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Pickup Swap PRS Custom 24

erniestrings

Member
Messages
79
Gentlemen,

I have a '99 PRS Custom 24 10 Top that I'm thinking about doing a pickup swap in... I currently have Gibson Burstbucker Pro's in it. I like the smoothness of the BB's and they seem to have a bigger bottom end than the HFS/Vintage Bass combo that it came stock with which I like. I felt like the stock pickups were a little thin and sterile for my taste.

I believe the stock ceramics were great for high gain stuff, but I don't really play much of that lately, so I think I want to go an Alnico route. I really like the "woody" aspect to the tone they give. What I don't like about the BB's is primarily two-fold. First off, the BB's are only 2 conductor wire, so there are no coil tapping options. I really miss the added versatility of switching into a coil tapped position and having the nice mid scooped chime. The second thing I'm not crazy about is that the BB's seem a little dark at times. In a band setting it doesn't always have the cut I'd like.

So all that to say this... What are some pickups I should be considering? Some I've considered so far are the Anderson HC'S, Lollar Imperials, Fralin Unbuckers, & PRS Dragon II's. What am I leaving out?

I play a wide range of music through several rigs (Dr. Z Maz 38/Port City, Divided by 13 FTR37, Mesa Road King II, etc). Probably more P&W than other stuff, but I do some studio work and occasional live gigs with other styles (ambient, R&B, Jazz, Funk, Rock, etc.). Let me know what you guys think are good options and thanks in advance for the help!
 

Trego

Member
Messages
1,035
I don't have an answer but I am in the same boat as you, for two CU24's.

So I wanna see what people have to say.
 

Baba

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,526
I've always been a fan of Duncans, so I put a JB/Jazz set in both my 24's (Navarro and Cu24), and I love them.

I think pickups are a "try and see" type of thing. I can tell you how much I like mine, and what music I play, and what gear I use, but none of that will be the same for you.
 

mcbprs

Member
Messages
70
PRS's new 5x pickups are very good 53 & 57s are vintage (PAF) sounding 59s have a bit more gain, they are all available in 4 conductor versions or if you are in Europe try BareKnuckle pickups their Mules are a great PAF style pickup and they have lots of hotter versions which can be ordered in 2 or 4 conductor versions.
 

johnmfer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,087
Are you comparing your PRS to your strat and finding the PRS is darker sounding? Or in other words, are you playing with the band with the strat (with your amp dialed in for the strat) and then switching to the PRS and finding the tone doesn't cut through as well?
 

erniestrings

Member
Messages
79
Are you comparing your PRS to your strat and finding the PRS is darker sounding? Or in other words, are you playing with the band with the strat (with your amp dialed in for the strat) and then switching to the PRS and finding the tone doesn't cut through as well?
No, it's not necessarily just comparing it with the strat. I can dial in the amp and get it to sound good, but i have to specifically dial it in a bit brighter than with any other guitar i've used. This is also true when comparing it with Les Pauls and other humbucker equipped guitars as well. It's not drastically different, but enough to bug me. It's substantially duller sounding than the stock pickups that were in it, but I always felt like those were a little thin. I sound point out that I don't hate the sound i'm getting from the BB's, I just don't love it. I really love the guitar though, so i want to find the pickups that gonna really make it shine...
 

Gemari77

Member
Messages
30
PRS's new 5x pickups are very good 53 & 57s are vintage (PAF) sounding 59s have a bit more gain, they are all available in 4 conductor versions or if you are in Europe try BareKnuckle pickups their Mules are a great PAF style pickup and they have lots of hotter versions which can be ordered in 2 or 4 conductor versions.
My thoughts exactly... My 2011 Custom 24 sounds amazing stock. I think it's the best sounding out of all 7 PRS I've owned previously.
 

johnmfer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,087
No, it's not necessarily just comparing it with the strat. I can dial in the amp and get it to sound good, but i have to specifically dial it in a bit brighter than with any other guitar i've used. This is also true when comparing it with Les Pauls and other humbucker equipped guitars as well. It's not drastically different, but enough to bug me. It's substantially duller sounding than the stock pickups that were in it, but I always felt like those were a little thin. I sound point out that I don't hate the sound i'm getting from the BB's, I just don't love it. I really love the guitar though, so i want to find the pickups that gonna really make it shine...
It is probably just the pickups then. I don't have any experience with BB Pros. I did have a BB3 for a while that was pretty bright. But, some guitars are just darker toned.

So, I'll echo the 59/09 recommendation, haven't used the 57/08s or 53/10s but I liked the 59/09s I had in a Mira for a while (wish that was still in my collection). They had a nice output and provided a nice range of frequencies, definitely nothing missing form the equation, and nothing in overabundance. Either that, or go with the Fralins, they were my go-to pickups for a long time, especially when I had a lot of guitars.
 

RSRD

Member
Messages
4,972
I tried many different sets of pickups in my 99 CU 24 before I came to the conclusion that Wolfetone Dr V in the neck and Wolfetone Marshallhead in the bridge suited the guitar best. Thats my conclusion based on testing. Optimally you can buy a few sets find whats right for you and sell the others.

Good luck.
 

erniestrings

Member
Messages
79
Thanks everyone on the input. I'm still trying to figure out which ones to get, so any details and specifics on the pickups would really help. What do you like about them? How do they translate tonally? I realize that something like pickup selection is a very personal choice, and ultimately it's up to my ears and how they respond to my hands, etc. What i'm looking for is how the pickups you've experienced effected you. In my experience, products that create passionate followers (ie Klon, Timmy, Divided by 13, etc) usually have those followers for a reason. They make great products. So what humbuckers found THAT sound to your ears??? That's what i'm really curious to find out...


I tried many different sets of pickups in my 99 CU 24 before I came to the conclusion that Wolfetone Dr V in the neck and Wolfetone Marshallhead in the bridge suited the guitar best. Thats my conclusion based on testing. Optimally you can buy a few sets find whats right for you and sell the others.

Good luck.
Thanks RSRD for the suggestion. What kind of music do you play primarily? Can you describe some of the tonal qualities of the Wolfetones? I've heard a lot of good things about their pickups but i've never had the pleasure of actually using them...


PRS's new 5x pickups are very good 53 & 57s are vintage (PAF) sounding 59s have a bit more gain, they are all available in 4 conductor versions or if you are in Europe try BareKnuckle pickups their Mules are a great PAF style pickup and they have lots of hotter versions which can be ordered in 2 or 4 conductor versions.
I checked these out a little online, but per PRS, it looks like the 53's are not available in a 4 conductor version. Only the 59's. The 57's aren't available for sale yet. Bummer as they look like great pickups...
 

1973Marshall

Member
Messages
6,865
I never went through all the boutique options nor would I ever want to.

Best options that I found

1) Dimarzio Virtual PAF - LOVED THIS! Great live and in studio! Sadly, never found the right bridge model. Air Zone was too gainy and warm, Air Norton too smooth, Virtual bridge too bright. By the time the Virtual HOT PAF came out, I had moved on. The 36th anniversary might be the ticket.

2) Tried old Gibby's etc - they never quite fit.

3) The winner for 3 - 4 years now has been the Seymour Duncan Alnico ProII neck and Pearly Gates bridge. I had a PG bridge in the neck but it was a little too fiery. Frankly a matched PG set might be really nice. They sizzle but its a cool sound. This was a cheap and sweet sound that has worked.

Then again, I play my strat and LP and this has stayed in a case lol.
 

gulliver

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,279
I tried many in my CU24, too many to list. To me, the neck was the hardest, but am loving the Dimarzio Bluesbucker (put in backwards sounds best to me, it does make a difference since one coil is there for looks). In the bridge, I last tried a BG Bucker dark I had laying around. This is killer, but I do like it best for higher gain tones. With this combo, the in between selections are way better than stock IMHO. I can get some very sweet strat tones and thinner tones better suited for lower gain.
 




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