Considering swapping out Dragon II’s for 57/08. Opinions?

Fats

Take the cannoli
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Aug 7, 2022
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I picked up a Custom 22 this summer, ‘06 20th. A beauty with a single piece top, but am not in love with the Dragon II’s and considering going to the 57/08’s. Would appreciate any opinions. I know this is personal and subjective, so I’ll add that my CE24 has 85/15’s and like those pickups very much. Not trying for that sound, but not sure what the 57/08’s will get me. The 22 has the 5 way dial, and I think the 57/08’s are the only other option from PRS.
 
I just got a 2003 Custom 22 with Dragon ll’s. My luthier told me to yank them because they’re dark. I turned tha treble on the amp all the way up, and they sound good. So it’s all about that treble, bout that treble, no bass…..
Thank you, and I agree with your luthier.
 
Give it a shot.
I like my dragons, but I will keep a guitar with 57/08.
I probably play the 57/08 more these days.
Give it a shot is always more money, hence the inquiry. If I got people saying that the pickups are about the same, I’d save the dough.
 
I had a 2008 Cu22 that I pulled the DII's from and put a 59/09 in the bridge and a 57/08 in the neck. I really liked that combo in that guitar. I'll add that I didn't really dislike the DII pickups.
And I’ll add that @bodia gave me those DII’s (because he is the kindest man in the universe) and I’ve put them in a couple guitars.

Why did I put them in a couple guitars? Because the pickups rule and I liked ‘em more than the guitars. :p
 
I picked up a Custom 22 this summer, ‘06 20th. A beauty with a single piece top, but am not in love with the Dragon II’s and considering going to the 57/08’s. Would appreciate any opinions. I know this is personal and subjective, so I’ll add that my CE24 has 85/15’s and like those pickups very much. Not trying for that sound, but not sure what the 57/08’s will get me. The 22 has the 5 way dial, and I think the 57/08’s are the only other option from PRS.
I did exactly what you are considering. I have an 06 Custom 22 that I loved everything about, except the pickups. I took advantage of the pickup promotion PRS did in 2009 and sent it into the PTC and had them put 57/08s in it. This was the best thing I could have done for this guitar. I like the 57/08 pickups MUCH better in this guitar.

EDIT: My CU22 has the McCarty style controls on it. It has the 3 way toggle and not the 5 way rotary. It also has a stop tail. I am not sure if that factors in at all. My pickups are wired to work exactly like the DII pickups did. They have the tap on the tone.
 
I am not a fan of the rotary switch or the 57/08 pickups. The 57/08's do everything ok but IMO do nothing great. To be fair, I play on the heavier style of things so I don't play much blues or classic rock, jazz, clean type stuff too often. I find the 57/08's to be bland overall. YMMV

I do have the Dragon II's in a Private Stock Customm 22 and the guitar sounds great. I have considered changing the pickups out on that guitar for something a little more tighter and not because I dislike the sound. If I wanted a jack of all trades pickup and played non heavy music I would like the 57/08's more. They are a versatile pickup. I have a fixed bridge Grissom that has a 59/09 Bridge and Grissom neck that I like. I do prefer the 59/09 bridge over the 57/08. A combo of a 59/09 in the Bridge and a 57/08 in the neck may be a nice fit for you. There are a lot of great choices available. Good luck on your search and I hope you get it right the first time! :)
 
I am not a fan of the rotary switch or the 57/08 pickups. The 57/08's do everything ok but IMO do nothing great. To be fair, I play on the heavier style of things so I don't play much blues or classic rock, jazz, clean type stuff too often. I find the 57/08's to be bland overall. YMMV

I do have the Dragon II's in a Private Stock Customm 22 and the guitar sounds great. I have considered changing the pickups out on that guitar for something a little more tighter and not because I dislike the sound. If I wanted a jack of all trades pickup and played non heavy music I would like the 57/08's more. They are a versatile pickup. I have a fixed bridge Grissom that has a 59/09 Bridge and Grissom neck that I like. I do prefer the 59/09 bridge over the 57/08. A combo of a 59/09 in the Bridge and a 57/08 in the neck may be a nice fit for you. There are a lot of great choices available. Good luck on your search and I hope you get it right the first time! :)
Sorry to read this. I really used to like you. :)
 
Sorry to read this. I really used to like you. :)
Everything has a shelf life. It appears mine has expired BIG TIME! ha! ;)

Maybe if you blame the heavy music playing style and tie that to my comments and free up the 57/08 talk it will smooth things over a bit. :)

How about this....? I do like the 57/08's better than the HFS and the old McCarty Pickups. :)
 
I did exactly what you are considering. I have an 06 Custom 22 that I loved everything about, except the pickups. I took advantage of the pickup promotion PRS did in 2009 and sent it into the PTC and had them put 57/08s in it. This was the best thing I could have done for this guitar. I like the 57/08 pickups MUCH better in this guitar.

EDIT: My CU22 has the McCarty style controls on it. It has the 3 way toggle and not the 5 way rotary. It also has a stop tail. I am not sure if that factors in at all. My pickups are wired to work exactly like the DII pickups did. They have the tap on the tone.
My CU 22 also has the 1 piece Stoptail. Appreciate the input. I guess I’m looking for a bit brighter tone.
 
Pickups can't really be discussed in a vacuum. A lot depends on playing style, amount of gain the amp is set at, preferred tones, etc. We're all different. I can share my experience, but yours may be vastly different.

I'm a low-gain player. I play at the 'edge of breakup', and prefer vintage-style, single channel amps. The Dragon IIs didn't work for me, I was after something closer to the old PAF stuff. The 57/08 has a nice balance between treble and bass - for me. YMMV.

I love the 57/08s. They're my favorite PRS traditional humbucker. Dragon IIs worked better with higher gain sounds than the stuff I do. That doesn't mean I didn't find them useful in my work from time to time, but I was much happier with the 57/08s on the guitars I've owned that came with them. My #1 is still the McCarty Singlecut that has 57/08s, though I do have other PRSes with different pickups.

For something a little hotter, I very much like the 85/15s that came with my CU24. They have plenty of treble bite.
 
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