PRS 58/15 vs 85/15 vs 57/08

clay49

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,665
Hi all, I just picked this up:



2016 PRS McCarty, bound fretboard, with this tasty metallic red top, and natural back and sides! However, I'm not too crazy about the pick ups, which are at the relatively new 58/15's. Not sure exactly what it is, but it lacks the "oomph" I'm looking for. I love PAF pick ups, but these are not extremely articulate, almost like the upper mids are missing, and there's not quite as much string articulation.

I am comparing these PRS pickups to 2 sets that I currently have: a set of Duncan antiquities in a Gibson Les Paul mahogany flat top, and a set of Ian Anderson PAF's that I have an a 2001 Baker B1. Both of those ads have good strength and clarity and well balanced tunnel spectrum, while the PRS pick ups are just missing something in the middle, for lack of a better description.

I say all of this to ask this question: how do these 58/15 pickups compare to the 57/08 and the 53/10 pickups, and the 85/15 pickups? Would one of those sets be better suited for what I'm after? I guess I should also say that I play mainly classic rock from the mid 70s to the mid-80s, stuff like AC/DC, 38 Special, Foreigner, Thin Lizzy, and modern worship music that ends up predominantly sounding like the above artists!!!

Thanks for your input
 
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JoeB63

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,586
Haven't played the 58/15s, but I have an MC-58 with 57/08s and it's got a lot of articulation, much more than my DGT. The MC-58 does sound a lot like my LPs, though not exactly the same. That guitar sounds exactly what you'd expect a LP with a 25" scale would sound like, if you know what I mean.
 

lonestargtr

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
246
I recently picked up a PRS Studio and swapped a bunch of pickups until I could find one that had the right top end I wanted. It came with the 57/08 and it sounded like a nice low output PAF but just didn't have any bite on top. I then tried a 59/09 and it was a little hotter but about the same eq-wise. Then I tried an 85/15 and it was hotter and had a bit more midrange but still just didn't cut through like I wanted. I remembered having a Duncan 59 in a Knaggs Kenai I used to own and it sounded great in that guitar so I got a Duncan 59 and that was the ticket. It had a nice clarity and works really well with the narrow field middle and neck pickups. The 59 has a tiny scoop out of the mids but it has a sort of vintage PAF tone with an articulate clarity on top that I didn't find in any of the PRS pickups. My 2 cents, YMMV.
 

MattC

Member
Messages
1,681
If you're sticking with PRS pups, I think the 59/09 would be best for what you're after. I had an MC-58 loaded with them. It sounded great, but not quite as good as my favorite LP with '59 Gibson Tributes.
 

slipbeer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,684
I recall Paintguy posting about his new 594 with 58/25's not quite doing it for him over on Vintage Rocker.

You might want to look him up and see how he feels now that's he's had the guitar for a couple months.

I have a couple of early 2000 McCarties - one has 57/08's and the other has Wolfetone Dr. Vintage and I have to admit I like the Wolfetone's better - more girth for lack of a better word. The 57/08's are really articulate but are not as "oomphy" if that makes any sense.
 

clay49

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,665
I recall Paintguy posting about his new 594 with 58/25's not quite doing it for him over on Vintage Rocker.

You might want to look him up and see how he feels now that's he's had the guitar for a couple months.

I have a couple of early 2000 McCarties - one has 57/08's and the other has Wolfetone Dr. Vintage and I have to admit I like the Wolfetone's better - more girth for lack of a better word. The 57/08's are really articulate but are not as "oomphy" if that makes any sense.
I understand "oomphy" perfectly!!! :aok
 

TheGuildedAge

Senior Member
Messages
13,059
I don't think polepiece and height adjustment will work.

You want a sound the pickups don't excel at. You can't adjust the audio spectrum enough to make these sound like your others.

Although I usually caution changing things without experimentation, I would probably just toss in a set you like, such as your other guitars have, than worry about this too much.

Edit: I have the 85/15 in mine. I find them great rock hard rock, adequate at best for cleans. I am debating a swap myself. They have a thump and lack of clarity I don't like compared to my Dimarzio 36th anniversaries.
 

Bogner

Member
Messages
6,667
Hi all, I just picked this up:



2016 PRS McCarty, bound fretboard, with this tasty metallic red top, and natural back and sides! However, I'm not too crazy about the pick ups, which are at the relatively new 58/15's. Not sure exactly what it is, but it lacks the "oomph" I'm looking for. I love PAF pick ups, but these are not extremely articulate, almost like the upper mids are missing, and there's not quite as much string articulation.

I am comparing these PRS pickups to 2 sets that I currently have: a set of Duncan antiquities in a Gibson Les Paul mahogany flat top, and a set of Ian Anderson PAF's that I have an a 2001 Baker B1. Both of those ads have good strength and clarity and well balanced tunnel spectrum, while the PRS pick ups are just missing something in the middle, for lack of a better description.

I say all of this to ask this question: how do these 58/15 pickups compare to the 57/08 and the 53/10 pickups, and the 85/15 pickups? Would one of those sets be better suited for what I'm after? I guess I should also say that I play mainly classic rock from the mid 70s to the mid-80s, stuff like AC/DC, 38 Special, Foreigner, Thin Lizzy, and modern worship music that ends up predominantly sounding like the above artists!!!

Thanks for your input

I have been down this rabbit hole recently in almost identical fashion. I play heavier stuff than you do at times but I hang in the same camp you do as well. I was/am not impressed with many of the PRS pickups. I have a lot of PRS guitars and every pickup they make. People rant and rave over the 57/08's but to me they are disappointing and somewhat sterile. They didn't suck and did everything decent but nothing to me impressive. The 59/09 is good and of course a lot of it is the guitar etc. I have had real good luck with a few pickups in PRS guitars that are like yours. Bareknuckle Juggernauts gave me the punch and articulation and versatility I was looking for without being too over the top. For the HEAVY stuff I found the Aftermath to be absolutely fantastic! It is great at many things but really excels at the tight, high gain articulate stuff. I was also incredibly impressed with the Nailbomb for more of an organic/versatile option. I put those in a Korina McCarty as well and they are divine for all styles I play in that guitar. The Black Dogs I used had a great punch and articulation without being over the top hot. They are very average output but immediate and really really good. The Rebel Yell has been my dark horse favorite from guitar to guitar and builder to builder. I love them in a Knaggs Steve Stevens as much as I do a PRS McCarty and a Les Paul Custom. I think for what you do and the versatility factor along with coil tapping and volume roll off options I would encourage you to check out the Juggernaut. The Rebel Yell and Nailbomb would be my next suggestion based off my experience.

Another great pickup would be the Suhr Thornbucker Plus. This would be comparable with the Black Dog in output and result if you want something not as hot but still punchy, clear and articulate. Any questions, ask away or PM me and I will do my best to help you. You have a great guitar there!
 

clay49

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,665
Then I'm stumped. Really nice guitar BTW.

Hmmm...not sure I follow why you would be stumped because I use a Kemper. It reacts to the pickups of all my guitars just the same as all of the 45-50 tube amps I've owned over the last 40+ years, only more consistently than said tube amps. In fact, I recently finished a studio project in which I used both actual tube amps and the Kemper, and the sound engineer preferred the Kemper, and said that he would be unable to tell the difference in what was an actual amp/cab/mic generated tone, as opposed to the Kemper, had he not done the mixing himself.
 

clay49

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,665
I have been down this rabbit hole recently in almost identical fashion. I play heavier stuff than you do at times but I hang in the same camp you do as well. I was/am not impressed with many of the PRS pickups. I have a lot of PRS guitars and every pickup they make. People rant and rave over the 57/08's but to me they are disappointing and somewhat sterile. They didn't suck and did everything decent but nothing to me impressive. The 59/09 is good and of course a lot of it is the guitar etc. I have had real good luck with a few pickups in PRS guitars that are like yours. Bareknuckle Juggernauts gave me the punch and articulation and versatility I was looking for without being too over the top. For the HEAVY stuff I found the Aftermath to be absolutely fantastic! It is great at many things but really excels at the tight, high gain articulate stuff. I was also incredibly impressed with the Nailbomb for more of an organic/versatile option. I put those in a Korina McCarty as well and they are divine for all styles I play in that guitar. The Black Dogs I used had a great punch and articulation without being over the top hot. They are very average output but immediate and really really good. The Rebel Yell has been my dark horse favorite from guitar to guitar and builder to builder. I love them in a Knaggs Steve Stevens as much as I do a PRS McCarty and a Les Paul Custom. I think for what you do and the versatility factor along with coil tapping and volume roll off options I would encourage you to check out the Juggernaut. The Rebel Yell and Nailbomb would be my next suggestion based off my experience.

Another great pickup would be the Suhr Thornbucker Plus. This would be comparable with the Black Dog in output and result if you want something not as hot but still punchy, clear and articulate. Any questions, ask away or PM me and I will do my best to help you. You have a great guitar there!
Thanks for the info...I'll check these out. I've also had regular Thornbuckers, but they seemed a bit dark, or covered...maybe the "Plus" version addressed that???
 

Bogner

Member
Messages
6,667
Thanks for the info...I'll check these out. I've also had regular Thornbuckers, but they seemed a bit dark, or covered...maybe the "Plus" version addressed that???

To me they did yes. The Juggernaut, Rebel Yell or Nailbomb is your best fit overall I would say.
 

paintguy

Long Hair Hippy Freak
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,715
Beautiful guitar clay49!

So far I have owned and played the DGT's, 5708's, 5909's, 5310's and the new 58/15's or 85/15's or whatever they are. ;-) Mine are the LT (low turn) version and I find them lacking high end and bite. They are very smooth and kind of bland to me. I've been playing almost daily trying to dial them in and comparing them to my other humbucker guitars and they are definitely their own animal. They don't sound like any other version of humbucker I have ever played and my gosh have I played and owned too many and still do.

I think they would be great for that kind of rolled off, dull jazz tone (I don't mean that in a bad way) but I don't play jazz. They just don't cut or have a real nice high end compared to every other brand I have tried. The others while different have a somewhat similar humbucker tone but these just don't.

I'm trying to embrace them and appreciate them for being different and while I do enjoy them in some respects, I dislike them just the same in other respects.

The verdict is still out for me. I haven't given up yet though. :)

As far as 5708's and 5909's. I much prefer the 5708's myself. I just installed the 5310's in a custom guitar and they are pretty impressive so far. The DGT bridge is awesome if you like a semi hot PAF but am not a fan of the DGT neck pickup. I do believe every individual guitar may yield different results with the same pickups so take everyone's opinion including mine with a grain of salt.

Just so you know, when I refer to others that means Seymour Duncan, Dimarzio, WCR, Bareknuckles, Arcanes, Wolfetone, High Order, Lollars, Holmes etc... You get the idea.
 
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JoeB63

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,586
Mine are the LT (low turn) version and I find them lacking high end and bite. They are very smooth and kind of bland to me.
That was exactly my experience trying a PRS 594 guitar. But you and I seem to be the only people who have found that (and have spoken up about it, at least).

The 57/08s have a lot more bite, though I can definitely see someone not loving them either.
 

clay49

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,665
Yes, I think the terms "smooth but bland" best describe these 58/15 pickups...remind me a lot of the '57 Classics I've owned over the years.
 




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