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Thread: PRS stoptail strangeness

  1. #1
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    PRS stoptail strangeness

    (sorry for the formatting, having problems with my girlfriend's mac....I'm a PC guy)

    So, a few years ago I replaced the non-adjustable stoptail on my PRS Standard 22. No matter what I did, I could get the 3 high strings to intonate properly, but on the bottom 3 the D and E strings were flat, while the A was sharp. We aren't talking just a slight difference of a few cents, this was a major issue, and I never could wrap my head around how juxtaposed strings could be flat/sharp/flat. I figured it was an issue with the bridge and got a Schroeder bridge, which is amazing, to say the least. Well, recently I added a few PRS SE guitars to my arsenal, and my Korina One has the same darn problem! The high strings intonate, and on the bottom side the E and D are flat and the A is sharp. I've spent countless hours with it, changing the position of the bridge in any way I can think of and still get the same

    ssue. So, my question is whether this is an issue any of you have come across before. I dismissed the issue with the first bridge as being a problem with the unit itself, but having the same issue with another guitar makes me wonder if maybe I'm missing something here. I'm no new to adjusting bridges by any stretch of the imagination, so I don't need a tutorial on how to adjust for flat/sharp, but I'd love to hear if anyone else had this same issue and how/if they resolved the issue!

  2. #2
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Haven't had that problem, but the Tonepros bridge with locking studs is freakin sweet, and it should cure your ills. I haven't had a chance to A/B the PRS stoptail and the TP on the same SE, but I have a strong feeling the TP rounds out the tone a bit more as well, my Akesson has one and sounds thick as can be (in a good way).
    -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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    Not a fan of the tonepros in any guitar I've tried. Now that I have the schroeder on my standard 22, I don't know if I could upgrade to anything else, but I'd love to find a solution with the stock bridge.

  4. #4
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    How hard are you pressing the strings when you compare to the harmonic?

  5. #5
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    Also, what gauge strings are you running?

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    the strings are 9's, and I'm pressing with a light touch.

  7. #7
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    I'm still scratching my head with this one. I've had limited experience with the fixed stoptail but I did check the intonation on my SE semi-hollow with a strobe tuner and it was spot on. This design does work, many years of PRS continued use is a testament to that, even PRSh uses the design (albeit with brass inserts) on his personal signature guitar.

    This may be left field, but how is the neck relief set? I'm theorising that there is a very slight scale length difference between different curves of the neck (more curve = shorter scale) and maybe it's enough to throw the intonation slightly out of whack. We're talking very small differences so this probably isn't it, however maybe it's worth checking every other PRS recommended settings (action and neck relief) before moving forward... I'm assuming the guitar is stock in every way of course too.

  8. #8
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    Could it be the proximity of the pole pieces for those strings? The magnetic field will definitely affect the intonation, if the pickups are too close to the strIngs.

  9. #9
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    So, a few years after the initial issue reared it's ugly head, the answer is clear.
    Is it the bridge? Is it string height? Is it the neck bow? So many questions have been posed, and not the answer is clear.

    I measure my neck curve with feeler gauges, so I knew that wasn't it. I measure bridge height to the 32nd, so I knew that wasn't it. I even measure my pickup height relative to the strings every time I change them. At work today, while pondering my dilemma for some reason, I found myself thinking back to when I got my Schroeder bridge for my Standard 22 a year ago. I remember an issue where the balls on the ends of the strings didn't quite fit into the back of the bridge, which was odd. At first, I thought it was an issue with the bridge. However, the next pack of strings fit fine, so that clearly wasn't the issue. Stick with me, here. I'm going somewhere with this.

    Needless backstory; after getting divorced a while back, I cut some corners to save money. I'm sure at least a few of you have been there. After all, we're musicians. To save cash I would split my string orders between EB Super slinky's and some cheap-ass Musician's Gear strings from Musician's Friend. See where this is going? I typically (but not always, depending on finances) used the EB strings on my US guitars, and the MG strings on the others. With about 20 guitars, I had to be economical. Hell, I started drinking PBR to save cash, if that tells you anything. Moving on....the reason for the consistent bridge issues seems to be the crappy strings. YES, I KNOW I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!!!! BUT, it's funny how you overlook simple things (like getting pissed that your amp died, then realizing it wasn't turned on after twenty minutes...don't pretend you've never done that). So, my Standard 22 and my SE singlecut and Korina One were treated to Super Slinky's tonight and are intonating better than ever.

    Foolish me? Yes. At least there is a happy ending. Moral of the story? Don't buy cheap strings. Even if it means my girlfriend needs to spend a few more hours on the streetcorner, I won't be skimping anytime soon.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    That....is hysterical. Glad you figured it out.
    -Bob

  11. #11
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joetink View Post
    (like getting pissed that your amp died, then realizing it wasn't turned on after twenty minutes...don't pretend you've never done that)
    I've never done that.

    I have, however, spent 15 minutes trying to figure out why I had not sound coming from my amp, tracing pedals, switching guitars, etc., only to find out....





    The cable was plugged into a different amp.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  12. #12
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    I do that with cooking appliances e.g. turn on the fan on the oven and wonder why it's not heating up, turn on the wrong hotplate etc. Don't get me wrong. I'm a decent cook and can operate most things, just not our oven apparently.

    Glad you got it sorted, but I think we need some pics now

  13. #13
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    yup good strings and even new strings make a big difference with intonation
    2010 Taylor 816CE
    2012 PRS P22 in black gold wrap around

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