything except the nut and the guitar sounded dull.
    Everything that is in contact with the string affects tone. The nut is still in contact no matter what.

    I used to think as you do (somewhat!), but after that, I changed my mind.

  8. #308
    Junior Member ibis's Avatar
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    ibis' Bernie

    Hello guys,
    I'm new to the forum and have just found this thread, so I thought I'd show you what I've done to my Bernie.

    The changes are essentially:
    • DiMarzio Steve Lukather ceramic Transition Pickups. Nickel covers. Neck pick up mounted backwards a la Peter Green 'Lemondrop Burst'. Neck is G-spaced, bridge is F-spaced.
    • Neck Vol pot = 500k DiMarzio Push/Pull phase switch between pickups (Peter Green Mod.)
    • Bridge Vol pot = 500k DiMarzio Push/Pull parallel/series switch between pickups (Jimmy Page mod.)
    • Tone pot = WD Guitarparts US Spec 500k Push/Push coil split, leaving on the inner coils (close enough for 'strat quack' when combined). 0.022uF Russian Mil. Spec. PIO cap.
    • 50's Style Tone Circuit wiring ( see http://www.dominocs.com/AshBassGuita...ry-Gibson.html )
    • Treble bleed caps on volumes (0.001uF Orange Drops).
    • Gibson gold top hat control knobs, with nickel pointer washers.
    • Gotoh 3 way pickup selector switch, with black tip.
    • Straplocks.


    Reading this thread, my thoughts are that I'm happy with the tuners, the nut and the bridge/bridge studs. I have a TonePros bridge on another guitar and like it, but I have no problems with intonation using Elixir 9-46 strings.

    The Dimarzio Transition pickups are muscular versions of their 36th Anniversary PAFs. Very dynamic and very vintage and fat. They certainly do not sound like a ceramic magnet p/up.

    The coil tap for both pickups is activated by a push/push tone pot switch for ease of use on stage (all I use live).

    The push/pull vol. pots give me these combinations when both p/ups are on together:

    1. Both in Parallel to each other, Humbucking
    2. Both in Series to each other, Humbucking
    3. Both in Parallel to each other, Split
    4. Both in Series to each other, Split
    5. Both in Parallel to each other, Humbucking, Out of Phase to each other
    6. Both in Series to each other, Humbucking, Out of Phase to each other
    7. Both in Parallel to each other, Split, Out of Phase to each other
    8. Both in Series to each other, Split, Out of Phase to each other


    I had the work done by Mansons Guitars, Exeter, UK.

    Time for some pics:










  9. #309
    Junior Member ibis's Avatar
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    I also added a split washer to each of the bridge posts to prevent bridge tilt.

    Here's a thread with pictures:

    http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthre...t-forward-tilt

  10. #310
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    not sure if anyone would know this now since it isnt released, but...

    the new 2014 SE Zach Myers is pretty much the dream guitar i've been waiting for (color, pickups, scale length, body, etc) at a price i can afford lol ... except, i personally can not stand vintage style tuners. Does anyone know of a drop-in replacement, preferably locking? I am not too handy and would prefer no drilling. Thanks

  11. #311
    Senior Member Chris528's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCar24 View Post
    not sure if anyone would know this now since it isnt released, but...

    the new 2014 SE Zach Myers is pretty much the dream guitar i've been waiting for (color, pickups, scale length, body, etc) at a price i can afford lol ... except, i personally can not stand vintage style tuners. Does anyone know of a drop-in replacement, preferably locking? I am not too handy and would prefer no drilling. Thanks
    I already preordered mine, but actually don't mind the vintage tuners. I'm replacing the pickups, nut, TRC and all electronics. I know that doesn't help you though.
    "BADASS MODDED" SE SEMI-HOLLOW W/BIGSBY
    SE ZACH MYERS, SE TREMONTI, SE20 COMBO

  12. #312
    Senior Member Chris528's Avatar
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    Oops! Double post
    "BADASS MODDED" SE SEMI-HOLLOW W/BIGSBY
    SE ZACH MYERS, SE TREMONTI, SE20 COMBO

  13. #313
    Junior Member Victek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCar24 View Post
    not sure if anyone would know this now since it isnt released, but...

    the new 2014 SE Zach Myers is pretty much the dream guitar i've been waiting for (color, pickups, scale length, body, etc) at a price i can afford lol ... except, i personally can not stand vintage style tuners. Does anyone know of a drop-in replacement, preferably locking? I am not too handy and would prefer no drilling. Thanks
    The Grover 406c Rotomatic Minis (3 per Side Self Locking Machine Heads) are a drop-in replacement on the SE Custom 24, but I think you will need to ask in the PRS tech section about using them on the Zach Meyers model.
    So many guitars So little money

  14. #314
    Quote Originally Posted by JCar24 View Post
    not sure if anyone would know this now since it isnt released, but...

    the new 2014 SE Zach Myers is pretty much the dream guitar i've been waiting for (color, pickups, scale length, body, etc) at a price i can afford lol ... except, i personally can not stand vintage style tuners. Does anyone know of a drop-in replacement, preferably locking? I am not too handy and would prefer no drilling. Thanks
    The vintage tuners are actually pretty good but if you want to replace them you will have to enlarge the post holes in the headstock.
    Vintage style tuners have smaller posts with press in bushings. All other sealed tuners have to have a larger hole. Don't drill it unless you know how to drill without tearing out the wood. Use a tapered reamer to enlarge the holes.
    If you have to drill, clamp a piece of wood to the back of the headstock to prevent tearing out the wood on the bit's way out. Use a series of drill bits starting with one just barely bigger than the original hole and work your way up to the size you need. Don't try to take out too much at once.
    It sounds scarier than it is. It's really pretty simple.

    I did the same job recently on a Bernie Marsden SE with Planet Waves locking tuners (and a slight headstock re-do).



  15. #315
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Is it possible to get different knobs without changing the whole tuning machine? That would be a simple fix if you're just after an aesthetic change. The stock tuners have held tune great on my Akesson, so I'm not anticipating changing the whole machine, assuming they perform just 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

  16. #316
    Junior Member Chitarrista scarso's Avatar
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    Vintage style tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by JCar24 View Post
    not sure if anyone would know this now since it isnt released, but...

    the new 2014 SE Zach Myers is pretty much the dream guitar i've been waiting for (color, pickups, scale length, body, etc) at a price i can afford lol ... except, i personally can not stand vintage style tuners. Does anyone know of a drop-in replacement, preferably locking? I am not too handy and would prefer no drilling. Thanks
    I agree, the new SE Zach Myers looks like a really interesting guitar. I saw many different series of tuners made by Gotoh, and different types of buttons.

  17. #317
    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    Is it possible to get different knobs without changing the whole tuning machine? That would be a simple fix if you're just after an aesthetic change. The stock tuners have held tune great on my Akesson, so I'm not anticipating changing the whole machine, assuming they perform just as well.
    The knobs on vintage tuners are pressed on. There are no easy replacements.

  18. #318
    Junior Member ESPImperium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosidamde View Post
    Looks great! I had a couple questions though...
    1. What size strings are you using on your SE MM, and did you have to modify the Schaller M6 tuners so the 6th string would fit through?
    2. What is the benefits to adding the CTS Pots and 5 Way Allparts Superswitch, is it for tone or durability? Is there a noticeable difference?
    Thanks.
    Im using the same D'Addario strings on it that Mike Mushok uses, however have used a 7 string 10 and 11 set from Ernie Ball with good use, i think Mike has the string thing perfect, its as if they give enough graininess to the tone of the guitar no matter the pickups being used.

    The CTS pots and Allparts Super Switch just give a bit more durability, and use CTS stuff on all my guitars barring my Les Paul Standard Faded in order to have consistency. However i have kept the Gibson ones in my Les Paul as they are as good as the CTS ones.

    I need to get CTS tone pots for my Tremonti SE Custom, and if i decide to go for a used Singlecut i have seen, depending on what i have been left with as it has been modded, ill need to get more CTS pots for that guitar. I also am gonna change the switching in my Mushok soon as well, traditional 3 way switching and a coil tap i think i want as i think i want less bull on that guitar.

    I have gone back to the PRS Korean tuners on my Mushok as i was getting too much of a neck dive on it as the Schallers are heavy on the extended headstock.
    2008 PRS SE Mike Mushok Model Silverburst (On the bench awaiting USA Electronics and some hardware mods)
    2012 PRS Mark Tremonti Model Solana Burst 10 Top (Stock apart from Schaller Strap Locks)
    2013 PRS SE Tremonti Custom Whale Blue (Di Marzio Crunch Lab/PRS McCarty Bass)
    Follow me on Twitter: @ESPImperium

  19. #319
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ESPImperium View Post
    Im using the same D'Addario strings on it that Mike Mushok uses, however have used a 7 string 10 and 11 set from Ernie Ball with good use, i think Mike has the string thing perfect, its as if they give enough graininess to the tone of the guitar no matter the pickups being used.

    The CTS pots and Allparts Super Switch just give a bit more durability, and use CTS stuff on all my guitars barring my Les Paul Standard Faded in order to have consistency. However i have kept the Gibson ones in my Les Paul as they are as good as the CTS ones.

    I need to get CTS tone pots for my Tremonti SE Custom, and if i decide to go for a used Singlecut i have seen, depending on what i have been left with as it has been modded, ill need to get more CTS pots for that guitar. I also am gonna change the switching in my Mushok soon as well, traditional 3 way switching and a coil tap i think i want as i think i want less bull on that guitar.

    I have gone back to the PRS Korean tuners on my Mushok as i was getting too much of a neck dive on it as the Schallers are heavy on the extended headstock.
    The Schallers are very heavy. That's why Gotoh 406 are where it's at!

  20. #320
    Junior Member cayle's Avatar
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    Mike Turk 59 bridge pickup
    Amber switch tip


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