Favorite PRS humbucker pickup?


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What is your favorite PRS humbucker pickup and why?

How do the newer ones... 57/08, 59/09, 58/15, etc... compare?
Please give a comparison of their sounds.
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I dig the original '85-'86 T&B.
The Chainsaw is cool too, as is the Deep Dish II.
EDIT: Whoops! Missed the comparison request.

Original T&B are very versatile, like a fairly bright PAF, very articulate, and they don't get wimpy when split or tapped. 59/09's are very close, 85/15's are closer still.

Chainsaw was a mammoth; like an HFS but bigger, brighter, less shrill, less boomy, and better mannered.

Deep Dish II was a Hot, Fat, P90 very gritty and snarls, very cool by itself, it split in various configurations with coils from a Vintage Bass for some wicked cool tones. DiMarzio Bluesbucker comes closest, I'd say.
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JCM 800

My favorites are the DGT. Bought a set for my CU22. Didn't like the Dragons. I also like the arch top pickups in my Hollowbody but they most likely wouldn't be that great in a different guitar...maybe but I'm not interested in experimenting with those.


Silver Supporting Member
Was a big fan of VB/HFS back in the 90's. So much so that I gutted my McCarty and added them to it (5 way rotary too!).

I have a pair of DGT pickups in a singlecut style solidbody and I love them. Hotter, fatter twist on PAF, best split tones out there....


I swapped out the HFS/VB combo in my '94 CE24 with uncovered 57/08s. Five-way rotary dial set-up. The HFS/VB combo was far too hot for my tastes, and too much scoop in the midrange. Great for playing hard rock or metal... which I don't play.

I swapped out the Archtop pickups in my HB1 with covered 57/08s. Added two coil-split mini-switches (one for each pickup.) Three-way switch set-up. The Archtops were not hot enough. They were too rounded and bassy sounding... very mellow. Perfect for straight-ahead jazz... but a tone which I can dial up with hotter pickups by rolling off the volume and tone pots.

I [obviously] love the 57/08s. They sound awesome in both of these guitars, yet very different from each other given the differences in: placement (due to 22 frets vs. 24 frets,) wood & finish types (poly mahogany neck vs. nitro maple neck, solid alder body vs. hollow mahogany body,) strings through the body with a vibrato system (w/ .010s) vs. a wrap-around stoptail piece (w/ .011s,) covered pickups vs. uncovered, etc. They have a meaty, creamy, [and apparently unkosher... *rim shot* ...but I digress] tone which I think is very similar to a classic, traditional, late-50s PAF pickup.

Jim Roseberry

85/15s (liked them in a P245, less so in a Artist Package CU24
59/09s were ok (like the 57/08s better)
58/15-LT (These may be my favorite PRS pickups)

The 57/08s have a more modern sound (TME) than the 58/15-LT... but seem to have more vintage feel than 59/09s
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I like the 59/09's. I bought a CU24 that came with 57/08's and didn't care for them. Sounded thin and shrill. The 59/09 are smoother with more bite. The neck PU is very articulate.
Maybe it's the guitar that 57/08 are in that make the difference. Some people love them others not so much.
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Silver Supporting Member
An easy one for me ... while I agree with others on the Starla, Santana III, and even HFS/VB sets (only in the right guitar for those), the set that easily stands out as their best IMO is the 53/10! They're unfortunately no longer made as the special fairy dusted wire is no longer available, but they had the magic sound, with all the attitude and definition of a great P90 matched with the added push and smoothness of a humbucker. If you desire an articulate, PAF-ish, medium output humbucker and come across a pair at a fair price, buy them! You will not be disappointed.


Silver Supporting Member
This might sound flaming but I swear it is not. I think PRS construction is top notch, but their pick ups are really lacking.

At the height of my PRS insanity, I've had a CU24, Quatro, SC58, and Hollowbody II all at the same time.

I've tried all of them: 57/08, 59/09, 53/10, and 58/15's. Eventually woke up to the reality although these guitars are beautiful, these pick ups are not for me. I really tried to like them (I spent so much money, how could I not try), but they did not fit that sound I was looking for.

I sold all of them and only have a MC58 with Bare Knuckle Pick ups.

Fantastic guitar with fantastic pick ups. I love it now.


Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Gold Supporting Member
In my 594 I'm totally good with the stock 58/15LT's (my avatar photo guitar) and in my '06 McCarty I have a set of Railhammer Hyper Vintage pickups that are wired series/parallel with "push/push" pots on vol & tone, they are extremely versatile and a monster match to that guitar. Here's a phone camera shot of the Railhammers in my McCarty:


Silver Supporting Member
I have 2 PRS with 57/08's and they are my favorite pups. I love Antiquities also, very similar, but the 57/08's are incredible imo. They put PRS on the map for being one of the best pickup manufacturers on the market and every pup since has been fantastic too.

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