How are those SE 245 pickups?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by sergiodeblanc, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc I'm a Lady, I do lady things.

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    Of all the SE pickups these seem to get the most love from what I've read. Wondering if any of you have them and if you could elaborate on how you feel about 'em.

    I've got a guitar coming with 'em in there and am curious if they're gonna meet my expectations.

    If you have a set, what are they similar to (aside from the obvious 245's)?

    I've been thinkin' about having some fun with modding them with covers (for mostly aesthetic reasons) and am wondering if they're already, or close to being "there", and if a magnet swap might be beneficial, or a cheap way to breathe a lil' extra somethin' somethin' into 'em.

    ... or will I be ditching them?
     
  2. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    I thought they were pretty good in the Bernie. In the end, I was looking for something else, so I pulled them for a set of BK Abraxsas. Mostly, it was the look. Didn't care for the zebras.

    If you decide you want to pull them, I've got a set of Dragon IIs that came out of a Cu22. I'd trade ya for a couple more veggie dogs, and 12 minutes in the fuzzy white chair with the Westie. I'll leave my cutoff t-shirt at home....
     
  3. alantig

    alantig Sassyless pants

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    Like hell, you tease....
     
  4. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    C'mon! I meant I wasn't going to wear a shirt! :confused::eek:o_O
     
  5. Tosca

    Tosca Death by a million mini-toggles...

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    To my untrained ears they sound like "hot PAF" style pickups...like the SD Alnico 2 Pro Slash set...similar to the 59/09 when used at medium to high gain. At lower gain and clean settings they lack a little definition and "open-ness". Very nice pickups overall...killer for the price. I have an extra pair laying around somewhere (pulled from my ZM and replaced with #7s) if you want to experiment with them without the risk of wrecking the ones in your new guitar.
     
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  6. Jimi D

    Jimi D New Member

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    I thought they were pretty good in my Zach with some grind or gain... a solid aggressive PAF-style pup; certainly better than I'd usually expect to get in a Korean guitar. In fact, I probably wouldn't have bothered changing them out if I hadn't had a set of Burstbuckers with nickle covers lying around in a drawer...
     
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  7. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc I'm a Lady, I do lady things.

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    Yeah the zebras aren't my speed either. I do love a DII bass... I'll give you more than some veggie dogs, and I'm dying to try your new guitar.

    Encouraging words, and thanks for the offer, Mark. I'm not too worried about ruining them, I haven't destroyed a pickup... yet.

    Right on. I need them covers though, so I feel you.
     
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  8. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    I've got a full slate this week, but appear to be wide open from 11-2 every day next week. Want some company for an hour, or two?
     
  9. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc I'm a Lady, I do lady things.

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    Sure! Holler.
     
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  10. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    +1

    Very good pups, the USA made best them but by no means bad.
     
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  11. Kabukiman

    Kabukiman Entry level PRS owner

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    I have them and I am keeping them in the guitar - first axe ever where this will be the case, all others got gutted.

    The neck pickup is nice enough, I don't have any complaints to justify ripping it out. The bridge pickup is the gem for me - worthy of all the praise it has received. Really punchy, and musical. It sounds like it's ceramic (great for gain, doesn't clean up so well), I think the neck is some variety of alnico though to my ear. It's nice clean or with a little drive. But the bridge pickup is the star. Just a great, bitey hot pickup, without sounding fizzy. The set is really great for the price of the guitar anyway, I don't think I have ever played a guitar in the category with nicer factory electronics.
     
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  12. Munga Brown

    Munga Brown Fart Machine

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    Not a fan of zebras either, but I've left 'em in my 245 as is. They're labeled with a sticker on the backside "Santana". If I recall correctly, the SE 245 & SE Santana came out the same year. I have no idea if the SE pickups are the same between models or not. But they sound miles better than the pickups that came out o' my SE SH. Other than that, I can't help ya.
     
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  13. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc I'm a Lady, I do lady things.

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    Thanks for the opinions, guys!
     
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  14. SteveK

    SteveK New Member

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    Swapped my Zack out with a set of Bloodline covered buckers from John Page that I won in a Vintage Guitar giveaway, and put a set of double cream Dimarzio 36th anniversary in my Santana. The zebra 245's were OK, but I like the replacements much better, seems like a more vintage vibe to my ears.
     
  15. sssteeve

    sssteeve New Member

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    I picked up an SE-245 a few years ago and I really love the pickups... I consider them to be somewhere between Gibson 490's and Burstbuckers. I did have a question: the earlier pickups had a sticker saying SE-245. I just ran across a pair of pull-outs with a sticker saying SP-245. Does anybody here know if they are the same?

    As for them being zebras one could always add metal covers if you could match up the screw spacing. (I miss the good old days when all humbuckers had the same spacing and any cover would fit any hb. {sigh!}

    Thanks!

    sssteeve

    P.S. The SE-245 was the first PRS SE guitar out of several I've owned that I did not think necessary to replace the pickups - or replace the Alnico 5 magnets with A2 for a smoother more vintage sound. Congrats to PRS for finally getting G&B to make a pickup that I actually like!
     
    #15 sssteeve, Nov 7, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
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  16. Fullmoon 1971

    Fullmoon 1971 New Member

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    I love the 245 pickups, you want to try a little experiment with try an unoriented Alnico 5 in the bridge and a Alnico 3 in the neck. This smooths out the bridge a little and gives you almost P-90 like sweetness and bell like chime from the neck, I have this combination in my son's Singlecut Trem and my Santana SE, Very similar in sound to the 58/15 and also Gibsons 59 Tribute humbuckers to my ears. you can thank me later.
     
    #16 Fullmoon 1971, Nov 7, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  17. sssteeve

    sssteeve New Member

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    Thanks for the tips! I had never heard of unoriented hb pickups before but Google is my friend so I will research them immediately. Experimenting with magnet swaps sure beats spending $150 to $200 to upgrade the pickups on a new guitar.

    I picked up some A8 hb magnets awhile back but have yet to research how they differ from A5.

    sssteeve

    P.S. I see that you have received 47 likes for 18 posts here... that is quite a batting average! ;-)
     
  18. Fullmoon 1971

    Fullmoon 1971 New Member

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    Alnico 8 magnets are a relatively new arrival when it comes to pickups, Think Alnico 5 on steroids and offer up a great alternative to ceramic magnets. Most of the time, you’ll see them in hot pickups, and almost exclusively in the bridge, where the higher magnetic pull and naturally aggressive tone results in a heat that really defines lead lines. To say that they’re very similar to an Alnico 5, but with much more attitude is perhaps over simplifying it, but as a glance, it’s a great way to picture a humbucker built around 8s.

    Unoriented A5's are a cross between A2's & A5's they have more in common with A2's tonally, they compress more than standard A5's and are much stronger in the mids.
    To give you an example, if you A/B'd them you'd probably say that the standard A5's have more chime, more attack sizzle and sound much bigger overall... the unoriented A5's on the other-hand have less treble have a nasally personality... To me they seem to be fuller and rounder over all. Unoriented A5's have much of the same character that I hear in real PAF's.

    If you have a bridge pickup thats a little Ice-pickish I would certainly recommend a magnet swap to Unoriented A5

    An Alnico 3 humbucker in the neck position typically has a flute-like woody tone with plenty of clarity and allows the guitar’s character to come through quite nicely – I’ve personally noticed a P90-ish type of tone when used in the neck position. It works excellent as a bridge humbucker magnet as well when you’re looking for that vintage PAF tone on the cleaner side. This magnet in the bridge position can beef right up with slightly overwound coils for a warm compressed rock tone with a bit less edge than an Alnico 2 yet retain some shimmer on top giving a fairly 3D quality to the tone.
     
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  19. GavQuinn

    GavQuinn New Member

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    Hi, can you link the shop where you bought these magnets? Cheers,
     
  20. Fullmoon 1971

    Fullmoon 1971 New Member

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