#1
Hi all,

I have a '04 PRS Custom 24. I have always used 10-46 D'Addario strings but recently I wanted some more tension on the low E so I am trying the 10-52 D'Addario light top/heavy bottom set. I was a little surprised by just how much more tension these strings have. There was quite a bit more resistance on the tuning peg to bring it to pitch in E standard tuning. The added tension was causing the bridge to tilt forward so I I adjusted the spring claw to bring the back of the bridge back down to the 1/16th of an inch recommended by PRS.

My question is: Is it typical to have to nearly bottom out the spring claw screws when using heavier gauge strings? My spring claw has 4 springs (not sure if this was original or if some tech along the way added more). Should I add more neck relief? Their is just a slight bit of neck relief currently. Action is good only a little buzz on the low E when fretted around the 15th fret. I like my action pretty low.

I adjusted the neck/action/intonation and the guitar plays well. I'm just surprised it takes the entire claw travel adjustment to make these strings work. Do I need stiffer springs?

stringtensionpro.com rates this set on a 25" scale guitar at 115.03 lbs of total tension which is slightly more than a 11 set.

Thanks!
#2
That's not a crazy jump in tension, I would think that the original trem setting wouldn't be that far off. If you're nearly bottomed out with four springs, I would add a fifth and see where that lands you. If you're still nearly bottoming out, then I'd look at the trem screws on the top to make sure you're properly mounted and they're not slipping backwards and up on you. That will happen with mid-2000's Strats with the two-post sometimes, although I hadn't ever noticed it on a PRS.

I also doubt a relief adjustment should be needed. Try a 5th spring and if that doesn't help, get some some pictures.
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#3
You can back the claw out and add a 5th spring then re adjust if you need to this will allow room for future adjustment if you are currently maxed out and your claw is close to bottoming out. There are heavy duty springs available on the market as well.

If the neck relief is still good and the action is where you like and it is comfortable to play it there should be no need to add any more relief, you may want to keep an eye on it for a few days to see if the neck relief changes any as it settles into the new tension.
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
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#4
There IS a limit to how much tension you can throw on these things. Eventually the bridge posts will be pulled into the bridge pickup cavity. Before that, however, you begin to lose bridge functionality ("Five....springs....can't...push....down!") and before that it's just a pain to play.

The truth is, bridge cable strings and Floyds don't play well together. I've had 9's (mostly) on everything "Floyd"
#5
I have never had any tension issues using 10-46 on my Floyds (even tuning to E standard), I have several some with 9s and some with 10s, I do not do any drop tuning past D standard on my Floyd guitars those and the 1/2 step guitar are the ones I use 10s on. I have never used 10-52 I like my strings easier to wiggle. I leave the lower drop tinings to the hard tail axes.
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
Live my twisted dream
Pro devoted pledge
Time for primal concrete sledge

Last edited by Evilnine at Jun 29, 2016,
#6
Thanks for the feedback! I don't know if really digging the 10-52s on the PRS. I don't like how out-of-balance the tension of the low strings are vs. the unwound strings. I think I might go back to 10-46 or maybe try a set of 11-49s. I have a Schecter C1+ and an Epi les paul with fixed bridges and 24.75 scale length. I may try the heavier string gauge out on those. Those are typically in D standard or drop C so would 11-52 or 11-56 be a more appropriate gauge?

My problem with the 10-46 on the PRS is with fast picking, with 10-46 the E string is all over the place. Feels a little too floppy. I have always used D'Addario strings and there doesn't really seem to be any sets between 10-46 and 10-52. Does anyone know if another brand has something in the middle, like a 10-49 set?
#7
I used light top heavy bottom for a long time, liked them pretty well. Had to swap the bridge on my Les Paul copy to get a wider throw for intonation, otherwise it worked great. Eventually started having problems with my left wrist due to a tendon injury long ago, went to 9 gauge standard strings.

If you want to keep these on the PRS, and eliminate the buzz on 6th string, raise that saddle slightly. It won't take much, and neck relief won't cause buzz at the 15th fret, usually more like 7th to 10th frets. If it starts at the 15th, that's either bow at the neck where it attaches to the body, or neck angle. I have that now on my acoustic, took e ages to gradually work it out and file down those frets to stop the fret buzz in that area. Look down the neck, from the tuning head end, it will be a visible hump where the neck attaches to the body, not uncommon on guitars with set necks, but I usually see it on acoustics, not electrics.

Add a 5th spring, readjust claw tension, that should give you more adjustment room.

I've used Dean Markley strings since the mid 70's, currently using their Blue Steel for electric and acoustic, they keep a bright sound longer and last longer than anything else I've ever tried. Playing for a living 5 nights a week in the 80's I went through every brand you can think of, Elixir didn't exist yet, always went back to Dean Markley. Their standard 10 gauge is 10-46, light top heavy bottom is 10-52, same as you're using.

I did a little poking around, found out GHS is making a David Gilmour signature set, 10-48, which is in between and may interest you. I tried GHS long ago, they did ok but I liked Dean Markley better. Didn't have any serious complaints about GHS though. D'Addario sounded dull and lifeless the minute I Put them on, acoustic, couldn't get the damn things off quick enough. Same for Martin Silk & Steel. Gibson and Fender didn't last, Ernie Ball was too flimsy, GHS was ok, that was about the options at that time. I've tried a few more since then, still using Dean Markley.

Here's a link to the David Gilmour set.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GBDGF

Might be worth a try, and Sweetwater is a good outfit, I've been ordering my strings from them for 3 years. They usually get here in 2 or 3 days, never got an order mixed up, prices are good. You might dig through their strings listings, so far all I've found is the usual 10-46 and 10-52.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Last edited by Paleo Pete at Jun 29, 2016,