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#1
So after 70 days of owning a PRS SE custom 24, I'm regretting my purchase even though it was 40% off and brand new. Thing is it has way way way too much fret buzz. Every fret on the EAD (standard tuning) buzzes. The action is very high, the neck has a good amount of relief and I still don't know what the problem is.

A couple of shots to see what I'm getting at:
Neck bow (pretty crappy image, I can't focus on that wide of a span)


nut height


12th fret height


This action is too high for me and too high to be getting buzz on every fretted note (when picked hard). Maybe? Possibly? Hopefully? The 1st fret-string height is tool low (.50mm or higher, and the twelfth is about 1.75mm) causing the issue. Other than that, I guess something else is wrong with the neck/fretboard or it needs a fret level. Both of which I'm not willing to pay for. I'd sooner sell it and a my maestro stage phaser and get another guitar (Agile). So what do you all think?
Thanks!

EDIT
Sorry for the ginormous picks, tried resizing them twice on photobucket but it only worked for the first one.
Last edited by JGM258 at Mar 9, 2014,
#2
wont the shop you got it from set it up for you?

But its a simple fix you can do yourself, you already have most of the tools when you buy the guitar.

And theres plenty of guides to help you set up a guitar.
Might need a trussrod adjustment and the bridge springs pulling back and the saddles sorting.
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#3
Most likely a truss rod issue or a bridge tension issue. I have a custom 24 se and had the same problem. I took it into a guitar shop and they sorted it in about 2 hours between managing the shop, so a tech guy could sort it out in probably less than an hour.

I recommend you change your strings if you haven't done it since you bought the guitar so the tech guys can get a more accurate feel of the tension you'll have and how to sort out the truss rod and/or the bridge for you.

Don't regret the purchase, honestly they're great guitars especially once you get used to the neck scale (a lot of my friends say the neck's too short). What I will say is I do recommend you change the p'ups to either proper PRS p'ups or maybe seymour ducnans, dimarzio's are generally to thin for guitars like the custom 24.
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#4
Quote by Carrot
wont the shop you got it from set it up for you?

But its a simple fix you can do yourself, you already have most of the tools when you buy the guitar.

And theres plenty of guides to help you set up a guitar.
Might need a trussrod adjustment and the bridge springs pulling back and the saddles sorting.


The shop won't do anything, it was either $55 for sam ash to do it for two years whenever I wanted or nothing, I declined.

Yeah, looked up plenty of guides, and applied the techniques to this guitar to no avail.
#5
Yeah only thing i dont like about mine is the pickups. Knew that after about 10 mins of playing then swapping to my fender.


EDIT: Just look up a guide for a vintage tremalo guitar, should work fine.
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#6
I'd return it but you might not have that option anymore.
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#7
Cant return it, past the 30 days cash return. Simply put, what could be causing this much buzz with a bowed neck? Can there be this much buzz ar this action without a goofy fret level or nut problem?
#8
Just bring it into the shop, how much can it possibly be? $30 to get it sorted out?

Seriously.

I'm sure the music shop will fix it for you if you pay them.
#9
Quote by King Turi
Just bring it into the shop, how much can it possibly be? $30 to get it sorted out?

Seriously.

I'm sure the music shop will fix it for you if you pay them.


$30 for crusty the clown to mess around with it, ehhh...
I know I can fix it, I just don't know what the problem is right now!

I'm in the Tampa FL area if anyone has any luthier suggestions, I just don't know who to trust to do a good job other than myself with the help of you guys.
Last edited by JGM258 at Mar 9, 2014,
#10
You can usually find where the buzz is coming from going note by note. If its the nut or first fret the buzz should go away if you play 2 or above etc. I had a little buzz on my third fret g string on one of my guitars when I down tuned to D. Luckily I just raised the action a tiny bit and it went away. If its the nut or fret it should be fixable.
#11
I just dealt with this problem on a Dean V that I picked up super cheap from Craigslist. In my case, it turned out to be a neck / body angle problem. Putting three strips of tape at the end of the neck, then bolting it back on got the neck angle right. After that, I could put the bridge in at a normal height (instead of being so far up that the screws were almost backed out of the studs), the fret buzz problems were gone and the action was good all the way from the nut to the highest fret. I'm not saying that this is what's wrong with your guitar (and I don't even know if your guitar is set-neck or bolt-on), but it's something to look at as a possibility.
#12
Mine is a set neck, I'll take a look for neck angle as soon as I can.
#13
That being said, it looks like too much relief to me... straighten out the neck some and readjust your action.

It may also be a slightly raise fret.

If you don't trust your GC or SA tech, look for a good tech/luthier in your area and take it in.
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#14
Quote by JGM258
$30 for crusty the clown to mess around with it, ehhh...
I know I can fix it, I just don't know what the problem is right now!

Now, I'm no luthier, but I HAVE been working on my own guitars for the past 30 years (No, I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn last night).

It's hard to say what's going on with yours without looking at it, though it does look like the neck has a little too much forward bow in the one pic.

To sort things, I'd start by:

1) tightening the truss rod (NO MORE THAN 1/4 turn at a time!) until the fretboard is level.
2) raising the bridge to the desired string height

Then, I'd loosen the truss rod to taste.

If that didn't fix things, I'd probably resort to a fret level/ re-crown.


Quote by JGM258

I'm in the Tampa FL area if anyone has any luthier suggestions, I just don't know who to trust to do a good job other than myself with the help of you guys.


I Don't know anybody in that vicinity, but if you were over on this side of the state (Melbourne), I'd be glad to help you sort it out.

Also, pick yourself up a copy of Dan Erlewine's How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great.

Last edited by sinofian at Mar 10, 2014,
#15
Quote by Auriemma
That being said, it looks like too much relief to me... straighten out the neck some and readjust your action.

It may also be a slightly raise fret.

If you don't trust your GC or SA tech, look for a good tech/luthier in your area and take it in.



This, looks like the neck is starting to get wavy too.

This is what I'd do, put some medium gauge strings on there (.049-.011), tighten up(or loosen if the case may be) the truss rod till you have a very slight upward bow, and it looks like your fretboard is quite curved, so I'd adjust your bridge saddles to curve with the fretboard, instead of them all being level with each other.
#16
I attempted another truss rod adjustment but I'm still getting buzz everywhere. Just to clarify, I capo'd the first fret, fretted the last and I adjusted the rod until I could just barely slip a business card between the bass E string and the 7-12 fret range. Still, there was buzz from 0-24 frets on the bass side. I even tuned the E string 5 frets up and the increased tension still didn't do anything. Adjusted string height to curve somewhat with the neck radius, nada. I had the owner of the place where I take lessons take a look at it and he said the truss rod looked fine and he suggested a fret level. Any other suggestions before I give up and sell it?
#17
If the truss rod is properly adjusted and you're still getting buzz on every note/ fret, the problem has to be at/ towards the bridge; either 1) your string saddle isn't high enough or 2) you've got a high fret or hump in the fretboard in the upper register. It could also be your playing style, fwiw. Does it still buzz if you play very lightly? Does it buzz when someone else plays it?

How's the angle of your bridge? Is it resting against the body of the guitar? If so, loosen the trem claw a bit, re-tune, and check again until it is level with the surface.

To check for high frets or a hump in the fretboard, find a good straight-edge and place it against the fretboard. If there is a high or low spot, the straight-edge will 'rock' back and forth in that area.

Here's a more detailed explanation of the process:
http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Technique/Setup/BuzzDiagnosis/UnevenFrets/uneven.html


& here's a good how-to on fret leveling/ crowning. should it come to that:
http://www.frettech.com/fret/index.html


IMO, if the IS a hump in the fretboard, it should be covered under warranty (assuming that you bought the guitar new & from an authorized retailer).
#18

A couple of shots to see what I'm getting at:
Neck bow (pretty crappy image, I can't focus on that wide of a span)


Am I the only person who can see a hump in the neck right about the 7th fret area?.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Mar 11, 2014,
#20
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Am I the only person who can see a hump in the neck right about the 7th fret area?.


First thing I noticed tbh.
song stuck in my head today


#21
That could just be due to the light though. It is impossible to judge how straight a neck is without measuring. There is so much optic illusion going on.
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#22
Even if Sam Ash won't help you doesn't PRS offer a defect in workmanship or similar guarantee for their new instruments? Try to measure that hump at the 7th and contact PRS directly and start asking questions. PRS will probably walk you through everything to avoid having to swap it out - I.e. rule everything out before they are forced to spend $ on it.
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#23
Again, sorry about the pics, I resized them on photobucket but the changes aren't transferring when posted here.
Unfortunately, I was stupid enough not to register it with PRS within 30 days of purchase. Because of that mistake, they aren't obliged to do anything, so I won't be getting any help from them.

Day 2 adjustments:
Relief


The bridge is almost parallel to the body


Looks parallel here


Trem shot, yes the block is at an angle.


1st fret capo'd last fret held down.


I'm always happy to take more pics if you think that would help assess the situation.
Thanks for all the help so far!
Last edited by JGM258 at Mar 11, 2014,
#24
Quote by JGM258
Unfortunately, I was stupid enough not to register it with PRS within 30 days of purchase. Because of that mistake, they aren't obliged to do anything, so I won't be getting any help from them.


Did you actually call PRS Customer service? Or did you just assume they won't help?
If you haven't called, please do. They may not be obliged, but they will usually step up and help.

Also, post some of this over at the Official PRS Forum - http://prsguitars.com/forum/forum.php

I'm sure you will get some help.
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#25
Quote by Auriemma
Did you actually call PRS Customer service? Or did you just assume they won't help?
If you haven't called, please do. They may not be obliged, but they will usually step up and help.

Also, post some of this over at the Official PRS Forum - http://prsguitars.com/forum/forum.php

I'm sure you will get some help.


No I did not, but I called my music store and they offered a free setup for the of new strings alone. So I let them do it and they piut clear tone 10-46's on but there is just as much buzz as before (even though they said they'd get rid of it). I guess I'll call PRS then... This isn't just me over thinking it, I played a bunch of other guitar there today and none of them were having any buzz problems.
#26
I contacted PRS and they were fantastic on the phone, A+ customer service so far. The person I talked heard me out and said they would do a fret level for free. He then sent me an email with return information and a RMA number 10 minutes after I got off the phone. I'll be shipping back asap, I hope their follow through is as good as their phone service, if so I'll be extremely impressed. I'll keep you posted.
#27
Turns out I'm just going to sell it as is, $70-100 in shipping is too much for me. Selling it as is and a Maestro stage Phaser and going for an Agile or two.
You guys have dibs on the phaser if you are interested.
Last edited by JGM258 at Mar 24, 2014,
#28
Keeping this updated for any future PRS issues.
PRS sent me a label for free after I told them that I wasn't going to spend $100 to ship them my guitar. I went to Sam Ash and asked for a box and they gave me one for free! (with a gibson gig bag, owners manual, Min eTune charger, etc inside!!!). Gotta love them freebies
So I shipped it out yesterday and told PRS what I wanted done. They are fantastic communicators and they LISTEN to what your are saying and APPLY it to what they are doing. Now for the follow through, I'm very curious and hopeful. I'll update one or twice more as the process continues.
#29
Good to hear things worked out for you man.
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#30
That's great news man. Getting a fret job for free is an awesome thing, considering it's about $150 to get one done. I hope they give you some good results, might make me invest in a PRS soon if their customer service is that good for their lower end stuff.

#31
Minor update,

They said it would take "a week or so" for repairs. They have had it since the 1st, so 18 days including weekends. They told me it would be done Tuesday, but haven't heard anything since Monday. I sent them a email this morning but I probably won't get a response until Monday at the earliest... Guess my bad karma is kicking in lol. Really though it's been too long and I really am wanting it back...
#32
One week later update:
I sent them an email Tuesday asking what the heck was going on (in a nice way), they said it would be shipped Tuesday with the tracking info emailed that afternoon. Nothing Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday, or Thursday... So I sent them another prod yesterday asking what the deal was and I still haven't gotten a response. These guys were the bees knees up until they actually got the guitar, since then, they have totally fallen apart.
#33
I got shipping notification from fedex late afternoon yesterday. But, they didn't let me know what they actually did to the instrument which I strictly asked for multiple times... Anyways I hope they actually fixed the problem, I'll get to that bridge when it arrives on Tuesday.
#34
So the guitar arrived this morning and after 15 minutes of playing I was hearing lots of fret buzz... The packaging list said that the frets had been leveled and minor tweaks has been made to the nut and tremolo. PRS has completely failed to impress me. I don't really know what to do now, I don't think it's worth my time talking to them anymore, they obviously aren't capable of fixing their own guitars. What is so frustrating is that this guitar just feels awesome in my hands but this buzz is not acceptable. I'm not over thinking this buzz though, a buddy let me borrow a MIM strat and that has FAR less buzz than this guitar. Many other guitars I have played have also had way less buzz than this.

Really though, where do I go from here? Is it ethical to sell it back to the store I bought it from? No one will want it on craigslist if it has fret buzz. How much would a music store give me for it? Most importantly, what would you do?
Last edited by JGM258 at Apr 29, 2014,
#35
JGM258
Hi,
I have bought a second hand PRS SE Custom 24 (from a strore on ebay) and i am now returning it due to the same problem.
The guitar just had buzz all over, open string, fretted string, you name it. Turns out it is the truss rod that somehow is too loose inside the neck (adjusted with the right neck relief) and it rattles all over the place. It is not fret buzz as the strings dont touch the frets when strummed. I figured that out by removing the strings and knocking slightly with my knuckles up and down the neck. It would only reduce the rattle once the truss rod was adjusted too far to either side, which is no solution because the neck will be either too concave or too convex. Only workaround would be to have hard tension strings so the truss rod would actually need to be too tight, bending the neck backwards to compensate for string tension. But this is no solution, so i am returning the guitar and get my money back. This would be my first PRS and i am now turning away from them because of this.
Last edited by spikersmusic at Jul 12, 2016,
#36
I find this surprising as I'm on my third PRS SE Custom 24 and never had the slightest trouble. The first two were standard models and my latest one is equipped with a Floyd. I also own an American Gibson Les Paul and Mexican Fender Stratocaster and neither of those guitars come even close to the quality of the PRS instruments.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#39
Yeah, I have a feeling something else is at work here...
#40
I think the guy has returned his guitar by about now.
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