Changing pu´s on a PRS, is it a sin?


New Member
Dec 11, 2017
I´ve searched around the web and the forum about changing pu´s in a core PRS. From what I can tell it seems that even when people change pu´s they tend to stay within the brand? other prs pu´s that is.

I have recently bought a CE 1989 with what I can tell the old vintage pickups pre-hfs and they sound good but maybe a little "narrow" and not 100% as I want them to sound.
In my other main guitars I have put in Tom Anderson´s H2+/H1- so that´s kind of what I look in a pickups, lot´s of low and high´s but with punch of mids aswell. Very balanced I guess :)

Question is are there PRS pu´s that will get me what I´m looking for and am I "ruining" this old guitar in some way by doing this?

Thanks in advance!
PRS pickups have evolved. Some of the best weren’t made when early great PRS guitars were built.
As an example, I think ME1s are among the finest guitars ever made, but didn’t really care for RP pickups. I have a number of ME1s, but I have changed the pickups to 59/09s and 57/08s (while the RPs remain in the cases to keep the originality of the guitars).
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Thanks guys! seems like I won´t be breaking any untold law by switching are trying something else then :)
Thanks guys! seems like I won´t be breaking any untold law by switching are trying something else then :)
Certainly not. Find what works for you. I do like to stay with PRS since the pickups have improved in the newer generations, but I've also put ... ssshhh... Gibson pickups in an SE once. I also put the venerable SD 59's in a CE and they are fabulous there.
Find the tone you want.

I recently changed out the pickups in my CU24 just wasn't feeling the vintage bass and hfs although many here like that combo. I put in a set of Jim Wagner Godwwod pickups and could not be happier. I kept the original pickups although I never intend to sell this guitar. On the flip side I absolutely love the Dragon II pickups in my CU22 and would not think about changing them out.
PRS pickups got way better with the introduction of the 57/08 pickups in 2008. A lot of PRS owners (including me) swapped out their pickups before then (so no, your'e not crazy!). Those older pickups were voiced for thick, gainy preamps like those in Mesa/Boogies and they work pretty well for that. They're not as great with Fender/Marshall-inspired voicings.
I put BKP Mule's into my HB ii and love it so much more now. Donated 57/08's found a home in my Les Paul and they have never sounded better.
I think my 594 will get a pickup swap in a few months, although I want a few more gigs first to know for sure if I'll run that path.

So, I say go for it. Guitars and indeed very personal and a pickup swap is quite easy to reverse if you change your mind
I'm going to drop 57/08s in my 594. Since my amp upgrade I finally have a complete mental image of the 58/15 LTs and my verbal description has gone from "like" to "love" -- they are marvelous, dynamic things. Previously I was really procrastinating about replacing them, because I felt like I wasn't able to explore their full potential. They will be kept, and I'm sure I'll put them back in at some point. Right now, though, this is how I'm going to roll. It's simply more appropriate for the material I'm focusing on, and if something exists that'll make an already-amazing guitar work even better, count me in. I'm not going to lose a moment's sleep about experimenting with electronics.

Correction: the addition of an Xotic RC Booster did what I was looking for without requiring additional meddling. Boosts for the win.

(And if you still want to change pickups, go right ahead!)
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I bought my Bernie because it it was the best playing guitar I've come across. I loved the neck and the feel. I liked the pickups but felt the need for just a little more oomph. I put in a BK Abraxas set which sound incredible. Turned a great guitar into an awesome guitar.

More recently I got an S2 Singlecut. Another wonderful guitar but I didn't care much for the pickups. I had another BK set (Rebel Yells) in a Gibson Firebird Studio and these are now in the S2. If I hadn't already owned them I probably wouldn't have chosen RY's because I felt that they were a little lacking in low end. I was thinking about another Abraxas set. However, the RY's sound incredible in the S2 - plenty of bottom end and they sound WAY better than they did in the Gibson.

In a great guitar the right pickups are the icing on the cake.
Swap away. There are some self-appointed PRS-know-it-alls (who are thankfully not anywhere near these forums, they can be found at Harmony Central and other places) who instantly wiggle a finger at anyone who dare even suggest swapping out pickups, especially those who swap them out for (gulp!......) EMGs or something equally hot. Well, I have done just that and more to my poor old DGT and to this day, I still haven't found the right pickups for the style of music I play. I've tried different PRS pickups (Including the \m/, which is still currently in the bridge), Seymour Duncans, DiMarzios and was going to pull the trigger on some BKPs (Bare Knuckle Pickups) but Mr. Bank Account said, "uh better wait until after the big meeting with the neurosurgeon, sparky!". The point being is that a lot of these elitists would tell you that Grissom pickups should be enough for me, the "end all, be all" so to speak and for a hot moment, I was almost tricked into believing that but understand this. What worked for him, doesn't work for me. What works for others, may not work for you. And anyone that says "Tone is in the hands!", tell them to just go jump in front of a Greyhound bus right now because a player's tone is gonna come down to a summation of a LOT of variables (tube/SS amp or modeler, string gauge, type of guitar cable/wireless, how hard your picking attack, and yes, your pickups) and for anyone to suggest that the tone that you are hoping to find is simply within the palm of your hands, big phooey on them. Pickups set the foundation for your tone, and your amp and everything else dictates the rest. So to make a long ramble less rambly, swap those pickups to your heart's content.