PRS string spacing??

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Fretmaster, Dec 19, 2004.


  1. Fretmaster

    Fretmaster Member

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    What is the string spacing on PRS's. Is it F or Fender spacing or standard Gibson spacing? Is it the same for the both the trem and non-trem models?


    Thanks, Steve
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    It certainly isn't Fender spacing. Fender is 2-3/16" (56mm) E-E at the bridge, PRS is 2-1/16" (52mm). That's for a trem model, anyway - I think the stoptails are the same.

    I'm not 100% sure about Gibson, I don't have one here to check, but I thought it was 2".
     
  3. Fretmaster

    Fretmaster Member

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    Crap! That sounds wider than Gibson too. I guess I could measure my LP to see for sure. I am looking to ditch my Dragon I's and don't know which spacing pickups to buy for this thing. That will really stink if it's some proprietary spacing and I can't get any decent replacements that will match.:mad: :confused:
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    It doesn't matter.

    I have standard Gibson-spaced pickups (Seymour Duncans) in both my PRSs, no problems at all. The Es don't pass over the center of the polepieces, but they do pass over them, and I can't tell any loss of volume as a result... and I'm very picky about that, I reckon I can hear the difference in a half-turn of polepiece height sometimes.

    The E-E spacing is very slightly narrower - around 1/32" - on the SDs than the original PRS pickups, which I know because I put the covers from the PRS pickups on the SDs, and had to just shave the edge of a couple of the holes to make them fit.
     
  5. Fretmaster

    Fretmaster Member

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    Gibson spaced it is then! Thanks for the help John. :)
     
  6. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    Jim Wagner's pickups fit perfectly in my Custom 22 stoptail. What kind of a sound are you looking for? I replaced my Dragon I's with Goodwoods... these pickups are perfectly mated to a PRS in my opinion, and can pretty much fit the bill for any style shy of heavy heavy metal. Great rock 'buckers, and they coil-split into singles AWESOMELY with the McCarty conversion kit from Roy at RS Guitarworks (HIGHLY recommended if you don't dig the 5-way rotary). This axe blows me away every time I pick it up now.
     
  7. Fretmaster

    Fretmaster Member

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    I would love to have a set of Wagner's Goodwoods! Those ARE killer pickups. And yes, I hate the 5 way rotary on my C22. It's too much of a hassle to find the right notch on the fly when playing live!:mad: But I sure do love the feel and inherent tonality of the guitar. Very warm and resonant. I'm sure with the right low output PAF style pickup I'll be right where I want to be.:)
     
  8. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    For sure Fretmaster! It was killing me that my cheap ES-335 w/ Wagner Crossroads (a $450 investment for the guitar including the price of the Wagners I dropped in) had become my axe of choice over my beloved $2K+ PRS, but that was the reality. Obviously the PRS was a higher quality instrument, but the tones with the Dragon I's just weren't there, and the electronics package was driving me nuts.

    Now all those woes are in the past, and my beloved PRS is back to being my #1 axe. You should definitely get that kit from rsguitarworks.com no matter what pickups you go with... It was super easy to install. Call and talk to Roy, and he can work you through it. You need a wood rheam to make the rotary pot hole just ever so slightly bigger to accomodate the 3-way toggle, but work from the back, slowly (it takes all of 5 minutes), and you'll have no problems. If you ever want to go back to the rotary, all you'd need to do is put some teflon tape or dental tubing around the post of the rotary pot to fill out the hole a little bit. Just as a side note, I'd skip the option high-pass circuit that comes with the RS kit... Most good 'buckers retain enough highs on their own when used with good in-spec 500k pots, and the high-pass circuit just cuts out the great low end.

    As far as pickups, as you probably know, the Goodwoods are just slightly hotter than PAF-style, with a thick singing tone when overdriven that can get nice and greasy when you dig in with your pick attack. Still, they clean up even better than PAF-style buckers when you roll back your guitbox volume control, maybe because of the fact that they're wound just slightly hotter.

    For the lower output PAF thing the Crossroads may be more to your liking... or the new Darkbursts that everyone seems to be raving about, which are just a touch hotter than the Crossroads (man, I'd like to try a set of those!). I doubt you could lose any way you go!

    Sorry about the mini-review... I got excited! (as I always do when talking about Wagners and PRS's ;) )
     
  9. Fretmaster

    Fretmaster Member

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    I really appreciate all the info.! It's sounds like the Darkbursts may just be what the doctor ordered for what I'm looking for. Thanks again for low down.:)
     
  10. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    You got it man... glad my rambling helped somebody for a change! If you get those Darkbursts though, you gotta post a full review! :dude
     
  11. mofinco

    mofinco Member

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    The stop-tails are the same. My McCarty measures 2-1/16" E-E.

    Gibsons measure slightly less - I've got 13 Gibson/Gibson-replica type guitars, and they measure either 2-1/64" or 2-1/32" depending on how the individual cut the bridge saddle slots.

    My F-type guitars (three strat-types and one Tele) measure from 2-5/32" to 2-7/32" E-E. Two of the strat-types have full-size hummers in the bridge position, and one has a Duncan Trembucker and the other has a normal Duncan. As mentioned above, normal-spaced pickups work fine with wider-string spacings. The magnetic field projected up from the pole pieces isn't limited to the exact width of the poles. Even if it was, a tweak of the two E strings adjustable poles will compensate.

    I use a Duncan Trembucker in the bridge position of my McCarty, which measures 2-1/16" center-to-center on the pole pieces. They're perfect for a PRS. Late-model Gibson "bridge" pickups measure the same. Normal Gibson pickups, and all of my 50+ normal Duncans measure 1-15/16" center-to-center on the poles.
     

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