Would 3 of same guitar but with different pickups sound too similar?

I've found guitars that i really like and just seem to play easier than anything i've had before - PRS SE, both with trems. I've got one loaded with Dimarzio Eric Johnson pups, and a new one that will have a Duncan Custom installed and coil tapped in the bridge position. Now i'm considering selling my Agile Les Paul for yet another PRS SE, either a 3 single coil model or another 2 humbucker model which i'd put a more traditional PAF type humbucker into. Do you think that with the different pickups i'd have enough tonal variety, or are different guitars a must?


personally, if i was gonna add another SE. id get a soapbar model, since you already have 2 with buckers, itd get you some different tones

Tidewater Custom Shop

Performance Enhancing Guitarworks
Silver Supporting Member
I have 3 strats, all with 3 single coil configs - Fralin H/SRVs in one (.047uF cap), Lollar BFs in another (.022uF cap), and Dimarzio Virtual Vintage in another. They all sound different to me. Bright, warm, hot...


I find that there are tonal difference even between 3 of the same guitar with the same pickups.
Go for it
Thanks for the replies guys, now i don't feel so crazy. Not gonna go for a Soapbar model though, no trem on those plus i don't wanna deal with the noise. So, anyone selling an SE with a trem? :dunno

Drowned Rabbit

Black Beauty Beats Burst
I have 5 Les Pauls, all
with different pickups.

'59 Murphy - WolfeTone Legends

Custom Shop Custom - WCR IronMans

R8 VOS - WolfeTone MarshallHeads

Quilt top/Korina back '59 Spec - WCR IceBuckers

R6 GoldTop - Lindy Fralin P90's

They all sound amazing, and
they all sound different than
each other.


Id have to say that it comes down to what you think "too much alike" really is. I can tell major differences in the same guitar. even ones with consecutive serial numbers. On the other hand, i have a friend that plays and he cant tell the difference in the sound of a first act and an explorer. Id have to say that if it were me, id try it out for sure. Depends on how versatile the guitar is. I have a schecter that i can get one specific tone, more of less, no matter what pickups i use, and i have a jackson that changes drastically depending on whats in there. it all comes down to you, and if you can hear the differences, it falls on whether or not the guitar is versatile.

Having said that, id go with the humbucker model and throw a Seymour Duncan '59 model in the bridge, or for a hotter sound, a Seymour Duncan model '78. Both are P.A.F. based, and have incredible tone, harmonic response, and with just a little volume adjustment on the guitar, you'll go from clean to full throttle.

If you cant hear much of a tonal diversity, id go with another guitar.

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