Comparing SE Cu24 pickups; interesting...


New Member
Oct 29, 2023
Recently, I have acquired a pair of Korean Cu 24s, both quilt top, to complement an Indo Cu 24 quilt top already in the rack. I've got an MIK SE 277 that I love, hence the idea to look at MIK Cu 24s. I had been debating on making a change in pickups on the Indo model due to a general "meh" feeling regarding the sound in most of the positions. The guitar itself is gorgeous, but the sound isn't there for me, so much so that I debated selling it; the alternative of swapping pickups is preferred. There are so many options for pickups out there, and I honestly don't have the time to go through them all, but I have an idea as to what was missing in the sound. In reading up on DCR in pickups, I found a page on the SD site explaining how to measure approximate DCR using a meter. I went ahead and tested pickups on all of my guitars, which at the time included the aforementioned Indo Cu 24, a couple of additional SEs, and an Epi LP fitted with SD pups. While this method of using a meter to measure DCR may not be ideal, it provides a uniform method of measurement for each guitar and at the least I can make meaningful comparisions between each one with respect to the tone (played on one amp setting and volume) and the DCR values. It got interesting with the three SE Cu 24s. The Indo model has DCR values of 7.70 and 7.90 on the neck and bridge, respectively. The oldest MIK Cu 24 is circa 2012; 8.68 and 14.57. The newest MIK is 2014; 8.66 and 14.4. The bridge setting on both of those guitars is massively different than that of the Indo model, as you might imagine. I'll spend some time considering how I want to mod the Indo Cu 24; I'd really like more of a Strat tone out of it, so might swap both pups for some 916 single coils that I have on hand (made to fit into a HH space) which have DCR of 5.97 (A3) and 6.01 (A5) just to see what comes of it. At any rate, I thought that some of you SE Cu 24 owners might find the difference in measured DCR values between the different models of interest.
Before you change the pickups, consider changing the volume and tone pot. I did that on an SE CU 24, and it made a world of difference. The older SE’s had pickups that were meant to mimic the VB/ HFS combo of the core guitars. If the neck is good on the MIK’s, switch the pickups if the changed pots don’s give you the sound you want. They’re way cheaper than pickups.
Thanks. The MIKs are perfect as-is. It's the Indo that leaves something to be desired. From doing a bit of research, it seems that the pickups on the MIKs are a combination of SE Vintage/SE HFS, whereas the Indo sports a pair of 85/15 S. I'd probably change the volume and tone pots on the Indo at the same time that the pickups were changed, but I could certainly just change the pots without changing pickups to see what difference that made as a potential intermediate step.