blocking a PRS trem

radialaced

Member
Messages
913
I'm thinking of blocking my CU22 PRS tremolo.

This tremolo has been very good to me for exactly one year. After about 25 gigs I haven't broken one string on a gig until the past two weekends. Both weekends I broke a string mid song, on stage. And of course with a floating tremolo, boom, I'm done until I switch guitars. Bummer.

I have been playing hardtails and I lock down my strat bridges for this very reason. With a hardtail or a locked-down strat I can finish the song, (or even the solo) and then swap guitars.

Anyway, blah, blah, blah, you know the story. Here is the question....how do I block the PRS tremolo and still retain the sustain and characteristics of the instrument?

Thanks,
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,040
Hey Kevan - is that thing available yet? :)

I have a '64 Strat I need one for!


Radialaced - here's another solution:

Hipshot Trem-Setter in a PRS


This is a bit more invasive as it involves drilling three small holes into the guitar, and (to do the job properly) modifying the claw as I've done, rather than using the crappy 'hook' ones they give you. But it does work - it gives full trem movement (including up, although it feels very stiff - down is almost unaffected) and still holds the bridge if you break a string. I have them on both my PRSs for exactly the same reason as you found...

The thing NOT to do is to jam a wooden block between the back of the trem and the cavity wall as you would on a Strat - or possibly even crank the bridge down hard against the body - you'll damage the pivot knife edges on the PRS bridge. You can do it if you fit two blocks - one in front and one behind - so the bridge is held at the proper angle without putting stress on the pivots.

Or, you can fit only the front block (under the springs) and then fully tighten the springs as you would on a Strat.
 

Garrett Bagby

Member
Messages
1,208
I've been there with breaking strings on floating trems. Right before my big solo: *SNAP*! And of all the nights to not bring a backup! :( At least I impressed everyone with my quick string changing skill.

I did a partial block on my Custom 24 and it works well. However, it does ruin the feel of the PRS bridge.

Kevan, that product is genius! Count on me for at least two! :dude
 

radialaced

Member
Messages
913
Originally posted by Kevan
Can I post something to help this gentleman out? Puhlease?!!?
:cool:
Oh Yeah Kevan,

that is great. I'll be buying one

BTW, you just took away my excuse to buy a hard tail PRS
 

radialaced

Member
Messages
913
Originally posted by John Phillips
Hey Kevan - is that thing available yet? :)

I have a '64 Strat I need one for!


Radialaced - here's another solution:

Hipshot Trem-Setter in a PRS


This is a bit more invasive as it involves drilling three small holes into the guitar, and (to do the job properly) modifying the claw as I've done, rather than using the crappy 'hook' ones they give you. But it does work - it gives full trem movement (including up, although it feels very stiff - down is almost unaffected) and still holds the bridge if you break a string. I have them on both my PRSs for exactly the same reason as you found...

The thing NOT to do is to jam a wooden block between the back of the trem and the cavity wall as you would on a Strat - or possibly even crank the bridge down hard against the body - you'll damage the pivot knife edges on the PRS bridge. You can do it if you fit two blocks - one in front and one behind - so the bridge is held at the proper angle without putting stress on the pivots.

Or, you can fit only the front block (under the springs) and then fully tighten the springs as you would on a Strat.
Thanks for posting this.
 

mangley

Member
Messages
31
I don't use the trem on my PRS much so I removed the arm and blocked the front with 2 stacks of 4 pennies. I have the springs tightened to hold them in place (superglued the pennies together to keep them from shifting.
 

tiptone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
750
Originally posted by mangley
I don't use the trem on my PRS much so I removed the arm and blocked the front with 2 stacks of 4 pennies. I have the springs tightened to hold them in place (superglued the pennies together to keep them from shifting.
Just as an FYI, wheat pennies have better tone. They sound a little more......grainy. ;)
 

radialaced

Member
Messages
913
Originally posted by tiptone
Just as an FYI, wheat pennies have better tone. They sound a little more......grainy. ;)
not only that, the old ones have more of a "brown sound" where as the new ones are a lot brighter:p
 

Slipjack

Member
Messages
146
The pennies from the 60's have more of a vintage vibe to them.

I use pennies to block my trem too. Both sides.
 

Kevan

Member
Messages
479
(THANKS ALEC!)

Though I'm not a PRS owner, it still gets me a little choked up to see guys drilling into their guitars. It hurts, ya know? Deep down.....down here...

I digress.

John- we're goin' as fast as we can with the Tremol-No. I posted in the other thread about the Email Notification List being ready to go. I hope you're on it! My buddy Dennis Secord has one in his '56 Strat. He loves it. (Pics on the Players page on the site)

Thanks for the compliment, Garrett!

And I think everyone knows that '63 thru '65 pennies have, by far, the best tone of all the vintage pennies.
:D
 

Slipjack

Member
Messages
146
Kevan,

I'm going to have to order myself one or two of your Tremol-No gadgets. Ingenius idea.

Then maybe I can sell my 1965 pennies on ebay for someone else who wants that vintage penny tone.
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,040
Originally posted by Kevan
Though I'm not a PRS owner, it still gets me a little choked up to see guys drilling into their guitars. It hurts, ya know? Deep down.....down here...

I digress.

John- we're goin' as fast as we can with the Tremol-No. I posted in the other thread about the Email Notification List being ready to go. I hope you're on it! My buddy Dennis Secord has one in his '56 Strat. He loves it. (Pics on the Players page on the site)
:cool:

I should point out that even though the Tremol-No requires no drilling, it's still not 100% Vintage Purist approved. You need to unsolder the trem claw wire. The Horror!


BTW, how do you recommend connecting the ground? I'm assuming you can't solder to the Tremol-No... is there a screw terminal point? I can't quite see, even in Ed's pic.

Or... wait a minute... I've thought of a use for those crappy hooks that Hipshot give you ;).
 
C

cswolfe

Originally posted by John Phillips
:cool:

I should point out that even though the Tremol-No requires no drilling, it's still not 100% Vintage Purist approved. You need to unsolder the trem claw wire. The Horror!


BTW, how do you recommend connecting the ground? I'm assuming you can't solder to the Tremol-No... is there a screw terminal point? I can't quite see, even in Ed's pic.

Or... wait a minute... I've thought of a use for those crappy hooks that Hipshot give you ;).
Just signed up for the notification list, Kevan. No way I could get myself to drill into PRS, though undoing a solder that can be redone I can live with. I'll get one, then if that works out for me, I'll get "lots."

BUT ... to say the least, being a paranoiac about details, I'd love to know ahead of time to what we're supposed to connect the ground wire. And yeh, damn, a screw terminal point would sure be a heck of a killer solution as compared to a resolder.

Looking forward to it. Just went through nightmares with just one more floating PRS trem last night.

best,

sterling
 

Garrett Bagby

Member
Messages
1,208
8. With the provided ring terminal, crimp the terminal onto your grounding wire. Then, using the provided 3mm screw, attach your grounding wire to the face of the Tremol-No™ claw.
 

Kevan

Member
Messages
479
Sorry I didn't get back to you guys earlier. Looks like Garrett helped me out.

There *is* a screw-terminal on the Tremol-No claw. If you look really close at Ed D's pic on the Players page, you can see the ring terminal and the head of the screw just to the right of the "E" in TREMOL-NO on the top of the claw.

Here's a slightly better shot of the grounding screw setup (on an EB/MM JPM):
http://www.tremol-no.com/images/P2270025.jpg

I found a few pics of the Tremol-No in Norm Hammer's PRS Custom-22. They're not Herb Ritts-type photos, but you get the idea:
http://www.tremol-no.com/images/TNO-PRS1.jpg
http://www.tremol-no.com/images/TNO-PRS2.jpg
http://www.tremol-no.com/images/TNO-PRS3.jpg
Since he was just testing back then, he didn't unsolder the original ground from the claw, but when he gets more units, the PRS will have a unit installed in it. Norm only has one test unit, and he keeps it in his main axe; the PRS is the "Sunday Morning" guitar. :D

John- you're correct. It's not "100% vintage purist certified", but then again, neither are sunlight or air. :D The '56 Strat that my buddy Dennis has his Tremol-No on, is a true player. It's been in his family for decades. It hasn't been abused, but it also hasn't been in a vault. Unsoldering the claw is minor compared to some of the other stuff that's going on with that guitar. :) If you're really *that* concerned about authenticity, then you probably aren't playing the guitar anyway, and thus no need for a Tremol-No.

You guys have no clue how many people have said to me, "That grounding screw idea is absolutely brilliant!". I'll take those compliments over a few hardcore purists ripping on me.
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,040
Originally posted by Kevan
John- you're correct. It's not "100% vintage purist certified", but then again, neither are sunlight or air. :D The '56 Strat that my buddy Dennis has his Tremol-No on, is a true player. It's been in his family for decades. It hasn't been abused, but it also hasn't been in a vault. Unsoldering the claw is minor compared to some of the other stuff that's going on with that guitar. :) If you're really *that* concerned about authenticity, then you probably aren't playing the guitar anyway, and thus no need for a Tremol-No.

You guys have no clue how many people have said to me, "That grounding screw idea is absolutely brilliant!". I'll take those compliments over a few hardcore purists ripping on me.
Absolutely.

I guess the hardcore purists wouldn't like the Sperzels on my '64 Strat either ;).

Only kidding about the ground wire! I know some people do get very fussy about solder joint originality though - which to me is crazy. A good solder joint is a good solder joint IMO. The problem is that the Strat isn't strictly mine (only on permanent loan) and the owner of it can be fussy about things like that - which to me is silly, considering that it's not 100% anyway (you should have seen the mess the headstock was in, which led me to put the Sperzels on it! :)) or even 100% wiring-original, it has a 5-way switch. I guess I just won't tell him about the claw wire then ;).

IMO these are musical instruments, not museum pieces - maybe excepting those that are in truly unplayed condition, or perhaps those with some historical importance. The one that drives me nuts is collectors insisting that a guitar that is basically unplayable because the frets are worn out, or the electrics are falling apart, or whatever, is somehow worth more than the same guitar fixed properly.
 

Kevan

Member
Messages
479
John- I hear ya. I think there are a few museum pieces (SRV's Strat, BB's Lucille, etc.), but for the most part, they should all be played. At least a little.

What drives me nuts is when a guy has a great rare/vintage guitar that's 100% stock, but there's a bad/old factory solder joint that causes it to short on occasion....and the guy won't repair it because it then won't be 100% authentic. :D

"Check out my new Ferrari!"
"Great, but where's the 4th wheel?"
"Oh, it came from the factory like that."
 




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