Antiquities in a McCarty?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by smellytele, May 14, 2015.

  1. smellytele

    smellytele Member

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    Got a 2002 McCarty (got it about a year ago) and I just ain't diggin' the bridge pickup. I've read a butt-load of posts about this very subject over the past year and I "think" I want to try a Duncan Antiquity. Anyone had experience with this pickup in that guitar? Play mostly heavier blues type of stuff (ABB, Mule, NMAS, etc). Stock bridge sounds brash, harsh. Any advice on the Duncan or any other pu will be greatly appreciated.

    For the record, my all time favorite pickup is the Nocaster bridge in my Nocaster. Had no idea I preferred low output vintage style pu's until I bought that guitar. Not sure if that info will help, but thought I'd throw it out there.
     
  2. jetydosa

    jetydosa Silver Supporting Member

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    Keep in mind Antiquties (at least ones Ive seen) are long leg and likely wont fit in stock McCarty route.
    I have DiMarzio PAF Masters in my McTrem and they are great. 36th Anniv are outstanding as well.
     
  3. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    Might want to figure out what the output is, then maybe consider a swapping in a different magnet strength first. I found I had ceramic mags in the McSoapy (stock Duncan P90s), swapped them for AlNiCo 5's. What a difference! Also, the height of the pickups (from the strings) and the pot impedance make large sonic differences.
     
  4. Taller

    Taller Silver Supporting Member

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    Anywhere is everywhere and nowhere is nothing.
    I own a 2000 McCarty and for a time I had S-D '59s in it and I was mostly satisfied.
    The comment regarding the traditionally long mounting legs being a problem is accurate, however I was able to install them, but without much room for adjustment. The same set of pickups would not fit the cavities in my PRS St22 nor my PRS SC245.

    All three of these guitars are now loaded with Tom Short's Tombuckers, special ordered with a short legged base plate. Sadly Tom no longer winds his great pickups.
     
  5. Axeaholic

    Axeaholic Supporting Member

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    Went through this with my 2002, couldn't figure out the stock pickups, especially in live situations where the guitar volume was even more inconsistent from one pickup to the other ... Started hating the tone at some point, it just didn't mesh with my amps. Then Bam !!!! started playing with the height adjustment screws per Paul's direct suggestion. chased the sweet spot for a few hours and voila, they finally ended up singing !
     
  6. smellytele

    smellytele Member

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    HUGE thanks for the heads up on the mounting legs! Haven't read much about the PAF Masters, gonna do some digging. I realize there is no way to know what I like until I try it, but tips like these help save me some time. Thanks again and keep 'em coming!
     
  7. whitewave

    whitewave Member

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    I've tried many boutique PAF replicas, and I do think Antiquities are among the best PAFs out there. Definitely in my top three.
    I used to have a McCarty, it's been my only guitar for years, and I've changed pickups for her many times. Even if I love PAFs in historic Les Paul (took me a while to understand how to play them) I think a PRS needs more beef from the pickup, in order to get a thicker tone.
    There's plenty of bass response in a McCarty, more than a good Les Paul actually, I'm talking about the feeling you get under your fingers on higher strings. The best set I've tried in my McCarty was a set of Lollar Imperials High Wind (and I don't like them in a Les Paul).
    This is just my opionion, based on how I like to "feel" my guitar. Since Antiquities are not that expensive you may try them. Since they're Alnico II they could help in taming higher frequencies, other PAF replicas will add too shrillness imho.
     
  8. aroman

    aroman Member

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    WCR Godwood !.
    I highly recommend you get the bridge and neck position.
     
  9. smellytele

    smellytele Member

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    I've done some height adjusting, I'll try some more. Smoother highs are what I'm looking for. They almost sound splatty to me. (ain't it funny the words we come up with to describe tones)
    Any chance you could give me a tip on about where your pickups ended up height wise? It could get me on the right track.
     
  10. whitewave

    whitewave Member

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    Had them in McCarty, great pus!


    As for height are you talking about McCarty original pickups?
    They're not good, those guitars deserve a much better set.
     
  11. smellytele

    smellytele Member

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    What pu's do you have in McCarty now? Just curious.
     
  12. bartmcartman

    bartmcartman Supporting Member

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    PRS spec is with the strings depressed at the last fret, 3/32 on the bass side and 5/64 on the treble side.
     
  13. Axeaholic

    Axeaholic Supporting Member

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    Hi Buddy !

    Here was my post from another thread

     
  14. doublescale1

    doublescale1 FSR Tele Silver Supporting Member

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    +3 on the WCR Godwood - had one in my McCarty now for 7 years - no bridge PUY gas for me - I also put a WCR Crossroads Neck Pu in the McCarty - a great set that will deliver everything you throw at it - R&B, Blues, Rock & even drop tune Rock.
     
  15. jiml

    jiml Supporting Member

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    Hmmmm....this was not my experience with the few McCartys I owned. Always sounded too mid focused to me, not much low end. Definately not as much "thump" as the Les Pauls I had access to.

    I never fiddled with pickups though, kinda wrote them off and moved on (to Les Pauls).
     
  16. Axeaholic

    Axeaholic Supporting Member

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    Not the best picture ... but it shows a bit of the adjustments that I did on the pole height on these as well. The McCarty is a vintage output Humbucker which means that there will be a midrange scoop. here is a link to Zhangbuckers article on this where he says

    Keep in mind ... this guy is a bit 'Ed Roman' in the way he describes things sometimes so he tends to exagerate.

    [​IMG]

    But ... I found an amazing tech who solved this issue by having the height of the polepieces adjusted slightly to reduce the intensity of the tone I was gettting from the Bass & Treble end of strings and focusing a bit more on the D and G strings ... while retaining my height sweet spot.

    It would have been easy to just swap pups to get something in the EQ range I wanted but in the end, I got to keep my guitar stock and the tone is now to dream for to my ears !
     
  17. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    I have a set of Duncan Ants in a Hamer Studio Custom and they sound nothing short of amazing
     
  18. smellytele

    smellytele Member

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    Asimauve - Thanks for posting that. Great looking guit-fiddle! Interesting quote as well. Makes me wonder if a hb-sized p90 would suit me better. Oh hell, I feel another thread coming on! (kidding)
    I'm gonna start with spending some more time with adjusting the stock pu and go from there. Those WCR pu's sound pretty darn good in most of the clips I checked out, but holy moly they is pricey! Not a deal breaker price, if they sound great in my guitar it'd be worth it. But it'd be a bit before I could buy a set.

    Oh, and somewhat off topic, but I slapped some Ernie Ball m-steels on that McCarty last weekend and I really dig 'em!
     
  19. whitewave

    whitewave Member

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    I've always thought the same.
    Then I had a couple of chances to compare my McCarty with a good Les Paul (an R8 and Warren Haynes signature), same amp, recording them with a good setup.
    The frequency response of my ex PRS was wider, it reaches deeper lows and higher treble frequency (sorry, it's really difficult to me describing something technical in english). But a Les Paul usually sounds fatter and bigger.
    Different guitars for sure, I've kept the PRS and my R8 for a couple of years playing them both, then I decided to keep just the Gibson, but I miss that McCarty.
     
  20. Axeaholic

    Axeaholic Supporting Member

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    Ha ! listen, the beauty of all this is that we can play with our toys anyway we want ! I had a set of Lollar Imperials, PAF36th, Classic 57s etc ... etc ...
    on a wide variety of guitars, my stance ended up being that with a few knob turns on the guitar or amp, I could make them all sound the same. I did have issues with the McCarty but stuck with getting it setup right instead of 'swapped out' right ... I do not regret my decision
     

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