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View Full Version : First PRS Guitar - 59/08-09 Pickups


Treillw
11-23-2010, 10:35 AM
I'm going to buy my first PRS and I've been doing a lot of research and testing out a lot of guitars at the local shop. I played a Custom 22, a Custom 22 special edition (with a single coil in the middle), Custom 24, and a 25th Anniversary Custom 24 (I've also been looking around for a 513 to play).

Pretty much all of the guitars sounded good to me (I am by no means an expert on the tone topic), but the one that stood out was the 25th Anniversary Custom 24 - It has the 59/08 pickups in it. I thought that the treble pickup was really hot - I actually turned the treble on the amp down because it was almost too much. I usually have the treble cranked, so that may be why. I thought that the bass pickup could use a little more "heaviness", but again it may be the way I had the amp set up. While browsing around on the internet I read about the 59/09 pickups and their sales pitch seems to reflect my thoughts about the 59/08s - they said that the bass pickup has been made "darker and more powerful".

Has anybody on here compared the two pickups? It sounds like a lot of people on here really like the 59/08's: http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=579168

So far I'm liking the 25th Anniversary Custom 24, but I still want to check out the 513 and 59/09's.

I noticed that the 513 is being discontinued, anybody know the reason for that?

I also noticed that the 25th Anniversary 513 is cheaper than the normal model. That seems odd to me, I would think that the 25th models would be more expensive???

Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you.

FractalGarden
11-23-2010, 12:28 PM
Not sure what 59/08-09 pickups are. There are 57/08's, 59/09's and 53/10's now available.

Treillw
11-23-2010, 12:38 PM
I meant 59/08 or 59/09, but I thought the title would be too long with both in it.

53/10 pickups, great now I have another one to look at! lol Does anybody have any experience with these?

rburkard
11-23-2010, 12:59 PM
I have both the 57/08 and the 59/09 pickups on my McCarty and love these pickups on this particular guitar. The 513 pickup system however is the most versatile pickup system I know off and my PRS 513s have become my "go to guitars". No need to grab my vintage strat or Historic Les Pauls anymore. Absolutely serious.
Rene

captain_bob
11-23-2010, 01:00 PM
I have not tried the 59/09s yet but from what I've heard is they are a little hotter than the 57/08s. I do however, have a set of 57/08's. To me, they are one of the best PAF-like pickups available.

fracs
11-23-2010, 01:07 PM
I know that the first year 513's (which I believe were in '06) had a Brazilian rosewood neck. After that they went to a Mahogany neck on the 25th anniversary. They discontinued the Brazilian due to the shortage of that wood.

Treillw
11-23-2010, 02:26 PM
I heard that the 513s have bolt on necks from an outside source, I was not able to confirm that on the PRS site. Do they? Does it affect the sustain noticeably?

Treillw
11-23-2010, 03:28 PM
Also, How do the Custom 24's compare to the McCartys? I see that the 25th Anniv Custom 24 has the same pickups as the new McCarty 58.

If you have the same pickups in two different guitars will they actually sound much different, if they are nearly the same shape and neck type (bolt on etc)?

Mark C
11-23-2010, 03:37 PM
Haven't tried all of them, but here's some basics.

Custom 24 - 24 frets, set neck, thinner body. These will be brighter than a McCarty due to the ratio of maple to thinner mahogany back. Also, the neck pickup is brighter due to the 24 frets and closer placement to the bridge.

McCarty - Thicker back, so it will be a little more like a LP in tone, also the stoptail will take away some of the "shimmery" quality a tremolo adds to the tone. Neck pickup is further from bridge, so it will also sound a little darker, or jazzier. Headstock angle is a little steeper, so it will add to the more Gibson like tone quality, as will the lighter weight non-locking Kluson tuners.

Custom 22 - neck pickup placement like a McCarty, but with thinner body like custom 24. Tuners and headstock angle are also like the 24.

57-08 pickups are PAF clones, very vintage character, bright, not very hot.

59-09 pickups are like a hotter version of the above, which will drive the amp harder and make the tone a little darker.

Stock custom 24 pickups are the HFS and vintage bass. Very hot, great for hard rock or metal, not so good for vintage tones.

The 513 has a different selection of woods, scale length, and very different pickups from the above guitars. Haven't played one, but they are supposed to be extremely versatile, and probably do better "Fendery" tones than the above guitars.

Don't forget to check out the DGT. Mixes some of the McCarty qualities with the tremolo of the 24 and has pickups that do great humbucker and split sounds.

rburkard
11-23-2010, 03:42 PM
The necks are not bolt on.
Rene

I heard that the 513s have bolt on necks from an outside source, I was not able to confirm that on the PRS site. Do they? Does it affect the sustain noticeably?

fracs
11-23-2010, 05:50 PM
The necks are not bolt on. I have an '06 model and for me its my go to guitar, you can get such an array of sounds from it but what sets it apart for me is the Brazilian neck. The feel of it is almost indescribable, it plays so smooth.

02Singlecut
11-23-2010, 06:30 PM
http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/models.html

AaeCee
11-23-2010, 07:39 PM
Sounds like you should look for a Cu24 with 57/08's rather than 59/09's. The 08's have a slightly warmer neck p/u with a slightly cooler bridge, and have that same vintage vibe. Willcutt definitely has some like that, and I'd bet that Martin Music has some as well (both great PRS dealers).

Treillw
11-23-2010, 07:51 PM
Thanks a lot guys! You all have good info. The ammount of wrong things that I have heard from different guitar salesmen astounds me - 513 with a bolt on neck, the custom 22 and 24 having the same pickups...

It sounds like there is a pretty broad 513 following. I play a pretty broad range of rock - AC/DC, Motley Crue, Metallica, Megadeth, an occasional Pantera song at the heaviest, aswellas some of the newer bands on the radio. Can the 513 produce heavy tones for Megadeth songs and the like, or is that better left to a Custom 24? Can you get true a true Humbucking sound out of it? I feel like there has to be some disadvantage to the 513 - it sounds so great with all of the different sounds that I just feel that there has to be some sort of catch, or all/more guitars would be setup like that haha.

I live in PA, do they do tours of the PRS factory and let you play them? :) It's hard to find a shop with a good selection of them. Once I do find the one I like, I'm certain they won't have the color I want... lol

AaeCee
11-23-2010, 08:12 PM
Can't speak for the 513 (never played one) other than to acknowledge that they're the typical PRS spectacular build quality, but I have had several Cu24s and still own one. Reading the list of groups you cover, you may actually prefer one with the original pickup config., the VB neck and HFS bridge. It's easily the hottest set a 24 comes with, but still provides a ton of tonal versatility. Until a few years ago it was the only way they came, and was still the best all time seller in the PRS line up. Mine's set up that way, and while it excels for heavier tones, the heaviest thing I ever play is blues and it still sounds great.

Don't know of any dealers in PA, but the two mentioned in my previous post are top notch and I'd trust their advice completely.

Bluedawg
11-23-2010, 08:26 PM
I have some older PRS guitars and I really really want to put some 57/08s in them ...

Too much money and hassle at the moment ... since I no longer live in Maryland.

PRS is trying to get me to buy another one of their guitars ... not a set of pickups ... :bonk

:banana

MartinC
11-23-2010, 11:30 PM
I wouldn't agonise too much over whether it's 57/08 or 59/09 ... if the guitar sounds good, and feels good, then either would do I suspect.

I played a McCarty with 57/08s in it ... one of those highly memorable guitars that I'll regret not buying.

Drew816
11-24-2010, 08:02 AM
Haven't tried all of them, but here's some basics.

Custom 24 - 24 frets, set neck, thinner body. These will be brighter than a McCarty due to the ratio of maple to thinner mahogany back. Also, the neck pickup is brighter due to the 24 frets and closer placement to the bridge.

McCarty - Thicker back, so it will be a little more like a LP in tone, also the stoptail will take away some of the "shimmery" quality a tremolo adds to the tone. Neck pickup is further from bridge, so it will also sound a little darker, or jazzier. Headstock angle is a little steeper, so it will add to the more Gibson like tone quality, as will the lighter weight non-locking Kluson tuners.

Custom 22 - neck pickup placement like a McCarty, but with thinner body like custom 24. Tuners and headstock angle are also like the 24.

57-08 pickups are PAF clones, very vintage character, bright, not very hot.

59-09 pickups are like a hotter version of the above, which will drive the amp harder and make the tone a little darker.

Stock custom 24 pickups are the HFS and vintage bass. Very hot, great for hard rock or metal, not so good for vintage tones.

The 513 has a different selection of woods, scale length, and very different pickups from the above guitars. Haven't played one, but they are supposed to be extremely versatile, and probably do better "Fendery" tones than the above guitars.

Don't forget to check out the DGT. Mixes some of the McCarty qualities with the tremolo of the 24 and has pickups that do great humbucker and split sounds.

The above is a great summary, thanks!

So what about the Soapbar neck carves? And how do their bodies/necks vary in comparison (if at all)?

Are the McCarty necks all the same carve or do they come in Wide/Fat and Wide/Thin varieties?

How do the necks on the DGT/DGH's compare to Wide/Thin and Wide/Fat?

Does anyone have actual 'measurements' on these things?

Wide/Thin works for me, but all the others are an unknown and MAN I've seen some beautiful McCarty's, Soapbars, etc but if I don't know the neck will work I'm out.

Also, do you buy the electronics directly from PRS so if I wanted a 57/08 setup I'd contact them or a dealer or??

Thanks and Happy Playing!

Pa'ani
11-24-2010, 10:08 AM
I recently acquired a PRS 1959/2009 Limited Edition and it's a awesome playing and sounding guitar, love those 59/09 pickups!
Highly Recommended...

FractalGarden
11-24-2010, 11:14 AM
I play a pretty broad range of rock - AC/DC, Motley Crue, Metallica, Megadeth, an occasional Pantera song at the heaviest, aswellas some of the newer bands on the radio.

For that style of music, I'd definitely recommend trying out the guitar with the pickups you're after before you order/buy it. My feeling, for what it's worth: you'd be much better off staying away from the numbered pickups, and you'd also be better off staying away from the stock VB/HFS set that comes with a Cu24.

Instead, look into older PRSi with Dragon 1's or think about dropping in Tremonti pickups into the mix. Either will totally work for that style of music, which isn't far off from what I play.

rburkard
11-24-2010, 01:41 PM
The PRS 513 can do it all. Try one and you will most likely agree.
Rene

Thanks a lot guys! You all have good info. The ammount of wrong things that I have heard from different guitar salesmen astounds me - 513 with a bolt on neck, the custom 22 and 24 having the same pickups...

It sounds like there is a pretty broad 513 following. I play a pretty broad range of rock - AC/DC, Motley Crue, Metallica, Megadeth, an occasional Pantera song at the heaviest, aswellas some of the newer bands on the radio. Can the 513 produce heavy tones for Megadeth songs and the like, or is that better left to a Custom 24? Can you get true a true Humbucking sound out of it? I feel like there has to be some disadvantage to the 513 - it sounds so great with all of the different sounds that I just feel that there has to be some sort of catch, or all/more guitars would be setup like that haha.

I live in PA, do they do tours of the PRS factory and let you play them? :) It's hard to find a shop with a good selection of them. Once I do find the one I like, I'm certain they won't have the color I want... lol

Treillw
11-30-2010, 06:40 AM
How do the 513's fair for playing heavier stuff? I was told by the manager at guitar center that they they can be heavier than a Custom 24, but also cleaner and brighter.

I really liked the 25th Anniversary Custom 24 with the 59/08s in it.

scuba200ft
11-30-2010, 07:08 AM
The 513 does just fine for heavier stuff. As do all of the above. If I had to pick my LEAST favorite for heavy stuff, like REALLY heavy stuff, it would be the 57/08s. The clarity gets lost. But with regular heavy gain, like a Soldano or the like, 57/08 is fine.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v86/scuba200ft/New%20pictures%20not%20on%20website/IMG_4665.jpg

Jimi D
11-30-2010, 08:07 AM
http://web.ncf.ca/fl475/images/prs_cu25.jpg

This is my 25th Anniversary Custom - it has 57/08 pickups and sounds spectacular. I love it!

This is actually my third CU24. The first two were a trem-equipped and a stop tail model respectively; both played wonderfully but I never got comfortable with the VB and HFS pickups in either, and sold them rather than deal with a merry-go-round of pickup swaps trying to find the right sound...

The 57/08 pickups in this guitar just work with everything. They are apparently PAF clones of some kind, but I don't really know what that means except that they are very articulate and take drive and distortion very, very well. They're not hot pickups, but sound fantastic pushed through my Mesa Mark V on all three channels. I spend most of my time on Channel 2, however, working the volume control to get a wide range of hairy clean, crunch and Marshall-esque drive tones. I play in two bands, knocking out "classic rock" and "classic punk" tunes - that's Zepplin to the Dead Boys, Goddo to Deep Purple, with some U2, Sweeney Todd and Foo Fighters thrown in for good measure, and this guitar can do it all with ease. Terrific axe. If your hands and ears tell you it's a fit, I highly recommend you take the plunge. I'm extremely glad that I did.

scuba200ft
11-30-2010, 08:08 AM
Gorgeous.....

THebert
12-02-2010, 12:46 PM
The 513 does just fine for heavier stuff. As do all of the above. If I had to pick my LEAST favorite for heavy stuff, like REALLY heavy stuff, it would be the 57/08s. The clarity gets lost. But with regular heavy gain, like a Soldano or the like, 57/08 is fine.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v86/scuba200ft/New%20pictures%20not%20on%20website/IMG_4665.jpg

Since you mentioned high gain, would you know how the 57 series compares to the HFS for high gain. I thought the HFS was a very good pickup for gain.

scuba200ft
12-02-2010, 12:51 PM
HFS is going to have more highs. And certainly alot hotter. Thats good or bad depending on what you like.

Stratmagik87
04-21-2012, 01:47 AM
I got a chance to play all of these pups in a GC through a boogie last week...

Also got the chance to pick the brain of some PRS folks who are involved in the build and design- and what I put together on the pups is as follows.


57/08's are a recreation of the PAF style. The characteristic of these pups are responsiveness over anything else. These are to guitars what transparent near field monitors are to mixing studios. The goal is to faithfully reproduce the players style/skill.

These sound best on the new SC58's. They put them on the new McCarty's but IMHO the high end bite suits the fuller darker sound of the singlecut models, two-piece bridge model.

The 53/10's are super versatile, that's that. These are in the Studio model for a reason. I feel like the electronic controls and the fairly medium body weight (compare to McCarty specs) make the most versatile axe PRS has produced in a while (DGT's are also pretty versatile).

The 59/09's are pretty bad ass... sort of remind me of Original dragons in a late 80's custom model. This pup takes the 24 back to its roots. Very responsive, with high output. If you are okay with rolling off the volume significantly/ and you are a modern player you will love them.

They also sound great with post-EQ.


I would love to hear an SC58 with a 59/09 in the neck and a 57/08 in the bridge- seems like the ideal combo.

Hope this was interesting to someone.

TRS1
04-21-2012, 03:49 AM
I got a chance to play all of these pups in a GC through a boogie last week...

Also got the chance to pick the brain of some PRS folks who are involved in the build and design- and what I put together on the pups is as follows.


57/08's are a recreation of the PAF style. The characteristic of these pups are responsiveness over anything else. These are to guitars what transparent near field monitors are to mixing studios. The goal is to faithfully reproduce the players style/skill.

These sound best on the new SC58's. They put them on the new McCarty's but IMHO the high end bite suits the fuller darker sound of the singlecut models, two-piece bridge model.

The 53/10's are super versatile, that's that. These are in the Studio model for a reason. I feel like the electronic controls and the fairly medium body weight (compare to McCarty specs) make the most versatile axe PRS has produced in a while (DGT's are also pretty versatile).

The 59/09's are pretty bad ass... sort of remind me of Original dragons in a late 80's custom model. This pup takes the 24 back to its roots. Very responsive, with high output. If you are okay with rolling off the volume significantly/ and you are a modern player you will love them.

They also sound great with post-EQ.


I would love to hear an SC58 with a 59/09 in the neck and a 57/08 in the bridge- seems like the ideal combo.

Hope this was interesting to someone.

53/10's are not in the studio model. It is 2 narrowfields and a 57/08 in the bridge. 53/10's come standard in the MEQ and the P22.