PRS Bridges

PRS Bridges

Home > Tech Articles  > PRS MILCOM Tremolo

Which PRS Won't Tune?

This article applies to the PRS 22 fret models made after April of 1995. Personally, I do not approve of the stock bridge system that PRS in their ultimate wisdom has decided to bestow upon the unsuspecting customers who purchase new PRS guitars.

PRS hardtail guitars have no intelligent way to set up intonation, there are no adjustments excepting for the outside strings. It is hard to believe that a company of PRS's stature could possibly make such an incredible blunder in designing their guitar. The PRS hardtail is made from white pot metal and it is of the wraparound style. Personally I like a solid brass bridge or at least cold rolled steel, and I despise those wraparound bridges.

For you readers who don't know exactly what a wraparound bridge is, I will explain (see photo below).

A wraparound bridge is the least expensive way to solve the cost problem associated with a normal bridge. A wraparound bridge is usually a one piece affair that does not employ adjustable saddles and does not employ a tailpiece. Most guitarists prefer a tailpiece or strings through the body.

Several years after the PRS wraparound bridge was introduced, they (PRS) came out with an improved version. The improved version had adjustable saddles but I still prefer the 2 piece Tune-O-Matic for other obvious reasons. Incidentally, this new improved version is an add on product. If you wanted it, you would have to pay between $80.00 and $100.00 extra, sometimes more.

PRS w Wraparound Bridge

Cannot be Properly Intonated
looks nice but sound is important 

PRS w Tremolo Bridge

Individual Saddles Enable Intonation
Ed Roman has original first year PRS Tremolos


PRS w Tune-O-Matic Bridge

Rare and Highly Desirable

Gibson w Wraparound Bridge

Run From this Bridge, Impossible to Intonate

How About the Tremolo PRS

If you own a PRS with a tremolo you may notice that (even on the new cheaper imported tremolos) there are individual saddles (see photo below) that make intonating your guitar easy and accurate. I prefer the tremolo on a PRS guitar to the wraparound tailpiece for several other reasons. The problem with the tremolo, of course, is that you lose any chance of direct coupling, and sustain and tone suffer greatly. Of course staying in tune becomes a bigger issue with a tremolo also.

The Original Tremolo on the 1985 PRS was awesome.  It was the first vintage style tremolo that ever worked well.   Click the link above... We have a limited number left.  Contact us if you want one.

Uncle Ed Has Several Ways to Fix The Intonation Problem!!!

The absolute best way to deal with this problem is to sell your PRS and buy a better guitar with a real Tune-O-Matic bridge already installed. In the early days PRS used a Tune-O-Matic bridge on their higher end signature models. The only problem is, those early guitars sell for a lot more money. (Because they were much better guitars).

The next best way to solve this problem is to purchase an aftermarket body from either myself or someone else who makes exact duplicate bodies to order. This will solve your problem totally because you can order the body with an adjustable saddle bridge. Some of the side benefits to this solution are that you can order any kind of wood combination, you can place the electronics anywhere you like for no extra charge, and of course you can choose any color you like.

Tone Pros makes a wraparound bridge (AVT2: see below) with locking studs that works much better than the stock PRS bridge. While it may not be the absolute best solution this is by far your cheapest solution.

Another inexpensive way to fix the problem would be to simply yank off the stock PRS bridge and fill the holes with a dowel. This appears a little sloppy because the width of the holes does not match up and close inspection will reveal the flaw. Simply drill the holes in the body and drop in the Tune-o-Matic.   We had Trent Reznor's PRS in the shop recently and this is what he had done. PRS could have very easily have facilitated this if they had simply designed the bridge to be the same spacing as the Tune-o-Matic.  PRS in their ultimate wisdom used a bolt pattern that was ever so slightly off. My opinion is this was done on purpose and now the cost to fix it is astronomical. example of a redo.  On a retop it's absolutely free and highly recommended.

TonePros AVT2 Intonatable Wraparound Bridge

At long last a replacement for non-intonatable wraparound bridges!   This bridge will replace, without modification, bridges from PRS , Epiphone , Gibson , etc. It comes complete with TonePros patented locking studs, and features extended intonation range for those hard to intonate guitars. This bridge is a major breakthrough for this area of guitar technology.

Available in Chrome, Nickel, Black and Gold.