I'm liking the Dragon 2 pickups in my '02 PRS

Lewguitar

Member
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5,665
I know we're supposed to like the Dragon 1 set better than the 2.

But the 2's are sounding really good onstage.

Very versatile and they clean up nicely with the guitar's volume pot.

Onstage, my '02 PRS with the Dragon 2's is sounding better than my '95 PRS with the Tom Holmes humbuckers: a fuller tone overall and a more acoustic clean rhythm tone and beefier soloing tones.

Go figure! Never would have thunk it.

Decided not to replace them after all...although the 5 position rotary switch has got to go.

To hard to use onstage so I'll replace it with a 3 position LP style toggle. Like I did in my '95 PRS.
 
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Lewguitar

Member
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5,665
I never knew the Dragon II's were not popular. I LOVE them in my 03 CU22. Just as you describe them.
When traded my Fender EJ Strat to a guy for what's now my '02 Custom 22, I showed him my '95 Custom 22 that I had replaced the Dragon 1's in with a set of Holmes humbuckers.

He wanted to buy the Dragon 1's off of me.

Told me he disliked the Dragon 2's in the '02 PRS but loved the original Dragon 1's.

I didn't sell them.

But I did read a bunch of reviews after the trade was completed and it seemed like most (not all...) guys preferred the Dragon 1's to the Dragon 2's.

I didn't dislike them, but I knew I loved the Holmes humbuckers so I put them in my '95 PRS and do feel it sounds better with them.

At first I didn't love the Dragon 2's in this newer, '02 PRS.

But using it onstage has changed my mind.

And I prefer my PRS with the Dragon 2's to my PRS with the Holmes humbuckers onstage.

Just has a better sound onstage. Fuller when I turn the volume down for clean tones on the neck pickup and ballsier when I switch to the bridge pickup for certain overdriven soloing tones.
 

Chicago Slim

Member
Messages
4,111
I had them in my 2002 Standard 22. The first thing that had to go, was the 5-way switch. Then in 2010, I replaced the Dragon II's, with Starla pickups. I even used the Dragon II's, wired as single coils, for a while.




Dragon II's, in my Starla.

 

musicman10_1

Silver Supporting Member
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2,889
I like the DIIs in my CU22 from 2005. I just have to use the tone and volume controls to get the right mix of volume and treble and they sound great. I'm often confused by all of the dislike for them on guitar forums.
 

Lewguitar

Member
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5,665
Nice guitars guys!

Here's my '95 with the Tom Holmes HB's...although it came with the Dragon 1's:



And here's my '02 with the Dragon 2's:

 

Lewguitar

Member
Messages
5,665
I love my '06 cu22 with DII's, crazy versatile guitar that cuts thru and sounds really good.
Not sure why some people hate DII's but to each their own.
I think the guys who prefer the Dragon I's might like a lot more overdrive and distortion than I do.

I know the guy who owned my PRS with Dragon II's before me preferred the hotter Dragon I's and liked a lot more overdrive for his primary tone than I do.

I will say that I don't care for the single coil tones from either set.

I'd rather just plug in my Strat.

So I'll be removing the rotary switch and putting in a LP style 3-way switch.

That rotary switch is a PITA to use onstage.
 
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Chicago Slim

Member
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4,111
I think the guys who dislike the Dragon II's might like a lot more overdrive and distortion than I do and might not play as clean as I often do either.

I know the guy who owned my PRS with Dragon II's before me preferred the hotter Dragon I's and liked a lot more overdrive for his primary tone than I do.

I will say that I don't care for the single coil tones from either set.

I'd rather just plug in my Strat.

So I'll be removing the rotary switch and putting in a LP style 3-way switch.

That rotary switch is a PITA to use onstage.
When I got rid of the 5-way, I bought a Les Paul 3-way, and wired it for straight humbuckers. Although I have a Dremel, I used a rat-tailed hand file, to enlarge the hole. It took very little filing.
 

Lewguitar

Member
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5,665
When I got rid of the 5-way, I bought a Les Paul 3-way, and wired it for straight humbuckers. Although I have a Dremel, I used a rat-tailed hand file, to enlarge the hole. It took very little filing.
I just used a hand held reamer. It's tapered. Worked well too.
 

Rockin J

Member
Messages
1,970
Funny, I was just playing my custom 22 for the last hour.
I love the dragon 2's.
I agree with you that the 5 way rotary switch was just a terrible idea.
I don't like split humbucker tones anyway.
The custom 22 has that just right feel to me.
I still love the wide fat neck profile.
 

andyk

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,859
What height do you like for the Dragon II's?

On a side note, using sand paper wrapped around a pencil works great at enlarging the 5-way pot hole to accept a toggle!
 




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