• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


PRS EXPERTS Please Help AGAIN!!!

anthony541

Member
Messages
94
PRS Experts please help again!! Still on a GUITAR QUEST
So I bought a brand new PRS 20th anniversary Custom 24 it’s a ten top, HFS, Vintage bass pickups, Tremolo, 5way rotary, so right after playing this guitar on my MESA BOOGIE Express 5:50 I did not like the tone what so ever, “WAY TOO THIN, TOO TREBLY” not a smooth rich sound, I was hoping for a Carlos Santana tone? So my questions are what if I trade the guitar for a top notch custom 22 with the dragon II pickups or what if I change the pickups on my custom 24 to the dragon II pickups would that get me that “fatter smoother richer tone” or closer to Carlos Santana’s tone? Another thing have any of you change the 5way rotary to just a 3way toggle (neck, both pickups, treble) would that change the tone on the pickups since its got five different tones to choose from? I just don’t like the fact that I need t,o move three times in order to get to either bass or just treble pickup? Believe me I tried finding the sweet spot on that new PRS custom 24 but no luck!! So my last option is either new pickups (dragon II’s or Santana’s) new guitar (Custom 22) or just stop kidding myself and put an end to this?????????
Mesa Boogie Express 5:50
05 PRS Santana Se
Boss Digital Delay (DD7)
Ibanez Tube Screamer (TS9)
 

SyKrash

Member
Messages
877
Imho, you're not really going to get that sound with that amp and guitar my friend.

The 5:50's lead channel is already thin enough on it's own, no matter what type of guitar you use. (I own one, I'd rather use pedals through the clean channel).

As for the PRS, have you tried it through other amps? If it sounds thin through other amps then you might consider tweaking the guitar itself. But before that, ask yourself:

Does your PRS sound loud acoustically?
Are you using 10s/11s?
Have you got it set up by a good tech?
Is it a trem or a stoptail?

Properly addressing the above things really turned my PRS tone around alot. My Custom was completely stock, never changed a thing on it. Now, keep in mind I wasn't specifically hunting for the Santana tone. I just liked PRS's because they were very comfortable to play and used humbuckers.

Fyi. I used a '94 PRS custom 22 through a 5:50 or a DRRI for a couple years and I got a tone that I liked and was satisfied with for a long time.

I used an AC+, FullDrive 2 and other random overdrive pedals without ever using the burn channel or using the contour (Again both worthless imho). Samples upon request.
 

John C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,338
I don't have experience with the Express 5:50, but I did briefly have an Express 5:25. I know you're getting a good tone with your SE, but I found the tone controls to be kind of difficult to get dialed in, particuarly the treble control. All of the tone knobs were a lot "twitchier" on the Express than on the DC-3 I owned back in the late 1990s, and by "twitchier" I mean just barely adjusting the knobs on this amp made really significant changes in the sound. Back when I was really into PRSi I really liked both the CE -24 (1992 alder with maple top model) and the 2000 CU-22 with the DC-3.

In the end I didn't like the Express as well as other amps with my guitars (primarily an EBMM Silhouette Special with 3 single coils) and returned the Mesa for a refund.
 

guitarstan

Member
Messages
677
Experiment, experiment, experiment. It is a money pit for most of us and causes many failed marriages. Your guitar probably isn't the problem, I suspect it's the amp. Take your guitar down to your local boutique amp store and play thru a few different killer amps....that should tell you something.

Also take a long hard look at your signal chain....any cheap pedals in there? How about cheap cables? Or problematic cables, pedals etc. Basically what I'm trying to get at is this....."Everything matters". Pup windings, quality control the day they made your pups, guitar setup, string guage, on and on and on. If you want to be a serious guitarist you have to learn your craft and develope a complete skill set or you'll never compete with those that do.

:huh did that make sense? ;)
 

anthony541

Member
Messages
94
Experiment, experiment, experiment. It is a money pit for most of us and causes many failed marriages. Your guitar probably isn't the problem, I suspect it's the amp. Take your guitar down to your local boutique amp store and play thru a few different killer amps....that should tell you something.

Also take a long hard look at your signal chain....any cheap pedals in there? How about cheap cables? Or problematic cables, pedals etc. Basically what I'm trying to get at is this....."Everything matters". Pup windings, quality control the day they made your pups, guitar setup, string guage, on and on and on. If you want to be a serious guitarist you have to learn your craft and develope a complete skill set or you'll never compete with those that do.

:huh did that make sense? ;)
Yeah! I have checked all my stuff, I'm using gorge L's the amp is new so I don't think I should go trough more amps I'm just looking for a sweeter fatter tone close to santana the cu24 does have that fat tone I think?
 

SyKrash

Member
Messages
877
Yeah! I have checked all my stuff, I'm using gorge L's the amp is new so I don't think I should go trough more amps I'm just looking for a sweeter fatter tone close to santana the cu24 does have that fat tone I think?
We are not suggesting you buy a new amp. Read the posts above, we're suggesting that you ISOLATE the problem by eliminating all the factors in your tone.

Tone is made up of:
Guitar
Amp
Pedals
Signal Chain
Fingers

Everyone's telling you to take a look at this one step at a time.

Isolate your guitar by playing through different amps. If your guitar still sounds thin no matter what amp you plug into, then your guitar is the problem.

If it sounds fine, then you move on, test your amp with different guitars. Etc. etc.

You're begging for help, but I suspect that you're really hard set in your ways and not taking the great advice that has already been given above.

Just my 2 cents.

Like I said, I had the same exact rig as you and got a good fat tone but it didn't come overnight, it took alot of research, alot of trips to multiple stores to test the right pedals and cables and most of all, alot of patience
 

andy888

Member
Messages
368
I really think its the amp. My CU24 sounds good through every amp I play it through but you have to tweak especially with Mesa's. Just keep tweaking, use pedals, EQ and overdrive, you'll get close but you wont get it exactly with this setup IMO.
 

thetone

Member
Messages
198
I'm nailing Carlos with an old original Mesa Mark 1 and an Altec 8c speaker.

My PRS is a 1997 CE24 with Fralins in it - but any good humbuckers should do it. I just thought the stock PRS pups were a little muddy.

Preferably - you need to play LOUD and get those 4 6L6's burnin' like he does. The Altec is another very important element to capturing the nuances of his tone.

But as has been said - it's the sum total of many different things - starting with touch, strings, neck pup and all the way to the speaker.

And a pic of Sri Chimnoy on yer amp probly doesn't hurt either!

Good luck my friend!
 

JUS1BEER

Member
Messages
251
I have had CU-24, 10 top, since 95 and it had been a love/hate thing except for the last year. What I heard acoustically was not what I was getting through my amp. I went through all the wiring, 5 pup changes, amps etc. Here is what I ended up doing to mine and it has become my main guitar and I am very happy. This is not to suggest that you do THIS it worked for me and my style. I changed to Harmonic Design's, Z-90 PUPs, 3 position toggle switch and I am happy. The neck postion is killer, the bridge pup took tweaking but killer now.

My suggestion, like others have stated is to start with your amp. Your PUPS (your stock pups are very good) will react just like your pedals to what you are feeding them from the amp, clean to dirty and all in between, this also affects your tone. I know this is elementary but very important. The only Mesa I had was the old SOB, which sounded very good with the cu-24 and stock pups. I would add a little to medium dirt, with a lot of head room on the amp, and use my guitar turned down, very little treble on amp, medium mids on amp, and bass on amp below middle a bit. With a distortion peddle and a compressor I was able to dial in the singing leads. What I got was when guitar was turned down to about 3-4, semi clean, when you turn the volume up you want it to get not so much louder but dirty with out turning to mud, or you want the amp to squat. You will have to tweak the tone controls on everything to dial in but it can be done, oh and also your distortion pedal does not need much distortion...hoped this helps. This may help...the owners manual on the SOB said if you turn bass and treble controls down to 2 and gain way up and volume to 3, you can use your mid control like a volume control, this actualy worked for Santana like sound. They stated that that Carlos liked to turn his treble and bass down on his amp and control everything with the mid control, I don't know but it worked with my Mesa.

Good luck...you have a great guitar, it just takes time:BEER
PS: you might want to adjust your bridge PUP a little farther from the strings then you think.
 

jcoggins7

Member
Messages
1,196
The Express is not a thin sounding amp, unless you have it at really low volumes or you have a tube issue. Make sure you turn it up loud enough to get the tubes cooking. They are tweakers' amps though, so make sure you spend enough time trying to tweak it...you've got tons of controls to work with, including the contour knobs, etc. The HFS pickups can be on the brighter side of things, but that shouldn't be a big deal. Dragon II pickups aren't going to help you out either. Something more PAFish or the Santana pickups should help you out some, but I think the majority of your problem is in how you're setting the amp. Here's my advice:

-use the Blues channel, not the clean, crunch, or burn channel
-turn the contour off or have it rolled to the least modern side (I believe that would be the far left)
-set your controls to G=10 o'clock, T=12 o'clock, M=2 o'clock, B=10 o'clock
-turn the master as loud as you can take it
-turn on your Tubescreamer but set it for not too much "gain" and not too much "tone"
-adjust both the amp controls and TS controls to taste, but mildly, and using your ears, not your eyes
-try both the neck and the bridge pickup
-try turning the tone knob on the guitar down (I figure you're probably using the bridge pickup wide open)

Hope that helps
 

SantanaMan909

Member
Messages
35
We are not suggesting you buy a new amp. Read the posts above, we're suggesting that you ISOLATE the problem by eliminating all the factors in your tone.

Tone is made up of:
Guitar
Amp
Pedals
Signal Chain
Fingers

Excellent point. Assuming you are trying to get the Santana tone from, say, "Smooth," or other current songs, are you actually trying to play those songs? How you play something can make a huge difference.
 

Red Suede

Member
Messages
2,829
Try a Boss GE7. It's a good, cheap pedal equalizer that might help with that problem. i got to watch Carlos rehearse when one of my friends was in the band, and all the controls including the equalizer were dimed through that one Altec speaker. We'll never get to play that loud.
 




Trending Topics

Top