85/15"s" vs 85/15 vs ?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by gtrdave, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. gtrdave

    gtrdave n+1 is the correct value

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    Thinking of the future...my S2 came standard w/ 85/15s pickups.
    I'm not all that unhappy with them, but I'm curious as to how a swap might benefit the guitar.
    Would USA 85/15 pickups be a noticeable improvement or should I shoot for 57/08's or something non-PRS?

    I tend to like clean, mid-output pickups and the OEMs in the S2 seem to be pretty good, but I know there's always better...or at least different.
     
  2. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    Exactly. Different, perhaps, but not necessarily better/worse.

    I don't have experience with either pickup, so this is based on my reading on the subject:

    There is nothing "wrong" or inferior about the 85/15s pickups - they are built in a less-expensive manner, but otherwise from the same design as the USA-built 85/15 pickups.

    I would say if you want to swap them out for something different, go the 57/08 route - I don't think you will notice enough (any?) difference with US 85/15 pups to make it worth your while.
     
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  3. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

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    It's hard not to recommend 57/08's to anybody.
     
  4. bodia

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

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    Another 57/08 vote
     
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  5. flux

    flux 594 & CU24

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    57/08s do not disappoint!
     
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  6. gtrdave

    gtrdave n+1 is the correct value

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    So, I guess I'm looking for a used set of 57/08's... :)
     
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  7. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I think the 57/08 will be lower output than the 85/15. Tonality is classic PAF. I'm liking my 58/15 set, that might be an option for you as well.
     
  8. Josh_guitarreiru

    Josh_guitarreiru New Member

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    I would be really interested to hear a demo comparison of 85/15 to 85/15 S. I've been looking for one but could not find it. Anybody is aware of one of them?

    Thanks!
     
  9. dogrocketp

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

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    No. I have 58/15s in my S2 Cu 24, and I’m very happy with them. Remember, different and better are not the same. Buy a guitar with each!
     
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  10. Josh_guitarreiru

    Josh_guitarreiru New Member

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    I would love to be able to afford one of those beautiful core PRS with 85/15 but that's not the case right now :)

    Yes, I agree that different and better are not the same. I am just very curious to hear how the american made PRS 85/15 compare to korean made PRS 85/15 S pickups. I love how the korean 85/15 S sound but would be nice to see a good comparison made under same conditions (same amp tone, same recording setup, ideally same guitar, etc)
     
  11. Outlier22

    Outlier22 New Member

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    Okay I A/B tested an S2 and CE24 at guitar center which is why I decided on the CE24. It was partly the feel of the neck but also the pickups. I thought they sounded similar (85/15 on CE and 85/15s on S2) clean but I liked the CE24 better with crunch better. they sounded a bit more compressed and tight. But I have to say, I tested the guitar out through a BOSS Katana which I don't own without any of my pedals and at low volume so I don't think I really got the best comparison. ...and I don't know how much of my preference was based on what I perceived as better sound knowing the CE24 used the US pickups.

    So this isn't the best comparison for you. But I'd encourage you to head to Guitar Center (unless you have a local music shop that carries both CE24's (or Core CU24s) and S2/SE's.
     
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  12. Josh_guitarreiru

    Josh_guitarreiru New Member

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    Well, I live near Barcelona, Spain, so no Guitar Center nearby ;-). Anyway, if I ever have a chance I would try to compare them myself, but would be great if any owner of guitar with those pair of PUs would make a video comparison.

    Cheers,

    Josh
     
  13. merciful-evans

    merciful-evans Portsmouth uk

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    I have both pickups.
    The 85/15s in a SE Custom 24
    The 85/15 in a CE 24 semi hollow

    Obviously they are not the same guitar. Equally obviously, any preference is subjective.

    This will undoubtedly go down like a worm sandwich, but... you did ask. I prefer the sound of the SE's 85/15s set. Its a similar but discernibly sweeter voice. Maybe you should save your money.
     
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  14. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    There are several comparison of SE vs US Core PU's on the internet - regardless of the 'exact' Pick-ups, the tests between each seem very consistent. Whether its the 85/15 vs 85/15 'S' or more recently TCI vs TCI 'S' (even though these are different sizes), the results do still tend to similar in that the US are fuller sounding. Its not as extreme as say watching TV with the in-built speakers and comparing that to a Soundbar but I think, there are parallels. I don't think I have seen comparisons of both pick-ups in the same guitar so the Guitar itself could contribute and/or amplify the difference.

    I don't trust my findings in testing in a store - not owning an SE myself to repeat A/B testing - because I could be adding other factors, like feel for example and expecting to hear a difference. The video's I have watched though do seem to also confirm what I thought I heard as well.

    If you are looking specifically at the 85/15's and in the same guitar - then I think that would probably require you to do that yourself. Whether that's putting 85/15's into an SE Cu24 as that would be the cheaper method. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the 'S' Pick-ups as anyone with an SE or S2 can testify. Compared to guitars in that price point, they hold up extremely well. They are good enough that PRS not only put these Pick-ups in their US made S2 guitars, they also have Paul's signature on the headstock.

    Sound to is not an easy thing to describe either. What I call bright may seem dark to you because we may have very different reference points and me calling the SE Pick-ups 'thinner' sounding may be more what you want because the thicker Pick-ups is too much. The easiest thing to do is try to get to a music shop with the guitar(s) in stock - Barcelona must have a few stockists - and listen to as many PRS pick-ups as you can - especially those with 85/15's (S or US versions) and form your own opinion. youtube can help a bit BUT you are hearing their set-up recorded, compressed and played through your speakers - at most you can get an idea of how they may differ but which you prefer in real life with your own gear and set-up, your own EQ balance, only you can decide. If you listen to 85/15's in a CE, they sound brighter and bit more snappy in general than they do in a Cu24 - so again its important to try them yourself and the same PU's may sound different in a different guitar too...

    Maybe with an EQ pedal, you could get the US Pups to sound more like the 'S' versions - more so with distortion and gain especially with some amps and the speakers attached to them....
     
  15. merciful-evans

    merciful-evans Portsmouth uk

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    One more thing. I use both guitars with identical settings live. I use them clean for 80% of chord work. For solos I use a hint of gain and two hints of reverb. Essentially like the clean sound but with a little added bite (gain), & as if being played in a warehouse (reverb). All live playing using the neck pickups exclusively.
     
  16. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 New Member

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    I really dig the 85/15 S pups in my guitar and I like them even more with my updated pots and wiring. They're huge now where before they could sound kind of anemic...which was a nice sound in and of itself. I'm off the idea of switching these pups and in to the idea of adding a Tele for that thin sound.
     
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  17. gush

    gush I'm not a new member!!!!

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    I've got an 8515 neck and 5909 bridge in my McCarty.

    I've never played the S version so i can't help you there but the 8515 neck is the best neck pickup I've ever played. The 8515 bridge was just ok, that's why it's not in there anymore.

    This neck pickup makes me want to play cleaner tones and makes me want to roll tone pot down a bit too. There is just so many different tones that can be had out of it.

    I also like 5708 neck pickups but the 8515 just gets that last 5 percent sweetness.

    It's really hard to convey what I hear and feel while playing this pickup but the very instant I strummed it I was in lust.
     
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  18. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    I have the 85/15 S in a SE Cu 24, and in a S2 Cu 24, and a set of 85/15 in a Cu 22. To me there is as much, or more of a tonal difference between the SE and S2 (same pups?), than between the S2 and Cu 22. So many adjectives to describe the sound, but yes, each one is good in it's own way, so sometimes I prefer the SE sound too.
     
  19. Josh_guitarreiru

    Josh_guitarreiru New Member

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    Many thanks all for your feedback! Really appreciated!
    Do not get me wrong, I am not considering to change my 85/15 S of my S2 Cu22 to 85/15 as I'm really happy with the sounds I get from them. I think that if it sounds and feels right who cares which PUs are or where are they made. It is just that I'm really curious about a fair comparison and have a proof of how they compare.
     
  20. GavQuinn

    GavQuinn New Member

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    I swapped a set of HFS SE pickups for USA ones, no real difference there.

    YMMV
     
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