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Thread: PRS OEM pickups opinion?

  1. #1
    Senior Member shredi's Avatar
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    Default PRS OEM pickups opinion?

    Hi. What’s the general consenus on PRS OEM pickups? Especially intereted on the 5708, 5909, 8515 or the tremonti model.
    From what I’ve read they significantly improved their pickup design in the late 00’ starting with 5708.
    How do they compare with aftermarket pickups like SD, BKP, Dimarzio, etc. ?
    Which PRS bridge model work best with high gain?

    I’ve revently bought a used CU22 which came with BKP Mules. I’m looking for something a bit hotter in the bridge, and IMO the neck Mule is a bit flat/bland I suspect due to alnico IV magnet. The split tone is so-so because the neck magnet isn’t reversed.
    So I’m thinking of either selling the mules and order a set from BKP or SD CS with reverse neck magnet, or just buy OEM PRS pickups.
    Last edited by shredi; 07-20-2019 at 06:10 PM.

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    Junior Member vexed73's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRS OEM pickups opinion?

    I like the 85/15 but dont thinl it is special enough to pay thise prices. I would look at duncan, dimarzio, or BG. Better selection and a lot cheaper especially used.
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    Default Re: PRS OEM pickups opinion?

    The old pickups are good too, just not as low output. If you favor a more PAF type of design than modern PRS pickups are a better choice. Older PRS pickups are higher output. Overall still my favorite OEN pickups.


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    Mojo's Minions eclecticsynergy's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRS OEM pickups opinion?

    57/08s and 59/09s are really, really good PAF-type humbuckers, some of my favorites. But they are rather pricey.
    The 59/09 is slightly overwound compared to the 57/08; it has a bit more mids and attitude.

    I agree the old 80s-era PRS "T&B" pickups are fantastic with gain; they have excellent definition, nice tight punch, and they clean up very well with the volume knob. Their clean tones can be downright crystalline thanks to the unusual slug coils. These are great modern-voiced pickups. Unfortunately they sell for sky-high high prices.

    However, PRS produced a reissue "1985" set using the same design. These can still be found; there's a NOS set on eBay. I put a 1985 reissue set into a '95 PRS and it sounds very close to the '87 that's been my favorite for more than thirty years.

    That said, there's nothing wrong with a nice set of Duncans. The 59/Custom Hybrid is hotter than vintage output humbuckers like the Mules yet not overwound enough to sound congested or to feel overly comporessed. And it splits really well.

    It would help to know what kind of tone you're looking for, and whether this particular guitar's sound tends towards being bright, dark, or middy.
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    Default Re: PRS OEM pickups opinion?

    I just got a CE24 yesterday with 85/15s. Now, I only had about 15 minutes with them, but currently I would describe them as good, not great. Granted, this could be b/c I'm not used to the bolt-on maple neck (which plays freaking awesome). I'll spend some time dialing in the heights/poles and then live with them for a few weeks before I make a decision, but they might get replaced by some WLHs I have sitting around. Maybe I'll end up loving them, but right now I can't see anyone spending the $300+ it would take to buy a set. The split tones are quite nice, though that's probably more due to the partial-tap wiring than the actual pickups.

    I haven't tried the 57/08 or 59/09, so my only comment is that I hear really good things.

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    8 strings of madness! JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRS OEM pickups opinion?

    If you’re after good split tones, I’m really happy with DiMarzio in general. The neck & bridge Ionizer 8, Imperium 7, and PAF7 all sound great split individually and combined. The regular series tones are awesome, too.

    In the past, I loved lots of Duncan series humbucking tones, but always thought the split tones were weak.

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    Senior Member shredi's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRS OEM pickups opinion?

    Thanks for the input! After a while I’ve grown to really like the Mule bridge. I tried several higher output pickups in the bridge: evh frankenstein, dimarzio paf pro, dominion, transition, duncan tb5, they all have nasal, annoying midrange honk in this particular guitar. The mule bridge is the only one which that midrange comes through nicely. I only wish it has a bit more output and low end grunt, but so far I can compensate with the amp gain.

    Now I’m going to replace the neck pickup with something with less output and more clarity. I’m thinking bkp stormy monday, but I guess I’ll try removing the mule neck pickup cover or reverse the pickup orientation (screw coil toward the bridge) and see if that helps. I also have a duncan antiquity jazz laying around, will give it a shot before ordering the stormy monday.

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    Tone Member Big Mike Blues's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRS OEM pickups opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by vexed73 View Post
    I like the 85/15 but dont thinl it is special enough to pay thise prices. I would look at duncan, dimarzio, or BG. Better selection and a lot cheaper especially used.
    I'm a huge PRS fan.
    And I completely agree.

    They're much much better, but not worth 200 each.

    I'd go with calling MJ and ordering something, or perhaps a stock set of duncans (where I always land) the BKP's will bring back some decent $$ to offset.
    Playing:
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    Tone Member Big Mike Blues's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRS OEM pickups opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by eclecticsynergy View Post
    57/08s and 59/09s are really, really good PAF-type humbuckers, some of my favorites. But they are rather pricey.
    The 59/09 is slightly overwound compared to the 57/08; it has a bit more mids and attitude.

    I agree the old 80s-era PRS "T&B" pickups are fantastic with gain; they have excellent definition, nice tight punch, and they clean up very well with the volume knob. Their clean tones can be downright crystalline thanks to the unusual slug coils. These are great modern-voiced pickups. Unfortunately they sell for sky-high high prices.

    However, PRS produced a reissue "1985" set using the same design. These can still be found; there's a NOS set on eBay. I put a 1985 reissue set into a '95 PRS and it sounds very close to the '87 that's been my favorite for more than thirty years.

    That said, there's nothing wrong with a nice set of Duncans. The 59/Custom Hybrid is hotter than vintage output humbuckers like the Mules yet not overwound enough to sound congested or to feel overly comporessed. And it splits really well.

    It would help to know what kind of tone you're looking for, and whether this particular guitar's sound tends towards being bright, dark, or middy.

    the old T&B's are fanastic under gain, or processing (Think 80's guys..Paul was really going 'mid forward' with the tone and carving out a niche).
    I've had several. I still have an original Grissom spec T in the bin....but they're 11-12K and hotter than I go for now.
    I have a DGT I'm about to put 59's in cuz I"m having trouble getting what I want out of the stockers. Whichj are good, but not my 'flavor'. Could use a little more articulation out of both positions.

    the old #10 PRS were good too, and I liked the Artist models. The McCarty's were only OK. 59's killed them.
    Dragon 2's not bad, dragon 1's very good but hot. #7's meh.

    The newer stuff is quite good if not 100% in my wheelhouse.

    Love my two PRS guitars though.
    Playing:
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    Marshall, Greer amps, Metroamp Home Builds
    Duncan Favorites: SM3, 59's, Sat Night Specials....
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  10. #10
    Mojo's Minions eclecticsynergy's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRS OEM pickups opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by shredi View Post
    Thanks for the input! After a while I’ve grown to really like the Mule bridge. I tried several higher output pickups in the bridge: evh frankenstein, dimarzio paf pro, dominion, transition, duncan tb5, they all have nasal, annoying midrange honk in this particular guitar. The mule bridge is the only one which that midrange comes through nicely. I only wish it has a bit more output and low end grunt, but so far I can compensate with the amp gain.

    Now I’m going to replace the neck pickup with something with less output and more clarity. I’m thinking bkp stormy monday, but I guess I’ll try removing the mule neck pickup cover or reverse the pickup orientation (screw coil toward the bridge) and see if that helps. I also have a duncan antiquity jazz laying around, will give it a shot before ordering the stormy monday.
    Have you tried lowering your neck pickup waaaay down? That can sometimes be just the ticket for neck humbuckers - especially with a vintage output pickup at the bridge.
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