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Pickup suggestions for PRS Santana SE please.

5E3

Member
Messages
5,055
I'm GASing for a new-model Santana SE. I've owned a PRS SE before and the pickups were definitely a weakness.

I've done some searches here on TGP and the consensus is that the Santana SE is a fine guitar, but the pickups are brittle and sharp sounding. At this point I'm trying to determine what some suitable replacements would be so I can decide if the cost of the upgrade would make overall economic sense with the cost of the guitar.

I play classic rock and blues and like early breakup and growl in the tone.

Thanks in advance for suggestions.

:beer
 
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McStrats

Member
Messages
1,982
Look for a set of PRS Dragon 11 pickups on Ebay. They will work very well in that particular guitar.
 

papersoul

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,866
Rio Grande BBQ/Texas! Much more rich and full, complex sounding than PRS Dragon II pickups.

Others:
Duncan 59/Custom and 59
Duncan Custom and 59
Duncan JB/Jazz
Dimarzio Air Zone or Andy Timmons/Air Norton
 
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tamader74

Member
Messages
3,676
I picked up a PRS SE Singlecut yesterday,...and I've noodled with it a bit, I USUALLY will at least think/change the harness,...But, I really don't see a need to change anything as of right now...and for me and Korean guitars...That's weird. I got the guitar at the Michigan guitar show, and have not pulled the back plate to see if anything has already been changed (p-ups are unmarked and I feel are original)...alot of the Korean guitars I've owned, the p-ups are alright, But the electronics/harness needs replacing to get a 'good' signal to the pick-ups,...Not the case here, This is perfect as is for what I want to complaiment my American Artist Custom 22. Tom
 

karma1

Member
Messages
1,121
When I first swapped the pickups in my PRS Santana SE, I put a Duncan Jazz in the neck and a Duncan Custom Custom in the bridge (both with mini toggles for 3-way switching). Its a great combo and I was very happy with it. However I eventually pulled the neck pickup and installed a Sustainiac, which is a whole other thing.
 

John Thigpen

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,769
For some reason, I've really been jonesin' for a Santana SE. I have a set of WCR Darkbursts without a home, and would put them in it.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,190
Low buck.

Duncan 59 or 59/JB

More bucks

Duncan Antiquities.

More bucks and worth it

Wolfetone Kauer Wind,
WCR American Steele
 
Messages
112
When I first swapped the pickups in my PRS Santana SE, I put a Duncan Jazz in the neck and a Duncan Custom Custom in the bridge (both with mini toggles for 3-way switching). Its a great combo and I was very happy with it. However I eventually pulled the neck pickup and installed a Sustainiac, which is a whole other thing.
I did the exact same thing! Not the Sustainiac but the the first part. It's my favorite guitar. My other SE has a Rio Grande Crunchbox and a Duncan P-Rails with Tripleshot rings. That guitar gets alot of sounds.
 

papersoul

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,866
I did the exact same thing! Not the Sustainiac but the the first part. It's my favorite guitar. My other SE has a Rio Grande Crunchbox and a Duncan P-Rails with Tripleshot rings. That guitar gets alot of sounds.
PRS Dragon IIs are terrible.

I think Rio Grande makes the best, ballsiest, most full and richest pickups available. Love em! The BBQ is like a much better JB!!!!!

Also Duncans but if find Dimarzios are more rich sounding than most Duncans, but I could never find pickups that could beat Rio Grandes. I have had plenty of WCR and Wolftones and they are not worth it to me. just sold a WCR Cherry Bucker. It was OK but a little sterile. All have been replaced with Rios, Dimarzios and Duncans. :)
For cream, the Duncan CC is hard to beat as well. :)

Personal preference. I know guys like Big Mike love Wolfe and WCR. They do nothing for me.
We all different. It is like ice cream.....you will like a flavor I may not. LOL.

I have a PRS Santana SE from 2001. Not as nice as my CE-22 or the Cu22 or McCarry I sold.
Srill nice. It is getting locking tuners, a fret dresssing and Rio Grande pickups.

I believe the real problem with PRS ia the finish and wood they use. Never sound quite as good as a nice Gibson or Fender. For that reason, I may strip the finish off.
 
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bettset

Member
Messages
4,204
Look for a set of PRS Dragon 11 pickups on Ebay. They will work very well in that particular guitar.
i like the dragons, but have kept the original pickups in my prs santana. they would sound nice. keep an eye on ebay.......once in awhile prs santana pickups show up for sale. not sure, but some years back carlos may have had paul design his pickups to be kinda like the dragons after carlos heard them. the newer se is a nice guitar. wish it had 24 frets. and.......save up for the real thing. it has ruined me for les pauls :munch
 

Eko

Member
Messages
113
I have a JB in my SE and a Mean 90 from GFS. Both sound killer. Changing the alpha pots to CTS 500k seemed to open up the guitar more than swapping the pickups in my opinion. I think the stock SE HFS and SE Vintage Bass are perfectly fine pickups.
 




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