PRS Pickup Recommendation Needed

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by glaswerks, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. glaswerks

    glaswerks Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a 96' PRS CU 24 since it was new. It is a great playing guitar but I have never been knocked out with the tone. It has the Vintage Bass and HFS bridge pickup installed. It has a very middy, honky tone. What I want are pickups with good output and a wide tonal spectrum.

    A couple of year ago, I removed the 5 pole switch re-wired it like a McCarty (with coil tap). So I need a pickup that can be tapped.

    So any great recommendations on a set of replacement pickups for this guitar?

    Thanks,
    Gary
     
  2. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    I have a CU22, I just put a JB and Jazz in it, it starts off pretty bright, but gets a bit muddy, when I roll back the volume. I just got info on a trick to run the treble cap from the volume pot to the tone pot to fix the problem, but I won't get to try it till tonight.
     
  3. DiGeorge

    DiGeorge Member

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    I don't know if this would be in any help for you but I replaced my stock Draggons with SD Alnico II and Pearly Gates - recommended by guys from this board. I am very happy with the combo! It gives me lots of clarity when I need it. When overdriven I can get blazing shine out the Gates. I play the guitar primarily clean though.

    It depends on the style(s) you are playing too. Hope this helps!
     
  4. tone4days

    tone4days Member

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    i recommend seymour duncans .. an alnico II pro in the neck and a JB in the bridge ... i cannot over emphasize how versatile this set can be for clean, gritty, crunchy, and singing tones ... never too muddy, never too shrill ...

    i am also very happy with the 59n / C5b set ... but it is more suited to a warm/bluesy/classic rock thing (which is exactly when i use that guitar) ... not quite as wide a tonal pallet as the AIIP / JB, imo

    i am very happy with this set

    good luck
    t4d
     
  5. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    PRS Artist PU's are very open sounding, and don't have the mid honk of the ones you have. I like 'em alot, and recently spec'd out having a private stock CU24 made with them in it. They split well, too.
     
  6. Marty s Horne

    Marty s Horne Member

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    +1 on the Artist pickups. I had them in an Artist (of all things) and they were very warm and fat sounding; a very smooth and vintage sounding humbucker.
     
  7. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    It depends on the tones you're after. If you want something with a real vintage vibe and don't play with real high gain, the Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers are a good choice and are available at a reasonable cost. They're not potted, which is both the good and bad news. (Sound great, but may squeal at high gain/volume.) Other great choices are anything Jim Wagner (WCR) makes. Lollar Imperials are also really great pickups in a PRS. There are countless threads on this topic, so do a search and take advantage of the archives. You'll find more than you could possibly want to know! :BEER
     
  8. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    Update, the change works, but it's going to take some getting used too. I've decided I really don't like the JB/Jazz combo, to bright and glassy. I'm just ordered a bunch of Alnico II mags to replace the V's in the JB/Jazz. I think this will do the trick read below as to why.

    I put a V in a Custom Custom in my strat before I figured out that the problem was the 250K pots. After I switched the pots, I thought the pup was bright and glassy. Tonight I switched back to the Alnico II in the Custom Custom and it rocks. Great tone! Much better.

    The V's produce a more buzzy scooped sound, where the II's are much warmer and fatter.
     
  9. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I agree - I tried a Jazz/JB pair in my Cu22, and found they both were too bright and upper-middy - the jazz had that glassiness and 'clang', and the JB too much squeal and squawk. I swapped them for a Pearly Gates neck and a Custom Custom (both Alnico II magnets), and couldn't be happier. This is the best combination I've heard in a maple-top PRS.

    The CC is very midrangy, but the peak is lower down and it works very well with the naturally bright sound of the guitar. Both pickups also split very well - the CC sounds surprisingly almost like a Tele bridge or even a Rickenbacker pickup. I prefer the PG neck to the Alnico II, which I personally find a bit thin-sounding.
     
  10. oscar100

    oscar100 Member

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    wcr crossroads neck, darkburst bridge and rs guitarworks wiring dows it for me in my mccarty BLE
     
  11. glaswerks

    glaswerks Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks to everyone who responded. I will review the comments and see if I can find a set from the comments that will fit what I want to hear. Otherwise out the door she goes.....

    Gary
     
  12. mlavin00

    mlavin00 Member

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    I have Fralins in my Cu24 and it sounds freakin' amazing. My guitar "guy" also coil tapped them so the guitar now has a number of different yet "usable" sounds.
     
  13. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    I'm pretty sure that I'll like the pups better when I switch the mags.
     
  14. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I'll be very interested to hear what a JB sounds like with an AII magnet - I've never tried it. The CC is already very high-wound for an AII pickup, but the JB is even hotter (16.4K vs. 14.4K). That should mean the resonant peak is a bit lower... maybe not far off Invader territory :).

    (I love the Invader BTW - in the right guitar - it's a much-maligned pickup, one of the few ceramics I like. It's not as much of a mindless brute as it looks, it actually cleans up very nicely with a treble-pass cap on the volume control, and splits well. I've got a spare one lying around that I'm hoping to find a beat-up PRS CE or something to stick it in ;).)

    The Jazz might end up not far off the Alnico II, it's about the same coil spec.
     
  15. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    I've thought about this. How does the resonant peak affect the sound?
     
  16. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    The lower the resonant peak, the darker the tone. It's pretty much the 'characteristic frequency' of the pickup, and is more important than the DC resistance - although the two are related because the more turns a pickup has, the more resistance (assuming the same wire gauge), but that also increases the inductance which lowers the peak frequency.

    Magnet strength and type matters too, and affects both the frequency of the peak and its width, or how 'focused' the pickup is. Alnico II gives a lower, broader, softer peak than Alnico V and ceramic a higher, narrower, harder one.

    So although a JB has more turns and DC resistance than a Custom Custom, it also has an Alnico V not Alnico II, so the peak ends up slightly higher and narrower, and it has an aggressive, focused tone whereas the CC has a beefier, thicker tone with a slightly lower peak.

    Putting an Alnico II in a JB should result in a pickup with a slightly lower peak than the CC, with very slightly more output. It may be a little too muddy though - the CC can be in some guitars anyway, and so can the Invader, even though it has a ceramic magnet.
     
  17. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Don't over look the many options put out by Dimarzio.

    I recent changed out my Dragon II's in my Custom 22. In the Neck I ended up with an EJ Custom *bridge*. It's great, much more treble/clarity than a standard PAF type. For the Bridge I put a PAF Classic, which is great too. Both these pickups have nickel covers and both have a nice open, balanced sound (think plenty of treble, not an emphasis on any particular bass/mid/treble frequency). They also have great coil tapped tones.

    They are a marked improvement over the Dragon II's, for not a lot of money. There main vintage style designer, Steve Blutcher is highly respected for coming up with innovative ideas.
     

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