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Advice on selling a PRS with damaged tremolo knife edges

Alex C

Inspired
I'm planning to sell a 2002 PRS Swamp Ash Special, natural finish, PRS tremolo bridge, no birds. I'm the original/only owner, and I got this guitar when I graduated from high school in 2003. Around that time, in a moment of youthful folly while attempting to lower the action, instead of lowering the saddles themselves I adjusted some of the bridge mounting screws while the strings were under full tension. I later learned that doing this can (and did) damage the knife edges on which the tremolo bridge pivots, and the result is that now the strings do not always return exactly to pitch when the tremolo arm is used. It's only slightly off, but it's enough to be apparent, and it makes the tremolo bridge pretty much useless. I shaped some wood blocks to wedge in the tremolo cavity to block off the bridge in its resting position, so it essentially functions as a stable hardtail.

At this point I have a few options when selling it:

A) Sell it in its current state, disclosing the damaged knife edges and emphasizing the stability of the blocked bridge. (Additionally, the nickel finish has worn away to the brass underneath on several of saddles where my palm rested while playing, and it looks pretty "well used".)

2) Purchase and install a new PRS brand tremolo bridge before selling the guitar. $290
https://us.prsaccessories.com/collections/bridges/products/prs-tremolo-bridge

and D) Purchase and install a "Mann Made" PRS tremolo bridge, made by the original designer and co-patent-holder of the PRS tremolo bridge. $200
http://www.mannmadeusa.com/products/bridges/vibrato-bridges/2030-modernvibrato-bridge-2/
https://store.guitarvaultusa.com/MannMade_PRS_MANN_Vibrato_Gen_II_Bridge_p/2040.htm


I'm trying to consider how much less a potential buyer would be willing to pay for a "damaged guitar", even if they would only ever use it as hardtail, and whether that value drop would be greater than the replacement cost. I'm thinking yes, but I wanted to check with some of the more experienced buyers and sellers here. Any thoughts?
 

iaresee

Moderator
Moderator
I would pay significantly less for the guitar in the unrepaired state. I’d wonder what else was non-functional. I wouldn’t bat an eye if you said you repaired a broken vibrato bridge with a Mann Made bridge because those are top quality bridges.

I am a sample size of one. Statistically insignificant.
 

iaresee

Moderator
Moderator
Hmm... I dunno... I'm a locking trem guy and I think the original Ibanez Edge is hands down the best.
You're wrong, but I still like you. :D

For non-locking vibratos I think it's tops. Smooth as butter pushing and pulling. Stays in tune.
 

Johan Allard

Power User
I agree, I would repair and replace with either bridge. I wouldn't see it as a problem that something happened and you repaired it. But if you leave it in an unrepaired state I would also wonder what else on this guitar hasn't been looked after properly.
 

Rex

Legend!
Before shelling out for a replacement, consider having a luthier look at it. Depending on the extent of the damage, a little careful file work might bring it back into shape.
 

Kent

Inspired
From a Marketing angle, which is exactly what you are inquiring of, the smartest option is to install the Mann ‘upgrade’.
It is the easiest story to sell and avoids buyer remorse.
 
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