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PRS with after market pups, What is your opinion

316guitars

Member
Messages
744
Don't get me wrong, I like PRS pups but recently have tried different combos in my CU24. After trying EMGs (ZW), Gibson, (BB2s) Lollar Imperials, and finally a mid 90s set of Duncans (JB/59). I can honestly say the only pair I preferred over stock PRS was.... Wait for it... The Duncans.

I found the EMGs to flat, The BBs were a tad too hormonal i.e. highs too high lows too low. The imperials were almost dead even with the stock PRS set but lower output. This set of Duncans however blew me away. Leaving my rig in neutral is how I tested each (wish I would kept the recording). The Duncans have a much wider "sweet spot" that is lush and organic.

Can anyone else recommend AM pickups for PRS that you have tried?
 

Heinz57Pep

Senior Member
Messages
11,228
I have a Rio Grande BBQ/GenTex set in my CE22. Vast improvement over the stock Dragon IIs.
 

jimmyj

Member
Messages
5,562
I put a set of Duncan '59s in a PRS Singlecut about 10 years ago and I had the same reaction as you. I thought they sounded great.
 

fataxeman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,311
Have you tried PRS DGT pickups in your CU24?

They are hard to find but after having a DGT, but not really liking the neck, I sold the DGT. I bought a fairly "cheap" PRS McCarty with a wide/fat neck, scored a pair of DGT pickups (which are not that common on the used market and NOT sold individually by PRS according to PRS!) and dropped them in the McCarty. It is one slick sounding guitar.
 

316guitars

Member
Messages
744
Have you tried PRS DGT pickups in your CU24?

They are hard to find but after having a DGT, but not really liking the neck, I sold the DGT. I bought a fairly "cheap" PRS McCarty with a wide/fat neck, scored a pair of DGT pickups (which are not that common on the used market and NOT sold individually by PRS according to PRS!) and dropped them in the McCarty. It is one slick sounding guitar.

Long story short yes, I did not include them in the comparison because It was a whole back and to be fair I was not really in the hunt for the "perfect set" at that time. To my ear PRS pups in general are spec'd to simulate other great pups like The JB/59 set or another great example are the 58/08s it's just the real ones always sound better.
 

ant_riv

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,944
I bought my CU22 used and it came with a set of WB Firewaters.
I love them and wouldn't think of changing them.
 

Baba

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,522
I'm not into trying different pickups alot, so i went with a JB/Jazz setup in both my 24's, sounds MUCH better than the stock HFS/VB.
 

JUS1BEER

Member
Messages
251
I have a cu 24 that I put Harmonic Design Z90's in years ago still my main axe. Very good for blues, southern rock, country, heck whatever. Kind of jangly but always crisp n clean, but can growl with the right pedal.
 
Messages
12,082
I had a SC 245 I got in a gear swap here. It has a set of Tom Holmes(H450/455). An exceptional guitar. I traded it to another GPer for a mint condition 1993 PRS(I have the Les Paul). The SC still sounds as close to a vintage LP as you might think. The guy who has it now likes it too.
 

sws1

Member
Messages
12,202
What was your reaction?
I liked it. The McCarty pups are very mid-rangey / narrow. These pickups really broader the frequency spectrum. The Custom 5 was hotter than I typically play, but in a low wattage amp, like a Dr Z MAZ 18, I could get it break up much earlier. If was as if the Custom 5 is like a 59, but with the amp volume turned up louder. No congestion in any position.

Gigged with it for a few years. Very flexible.
 

Taller

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,894
I liked it. The McCarty pups are very mid-rangey / narrow. These pickups really broader the frequency spectrum. The Custom 5 was hotter than I typically play, but in a low wattage amp, like a Dr Z MAZ 18, I could get it break up much earlier. If was as if the Custom 5 is like a 59, but with the amp volume turned up louder. No congestion in any position.

Gigged with it for a few years. Very flexible.
Exactly my reaction with the same set in my McCarty and thru my Maz Jr. Ended up swapping the C5 for a bridge '59 and stuck with that for a few years. Now, all my PRSs (Except my '89 Cu24) are loaded with Tom Short pickups. I understand he is no longer winding, as he has some serious health issues.
 

Yer Blues

Member
Messages
9,004
I picked up a CE 22 awhile back that has the Dragon II treble/bass pickups in them. I think they sound pretty good. Will I change them out? Who knows. For now, I'm pretty happy with the pickups.

I like the 59 as a neck pickup, but I don't like it in the bridge. JB gets a bad rap some of the time online, but I like it. Not a fan of the Custom 5 or the Pearly Gates. A lot of it could come down to the guitar (wood) they were in and also my ears/state of mind at the time.

Unless I'm forgetting something, I don't have first experience with any other after market humbuckers. If I wanted to swap out the Dragons I'm not even sure what I would look at.
 

ce24fan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
937
kinda of a PRS purist here. i personally think each model is matched with the pups it was designated for. sure, i'd prolly consider putting dragon IIs in a CU 24, but that's as far as i go.

YMMV, IMHO, WDFA

(chuck takes a quick sniff of the cork......)
 

FlyingVBlues

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,217
I have a CU24 that came with 59/09’s, which sounded dull and lifeless. I tried a set of Dimarzio 36s which I didn’t care for. I ended up installing a set of Skatterbrane BenWabrane's, which sound killer in my guitar.
 

Lewguitar

Senior Member
Messages
5,663
My opinion? I had to put a set of Tom Holmes pickups in my PRS Custom 22 and also change the wiring to a 3 way selector switch and master volume and tone before I loved the way the guitar sounded plugged in.



 

Pole With Soul

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
112
In have a Custom 22 (1995) that I changed to McCarty switching and also installed a WCR Godwood (when they were still known as Goodwood) in the bridge with a Duncan '59 in the neck. Huge improvement over the stock Dragon I's.
 




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