HFS/Vintage Bass vs. 85/15's (vs. 59/09's) in a Custom

Should I swap 59/09's out of one of my Customs for an HFS/Vintage Bass set?

  • Yes; put some HFS/Vintage Bass in your Custom 22

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Going Modal

I should be practicing right now.
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I have two later-model PRS Customs (a 22 and a 24), both of which came with 85/15 squabbin pickups that I did not like [short opinion: too "modern" for me, too sharp of attack]. I quickly outfitted both guitars with 59/09 squabbins instead, which I definitely prefer over the 85/15's in both guitars.

Question: I now find myself with two Customs bearing 59/09's and I'm wondering if I should try something else in one of them. I do like everything from the original McCarty pickups through the ##/## series [minus those 85/15's] and I love my Artist V pickups, as well. (I probably lean in the "vintage-style" pickup direction.) Should I try the HFS/Vintage Bass squabbin pickups in one of my Customs? And if so, which one--22 or 24-fret?
 
My Custom with 85/15 is my go to guitar so probably I'm not the best guy to answer this but I like 59/09 in my other guitar - especially the neck pickup and I like the splits better too. HFS/VB that I had it in this guitar prior to swapping to 59/09 was a dull city but other people likes them
 
I'm not a huge fan of HFS/VB and would take 85/15 over those. My 59/09 in my Cu24 are probably my favorites of all time followed by 57/08 in my SC58. If I was to do a set I'd mix the 57/08 in the neck and 59/09 in the bridge, best of both worlds. Bonus- only one pickup purchase and you can see which guitar you like it better in.
 
I own a 98 CE24 with the HFS/VB pickups in it. Seems they are well suited for heavy stuff. Not my classic rock playing 63 year old self . Not a fan of them. They will overdrive an amp much quicker than lower wind pickups. But then again, might be right up your alley.
 
Not my classic rock playing 63 year old self . Not a fan of them. ... But then again, might be right up your alley.

Nah, man--I think I'm more common with your tastes. So, I appreciate the input.

Completely separate new thought this morning, though--I'd love to try some original Dragon's (the uncovered ones) in a 22-fret stoptail Custom. (You know, a baby version of the original Dragon itself?)
 
I actually like the HFS/VB pick ups. I have tried many others. The 5708 and 09 pick ups we’re just not right for me. I have found that the Suhr Aldrich pups are the best of both and are my go to.
 
I have found that the Suhr Aldrich pups are the best of both and are my go to.

Thanks, I've forgotten how well-recommended the Aldrich's are. Incidentally enough, over on TGP different members keep saying how well the Aldrich's work in PRS guitars!
 
The Tomahawk pickups in my Dustie Waring are surprisingly versatile. I'm not a metalhead, but I like that they clean up nicely and can scream if I want them to. For reference, my favorite pickups are the 57/08s.
 
I have a 2011 cu24 with stock round bobbin 5909s. There is some magic in that guitar as it sounds incredible in every amp its plugged in to AND it sounds good immediately, not much dialing in to get to the "good" stuff.

I'm one of those that dislikes the hfs. The note attack is sharp and harsh for my tastes but there are plenty of guys that make em sound good.

Now, if you plan on dropping tuning then that's a different story. D or lower is where this pickup starts to sound good to me anyway.

I put a set of 8515s in my McCarty, LOVE the neck pickup but bridge pickup was uninspiring.

If you want something different then my recommendation is dragon 1s in the 22 fret guitar. High output bridge pickup that does so much more than that. I have a ce22 with dragon 1s and I have pickups set fairly low but it just sounds killer and rolling volume back creates great tones in all positions of the rotary switch. This was my first rotary guitar and was certain I'd hate it but I wanted it because it had d1s and it was cheap.
Now I own 4 rotary guitars.

My second recommendation would be some form of T and B. Stamped, stickered or reissue.

Reissue would be the most affordable but all 3 versions won't be super easy to find.

3rd recommendation would be 5310s but hold on to your wallet!
 
My Cu22 has Dragon IIs and I like them plenty. I think they are well suited to the guitar. I think my favorites are the original McCartys though.
 
My Cu22 has Dragon IIs and I like them plenty. I think they are well suited to the guitar. I think my favorites are the original McCartys though.
Dragon 2s don't seem to get a lot of unified love. I had a cu22 with dragon2s and I didn't mind them at all.

A forum member on here has that guitar now.

Most common remark is they are too muddy but I NEVER had that issue.
 
I love the HFS/VBs in my '06 Cu24 and think the split tones are especially great with its 5-way rotary. I think that given a chance, it's a far more versatile set than some give them credit for.

Then again, I'm a huge fan of the often maligned 5-way rotary, so take my comments with an appropriate grain of salt. ;)
 
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