Pickups similar to PRS 85/15?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by V-P, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. V-P

    V-P Member

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    I recently got a PRS 30th Anniversary model (a Fatback 24 Wood Library with an ebony fretboard) and it truly is an amazing guitar.
    What stands out the most about it are the pickups. Wow! These are hands down the best pickups I have ever played. They are super clear, super dynamic and super balanced. They are bright but not harsh or brittle. They have a tight and very present low end with lots of definition. They sound great clean but still loves extreme amounts of gain and are as tight or tighter than any high output pickup I've tried (I'm in to all kinds of metal). And while they are on the modern side of a PAF, they still have a very organic character to them.

    I've tried lots of pickups but nothing I've tried comes close to the 85/15s. I have a set of DiMarzio 36th Anniversary PAFs in a PRS Standard 24 (they replaced the HFS/VB combo originally in that guitar) that I previously considered to be the most versatile pickups I own and while they are still a great set of pickups, they don't handle gain nearly as well as the 85/15s.

    So, does anyone have a suggestion on a set of pickups that might be similar to the 85/15s?
     
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  2. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd Frikkin genyus Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a custom Artinger guitar that's built and ready to be shipped next week. Matt Artinger generally uses pickups by Bill Megela/Electric City. I like the PAF-style pickups he winds for Matt quite well, but I like the 85/15s that are in my most recent (umm, well, second most recent as of the other day) PRS so much that I brought that guitar to Pennsylvania and had Bill meet me at Matt's shop so he could hear and measure them in order to come up with something as similar as possible.

    Funny enough my playing style and musical tastes couldn't be farther from metal, but I would describe the 85/15s pretty much the same way you do.

    Anyway, I'll know next week whether Bill was able to match whatever that secret sauce is that PRS put in the 85/15s.
     
  3. DrewH

    DrewH Member

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    I believe the Duncan Custom 5/Jazz set would be sonically close.
     
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  4. V-P

    V-P Member

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    I'm very curious about the specs of these as well, I would love to know what he comes up with!
     
  5. V-P

    V-P Member

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    Ok, I've only tried the regular custom and from what I remember it's not too close. But the Custom 5 is supposed to be very different so maybe. Have you played both the 85/15s and the Duncans?
     
  6. mooncobra

    mooncobra Supporting Member

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    [ThTE="V-P, post: 21858248, member: 60642"]Ok, I've only tried the regular custom and from what I remember it's not too close. But the Custom 5 is supposed to be very different so maybe. Have you played both the 85/15s and the Duncans?[/QUOTE]

    The custom 5 bridge is definitely similar in tight bass response and bright without being harsh. The custom 5 is my favorite Duncan. I like/play rock/hard rock and both the 85/15 and custom 5 are great for it. I got a custom 24. 30th anniversary model with the 85/15 and they are awesome.
     
  7. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    From all I've heard, the PRS 53/10s are close to the 85/15s, but no easier to find as they were discontinued due to the now permanent unavailability of the wire. Apparently it was sprinkled with some magic dust which is gone forever.

    I still see them offered on ebay from time to time, but the price is somewhat high. IMO, the 53/10s offer even a bit more clarity and definition, with perhaps a hair less output.
     
  8. bettset

    bettset Member

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    i had the 53/10's. they came with a prs i bought used. the neck pickup is awesome. just an incredible tone no matter what while playing with the volume and tone controls. paul i think found old wire and what else to make them. once he ran out of the old stock materials he had that was it for the 53/10's. the bridge is a bit thinner than other prs humbuckers, but still a cool tone. i sold them as a set. they are very good pickups. i'd say the hype about them is fair since they do have what prs advertised them to be. i'd agree on the clarity, definition, and the bit lower output. i put the guitar's original pickups back in and those prs pickups were more my flavor :munch
     
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  9. Mincer

    Mincer Member

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    This would be my choice as well.
     

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