Should I change the pickups in my PRS?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by squeally dan, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. lbw

    lbw Member

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    If you really like that single coil sound, how about popping a Lindy Fralin P92 or Twangmaster split-single in the neck or both positions?
     
  2. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    I disagree with it needing a hotter pup. The hotter pups I used (jb/jazz (A2/A5's were tried)), were muddy when the volume was turned down. They sounded great on 10, but that was it. It works good for those that don't use the knobs on the guitar to clean up the sound, for me it was bad. I also tried a CC (now in my strat) and it had the same problem. Even tried different cap tricks and no dice.

    I think D2's are a very well balanced pup for the guitar (they are about 9K). Not to say there isn't something better, but I haven't found it yet.
     
  3. Sniper-V

    Sniper-V Member

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    I have a C5/AIIP with the 5way in my CU22 and it rocks!

    I have been looking into WCR BlackMagics too...
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I don't have any problems avoiding mud with the volume rolled down on the CCs in my PRS, or the Duncan Distortion in my Strat. That's not a problem with whether the pickup is right for the guitar or not - you just need to find the right cap and/or resistor values for the treble-pass network. IMO most if not all higher-output pickups need them. You can even get great rolled-back tones from really high-output pickups like the SD Invader, if you use the right values.

    FWIW, the stock PRS value of 180pF is too small really - it only passes the extreme top-end, leaving the sound both muddy and shrill at the same time. Larger values don't actually pass more top-end, it's that the effect goes further down into the upper mids, where you need it for definition. I have 680pF (on a 500K pot) with the CC and 470pF (on a 250K pot) with the DD.

    I feel PRSs tend to sound too thin with a vintage-style bridge pickup. Actually I don't even like vintage-style pickups in the bridge positions of Les Pauls or other thicker-sounding guitars either, so maybe it's just me... :)

    Of the Duncans, I'd probably go for a Pearly Gates neck, with a Custom 5 bridge - the '59 can be maybe a bit too bright/bold in a PRS Custom... that's why I have the PG in my Custom but the '59 in my Standard (with CCs in the bridge of both, I just like that pickup, but it's probably too dark for what you're looking for). You would get a good hair-metal tone from a Custom, a Duncan Distortion or a Screamin' Demon - which is not quite as high-output as its name suggests - but they don't do classic rock as well IMO. I find the JB a bit too compressed and nasal/squawky usually.

    The clips on the Duncan website are actually pretty good, well worth a listen, even though you don't really get the context of what guitar they're in.
     
  5. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    I'll have to look into changing the cap values.
     
  6. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    This weekend I really enjoyed gigging with my PRS. It feels better than any of my other guitars. I just think my SRV strat sound clearer and more defined. I really think a pick cahnge is in order. The Seymour Duncans sure would be a cheaper alternative compared to the smaller pu operations I have been looking at. I just can't decide.
     
  7. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    Would a JB possibly work better thatn the Custom Custom in the bridge position?
     
  8. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    Anybody else reaplce the pickups in a standard 22?
     
  9. Tone

    Tone Member

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    John Phillips,
    What applications do you use the CustomCustom for, and what PRS do you have it in?

    I was reading on the Duncan forums and it was said that the CustomCustom can do EVH throughout the years pretty well. Definately what I was looking for besides going with the '78 from the Custom Shop. I was also looking for just a nice all around rock bridge pickup that's got nice EQ all around, and neck pickup that's smooth and fat, but can get a little nasty if it needs to. How would you expect the CustomCustom to sound in the bridge of a CU24?

    And for the whole combo, CC/APH-1 or CC/Pearly Gates sound good? After reading that the Duncan pickup most like the HFS is the Custom or Custom5, I kind of want to stay away from that. I enjoy that chewy A2 magnet tone too.
     
  10. GuitarGuy510

    GuitarGuy510 Member

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    I had a set of HFS/VBs in my PRS CE-24 and HATED the sound until I swapped both the pickups AND the tone pot and capacitor. I upgraded with an RS kit. If you're going to swap the pickups, go all out and get a good capacitor as John suggested. I'm a huge fan of the Hovland capacitor offered by R.S. Guitarworks, I have them in all my guitars! :cool:
     
  11. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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  12. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    The only PRS that I've ever really liked the sound of as offered is the Santana model, so I say do it up.

    PRS makes a great guitar. Not my cuppa, but certainly a great guitar. The pickups are the weak link IMHO...but that holds true for a number of companies.
     
  13. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    What about the SD Phat Cats? Would that get me closer to a good single coil sound. I play mostly R&B and funk.
     
  14. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    John I have great respect for your opinions. I'm no elitist--I use regular old D'Addario strings, whatever guitar cords, Boss pedals, Dunlop pedals, etc. My views are based upon my experience only. I DO think that Lollar and Harmonic Design and others ARE producing better pickups than any similar Duncan product I've tried. And I've tried many, but not all--plus we all want to hear something different. The Duncan pickups I've tried in the last 5 years reminded me more of PRS pickups than anything else---the reason for my comparison. Heck, Duncan and PRS even work together on P-90's--and I don't like them. Duncan does make some terrible pickups IMO (lil 59, custom soapbar, hot soapbar, hot rails, etc), and probably some good ones I have not tried. I've not tried a bad HD or Lollar yet.

    Sorry if I offended you, but please don't label me or my opinions.
     
  15. Impulse 101

    Impulse 101 Member

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    I've been running a set of EMG's in my PRSi for several years. I use an 89R in the bridge and a 60 in the neck. They sound great and improved the tone a ton. The HFS that was shipped in the bridge of my CE24 was microphonic and I always liked the 85/89 in the bridge so I went with the most versitle combo of EMG's I knew. Most guitarists are very suprised when they find out that it has EMG's since everyone seems to thing that all EMG's sound like the 81, which is one of my least favorite pickups of all time.

    For passives I would actually look at some of Suhr's humbuckers. I use the DSH+ in the bridge of my Suhr and it's a damned fine pup. It's actually got a medium output and it cleans up better than any other passive humbucker that I've played. I use the series/parallel option instead of splitting it, as per John's suggestion and I'm so happy that he made the case for that vs. a regular split, it's far better and it doesn't hum a bit.

    JT

    P.S. The Duncan Custom or the Custom V are my favorite pups in their line. Both great pups, the V is a little warmer than the regular Custom and I could use either depending on the sound of the guitar.
     
  16. Mrgearguy

    Mrgearguy Member

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    If you change the pickups it will make my stock, unmodified PRS worth more in the future. But seriously, just enjoy each guitar for what it is rather than trying to make one guitar into something it isn't.

    This is the first law of relationships... learn it now or be forever dissatisfied
     
  17. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    I understand what you are saying, but if the guitar plays great but the pickups sound muddy, why not try a change? I have been playing this guitar as is for almost 10 years. I think it can be even better. And how would that raise the value of your guitar? I can always put the original pickups back in.
     
  18. Impulse 101

    Impulse 101 Member

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    No offense, but this is possibly the worst advice I've ever heard. Why settle when you have a great guitar with pickups that you don't like? Sell the whole thing instead of spending a little more on pups, that's just dumb. Screw resale value, you either play it or you collect it. If you play it then you need to make it work for you.

    I've changed the pups in my CE24 twice, not bad in just under ten years. When the I need something that the present pups won't do I'll change them out again. I'm not in love with the guitar, it's not a relationship, it's a tool.

    JT
     
  19. Mrgearguy

    Mrgearguy Member

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    What I'm getting at is that the PRS may have tones that you have not found yet by matching it with pedals, amps or adjusting the settings on your amp. I understand that if you only have one guitar, or two... you need those to work well with your "standard working tone" in which case my suggestion is wrong for you.

    I have many guitars, some of which I wouldn't use as my first choice "got a gig tonight" guitar. But, in the studio, they are invaluable in that they offer different sounds for different tracks. If there was only one "good" guitar sound, then it might be a different story, but because the guitar is such a wonderful and versatile instrument many sounds can be "good."

    I recently turned on a fellow player to the idea of using the neck pickup on his Tele with the tone control turned way down. I showed him (a Tele player for 20+ years) how by turning the amp on full treble and his guitar on full bass, he could get some new awesome sounds. In return, he showed me some picking techniques I hadn't considered for rock/blues playing, and had always considered "country." We both walked away better for it.
     
  20. voodoochile

    voodoochile Member

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    To tag on this thread with a related question... I am considering WCR's in my PRS Custom 24. Does RS make a hopped up wiring kit for PRS... and idea? Does it make a noticable difference?
     

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