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Thread: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

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    Junior Member thez0rk's Avatar
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    Default replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    I'm looking to replace the pickups in a recently acquired Santana SE. I rather enjoy how the guitar plays and think the sound is pretty good, but I need more extreme tone for an upcoming project that I'm working on. I'm planning on going with a Duncan Distortion in the bridge (which I use in another guitar and love) but I'm not sure what to put in the bridge. I'll actual need want to get a nice clean tone at times, so I'm not for sure what to use for a neck pickup. I was looking at the P-Rails, which I thought would be nice for splitting off the rail pickup for getting clean tones...but apparently the P-Rails are recommended to be used in pairs.

    Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated

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    Cheesesteakologist phil_104's Avatar
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    A few members will surely come by with better opinions, or more informed ones than mine, but I can tell you what I have been contemplating to put in my prs for a few months now.

    I got to try a PRS last month that was used at the store, but had a phat cat in the neck. The thing sounded smooth, could get nasty, and still cut through the mix pretty well. I would check out that option.
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    Junior Member thez0rk's Avatar
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    Oh, yeah, that Phat Cat could be a good option. Thanks!

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    Ultimate Tone Member jafo's Avatar
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    The Phat Cat did wonders for mine (first edition, hardtail), but the hum drove me crazy, alas, so it had to go. Still, you're in for a real treat if you can deal! A PC can sing, sting, scream, wail, crunch, funk, float like a butterfly, smash like Thor's hammer... well, you get the idea. lol

    I've currently got a JazzN in the neck and a Custom 2 in the bridge. The Jazz doesn't work for distorted tones, but it lets me get some excellent Hendrixy Strat and jazzbox tones/feels; it responds superbly to delicate and subtle movements of your freting hand. The C2 shouldn't work, since both the pup and guitar are midrangy (mud-rangy?), but I get great golden greasy slabs of 70's goodness, and a singing tone that really works for me, and it's also great for EVH tones. I love the tonal versatility of this combo; I get silvery tones in the neck, and golden in the bridge. I tried a C5, and although it was wonderfully natural, it just doesn't sing for me, and sounds too similar to the Jazz.
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    a phat cat could be a good option - i have an SE soapbar II with a mini-sized super D in the bridge and a tonerider H90 in the neck and that's a very good combo IMO; certainly works for me
    don't see any reason why you couldn't put a P-rails in although i've not had a chance to try em yet
    a 59 could be cool; other guys have posted about putting 59n or PGn in the neck of similar PRSs
    a PC/DD combo in that guitar would howl though...
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    +1 for the phat cat. if you find it to be too rounded though(stock magnets are a2/a2), alternative magnets are the way to go.
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    Lotta love for the chubby feline! Now if we could just get it to stop purring so loudly...
    "I don't like the real world. I have to live there, and it sucks. It's drab, it's dingy, quality control is a f*cking joke, A-cups are far too prevalent, nobody can fly and all the dinosaurs are dead!" -- The Game Overthinker

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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    IIRC, the SE Soapbars have a Vintage P90 in the neck and a Custom P90 in the bridge, or variants thereof. Killer, killer tone... makes me rethink ceramics. Hmm... maybe I'll try an A2/ceramic mix in my PC one of these days.
    "I don't like the real world. I have to live there, and it sucks. It's drab, it's dingy, quality control is a f*cking joke, A-cups are far too prevalent, nobody can fly and all the dinosaurs are dead!" -- The Game Overthinker

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    Junior Member thez0rk's Avatar
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    I suppose I could always have another portly feline wandering around the house. At least this one won't claw up my leather ottoman...

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    Junior Member thez0rk's Avatar
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    But, yeah, after giving a listen to the Phat Cat sound samples, that may just be what I'm looking for. It'll make a nice contrast to the DD. Who says you can't have dynamics on a metal album

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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    Quote Originally Posted by jafo View Post
    IIRC, the SE Soapbars have a Vintage P90 in the neck and a Custom P90 in the bridge, or variants thereof. Killer, killer tone... makes me rethink ceramics. Hmm... maybe I'll try an A2/ceramic mix in my PC one of these days.
    I'm pretty sure this only applies to the American models, while the SE Soapbars have Korean PRS copies... no Duncans there. Correct me if I'm wrong though
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    Cheesesteakologist phil_104's Avatar
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    Quote Originally Posted by thez0rk View Post
    But, yeah, after giving a listen to the Phat Cat sound samples, that may just be what I'm looking for. It'll make a nice contrast to the DD. Who says you can't have dynamics on a metal album
    Good choice friend! I am currently in the thinking phase of swapping the pups in my CE24 maple top. The DD is still an option for me, matched with the PC, but a C5 is also something I am considering.

    Let us know when you get the new neck pup, as pics will be required.
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    Hmm... ya know, you're probably right about the knock-offs. I'm pretty sure I stand corrected. Sorry!
    "I don't like the real world. I have to live there, and it sucks. It's drab, it's dingy, quality control is a f*cking joke, A-cups are far too prevalent, nobody can fly and all the dinosaurs are dead!" -- The Game Overthinker

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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    Quote Originally Posted by super rad ska View Post
    +1 for the phat cat. If you find it to be too rounded though(stock magnets are a2/a2), alternative magnets are the way to go.
    +1.

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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    Quote Originally Posted by alex1fly View Post
    I'm pretty sure this only applies to the American models, while the SE Soapbars have Korean PRS copies... no Duncans there. Correct me if I'm wrong though
    Per an email from PRS to me, they said the SE soapbars were "lower output versions" of the SD/PRS soapbars.

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    John Mayer's Mankini ImmortalSix's Avatar
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    I have a PRS SE Soapbar and they are not Seymour Duncan P90s.

    Anyways, big +1 on the Phat Cat (or if you want more bawls, go for a GFS Mean 90!)

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    Junior Member thez0rk's Avatar
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    Default Re: replacement pickups for a PRS Santana SE

    I went with the DD (a red one!) and a Phat Cat...the phat cat is still backordered at MF...so waiting for that to ship. Hope it gets here soon as I'm recording at the end of the month...

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