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Prs tone experts!!!!

anthony541

Member
Messages
94
PRS 20th anniversary custom 24
HFS Treble pickup and Vintage Bass Humbuckers 5 Rotary switch
“TONE QUESTIONS”
So I just bought this brand spanking new PRS guitar that has been sitting in its case since March 2006 it’s a ten top custom 24. My question; is it me or just the guitar? The tone I’m getting is a “thin” sound, but I want a smooth rich little thicker sound how can this be possible? I’m playing the guitar through a Mesa Boogie Express 5:50, I’m also using my Boss digital delay (dd7) and my Ibanez tube screamer (TS9). My 2005 PRS Santana Se has a bit thicker sound not so light or thin compared to my new PRS 20th anniversary custom 24, I had both guitars professionally set up with 11 gauge strings both using Pure Blues, I love the way my Santana Se sounds but my new PRS custom 24 feels like its playing on just the treble pickups. Please let me know if this is normal, for the guitar to sound real light almost if was just playing on treble? I did try messing with adjusting the tones, and turning up the bass on the amp but I’m still getting that real Light sound. Please PRS experts help me out, is it normal for the guitar to sound too thin? Thanks!!
 
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MCG

Member
Messages
380
realityczech-

You might try raising the action a little higher than PRS' factory specs. I have owned both a CE24 and a McCarty, and found that raising the string height just a bit brought out more bottom in the guitars over all tone.

PRS sets there string height a little low for my taste, and bringing it up just a little higher should deepen the tone of the guitar. But it doesn’t help; I would suggest you pass the guitar on and pickup another (PRS).

Also keep in mind that a 24 fretter will has less bottom than a 22 fret guitar, due to the length of the neck.

MCG
 
Messages
955
realityczech-

You might try raising the action a little higher than PRS' factory specs. I have owned both a CE24 and a McCarty, and found that raising the string height just a bit brought out more bottom in the guitars over all tone.

PRS sets there string height a little low for my taste, and bringing it up just a little higher should deepen the tone of the guitar. But it doesn’t help; I would suggest you pass the guitar on and pickup another (PRS).

Also keep in mind that a 24 fretter will has less bottom than a 22 fret guitar, due to the length of the neck.

MCG
That is the strangest explanation I've ever heard :huh
 

kingsxman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,872
You may want to try the birds and moon forum also. More PRS experts on there than here...
 

Bankston

Member
Messages
16,141
A thin tone is a sure sign of too much treble and not enough mids.

Cranking up the bass will not thicken it up. You need to find the sweet spot for the mids.

Either roll off some of the treble with the tone knob on the guitar or do it on your amp, especially if you use a lot of gain, and adjust the mids on your amp.
 

heavysoul

Member
Messages
928
is it a hardtail or does it have a trem?

i had a trem custom 22 and i found that it was lacking a bit on the mids. on the other hand i have a McCarty(hardtail) with lots of mids and a strong bottom.
 

Atmospheric

Member
Messages
3,866
I'm surprised it sounds thin with .011s.

My experience has been that even with .010s, PRS neck pickups are very boomy and muddy. They sound great with .009s.

I wonder if the coil cut switch might be broken. The tapped single coil sounds on PRS's definitely sound the way you describe. Does that work?
 

Poppa Stoppa

Member
Messages
2,224
PRS 20th anniversary custom 24
HFS Treble pickup and Vintage Bass Humbuckers 5 Rotary switch
“TONE QUESTIONS”
So I just bought this brand spanking new PRS guitar that has been sitting in its case since March 2006 it’s a ten top custom 24. My question; is it me or just the guitar? The tone I’m getting is a “thin” sound...
It's the guitar, or more exactly the pickups. For my sins I have a PRS Custom 24 with those exact same pickups. I don't play it much because it is too trebly. Mine has the 'sweet switch', so no tone control.

If you have the time, money & energy to try different pickups let me know how you get on.
 

AL30

Member
Messages
3,001
I have an older (1991?) CE 24 w/ the same problem. I'm not sure what the pickups are but they certainly are thin sounding. It spends a lot of time in the case. It just doesn't have any "oomph". On a positive note it's great in the studio.

AL
 

anthony541

Member
Messages
94
is it a hardtail or does it have a trem?

i had a trem custom 22 and i found that it was lacking a bit on the mids. on the other hand i have a McCarty(hardtail) with lots of mids and a strong bottom.
yeah it's a tremolo, so have you changed any of the pickups on your prs, the prs customer service sugested changing to dragon II's or I might just purchase a custom 22 to get that fatter smoother tone?
 

anthony541

Member
Messages
94
I'm surprised it sounds thin with .011s.

My experience has been that even with .010s, PRS neck pickups are very boomy and muddy. They sound great with .009s.

I wonder if the coil cut switch might be broken. The tapped single coil sounds on PRS's definitely sound the way you describe. Does that work?
I guess so? all of the pickup selectors work, if i remove the back plates would i noticed if its broken?
 

Miked667

Member
Messages
1
PRS 20th anniversary custom 24
HFS Treble pickup and Vintage Bass Humbuckers 5 Rotary switch
“TONE QUESTIONS”
So I just bought this brand spanking new PRS guitar that has been sitting in its case since March 2006 it’s a ten top custom 24. My question; is it me or just the guitar? The tone I’m getting is a “thin” sound, but I want a smooth rich little thicker sound how can this be possible? I’m playing the guitar through a Mesa Boogie Express 5:50, I’m also using my Boss digital delay (dd7) and my Ibanez tube screamer (TS9). My 2005 PRS Santana Se has a bit thicker sound not so light or thin compared to my new PRS 20th anniversary custom 24, I had both guitars professionally set up with 11 gauge strings both using Pure Blues, I love the way my Santana Se sounds but my new PRS custom 24 feels like its playing on just the treble pickups. Please let me know if this is normal, for the guitar to sound real light almost if was just playing on treble? I did try messing with adjusting the tones, and turning up the bass on the amp but I’m still getting that real Light sound. Please PRS experts help me out, is it normal for the guitar to sound too thin? Thanks!!
How you fix this thin tone is you take your PRS down to your local guitar shop and have them exchange it for a Les Paul. In all seriousness while PRS has it over Gibson on quality, and maches them for playability they just can't match a Les Paul traditional for rich thick tone.
 

Motterpaul

Tone is in the Ears
Messages
13,085
I have the same guitar and here is the thing to remember. On the 5-position switch three of the settings are coil tap (thin sounding by nature). The switch also works "backwards".

When you have the switch turned all the way clockwise (towards the neck) you are on the bridge pickup. This seems backwards because you are turning the knob the opposite direction of the pickups. If you turn it all the way back towards the bridge you are on the neck pickup. These are the only full humbucker settings on the guitar and these will give you the fullest sound. Try raising the bass end of both pickups towards the strings if you want a deeper sound.

On these two settings the guitar should growl and give you a very full sound - especially on the bridge pickup. The three in-between settings are thin on purpose because they are all coil-tap settings. Working from position one (full bridge), the next position is bridge pickup split (single coil), third position is both pickups but in a split-coil tap config, fourth is neck pickup split (single coil), then five is the full neck humbucker pickup. There is no setting for both pickups unsplit.

Now this works fine in my opinion, I personally never use both pickups. I tend to use the bridge pickup for lead almost all the time, but you can get a nice chimy strat-like clean sound out of the middle settings as well.

Pickup height has a lot to do with the tone - and a lower action should make it beefier (closer to the strings) but the overall tone is adjustable by which end of the pickup you raise up the most (towards low or high strings).
 
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Motterpaul

Tone is in the Ears
Messages
13,085
As far as comparing it to a Les Paul, I am right now finding my PRS is my go to guitar over my '93 LP Standard. The LP is just too hot for my amps and gets a "fizzy" sound with too much gain.

The PRS seemed to really sing with my Marshalls - especially fully on the bridge pickup. While the Les Paul sounds too bright and gritty.

It just goes to show that a lot of what people get depends on their amps, speakers and settings. I am right now pretty frustrated with my les Paul sound when I put it up against the PRS. I am on the search for a better pickup. I think there is a good reason Gibson lowered the output of the pickups on the Standards making the BurstBucker Pro II the reference pickup since about 2000.
 

Marty s Horne

Member
Messages
2,894
I had the same guitar and it is a bright instrument partially because of the pickups and partially because it's a 24 fret guitar. The 22 fret PRS guitars I owned were all fatter and warmer sounding. If rolling off some of the treble on your amp and increasing the midrange doesn't do it, you may need a pickup change.
 

Neo

Member
Messages
383
Thread resurrection alert.. I too never got the PRS thang until I found a heavier than usual Custom 24. 8.6 lbs, but feels like its 10, low E sounds like a bass string. Thumps like no sub 8lb PRS I've tried. Darker sounding too, no shrillness at all.

Mine's a 2000 model, so it's made of honduran mahogany. Post 2002 PRSi are of the African variety, which tend to be lighter and probably less wallop'y than the heavy SA stuff.
 

bob-i

Member
Messages
8,766
I agree with the 24 fret analysis. I have a 24 and a 22 fret PRS from the same vintage, mid 90s. The 22 fret is much fatter even on the bridge PU. I think the neck meeting the body at a different location makes the difference.

I can tweak the amp to fatten up the 24 fret but overall I prefer the 22 fret tone.
 

Pax

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,604
I got a 25th Anny 22 a couple weeks ago. Dragon II pickups I think. I love it. Thick sound in positions 1 and 5. Great rhythm and single coil sounds on 2 and 4. I've also had a DGT and think PRS really does a great job with coil tapping. The rotary knob takes some getting used to, but I'm getting it.
 
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