Saturday, 31 May 2014

Solid Body PRS: A Bone Nut & Ramping the Last Few Frets

Well, I've been enjoying the PRS for a week of two now. It's really nice to play, even with the standard plastic nut. The fretboard inlay stickers are staying put (I haven't even noticed they are there) and it really is a beautiful instrument under the fingers.

To improve the action still further, two more tasks remained to get this axe into silky smooth territory. Firstly, as always, new a bone nut would allow me to get the string height at the top of the fretboard down to it's absolute minimum. The nut was quickly shaped and the nut slots painstakingly filed until the correct height at the 1st fret was achieved. Open chords are now wonderful to play :).

Along with the nut, I used my new 8" sanding beam to level a "ramp" into the last 6 frets at the end of the fretboard. Kudos to Fletcher guitars and their scratch build YouTube series for tips on performing this addition to standard fret levelling. The result is a much lower string action!

Basically you lay 3 layers of tape across the 6th fret up from the end of the fretboard and then sand the remaining frets with the beam resting on the taped (raised) one. The end of the beam resting on the taped fret does not have any sand paper stuck to it so that it can glide on top of it easily. The result is a "ramp" down to the end of the fretboard, reducing buzz from these frets as the string action comes down.

She's now even more spectacular to play. The action is the lowest out of any of the guitars I have put together to date, and I really love the feel of the fretboard. A little Dr Ducks axe wax, and a new set of D'Addario extra light strings, and she's now as shredable as she's ever likely to be.