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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:23 pm 
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Kramer Kommander
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I love the PRS I recently bought, but there is one thing that bothers me a bit - the trem is all brass including the saddles and while it has that warm, vintage bell-like tone, it does lack some bite in the highs for my taste, especially when playing pinch harmonics. I was thinking about trying a set of steel saddles to add some of that top end which makes the harmonics "scream" a bit more. On the other side, it may change the tone too much.

Anyone tried something similar on some guitar? Will the saddles alone be enough to add some more "edge"? Will it be too much, how will the mids and bass change?

It's not about the cost, a set of steel saddles for a Strat (which are the same size) is available for like $15, it's more because I'd hate to invest my time and end up being unhappy with the result. Getting a proper setup with a vintage bridge is a one-week process for me, with lots of tweaking in very small increments (you already know my extreme issues with the proper bridge radius vs. the neck radius). Just got this guitar set up to my taste as of today and it was a *very* tedious process.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:24 pm 
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Kramer Maniac

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I don't believe that brass saddles, themselves, will hold high end back that significantly, in my limited experience.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:24 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Have you thought of using a different tone capacitor(s)? Might that shape up the brightness?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:19 am 
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Kramer Kommander
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No, it's audible unplugged, the typical brass-colored tone. It's great for vintage lovers, but I'm just used to steel trem and that crispy high-end it produces.

Just noticed there are some drop-in steel trems by Wilkinson, maybe I'll just try one of those. That way I can keep the original one as-is and revert to that anytime.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:20 am 
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Kramer Maniac
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This might help.
https://www.guitarfetish.com/Upgrade-St ... p_773.html

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85 Striker 100ST Blk (1st E. Guitar)
88 Nightswan Sparkle BL
90 ProAxe Std CR
87 Ripley Blk
89 Sustainer Blk
84 Baretta BLK
84 Baretta CR
85 Baretta CR
86 Baretta Cream
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:58 am 
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Kramer Kommander
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Yep, was looking at those :) But as said it's a lot of tweaking involved, that's why I'm asking for opinions.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:15 pm 
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Kramer Maniac

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I think the Wilkinson is a good idea. That should do a lot more than the saddles alone.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:33 am 
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Kramer Maniac
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OK. You asked for opinions.
Just a note. This is just my opinion.
Based off knowledge gained by working in music retail business for 21 years in various, and multiple positions.
I have played guitar for 32 years.
I have collected PRS guitars since 1994. I own several PRS guitars.
I have been a luthier and guitar tech for many, many years.

You want some bite in the highs, especially when playing pinch harmonics.

Well let's dissect this guitar you have. The devil is in the details.
Maybe this will help you even if it is common knowledge for some people.
1.) You have a PRS STD24. This means that this is an all Mahogany, solid body guitar. Specifically Honduran Mahogany – Swietenia macrophylla.
The tone is often described like this.
The mid-range frequency is the sweet spot for most acoustic guitars, and Honduran Mahogany is a mid-range powerhouse. It’s also prized for volume, balance and articulation, making it one of the best all around tonewoods there is. Honduran Mahogany yields a crisp fundamental sound, with a pleasing bloom of mid-range overtones. This makes for a very clean and direct sound, that is described as focused, dry, woody, and warm.

I think it can be a little dark sounding. Similar to Gibson Les Paul JR's, Special's, and SG's.

Gibson's (Ted McCarty) had a solution to getting a more defined high frequencies and harmonics. It was to put a maple cap on top of the mahogany body. This created a famous combination of tone woods, that would live forever.

It is my opinion. That 80%-90% of a guitars tone is from the wood it is made from. It is the biggest factor in a guitars sound.
It is the vocalist.
2.) Pickups. You should have a HFS (hot, fat, & screams) pickup in the bridge position, and a Vintage Bass pickup in the neck. These are good pickups. I have owned several pairs in my PRS CST24's. For more high's, make sure you have the 5 way rotary PU selector all the way on 10. This is your bridge PU only.
Pickups are important. They are like microphones with built in e/q's. They can either enhance or detract from the natural tone of your guitar. They are however not the most important factor. You can have the most expensive mic in the world. It won't make you a great vocalist or sing great.
3.)Strings and Setup.
So many strings on the planet. With a little searching you can find some that can help. Stainless steel strings are very bright, and they are great for high frequencies and harmonics. The downside is that they wear out nickel frets fast. The plus side is that PRS guitars have frets that are harder than most guitars

Setup wise. My recommendation is to find a skilled Luthier/Guitar Tech with many years of experience. A professional Guitar Tech with many YEARS of knowledge can set up a guitar far better than an average person. They have the proper tools, knowledge, experience, and skills to make a guitar play it's optimal.
I could write a book on just pickup height.
If you want the best tone, sustain, harmonics, etc. Why not take it to someone who KNOWS all the ways to achieve this.
Sure turning a screwdriver is easy. BUT. You are not paying for the labor, you are paying the Tech for their Knowledge. The YEARS they spent learning, and perfecting a craft.

This being said.
My opinion and advise is this.
Sell the guitar, and buy a PRS CST24.
Because, a CST24 sounds like it might be exactly the tone you are looking for. Don't try and make a apple an orange. Just get the orange.
I hope this helps a little. It was my intent to be helpful.

_________________
Joe in Detroit
85 Striker 100ST Blk (1st E. Guitar)
88 Nightswan Sparkle BL
90 ProAxe Std CR
87 Ripley Blk
89 Sustainer Blk
84 Baretta BLK
84 Baretta CR
85 Baretta CR
86 Baretta Cream
86 Focus 1000 Blk


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:04 am 
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Kramer Kommander
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Location: Germany
Thanks :not

I have been playing and tweaking guitars for over 30y myself, so I'm fairly sure I know what I'm doing :) Woods are not the issue, I have several mahogany axes basically similar to this and they have more then enough high end. They all have floyds and thus enough steel to give them the edge I'm looking for. Maple adds lower highs, but mellows those harsh high-highs, which would be the opposite of what I want.

I don't want to sell it, I love the tone and feel, this is just about slight fine-tuning to make it 100 percent perfect.

For now I think I'll try the Wilkinson all-steel PRS-type trem, it's a straight swap so I'll be able to see the result rather quickly, while keeping the original trem as-is. Just ordered one.

Thanks for your Input everyone :yourock I'll let you know the results


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:11 am 
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Kramer Maniac
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I will PM you some secret tips.
If you can find an original ONE piece billet SS steel, MANNmade, original PRS bridge. That would be even better. They might even still make them.
On the original Mann bridges the entire bridge from top to bottom is one piece. An easy way to spot them is that they have NO screws holding the block to the base.

_________________
Joe in Detroit
85 Striker 100ST Blk (1st E. Guitar)
88 Nightswan Sparkle BL
90 ProAxe Std CR
87 Ripley Blk
89 Sustainer Blk
84 Baretta BLK
84 Baretta CR
85 Baretta CR
86 Baretta Cream
86 Focus 1000 Blk


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