Dragon II Pickups - What do you think of them

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Tbone55, Jul 1, 2021.

  1. Tbone55

    Tbone55 New Member

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    I have a 2010 CE22 that has the Dragon II pickups in it and would like to know what you think of them. When I bought my PRS I really had no knowledge of them and I've never really heard any of the other PRS pickups I've heard about. Does anyone know what years these pickups were available and if they were specific to certain models? Just looking to get some feedback and experience on them and if they're more suited to certain amps and music.

    Thanks.
     
  2. DISTORT6

    DISTORT6 NJ Devil

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    For me, it’s all tuning and guitar dependent.
    They’ve gone from crap to great and everything in between.
     
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  3. Tbone55

    Tbone55 New Member

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    Well that certainly covers a lot of ground. Are there any from a certain era that you would consider great?
     
  4. Bowtiefanatc

    Bowtiefanatc Confirmed Bird Snob

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    I liked them in my Standard 24, but didn’t care for them in my Standard 22 at all. I think it’s totally dependent on the actual guitar. I hated my Dragon 1’s in my Custom 24, but they absolutely slayed in my old Ce24 Mahogany and in my Standard 22.
     
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  5. DISTORT6

    DISTORT6 NJ Devil

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    CE22 tuned to E is fine. Anything lower, dull, lifeless, zero punch.
    Cu22 tuned to E, thin, weak, almost anemic. Tuned to D, meh. The DII’s in it came to life when finally tuned to B Standard. Go figure!
    Now this is based on 2 of MY guitars through my gear. They’re all different.
    My Cu22 with DI’s has never been played by me in anything but D Standard. It flat out kills with those pickups. That one is my #1.
    The 2 guitars I have with DII’s are a CE 2000 and the other is Cu22 2008.
    I don’t think they (DII’s) fluctuated all that much to pinpoint a year that may or may not have been better.
     
    #5 DISTORT6, Jul 1, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
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  6. Going Modal

    Going Modal I should be practicing right now.

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    Y'all, I've gotta say--I highly suspect that both the Dragon I & Dragon II neck pickups are basically just the same old McCarty neck pickup. (Google the pickup specs, either within this forum or elsewhere. You'll see AlNiCo IV @ 8k on the neck pickup for all three--the McCarty pickup and both Dragons.) Mind you, I'm not saying this is bad; I've come to like my McCarty pickups lately including the neck pu. It makes sense, too: the Dragon guitars had a 22-fret neck, as did the McCarty model a couple years later, which was a new thing for PRS (the 22-fret necks, that is) and that neck pickup would've been re-calibrated to match that position. Seems natural to use the same pickup (throughout Dragon I > McCarty > Dragon II).

    Now, clearly it's the bridge position where these models differ greatly. Very much unlike the "vintage" McCarty bridge pu's, the Dragon I bridge pu had a ceramic magnet and was wound at a super-hot 19k. Dragon II seems to have been dialed-back to 12k and got a the more "vintage" type AlNiCo IV magnet again.

    I'm just saying... when comparing DI & DII, I think it bears discussing that bridge pickup more than anything.
     
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  7. DISTORT6

    DISTORT6 NJ Devil

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    I should’ve mentioned that in my post.:)
    It’s all about the bridge pickup.
     
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  8. dogrocketp

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

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    So what you should be noticing, Tbone, is that everything is guitar dependent. Try looking them up on YouTube, with the caveat that a change in ANYTHING will change the sound of basically every pickup PRS makes. They are much more adaptable (to my ears) than any other brand in the marketplace. Sweeping generalizations will not apply. These are musical Ferraris you need to tune to your satisfaction. That means you need to own as many as possible to get the sounds your ears and soul crave. Some people are happy with one. I believe in the saying “One woman, many guitars.”
     
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  9. Nodnarb1977

    Nodnarb1977 New Member

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    Dragon IIs are fantastic in my experience!!! For me, they are a great blend between vintage and modern ‘bucker tone.

    I feel like McCarty pickups are okay, but to me they’re kind of a snooze. Comparatively, Dragon IIs have a nice bit of extra “umph” that gets me where I like to be.
     
    #9 Nodnarb1977, Jul 2, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
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  10. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    Dragon IIs were pretty common in PRS guitars in the late 90s - 2000s if I remember right. They're okay-ish, particularly if you play either high-gain or super-super clean. PRS has learned a lot about pickups since then, and I'd take almost all of their newer 5X/YY pickups over Dragon IIs these days. 59/09s could be a really nice upgrade.
     
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  11. Mark Ray

    Mark Ray New Member

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    I think Dragon 1's
     
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  12. danktat

    danktat Award winning tattoo artist ... Amateur guitarist

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    Love them. They have been in all of my CU22s except one that had D1s in it. I prefer the 2s to the 1s (though I seem to be in the minority on that).
     
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  13. DISTORT6

    DISTORT6 NJ Devil

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    Hope we all cleared this up for you, Tbone! :p:D
     
  14. Daniel Elam

    Daniel Elam New Member

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    I have Dragon IIs in my 2003 CE22 and really love the tone. I actually like them better than the 85/15s in my newer CE24.
     
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  15. WEDGE

    WEDGE Zombie five, DFZ

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    For me it depends more on the players taste in music. D1’s have more sizzle and grind, great for high gain and 80’s ‘metal’. D2’s never, for me, had the ass kicking thing going on but they did sound good. I always swapped out the D2’s but that doesn’t mean they are bad, just for me they weren’t my flavor. So subjective.
     
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  16. Tbone55

    Tbone55 New Member

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    Really interesting. Are your guitars all set neck or any bolt on? Are you using the same amp and what is it? Thanks.
     
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  17. Josh W.

    Josh W. New Member

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    I just put Dragon IIs back in my 2002 CE22 to take it back to stock after the previous owner had put in aftermarket pickups. I like them a lot.

    One question, as the CE22 was discontinued in 2008, is this some kind of one off or something? If you’re going by the serial it may be that you have a 2000 model.
     
  18. Tbone55

    Tbone55 New Member

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    Appreciate your input. I've only played my PRS in standard tuning and have tuned to Eb for single coil mode for Hendrix stuff. I do like my pickups but then I don't have the guitars or experience to know any difference. Sounds like you have some nice ones.

    Thanks again.
     
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  19. Tbone55

    Tbone55 New Member

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    Yes, it's so much clearer now .
     
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  20. Tbone55

    Tbone55 New Member

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    I'll have to check. I bought it in 2010 and there are inspection stickers under the pickups signed and dated 2010. How do you read the serial number?

    Thanks.
     

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