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Thread: High action on PRS

  1. #1
    Junior Member AEnesidem's Avatar
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    High action on PRS

    Hi guys,

    I recently bought a custom 24 from 2000. The guitar plays and sounds like a dream but there is one problem. The action is quite a bit higher than other PRS' i played. When i lower the action any more than i do now i get buzzing on my low E and A strings on the higher frest (around the 12th). The buzzing is noticable through the amp and is even bothering me on recordings.

    Now here's the catch. I took the guitar to 2 renown luthiers to get it set up and checked for high frets. Both said the frets were intact. How it is set up now i have net to no buzzing but the action on the higher frets is pretty high and i can feel my fingers are more tired/painful after playing for some time.

    Do you guys have any idea what this could be? Most people on the internet said i need a fret-level but apparently i do not.

    Your help is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    Might be a silly question, but have you checked the neck relief?

  3. #3
    My name be scrambled ElrytNamrogo's Avatar
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    This may be stating the obvious, so to say, but have you checked that the string gauge you are using is what the nut is cut for? Being that it was buzzing on the bass side would lead me to believe it is an issue with the string gauge. Perhaps the previous owner fabricated the nut to house a heavier gauge string, but didn't check the buzzing all the way up the neck....just a thought.
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  4. #4
    Junior Member AEnesidem's Avatar
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    Well the guitar has been checked and set up. Now it's set up with 0.10's and i remember the luthier said he filed the nut to accomodate the strings better.
    The neck relief should be good since it's been zet up by 2 luthiers that are known for their reults. Both do setups for famous artists.

    That's why i'm a bit worried. I'll post pictures and more info when i can.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rider1260's Avatar
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    You should still check your neck relief ( see below ) also if your nut slots are too deep you action at the higher frets will need to be higher
    If you are still having problem send your guitar to PTC for a setup it will be the best $$$ you ever spent

    To measure neck relief, you’ll need a feeler gauge and a capo. Place a capo on the first fret, then use your finger to fret the E-string (uppermost string) closest to where the neck deepens to join the body. If you have two capos that’s even better as you can keep both hands free. The fretted string will create a straight line or plane, leaving a tiny gap over the fret tops. This gap reveals the degree of bow.

    Eye the gap to find the largest space between the top of a fret and the bottom of the E-string. It will likely be about halfway down the neck at the fifth or sixth fret. Slip a feeler gauge into the gap to measure it.

    There is no single measurement that represents ideal relief for all guitars. The most efficient degree of bow varies among individual instruments, and is also partly determined by strumming or picking styles and string choice. That said, a general guideline for jazz enthusiasts or those who enjoy fast, light picking might be a gap of 0.004 to 0.006 inches (0.102 - 0.152mm). Heavier strummers, rockers, or those who like lighter gauge strings will probably be happier with a gap that falls between 0.007 and 0.012 inches (0.178 - 0.305mm) to avoid unwanted string buzz.

    If the bow gap is excessive, the truss rod can be adjusted to reduce relief and return the guitarto optimum playing condition. If there is no gap at all (i.e. the string lays on the fret tops), theneck is either dead flat or back bowed. A truss rod adjustment can also help in this case. If the rod is already adjusted out, switching to a heavier gauge string might help.

    If you decide to adjust the truss rod, re-measure neck bow between each adjustment to avoid over-correcting. Note too that although a poorly adjusted neck can cause string buzz, you might also get buzzing with a perfectly adjusted neck. This can occur if the problem lies in a worn nut, for example, that is allowing the action (strings) to sit too low. Finally, measuring the degree ofrelief should not be confused with determining the action, or how high the strings sit off the fretboard when unchorded.
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  6. #6
    Junior Member AEnesidem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rider1260 View Post
    You should still check your neck relief ( see below ) also if your nut slots are too deep you action at the higher frets will need to be higher
    If you are still having problem send your guitar to PTC for a setup it will be the best $$$ you ever spent

    To measure neck relief, youíll need a feeler gauge and a capo. Place a capo on the first fret, then use your finger to fret the E-string (uppermost string) closest to where the neck deepens to join the body. If you have two capos thatís even better as you can keep both hands free. The fretted string will create a straight line or plane, leaving a tiny gap over the fret tops. This gap reveals the degree of bow.

    Eye the gap to find the largest space between the top of a fret and the bottom of the E-string. It will likely be about halfway down the neck at the fifth or sixth fret. Slip a feeler gauge into the gap to measure it.

    There is no single measurement that represents ideal relief for all guitars. The most efficient degree of bow varies among individual instruments, and is also partly determined by strumming or picking styles and string choice. That said, a general guideline for jazz enthusiasts or those who enjoy fast, light picking might be a gap of 0.004 to 0.006 inches (0.102 - 0.152mm). Heavier strummers, rockers, or those who like lighter gauge strings will probably be happier with a gap that falls between 0.007 and 0.012 inches (0.178 - 0.305mm) to avoid unwanted string buzz.

    If the bow gap is excessive, the truss rod can be adjusted to reduce relief and return the guitarto optimum playing condition. If there is no gap at all (i.e. the string lays on the fret tops), theneck is either dead flat or back bowed. A truss rod adjustment can also help in this case. If the rod is already adjusted out, switching to a heavier gauge string might help.

    If you decide to adjust the truss rod, re-measure neck bow between each adjustment to avoid over-correcting. Note too that although a poorly adjusted neck can cause string buzz, you might also get buzzing with a perfectly adjusted neck. This can occur if the problem lies in a worn nut, for example, that is allowing the action (strings) to sit too low. Finally, measuring the degree ofrelief should not be confused with determining the action, or how high the strings sit off the fretboard when unchorded.
    Thanks, i will try this.
    Unfortunately, i live in Europe so PTC is not an option for me. Otherwise it would have been the first thing i did.

  7. #7
    Junior Member AEnesidem's Avatar
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    I've checked the neck bow, everything seems to be fine as i expected since i let 2 luthiers check it. My action is at 2mm height on the 12th fret. There's still fret buzz on the 2 lowest strings starting from the 12th fret. However i also have some string rattling on the 2 lowest strings over the whole fretboard. Is it normal to hear some string rattling through the amp? or should it not occur at all, cause all my guitars seem to have it to some extent. I'm extremely picky though and i've just started paying attention to this now. So i wnat to be sure.
    I'll upload soundclips as soon as i can

  8. #8
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    A "reknown" tech worth his salt should be able to diagnose any issues that might be occurring. Have you tried taking him one of your guitars that's set up how you want it, and asked why the guitar in question can't be set up the same way?
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  9. #9
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    Have you tried lowering the pups on the bass side? I've seen the magnetic pull do strange things and cause buzzing.

  10. #10
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    Not all guitars are buzz free. PRS are among the best and most consistent, but I have some guitars with seemingly perfect frets flat neck etc, and still a bit of buzz. You can work on it a bit and try a few different things, but my advice is, if you don't completely get rid of it, see if you can live with it. I have one guitar that I love the tone and playability, but it does buzz acoustically, and even a little bit amplified. The audience never notices it, and most guitar players who play it don't notice it (as I did not when I purchased the guitar). I agree, why not send it in to PRS to see if they can make it perfect, but if you don't want to hassle with that, and you can learn to live with it, you might find it is really no big deal in the end. Of course, if you really can't stand it, and nothing fixes it in the end, well, you'll just have to cut your losses (I have done that too, with a guitar that I really liked, but it had a bit more of a buzzy feel around the 12th fret, similar to yours - that one didn't feel was worth living with, or paying for a plek or whatever, vs. the other one, which is so sweet sounding, I just learned to ignore the buzz - which is totally unnoticeable at gigging volumes anyway). Best of luck. Tone and buzz type issues can be most frustrating, but they do tend to work themselves out one way or another over time.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Proxmax's Avatar
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    maybe the stings sit to deep in the nut.
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  12. #12
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    Capo on the first fret will help you rule out the nut as the source of the problem.

  13. #13
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    No disrespect to the two luthiers you used, but it sounds like it is time to find a third. The fact that they have not been able to fix your problem says something....

    I'm predicting a complete setup is warranted including a new nut with bridge and TR adjustments.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Can it be the higher action contribute to the guitar playing and sounding like a dream?
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

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