So everyone has always said never to remove all the strings on a guitar as the neck will warp and need adjusting. The problem I'm having is my volume knob is failing....and really need to be replaced. The thing is, I can't get to it without removing the strings.

Is it safe to remove all strings?
Is there a safe way to go about doing this procedure?

I have a PRS SE EG, (headstock reads "Built by World Musical Instruments Co. Ltd., Korea under the exclusive license for PRS Guitars. CE E01673").
It basically looks like a strat....

I have no idea what type POT is installed without being able to get inside to test it with the meter...so if anyone knows, that would be helpful.

I'm great with soldering and electronics but is this a job worth taking into the local guitar repair shop?
GB&C would be able to help you better.

But yeah, it's safe to take all the strings off. Just not all at once, take one off at a time, slowly.
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no, the moment you loosen your strings your guitar will immediately warp..

you can keep off the strings to do the job and just put em back up after, but just dont let your guitar be stringless too long or it WILL warp!!
If you're good at the stuff I bet you can do it yourself, I once replaced the pickups and I suck at electronics (just google image searched a schedule and did it)

if you go to a shop they'll just ask way too much money for such a little thing
You can but only do it while in front of the mirror in a dark bathroom after saying bloody mary, bloody mary, bloody mary.

Then do whatever the apparition in the mirror tells you to do, regarding whether it will ruin your guitar or not. But, in a pinch, the Pit gives good, accurate advice too, regarding your expensive musical instrument. But I wouldnt' trust their medical advice quite so readily.
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i do it all the time when i replace strings to clean my guitar and it's just dandy. then again i know nothing about rafael's anatomy.
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Here's a question.

When luthiers and guitar techs do fret levelling and polishing, would they do it with the strings on?
No, that'd be stupid. The strings would get in the way of the work being done.

It is absolutely fine to take all the strings off. Yes, the neck will 'warp' slightly. I put warp in quotations, because it will straighten. But it won't straighten or twist in any kind of damaging way. And this kind of warping will only happen if you keep the strings of for weeks at a time. And once you put strings back on, whammo, the neck warps back as it should be. It all works out in the end.

TS, you'll be fine, don't worry about it. And if you can solder, don't bother taking it into a tech. You can do just as good of work, for free.
its safe to take them all off once you dont leave them off for an extended period off time ie; more than a week or two. even at that you can correct a lot of minor warping by adjusting the truss rod

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People, let's stop using the word "warp" for this discussion ok? A more appropriate word would be "relax". Warp or twist is a condition of the neck that requires a luthier/technician to correct, and could be costly. Either one means the neck geometry is out of whack and needs attention. By simply removing the strings, you are allowing the tension on the neck to relax and go to a neutral position as it was sitting on the shelf in the shop where the guitar was made. There's absolutely no problem with leaving a guitar in this position for an extended period of time, years even. There are far more problematic things that can occur to the neck of a guitar than removing the strings for servicing/replacing, such as lack of humidity, a fall, incorrect strings installed(too heavy for neck). Warp isn't going to occur by taking the strings off for a little while.
Quote by Explorerbuilder
how are the strings in the way of a pot??? that makes no sense...

maybe he needs to take off the pickguard to fix it, but yeah, it's fine to take them all off to do a job as long as you don't leave them off too long.

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No FUD! Take the strings off, you will be fine. I suppose if you only left a couple strings on the low or high side of the neck, over tensioned them, and left them in a hot garage for awhile you'd warp the neck.

I leave strings off the neck for months at a time. Its probably a good idea to set the truss rod to neutral for extended lengths of time without strings but other than that I don't worry about it.
you can remove all the strins as fast as you want or whatever... but if it is going to be stringless for more than a couple of days you'll need to lossen the truss rod completely or the neck will develop a backbow over time.
Quote by vodkanoodle
It amazes me that this misconception is still alive and kicking. Who is spreading these lies? So many people seem to think that guitars are mystical creatures that will break if you tap them in the wrong way....

No kidding! What a lot of crap. I was shaking my head all through this thread. I've just started rebuilding guitars, and the first 4 have been sitting in a shed for about 10 years, totally stripped of anything that could come off. Two had separation of the fret board from the neck, but the necks were not warped.
well.... heres what i do just to be safe... with bolt on necks, who cares.. i rip em all off at once...

with something like a lespaul which is neck-thru, i change my strings bottom three then top three.. just for the hell of it... im sure it would be fine doing them all at once, but i do 3 at a time anyhow
Quote by legion69
well.... heres what i do just to be safe... with bolt on necks, who cares.. i rip em all off at once...

with something like a lespaul which is neck-thru, i change my strings bottom three then top three.. just for the hell of it... im sure it would be fine doing them all at once, but i do 3 at a time anyhow

SET neck not neck through.

People dont realize what actually causes wood to warp. The only time wood warps is when it is still drying, or when there is really drastic temperature changes.
I have worked on plenty of guitars some of which had been sitting for months without strings and I have never seen a neck warp cause it didnt have strings. But I have seen a guitar neck warp because it was missing 2 or 3 strings while the rest were still under a lot of tension