Anyone have a 408?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by banditcosmo, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. banditcosmo

    banditcosmo New Member

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    I tried to search but you can't search for 408, too short.
    Anyway, I ran across a used 408 for a good price but I won't be able to play it before purchase and I've never played a 408. I already have a custom 22 so I'm wondering if a 408 would be different enough to buy? How is the pickup system different from a PRS with coil taps? I really don't need another guitar but it's hard to pass it up.
     
  2. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

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  3. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul New Member

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    I don't own one (only because it's not 24 frets) Pickups sound great and I think you'll enjoy the pickup and coil switching. If its a good price should be a win win. Nice thing I think that's better than push/pull tone is you can leave the neck pickup on sing coil and bridge pickup on full hum, and switch back and great for soloing. 8 total pickup sounds vs 6 with tradition push/pull tone and three way toggle.
     
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  4. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

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    The 408 pickups split differently from standard humbuckers.

    In HB mode, the slug coil is tapped to make a balanced humbucker.
    In split mode, the screw coil is disengaged and you get the full wind of the slug coil.

    The result is a fuller, more natural single coil sound with very little volume drop.

    I haven't played a 408, but I've played a Paul's. The narrow 408 pickup is one of the best I've heard. Strong output but with fantastic clarity. I found myself wondering if it might not have enough difference between split and full.

    Depending on the configuration of your CU22, they could be two very different beasts.
     
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  5. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    Yep. Nice guitars and pickups. Downside is not swapping the pups out if you don’t like them.
     
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  6. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    I have a Paul's Guitar. I also have a CU22. They are very different guitars. The pickups on the Paul's are amazing, and allow me to have single coil tones that are a still meaty. I LOVE the bridge HB/neck SC configuration.
     
  7. Bowtiefanatc

    Bowtiefanatc #NeverGibson

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    I had one, played amazing but I hated where the switching was for some reason. Beautiful sounding/playing guitars though.
     
  8. Huggy B

    Huggy B Fascinating!!! ....... but highly illogical.

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    This is the main factor on these instruments. I own a 408 and used to own a CU, the 408 does few more different tones with it's tone shaping coil switches, so if you like all the subtle nuances that brings, it's a good swiss army knife kinda thing. I wanted to use it as a workhorse guitar that I could do fusion and fake some jazz stuff off the front PU. The neck pup wasn't round enough a tone to pull it off on the jazz stuff and I wasn't able to swap it out due to the shape and PRS doesn't make alternatives so I plan to sell.

    For blues, R&B & alternative I think it excels, and it rocks almost to the metal zone, so it's very versatile, just not in the jazz area for me.
     
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  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I love the 408 pickups, and have had three PRSes with them. They’re beautifully clear and articulate, and by using the switches, volume control and tone control, I can do an awful lot with them.

    The whole point of buying a guitar with 408 pickups is, well, having the 408 pickups! I don’t understand why anyone would buy one with the idea that they might need to swap them out. The guitar’s functionality is designed around this pickup.

    As with any guitar, if you haven’t played one first, you could spend the money and decide you don’t like it. That’s a risk you take if you buy before try.
     
  10. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    As an old jazz guy, I think the only way you can get "that sound" is with an archtop of some kind. If I'm playing a solid body, it's all PRS. If it's at all jazz, I reach for the archtops. /having said that I sometimes play with a jazz group called the Philtones in Baltimore. It's Tele, my SAS, alto sax, tenor sax, electric bass and drums. We don't do the old stuff.
     
  11. Huggy B

    Huggy B Fascinating!!! ....... but highly illogical.

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    It (that sound) can be done on a solidbody, I've seen it done many times and I have pulled it off myself a few. It just has to be the right guitar & PUs and a 408 isn't one.
    Granted, a hollow body does it better, but it can be done.
     
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  12. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    As I stated above, I like 408s. However, some of us do tend to trade occasionally in the aftermarket. Potential buyers are limited because some might really want the guitar, but want different pickups. To say “the whole point” of buying a 408 is for the pickups is not a universally true statement. It may be your whole point, but it might not be for everyone. It’s no secret that I sometimes buy for figured wood (especially if extraordinary). Maybe “guitar purists” call that blasphemy, but it’s still my choice. And others may have their own reasons.

    The assertion that you need to play it first or take the risk is problematic. Play it first where? In the vendor’s showroom? With the vendor’s Amp? At home in your bedroom? With your full band? What about with a newly introduced model? How many played the silver sky before they tried one? How many times have we played through our rigs and thought we had the holy grail tone until we duplicated it the next day and it didn’t sound as good? And sometimes our tastes simply change.
     
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  13. banditcosmo

    banditcosmo New Member

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    Well I ended up buying the 408 I was looking at. It was on Amazon and was being sold as used from a 3rd party vendor but is being fulfilled and shipped by Amazon. They listed as excellent condition so we will see. I paid an extra $20.00 to get it shipped overnight so I should have it tomorrow. Very good price for it compared to the used prices I've seen these listed at. Plus Amazon gave me 24 month 0% financing.

    Here's a pic from Amazon:
    No idea if this is the exact guitar or not. It had a pic with the back of the headstock and the pic is a 2012 PRS 10 top. It will be really interesting to open the case up to see what's there. I sure hope this is the guitar I'm getting but hey I can always return it.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. toothace

    toothace At least I'm good at dentistry

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    I respectfully beg to differ. The 408 IS named the 408 because of the pickups, as is the 513, and the 509, the Narrowfield, etc. I think by definition if someone is buying one of these models, they are doing so to have those pickups. The pickups define the model. If I knew I didn't like the sound, I personally wouldn't buy one of these models knowing it wouldn't be played as is, and it would require a router to fix it. Why not simply look for another model with better pickup swap options, or one I knew I liked the sound? YMMV I totally get that the esthetic of the guitar can be just as important as the tonality(why else would I have been taking the last 2+ years to plan my PS?:confused:)
     
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  15. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    Re-read my post. That may be YOUR reason and others may buy for that reason. However, anybody can buy anything for whatever reason they want. And people do buy things for different reasons.
     
    #15 11top, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  16. toothace

    toothace At least I'm good at dentistry

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    I get your point, but why would someone want the guitar so badly knowing the difficulty ofreplacing the pickups( or any part for that matter)? What if I really like the VW Beetle but like the way a Cadillac engine sounds? How much do I have to like the Beetle to move forward with purchasing it? Why not get another car instead, that I know will fit the motor and still meets my esthetic needs?
     
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  17. grausch

    grausch New Member

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    I was going to say this thread needed more pics, but then I saw you already went above and beyond to ensure that we get some decent pics tomorrow! All I can say in my fake English accent is “Good job, old chap.”

    Enjoy the guitar. I enjoy having the neck split and the bridge on HB. Great overdrive tones and then with a flick of the wrist, you get great clean sounds. Also fun to play in the middle position and have one of the HBs split for some interesting tones.
     
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  18. banditcosmo

    banditcosmo New Member

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    I've never replaced a pickup in a guitar or bass and I'm not really interested in doing so. I have no idea if a replacement pu would be better or not.
     
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  19. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    How did you test drive your 408? Was it at home? At the store? With a band? I've played a guitar at home through my amp and thought I had the greatest tone. Then, I took it to band practice and thought "WTF"?

    Also, I've sold a bought and sold a LOT of guitars. I've sold a 408 where I've had the response, "I'd buy it if it had different pups." And THAT was what I stated was the downside in my OP.
     
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  20. toothace

    toothace At least I'm good at dentistry

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    Bought it sight unseen, first real test was when I got it home. I think I saw PRSh play one at a clinic, I certainly watched every video available at the time(2013). Never in a band so me and my basement say it sounds great \m/. I've sold/traded a handful of guitars, only one of them a PRS(to get the 408). I'm not trying to argue or create controversy! I just want to understand!:)
    Was this a matter of the person wanted a guitar, you had one that happened to be a 408, but they didn't like the pickups so they passed? Did they go buy another model in a similar color/top with different pickups?( I know you have a massive PS collection...that's a completely different argument;)) All I'm saying is...why is anyone considering buying a guitar if they don't like the way it sounds, when PRS makes many other models available in the same colors, tops, and various pickup options?:D
     
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