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Thread: PRS SE Custom 24, bridges and moddability

  1. #1

    PRS SE Custom 24, bridges and moddability

    Hey guys,

    after playing around with a few cheaper electric guitars I want to try something new and after looking around I think I want to try a PRS guitar.
    Since the normal line is out of my reach money-wise and I've heard that the S2 isn't that great of an improvement over the SE series I think I want to settle for a SE Custom 24.
    (Although I am still not sure whether I should get a normal one or one with a Floyd Rose tremolo system since I've never had a Floyd Rose before.)

    My question is about the moddability of the PRS SE. I've now read several times that the sustain isn't that great on a SE and that tuning stability also isn't that great.
    So my first question would be: How is the sustain of the SE without Floyd Rose on its own and how does it compare to the sustain of the SE with Floyd Rose?

    After reading a bit it seems sensible to me to order and replace the original nut with another one although I am not sure with which one. Are there any recommendations? I thought about going for a PRS one, the PRS ACC-4204 but then people mentioned that Tusq nuts are pretty great, too. What would be the correct one for a SE? From what I've read it's the BLACK TUSQ XL NUT 43X6 ( 1 11/16" / 1/4") Product #: PT-6643-00 (which is, unfortunately, not available at thomann.de - this is the site where I'm going to order most of the stuff (or at least try) since I'm located in Germany and it'd be rather convenient).
    So should I replace the nut? If that is the case, what would be a good suggestion?

    I also wonder about the tuners.
    Should I replace the tuners? If yes, what should I go for? People mentioned Gotoh several times but I am not very familiar with them.

    And lastly the bridge: What effect does it have on the sustain and the tuning stability of the guitar? Is the bridge on the SE decent or should I look for a replacement, too?

    And if I decide to get the Floyd Rose version: Should I replace it with an original one, i.e. not the 1000 series?
    What's the deal with Floyd Rose right now anyway? I have to admit that I'm not familiar with the history but from what I know their trems were made by Schaller but this is not the case anymore.

    Would it make sense to replace the SE pickups with the 59/09 ones from the normal line (or some others) or maybe even from DiMarzio? Or is it just not worth it for that guitar?


    Unfortunately I've never modded a guitar before so I am not really flexible in trying out different variations of these modifications myself since I don't want to run to a guitar shop every time I need something done.
    Personally I thought about just getting the guitar to see how it plays/sounds and then decide whether I'm going to do any replacements but I thought it'd be a good idea to ask beforehand. Maybe someone did something like that already.

    Cheers

    (and yeah, I realise that getting new pickups, a new bridge and trem system and what not will be much more than the original price of a SE but it will still be much less than a normal Custom 24 )

  2. #2
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadrupole Knight View Post
    Personally I thought about just getting the guitar to see how it plays/sounds and then decide whether I'm going to do any replacements
    This is a great place to start!

    The stock nut can be fine with some attention to detail, if you plan on doing a ton of whammy-ing some locking tuners wouldn't be a bad idea, the stock bridge is nice but a MannMade bridge is even better, pickups are totally subjective and really a matter of personal taste although the stock SE one's may surprise you, and if you're not planning on doing the mods yourself or have no experience... save up a couple of euros to pay the tech.

    Lastly on the subject of the Floyd Rose thing.... That's subjective too. I feel that a well setup PRS/John Mann trem is superior to a FR in every way, but some people are into 'em.

    Good luck with whatever you decide, my heavily modified SE's hang really well with my USA PRS... One of them even beats the US ones for certain applications.

    Welcome Aboard!

  3. #3
    Junior Member CJM3175's Avatar
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    Schaller M6 mini locking tuners are perfect drop in replacements for the stock SE tuners. As for the guitar itself, my personal top 3 SE models are: http://www.ebay.com/itm/221430604403...84.m1423.l2649 cuz it is freakin gorgeous, the Torero for its neck through design (amazing upper fret access) and wide thin neck, as well as the Paul Allender which is the only SE that offers jumbo frets along with a wide thin neck profile.

  4. #4
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    Quadrupole - play an S2 if you can first before you rule them out.
    1990, 91, 92 & 97 CE24s | 1991 CU24 | 2000 CU22 Semi-Hollow | 2003 & 04 SE EG
    2008 SE Semi-Hollow Soapbar | 2011 CU24 GC Throwback | 2012 Signature Limited
    2013 408 Brazilian | 2013 Paul's Guitar | 2013 HB II | 2013 CU24 Swamp Ash Limited
    2013 CU24 | 2013 XPRS 408 Semi-Hollow | 2014 CU24 Semi-Hollow

  5. #5
    Runglin' Free rungles's Avatar
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    The SE range are frickin' sweet guitars and the S2's are even better. I wouldn't start thinking about upgrades until you've got the guitar though.

    As for the trem, I've always been a USA Jackson/Charvel freak and never even entertained the notion of playing a non-locking bridge until I got my first PRS. Both of mine handle all the abuse I can throw at them and never go out of tune.
    2006 20th Anniversary Singlecut Trem - Blue Matteo
    2007 Custom 24 - Black Sunburst

  6. #6
    Hey guys, thanks for the welcome and all the input.

    However, I think I've changed my mind.

    I decided not to get a SE, I think I want to get something better, the real deal, i.e. something like the Custom 24.


    Though I'm not sure what model to get. I'd want something that plays metal, hard rock etc. but without a Floyd Rose. Any recommendations?

  7. #7
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Alder CE24.

  8. #8
    olslowhand John Mann's Avatar
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    Check this out...

    Newly designed BRASS sustain blocks for PRS SE and PRS S2 trem equipped guitars !
    Direct replacement with no mods. Increase tone... sustain... harmonic content...

    Available within the week from MannMade USA (that'd be me )
    Sound / video files to follow shortly...

    This photo is a PRS SE Santana with the original PRS SE bridge top plate bloted on to a MannMade USA Brass Block, MannMade USA polished saddles, MannMade USA STEEL mounting screws. The bridge now uses a US PRS or MannMade USA arm.



    NOTE: This is an upgrade part only. As always... MannMade USA parts are for sale only as after market parts to be installed by you or a qualified tech.
    Last edited by John Mann; 07-02-2014 at 11:23 AM. Reason: add upgrade note
    John Mann

    John Mann's Guitar Vault - www.GuitarVaultUSA.com
    MannMade USA - www.MannMadeUSA.com

  9. #9
    Thanks for the headsup but I don't think I'm going to get a S2 or SE.


    About that CE24.
    That guitar is not available anymore, right?

    I'm not sure whether I can easily get my hands on this one. Is the Custom 24 no good?

  10. #10
    olslowhand John Mann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadrupole Knight View Post
    Thanks for the headsup but I don't think I'm going to get a S2 or SE.


    About that CE24.
    That guitar is not available anymore, right?

    I'm not sure whether I can easily get my hands on this one. Is the Custom 24 no good?
    Not as a new guitar, but they are out there...
    I actually have at least one in my store.
    John Mann

    John Mann's Guitar Vault - www.GuitarVaultUSA.com
    MannMade USA - www.MannMadeUSA.com

  11. #11
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadrupole Knight View Post
    Thanks for the headsup but I don't think I'm going to get a S2 or SE.


    About that CE24.
    That guitar is not available anymore, right?

    I'm not sure whether I can easily get my hands on this one. Is the Custom 24 no good?
    The CU24 is a nice guitar, I just think there is something about those alder CE's that is so appropriate for rockin' stuff. Keep an eye out on ebay and the like for anything made from 94 and earlier, I saw one mis-dated as a 95 on there last week under $1200.

  12. #12
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    I own American made core PRS models including an alder '94 CE24, and an SE (owned another SE too for a while recently).
    They are as moddable as any other guitar but they are FANTASTIC off the shelf.
    As was mentioned, a new nut is unnecessary. IF you go up in string gauge and IF you start experiencing some string binding you can always address that with a nutfile or even a folded strip of emery cloth.
    Each model will sustain differently ..each GUITAR will. I don't find ANY difference or lack of sustain in my SE(s).
    Pickups? The new SE pups are also GREAT but most PRSs (from any of the lines) will often improve with a pup swap. And again, pickups are very subjective and personal.

    I installed some locking Shaller M6 tuners onto my Tremonti SE Custom. Tuning didn't improve at all. String changes are faster. That's about it.
    ALL of my PRSs with trems work about the same. Which is, better than your standard strat trem but not as good as a double locker like a Floyd. I would argue that there is NO non-double locker that will stay in perfect tune like a double locker can. That depends on how "liberal" and vigorous you are with the divebombs and fretboard-wide bends.

    In the end, the SEs are highly moddable but not "necessarily" moddable. I gig and play my SE more than my core USA PRSs. Not because I have to but because I WANT to!
    YMMV

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