Mission Accomplished: S2 Singlecut Standard P-90 Mod

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by garrett, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,083
    Likes Received:
    2,800
    It's ON!

    [​IMG]

    More details as the situation develops.
     
    #1 garrett, Apr 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
    grausch, RevBillyG, John Beef and 7 others like this.
  2. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,052
    Likes Received:
    1,257
    Righteous!!!
     
  3. fender1punk

    fender1punk Certified Guitar Hoarder

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    94
  4. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    11,503
    Likes Received:
    11,124
    Yeah baby!
     
  5. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,083
    Likes Received:
    2,800
    Soapbars fit, but not with covers on. That would require a little bit of routing on the bass side of both pickup slots and a bit on the treble side of the neck pickup. To make this mod minimally invasive, I'm going with uncovered soapbars. The set I bought has electrical tape wrapped around the coils, so I'm confident they'll be protected well enough.

    I'm leaving the precision work to more experienced hands. Sending off to Tony at Pickguardian for a custom routed guard:

    [​IMG]
     
    #5 garrett, Apr 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  6. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,083
    Likes Received:
    2,800
    Sophisticated test pilot rig:

    [​IMG]


    I was eager to get a listen to these pickups, so I did a lovely temporary install. To describe the tone in a word: BEASTLY. I really can't believe PRS hasn't done this yet on the S2 Standard series. P-90's and mahogany just seem to go together.

    I wanted to keep initial investment low, so I took a gamble on a sub-$40 set of Artec soapbars. They have Alnico 5 magnets and lower output so I expected the brightness would pair well with this darker sounding guitar. I was right. It cuts, great clarity, not too much push, but the fatness and edge are still there.

    Oddly, the neck is higher powered than the bridge. I was reading 7.0k bridge and 7.5k neck. I'd swap them around, but the neck pickup has a narrow 48mm pole spacing so it won't work well in the bridge. I'm embracing the quirk since the originals would've been hit or miss in this department. At least I've got RWRP. Right now the poles of the bridge pickup are sitting about 2.5mm from the strings while the neck pickup is at about 6mm. They balance quite well this way and sound unbelievably good for the price. I look forward to refining the heights once I permanently mount them after the new guard comes in.

    So far I've been Goldilocks when it comes to P-90's. In other guitars I've had:

    PRS SE
    Vintage Vibe
    Dimarzio VP 90 and DLX 90
    Kent Armstrong Stealth 90

    I tend to like low to mid output pickups, so the first three ended up being to hot for my taste, while the Armstrongs were too polite. It's looking like the low to mid 7k is my sweet spot for P90s. These Artec have all the qualities I look for.

    It's going to be fun to experiment with the four controls. I'm already loving the middle position with the neck volume rolled back a bit; adds some extra girth compared to bridge alone. Plus I have a couple tricks up my sleeve for the push/pull pots.
     
    #6 garrett, May 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
    grausch, Johnny and xjbebop like this.
  7. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,083
    Likes Received:
    2,800
    I'm not one to leave push/pulls unused. I could just drop in a couple of normal tone pots, but that's no fun, so thanks to Deaf Eddie I'll be doing this:

    [​IMG]

    This will give me series or parallel, in or out of phase. Not entirely sure how useful the tones will be, but it'll at least be fun blending the sounds with the dual volume controls.

    Been having fun playing it this week with my jerry rigged set up. The guitar fits into a new tonal space now that complements my other guitars, instead of just sounding mostly like a darker version of the 594. It's kind of like my Tele now, but with a fatter midrange.
     
  8. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    11,503
    Likes Received:
    11,124
    Way cool, Jr.!
     
  9. John Beef

    John Beef Opaque

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    2,823
    Likes Received:
    792
    I would consider dog ear covers. There's no place on the treble side of the bridge pickup to attach one, but there's enough space there to add a little wood to it.
     
  10. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,083
    Likes Received:
    2,800
    Guard is in, so that means mock up time!

    [​IMG]


    Early results look very promising. Hope to make some more progress before Memorial Day travel intervenes.
     
    RevBillyG, grausch, John Beef and 3 others like this.
  11. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc The pullout king.

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    15,086
    Likes Received:
    12,045
    Lookin' good.
     
  12. ViperDoc

    ViperDoc New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,996
    Likes Received:
    912
    THAT IS HOT HOT HOT!!!
     
  13. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    11,503
    Likes Received:
    11,124
    Looks great!
     
  14. BrianC

    BrianC Custom 24 King

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    222
    I love when folks mod stuff!
     
  15. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,052
    Likes Received:
    1,257
    So cool!!!
     
  16. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,083
    Likes Received:
    2,800
    Finally got a chance to finish up the wiring and put it together for real. I implemented the series and out of phase wiring scheme from Deaf Eddie.

    The push/pull for out of phase is what you'd expect. In the middle with everything on 10 it's like a wah all the way up. The most useful setting so far is to roll the bridge volume back a little. It fills the tone back up and has a nice quack to it.

    Now here's where things get interesting. With the bridge push/pull up, in position 1 I get bridge and neck in series. Positions 2 and 3 are both the neck pickup, but in position 2 both tones work. Even if both tones are on 10, position 2 is still a little darker due to the extra load.

    In position 1 the bridge tone knob works like normal, but the neck tone knob works almost like a tone control in reverse. At 10, the tone is full and a bit dark. Nothing happens until you hit 3, where the brightness comes back in. All the way down has a slight honk to it.

    Kick it out of phase with everything on 10, and it's a very Hendrixy cocked wah sound. Lowering the neck tone control reins in the mids and it sounds similar to series in phase, but with less bass.

    Position 1 in series with the neck tone control rolled back is where the magic is. Holy effin schnit. I have found a bunch of useful sounds, but this tone alone is worth the price of entry. It's like throwing a boost in front of the amp to overload the preamp. It creates an amazingly harmonic overdrive that I'm now totally addicted to.

    I decided to do this project as a bit of fun because I was going to sell the guitar, but the secondhand market is ridiculously soft on this model. I only spent about a hundred bucks doing the mods and thought I'd fool around with it for a couple months and then sell it, but now I'm thinking it would be a lot harder than expected to let this one go.


    [​IMG]
     
    dogrocketp, bodia, grausch and 3 others like this.
  17. markd21

    markd21 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Messages:
    532
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    KILLER!!! Who did the pickguard? I have been kind of thinking of doing up an S2 Singlecut with a single pickup as a straight up rock guitar....
     
    garrett likes this.
  18. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2017
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    105

    Stupid question, did the P90s fit as is, or did you have to route them?
     
  19. dogrocketp

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

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    892
    Your mods have made an amazing guitar. Mahogany, P-90`s, Singlecut..........you poured on the awesome sauce. I`m wondering how the routed body with the pickguard has ended up sonically. Any chance we can be gifted with sound samples?
     
  20. Tucson Thump

    Tucson Thump New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Messages:
    778
    Likes Received:
    635

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice