1994 PRS Custom 22 (a great result with pickup swap)

Rockabilly69

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Sep 28, 2020
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Well last night I finally did it. I pulled the Dragon I pickups from my PRS 1994 Custom 22, and replaced them with some Wolfetones. I used a Doctor Vintage in the neck, and a Marshallhead in the bridge. Man what a difference. I'm sure a lot of people like the tone of the Dragon pickups especially people that play with high gain amps, but they were buzzy and harsh sounding, especially the bridge pickup. The Wolfetones do the classic PAF tones just the way I like them.

But... this job didn't go easy. I scoured the internet for the wire color codes of the original PRS Dragons and also for the Wolfetones, so I made a one to one chart...

Wolfe Neck PRS Neck

Black (ground) Black (ground)
Green+White (coils) Red (coils)
Red (hot) White (hot)

Wolfe Bridge PRS Bridge

Black (ground) White (ground)
Green+White (coil tap) Red (coil tap)
Red (hot) Black (hot)

Wiring my 5 way (with a flipped magnet on the bridge pickup), this was the setup that WORKED...

Neck pickup to 5 way switch

A: (Ground) The Wolfe neck black wire to the PRS neck black wire.
B: (Coils) The Wolfe neck green and white wires to the PRS neck red wire.
C: (Hot) The Wolfe neck red wire to the PRS neck white wire.

Bridge pickup to 5 way switch

D: (Ground) The Wolfe bridge black wire to the PRS bridge black wire.
E: (Coils) The Wolfe bridge green and white wires to the PRS bridge red wire .
F: (Hot) The Wolfe bridge red wire to the PRS bridge white wire .

Both bare shield wires to tone pot

I just replaced every wire one to one at every connection of the 5 way and then connected the two bare shields to the tone pot.

Well, when I fired up the guitar the normal bridge and neck tones were great, but all the other positions were unacceptable. They were way too low in output, and they sounded way too out of phase. So I opened up the guitar, and reversed the leads on the hot and ground of the bridge pickup, and while I was in there, I took a good look at all the solder connections. They were dull, so I un-soldered every connection, cleaned up all those connections with a solder sucker, and re-soldered every one of them.

When I fired up the guitar this time, it sounded great. Man what a difference, the splits were totally usable and every position worked well with the tone pot. I also straightened the truss rod, dropped the action, and set the intonation, which surprisingly, with the compensated wrap-tail, it was almost dead on (a hair flat on the low E). I was selling this guitar cause I just couldn't bond with it, but now it's GREAT. Amazing what some new pickups, and a good setup does for the guitar. Here is the offender...

4hBebqi.jpg
 
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Rockabilly69

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Looks great! Glad it sounds as good as it looks to you now. I had the same issue with my CU24 originally.

Yeah it feels great. It sucked when it looked so good and sounded not so good :) I just didn't want to do anything with it except sell it (I got it in a trade). But now, it's a definite keeper!!! What pickups did you put in yours? And did you having wiring issues too?
 
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Bowtiefanatc

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Yeah it feels great. It sucked when it looked so good and sounded so bad :) I just didn't want to do anything with it except sell it (I got it in a trade). But now, it's a definite keeper!!! What pickups did you put in yours? And did you having wiring issues too?

it’s been through quite a few changes. Right now I have a set of Dragon 1’s in it. I think I might pull them since I like how those sound in full mahogany guitars better. I’ll likely go with 59/09’s or maybe \M/ pickups.

xO5ySSV.jpg
 

Rockabilly69

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it’s been through quite a few changes. Right now I have a set of Dragon 1’s in it. I think I might pull them since I like how those sound in full mahogany guitars better. I’ll likely go with 59/09’s or maybe \M/ pickups.

xO5ySSV.jpg
I could see how Dragons would sound good in darker sounding full mahogany guitars, but in my guitar, for the vintage I like, they just weren't working. Right now, I have mine plugged into a Clark Beaufort with the channels jumped and wound up, and oh boy, these Wolfetones sound great :)
 

Bowtiefanatc

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I could see how Dragons would sound good in darker sounding full mahogany guitars, but in my guitar, for the vintage I like, they just weren't working. Right now, I have mine plugged into a Clark Beaufort with the channels jumped and wound up, and oh boy, these Wolfetones sound great :)

Awesome! The whole “search for tone” I personally feel is subjective per instrument. These Dragons absolutely killed it in my CE24 that was an all mahogany body. I do love the pickups and don’t want to give them up as they will go in another standard down the line
 

Rockabilly69

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...The whole “search for tone” I personally feel is subjective per instrument.
Totally agree, some pickups like some guitars, some pickups like some amps. I play acoustic guitar for a living, but I record a lot with electrics and acoustics together. The tones I like that work best with acoustic guitars in the style I play are from low gain to medium gain pickups. This is the type of music that I record....

https://soundcloud.com/daniel-weldon-1/tears-in-my-eyes

https://soundcloud.com/daniel-weldon-1/alll-went-wrong

so you can see why Dragon's wouldn't work for me.
 

Mark Ray

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Jun 19, 2012
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OP, I too dig Wolfetones, and put a set of Marshallheads in my Zemaitis Pearl Top "The Ring."

Having said that, what are your plans for the Dragon 1's?
 

Rockabilly69

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OP, I too dig Wolfetones, and put a set of Marshallheads in my Zemaitis Pearl Top "The Ring."

Having said that, what are your plans for the Dragon 1's?

That's funny cause I was going to put the same set in my Zemaitis CS22MF DCP NT, but I went with a Tyson Precious and Grace set instead!
I98cwWb.jpg


As for the Dragons, I was going to hold on to them just case I ever sold the guitar down the road, as I always keep the original equipment.
 

danktat

Award winning tattoo artist ... Amateur guitarist
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Somehow, I doubt you will have any trouble fetching top dollar for the D1's. There really is a cult like following for them on the used market.

That is a sick looking fiddle for an instrument that is a quarter century old! Just saying.
 

AP515

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Hey Danny, nice to see you here. Post that soundcloud groove on here so they can hear it.

Some really great work guys.
 

Rockabilly69

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