Humbucker sized center position pickup... Neck or Bridge and brand suggestions?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by standard24, Jan 2, 2018.


  1. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    I have a PRS which was routed for a center pickup. Currently it has a GFS humbucker sized P90 in the middle position. The tone with that pickup isn't as good as the PRS pickups, and I'd like to replace it with a better P90.

    Since it's in the center position, should I use a bridge or neck pickup (and why), and what pickup brands and models would be recommended?
     
  2. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Have you heard a 'better' p90 that you like?
    Maybe a mini hb would suit you better.
    Or a Duncan P-rails.
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    either way you want a "neck" pickup in there.

    of course the GFS isn't gonna be as good as the actual PRS pickups! the obvious choice is another PRS P90 (neck, like i said :) ) for that middle position.
     
  4. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    It's routed for a humbucker.

    What about the SD Phat Cat?
     
  5. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Member

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    Try a Gibson P-94.
     
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  6. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    a good pickup.

    so what, the guitar has humbuckers neck and bridge, somebody decided to add one in the middle? what are the other pickups and how are you switching between the combinations?
     
  7. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    The guitar has PRS Modern Eagle pickups bridge and neck. It has a very complex switching system with push/pull on volume & tone, a mini toggle and a 3 way switch. I didn't have this done. It came that way. I couldn't even tell you what the various combinations do? I just know what sounds I prefer and how to get them. The center GFS humbucker sized P90 just doesn't stand up to the Modern Eagles. As much as I'd like to put a "top-flight" P90 in there, cost is also a consideration. If I could hear a Bare Knuckles or a Lollar in a similar guitar, I might bite the bullet and pay the additional cost, but I don't really want to spend $200 on a minor upgrade... I'd want it sound awesome.

    Do center position pickups sound as good as bridge or neck, with similar quality?
     
  8. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    oh, OK. yeah, a P90 is just not going to be as loud as a typical humbucker, and who knows what kind of silly wiring is going on in there. maybe you'd want an actual humbucker in there. hell, you might be best off disconnecting all that and wiring it back to regular 2-pickup specs.

    i assume you got the guitar cheap because of this crazy mod?
    ehh, they're not popular. it's cool in a strat, but big fat pickups jammed up next to each other like that tend towards the muddy and murky when combined, too much cancellation.

    i will say a fat middle pickup by itself is a usable sound, and a great sound for slide.
     
  9. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    Got a great price on it, but no... This was a very slick job. These PRS Modern Eagle pickups are nearly $500 a pair, and the center route was professionally done. The complex wiring work was top notch, but the center pickup wasn't first quality. It would sound good to most, but compared with the ME's, it lacks warmth/clarity/snarl. I want a pickup that I can't wait to switch to...
     
  10. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    that's the part i can't get my head around, that somebody would

    1. butcher a nice PRS like this and
    2. put a cheap chinese pickup in there when they were done:confused:

    if you have a wiring setup that lets you turn the middle pickup off and also lets you get the middle by itself, those will probably be the most useful tones. get a nice vintage output "neck" humbucker in there and it might work out OK.
     
  11. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    Yeah... I agree. Who knows why they chose that GFS? But yes, the mini toggle switches the center pickup on/off by itself, or adds it to the bridge pickup. I'm mainly interested in it alone. Who knows why anyone would do that to a fine guitar, but I have 4 PRSi and it's my "go-to" guitar. They also swapped out the neck for a solid maple Swamp Ash Special neck. (I love the neck!) Usually these Frankenstein jobs turn out horrible. Not this one. (BTW... I only paid $275 for it because they thought it was a Korean SE.)
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    for a real USA bolt-on? pickups be damned, that's a score!

    so i guess the eagle humbuckers were added too? i don't think those are supposed to be available separately. i couldn't find any specs on them, any chance you could check the DC resistances with a meter? that might give us a better idea of what to suggest for the middle, as again i think what you want is something close to what the neck is.
     
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  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    I suspect they had some fancy collectible pickup in the center position and swapped that to the GFS before selling the guitar. If the guitar has changed hands a lot then this is even more likely.

    I would go for something different than another humbucker.

    TV Jones something
    Goldfoil type
    Telecaster bridge pickup (custom mounting ring)
    Strat middle pickup at a reverse (Hendrix) angle

    Steve Morse made a lot of money with a multi-pickup guitar that had something different in the middle.
    [​IMG]

    Ry Cooder with that goldfoil (it looks like it is nearly in a middle pickup location here).
    [​IMG]

    .
     
  14. Barnzy

    Barnzy Member

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    Harmonic Design Z-90 if it fits.
     
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