Gibson pickups in a PRS

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by YetAnotherRushFan, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. Barquentine

    Barquentine New Member

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    My Bernie with BK Abraxas pickups gives me all the LP sounds in my head but it's built a lot more like an LP than a Custom 24 is. Swapping pickups won't necessarily give the result you're looking for but it's worth a try. I had a set of BK Rebel Yells in a Gibson Firebird Studio. They sounded good but when I moved them into my S2 Singlecut they sounded ten times better.
     
  2. tedtan

    tedtan New Member

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  3. Casi1

    Casi1 New Member

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    I haven’t tried that yet... I am, however, working on putting a set of PRS pickups in a Gibson LP. I think it’s gonna be awesome.

    Just gotta wait for my tech to re-open shop.

    I’ve changed the pickups in damn near all of my guitars (PRS instruments included). The only pickups I haven’t changed are the ones that came in my late 70s strat. And that’s only because I’m scared to break the magical mojo spell that’s on that guitar. I want to try a set of Klein’s in it (I even already bought the Klein’s) but I’m too scared...

    Please let us know the results of your experiment. I would almost try to find a Fatback Custom 24 to try some raunchy raw sounding Gibson pickups in.
     
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  4. Casi1

    Casi1 New Member

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    Yeah. What he said. Exactly.

    I’d have to find a really raw extra LP-ish sounding set of pickups to balance out the 24 fretness and thinner body of the Custom 24. It can be done though. It all depends on how much of that ‘LP sound’ the player needs to hear. One of my friends had a LP whose stock pickups were just unnaturally nasty. Like nasty to the point where you have to make stank guitar face when strumming a sweet lil g chord.

    Those pickups would have worked in a Custom 24 because they were just too in your face. They had too much presence. The thinner body and neck pickup placement would have been mitigated and everything would equal out beautifully.

    I think he sold those pickups last year.
     
  5. Aloha_Mark

    Aloha_Mark New Member

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    I'm thinking about giving my PRS Orianthi signature guitar to one of my nieces (she has perfect pitch). Other than the mounting height, is there anything else about the Gibson '57 classic pups that would not work in the guitar?
     
  6. Tonart

    Tonart Tone of the Art......or is that backwards?

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    I’m going to strike a different note and surmise that it won’t make much difference, and the better the guitar the more that is true.

    I’ve been spending a lot of time listening carefully to the unplugged sounds of various electric guitars, listening for similarities unplugged sounds and amplified sounds, and thinking about it looking for dots to connect.

    What I’ve noticed is that an electric guitar’s amplified tone is to a large extent inherent, and it shows up when played acoustically. I’ve come to a conclusion that It’s something to do with how a string vibrates when sitting on that particular guitar.

    A great guitar is one that can influence the behaviour of the string and impart it’s own vibrational characteristic to the string. What you get is a hybrid metal-wood kind of tone. The metal part of the tone is quite uninspiring - thin, sharp, screechy. Fortunately there is a saviour. The woody part is quite pleasing - honky, rich, mellowy - kinda like what you hear on a marimba. The more a guitar imparts that aspect, the better the tone.

    I think that’s exactly what was achieved with the great holy grails like Bernie Marsden’s 59 “The Beast”. I don’t believe every 59 was great, but when they were great they were really great. I believe if Bernie’s guitar is played, you’d hear all those same great qualities from string through air ears, or through pickup through amplifier through air to ears, because it’s inherent in how a string vibrates on that guitar.

    Just telling it as I think it. A different way of seeing things perhaps. Not one who fancies a debate on the contentious “tonewood” issue...:p
     
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  7. Going Modal

    Going Modal I should be practicing right now.

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    Hey man, I'm with you on this one, so don't feel bad. It's totally all about personal preferences here—and it's very tactile, depending on the feel of your hands. I love, love, love the PRS guitars that I've acquired (all of them have "pattern" necks) but there was just something about the 594's "pattern vintage" that I couldn't work with. Guitar was fabulous, though, a real stunner. Best of luck in your pickup search...
     
  8. JJJ

    JJJ asleep

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    Just be careful with the length of the pickup legs

    All the gibson pickups I have used in the past were pretty muddy. Very punchy, but muddy. 490, 498 etc. They remind me of mid-heavy ceramic pickups in the bridge position
     
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  9. Casi1

    Casi1 New Member

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    Interesting! I agree that if a guitar sounds bad unplugged then plugging it into an amp isn’t going to suddenly make the tone change from crap to gloriousness.

    I think a lot of those magical ‘59s have a unique combo of old wood / inherent properties and old/special pickups. I’m guessing that both attributes contribute to the overall sound in a major way. The only way to prove my theory is to take an awesome sounding guitar, like the Beast, and change it’s pickups to see if there’s a significant difference. Yeah, apparently nobody who has one of these guitars wants to play the pickup swap game, lol. I’d be curious to know whether it’s true that a certain player named Eric might have owned all of the famous ‘59 LPs at one point but passed on them all because none of them ever matched the tone and playability of his stolen one. One man’s trash...

    I’ve played a couple of ‘not so awesome’ ‘59 LPs in the last few years. I also vividly recall an awesome one hanging up in Dave’s. That same awesome one, when unplugged, sounded identical to a $5k LP reissue that was also for sale at Dave’s. Where the ‘59 differed was that it had a depth to its tone when plugged in, a BIGNESS, that the reissue didn’t have. It was also light years easier to play than the reissue.

    I still really want someone to try a pickup swap in a guitar like The Beast. I’d think the person with the most access to something like that would be Joe B. If I recall, he has gone through multiple iterations with pickup winders to recreate pickups for his vintage guitars... this assumes the guitar is the same but the new pickups aren’t quite right in matching the original tone, hence the multiple revisions.... but did the new pickups kill the awesomeness of the guitar? If the pickups did, then perhaps pickups have more impact than originally thought.
     
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  10. Casi1

    Casi1 New Member

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    I have this same preference regarding Pattern vs Pattern Vintage. I can’t do Pattern Vintage at all but I recently (as of this weekend) discovered that I can play a Pattern Regular neck as long I stay away from the first few frets. So apparently my issue is mainly the smaller nut and the fact that strings are closer together in frets 1 through 5. Comparing my PRS instruments to my Fender instruments, I find that regardless of neck shape, everything is within .03 inches difference starting at fret 5. My LPs are a bit wider but that doesn’t seem to trip me up as much as the smaller necks do.

    If I play chords on my Custom 24s Pattern Regular neck at fret 2 (or do single note runs) then switch to my McCarty, I will mess up, hit wrong strings etc. It’s just a mess. Trying to normalize the necks on my guitars has helped me a great deal.
     
  11. Tonart

    Tonart Tone of the Art......or is that backwards?

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    Pickups are important to me in the sense that Mr Deng Xiao Ping would want a translator to not miss out any nuanced colloquialisms and meanings when translating what Chancellor Helmut Kohl says. A translator that captures every detail, every nuance, every emotion is the best pickup you could hope for.

    But even the best translator cannot influence what Chancellor Kohl actually chooses to say: whether it’s beautiful and artful, or dull droll content. That’s totally dependent on the speaker and nothing else. The best any translator could hope to do, is to be 100% true to the source.

    And so it is with pickups, at least how I perceive them. They’re very important in that narrow context.

    So if you got a translator that managed to capture the basic message, but in a very mechanical cold way like Morse code, well it’s still functional but you’re missing out a lot of art and emotion. That would be an average pickup, perhaps.

    Then of course if you had a translator that missed out so many things that the basic message has lost its meaning, or even added his own salt and pepper to the mix, that would be a really bad pickup. You’d wanna swap those pickups! Although that said, you could say that singlecoils add their own charming character to the mix in a good way, so life is strange!

    Cos ultimately, a pickup is a decipherer and translator that translates the language of mechanical vibration into the language of electrical current. Chancellor Kohl is the guitar, and Mr Deng is the amplifier. Different languages but describing the same message: a string vibrating on a guitar in a musical way.
     
    #31 Tonart, Apr 14, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
  12. Tonart

    Tonart Tone of the Art......or is that backwards?

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    [​IMG]
    Well thank goodness for Translators. Otherwise electric guitars won’t exist! :p
     
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  13. BrianC

    BrianC more toys than talent

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    I have a BB1 in the neck of my SCT and really like it
     
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  14. Casi1

    Casi1 New Member

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    Yes, translators are important. I’d rather have the best one that I can find, for my ears, than a basic one.

    I had two French translators once. They both did the required job, but the one that was clearer with more emphasis was the one who was best for me. Surprisingly, that ‘best’ one wasn’t the French born one.
     
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  15. Tonart

    Tonart Tone of the Art......or is that backwards?

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    That’s your 59 pickup right there! LOL
     
  16. Casi1

    Casi1 New Member

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    Actually that was my 53/10. It made my McCarty 1000 times better even though the guitar had clear, perfectly working McCarty pickups in it originally. So the McCarty had a good translator in it but the 53/10 was a better translator which significantly improved the overall tone when amplified.

    That’s why I feel like a guitar really is the sum of its parts... all parts make a difference. How much of a difference does each part make? Well that depends entirely on the listener.

    :)
     
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  17. Tonart

    Tonart Tone of the Art......or is that backwards?

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    53/10? I fully support!!!
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Casi1

    Casi1 New Member

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    I love that quilt.
     
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  19. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

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    This right here makes me want to throw a 5310 in my McCarty.
     
  20. Casi1

    Casi1 New Member

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    Yup. It will change your life. I think the awesomeness has a lot to do with the guitar body thickness.

    If you only have one to throw in, throw that bad boy in the neck. That’s where the magic happens.
     
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