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View Full Version : PRS 53/10 pickups vs PAFs?


jmuclar
11-02-2012, 09:35 PM
Hi all - wondering if anyone has some input on how the PRS 53/10s compare to some of the modern PAF-type pickups. My guitar has Wolfetone Dr. Vintages and I'm trying to figure out how the two compare in tones, but none of the stores in my area have had any PRSi with the new pickups on them for me to try in person. I'm playing through a Matchless 30/15 amp, if that matters. Thanks!

patentcad
11-02-2012, 09:53 PM
53/10s are considerably warmer. Also in the bridge position they sound very Stratocastish. PAF style pickups have a much more prominent lower mid-range that is more in-your-face. I have a Modern Eagle Quattro, an R9 and a Les Paul Standard Plus with Fralin Pure PAFs and that's the difference. A PRS SC-58 with 57/08 pickups is in-between, but closer to the 53/10s. I mostly play through a Bogner Shiva head/Egnater Tourmaster 212 cabinet and Carvin vintage (Belair and Nomad) amps.

jmuclar
11-02-2012, 09:57 PM
53/10s are considerably warmer. Also in the bridge position they sound very Stratocastish. PAF style pickups have a much more prominent lower mid-range that is more in-your-face. I have a Modern Eagle Quattro, an R9 and a Les Paul Standard Plus with Fralin Pure PAFs and that's the difference. A PRS SC-58 with 57/08 pickups is in-between, but closer to the 53/10s. I mostly play through a Bogner Shiva head/Egnater Tourmaster 212 cabinet and Carvin vintage (Belair and Nomad) amps.

Thanks, Patentcad - so you think I'll be able to get the same warm clean tones? I've been a little confused with the tones I hear from videos online (I know, it's not the same as in person) because there seems to be this... idk. Sterility isn't the right word. But there's some characteristic to the warmth of the 53/10s that seems different from the warmth of the Wolfetones I have now.

patentcad
11-02-2012, 10:03 PM
Thanks, Patentcad - so you think I'll be able to get the same warm clean tones? I've been a little confused with the tones I hear from videos online (I know, it's not the same as in person) because there seems to be this... idk. Sterility isn't the right word. But there's some characteristic to the warmth of the 53/10s that seems different from the warmth of the Wolfetones I have now.

This is like trying to thumbtack jello to the wall. Very subjective. I LOVE the 53/10s so much that I'm having a hard time spec-ing out the PRS Private Stock I have on order. Right now it's a DGT model, mahogany neck. But then today I'm playing the Modern Eagle with the 53/10s and I LOVE that guitar. Ultimately I will probably stick with the DGT because it gets you closer to that in your face midrange that characterizes a Les Paul. The MEQ is warmer.

They're both absolutely killer guitars. I'm a PRS guy for sure, and I've owned everything. I can't imagine anyone not loving the 53/10s. Or any of the other recent PRS pickups like the 57/08s, etc. But the 53/10s really are special. I think that's Paul Smith's favorites....

Revpolar
11-02-2012, 11:17 PM
What kind of guitar are you using? PRS? Playing a Matchless 30/15, ok, what type of music do you play? Those Wolfetone Dr. Vintages are pretty nice, is there something you don't like about them?

I have a PRS PS DGT Stoptail that I spec'd with 53/10 in the bridge and I wish I had stayed with the DGT pickup. Warm & Clean is NOT how I would describe the 53/10. patentcad say they are strat like in the bridge and I would agree, but strat tone in the bridge is not a warm sound...

If I played PRS through a Matchless 30/15 and I felt compelled to get new pickups, I would go get Fralin High Output Humbuckers 13.5 in the Bridge, 12.5 in the Neck. I have them in my MEI and they kill through my Bad Cat Lynx and Hot Cat 15. I would say they sound closest to the 59/09s. The Wolfetone Dr. Vintages, Pure PAF, Unbucker, have much lower output than the Fralin High Output. I thing the HOs are going to be a tad warmer and darker than the rest.

Patentcad, if I were you I would stay with DGT pickups on your PS. With a mahogany neck ( or if you go rosewood as recall from some other posts) it will sound great. More importantly, if you want to swap pickups in the future, you can't buy DGT pickups from the PTC. If you buy a PS DGT with DGT pickups, you can always go out and get a 59/09, 57/08 or a 53/10. I'll buy your DGT Pickup from you. Or trade you my 53/10 for it!:) See you over on the VR site.

jmuclar
11-02-2012, 11:51 PM
What kind of guitar are you using? PRS? Playing a Matchless 30/15, ok, what type of music do you play? Those Wolfetone Dr. Vintages are pretty nice, is there something you don't like about them?

I have a PRS PS DGT Stoptail that I spec'd with 53/10 in the bridge and I wish I had stayed with the DGT pickup. Warm & Clean is NOT how I would describe the 53/10. patentcad say they are strat like in the bridge and I would agree, but strat tone in the bridge is not a warm sound...

If I played PRS through a Matchless 30/15 and I felt compelled to get new pickups, I would go get Fralin High Output Humbuckers 13.5 in the Bridge, 12.5 in the Neck. I have them in my MEI and they kill through my Bad Cat Lynx and Hot Cat 15. I would say they sound closest to the 59/09s. The Wolfetone Dr. Vintages, Pure PAF, Unbucker, have much lower output than the Fralin High Output. I thing the HOs are going to be a tad warmer and darker than the rest.

Patentcad, if I were you I would stay with DGT pickups on your PS. With a mahogany neck ( or if you go rosewood as recall from some other posts) it will sound great. More importantly, if you want to swap pickups in the future, you can't buy DGT pickups from the PTC. If you buy a PS DGT with DGT pickups, you can always go out and get a 59/09, 57/08 or a 53/10. I'll buy your DGT Pickup from you. Or trade you my 53/10 for it!:) See you over on the VR site.

Thanks - great input. I'm playing an Agile LP (one of the 3K models) that the Dr V's are in - great guitar, and I love the tone I get out of it. I'm just looking ahead and wondering if the P22 would get me the same electric tones I have (which I already love and am very happy with) with perhaps some more variety, as well as the Piezo option which is super attractive to me as a church player. Style-wise, if you're familiar with any of the modern church music genre, I trend toward that sound - if not, think U2/Coldplay-inspired stuff, plus more ambience - but even my lead stuff I like to be not so strident or in the foreground. I like warm, organic sounds, and I'm a classical musician by trade so that affects the way I do rock/contemporary music.

So basically, you're saying I wouldn't be able to get the same warmth/organic quality of the Dr. V's out of the 53/10s?

Revpolar
11-03-2012, 12:22 AM
I got the impression you were out shopping for pickups and wanted to potentially swap in a set of 53/10s. There are guitars that I love and they happen to have different pickups Narrowfields, 408s, 59/09s, 57/08s, 53/10s, DGTs, Fralins, etc. I don't dislike the 53/10, but if give the choice to put pickups in a guitar I would start with a Fralin HO, or a 59/09.

Nonetheless, it sounds like you are shopping for a new guitar? If so, the P22 is awesome, can't wrong with that one! It has so much versatility and it should work great for P&W. The mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard along with the 53/10 will give you all the warm tones you want but you can dial in more biting tones, split pickups, etc. Oh yeah, and piezo is killer. If you are having trouble finding one to play, I would find a dealer with a good return policy, in case it doesn't work for you. Just pick one out and buy it. I think the risk is low, I am sure you will love it.

jmuclar
11-03-2012, 12:33 AM
I got the impression you were out shopping for pickups and wanted to potentially swap in a set of 53/10s. There are guitars that I love and they happen to have different pickups Narrowfields, 408s, 59/09s, 57/08s, 53/10s, DGTs, Fralins, etc. I don't dislike the 53/10, but if give the choice to put pickups in a guitar I would start with a Fralin HO, or a 59/09.

Nonetheless, it sounds like you are shopping for a new guitar? If so, the P22 is awesome, can't wrong with that one! It has so much versatility and it should work great for P&W. The mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard along with the 53/10 will give you all the warm tones you want but you can dial in more biting tones, split pickups, etc. Oh yeah, and piezo is killer. If you are having trouble finding one to play, I would find a dealer with a good return policy, in case it doesn't work for you. Just pick one out and buy it. I think the risk is low, I am sure you will love it.

Sorry! I suppose I should have been clearer in my original post. Yeah, I'm considering the P22 as an alternative to buying a Taylor acoustic, since I can use my old acoustic outside/unplugged and play the P22's piezo when I'm in a live sound situation. I don't want to spring $3k on a (mainly) electric guitar though if I'm not going to like the tone... though I suppose I could always swap the pickups out in the end if I don't like the 53/10s. I'm also considering going for a custom Prairiewood hardtop, though I don't think that would have the piezo option, which is why I'm considering the P22 first.

Revpolar
11-03-2012, 12:40 AM
P22, yes!!!

Call Brent @ The Guitar Shop, Canada, good deals. e-z shipping to Chicago, good return policy.

jmuclar
11-03-2012, 11:12 PM
Also, if there's an aspect to the tone that I dislike in nearly all the videos posted (disclaimer - there's nothing wrong with the tone, it's just not my cup of tea personally! Not knocking what is obviously an incredible guitar.) should I expect that to change in person and with my own rig, or should I take the fact that I hear it in all the videos to mean that it's more a tonal quality of the guitar itself?

waini001
11-03-2012, 11:41 PM
Who gives a ****...try it, then buy it. No offense, but judging by your great taste in guitars; I'd say enjoy it (all):)

But I've only ever loved the marshall heads (wolftone)...from what I hear they're slightly beefed up.

jmuclar
11-03-2012, 11:58 PM
Who gives a ****...try it, then buy it. No offense, but judging by your great taste in guitars; I'd say enjoy it (all):)

But I've only ever loved the marshall heads (wolftone)...from what I hear they're slightly beefed up.

I would certainly try it, but it doesn't look like any of them are going to be in stock near me in the near future, so my only option is to maybe save up the cash for one and find a place with a good return policy if it's not my cup of tea. The only reason I'm even asking is because I can't find them locally to A/B test myself, as I'm sure we can all agree that when it comes down to it our own ears are a much better tell of our tastes than someone else's opinions! I suppose I'm just impatient with not knowing... but someday when I can afford it I'll see if I'm still interested in ordering one. But who knows, maybe my GAS will have changed by then =P Glad you like the marshallheads! I've heard great things - a little to beefy for my application, but Wolfe is a great winder.