How do 85/15 s pickups compare to #7 s pickups?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Josh_guitarreiru, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. Josh_guitarreiru

    Josh_guitarreiru New Member

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    Hi all,

    I just got a second hand PRS S2 Custom 22 (2016) from a guitar swap. It mounts #7 S Pickups as is from 2016 and to be honest, my first impression (I only have played that guitar for a couple of hours so far) is that I'm a bit disappointed in the sense that I was expecting more joy from those pickups. In fact I seem to enjoy more the sound of my S2 Miras (or at least I'm more used to it, time will tell). The S2 Custom 22 sounds more bass heavy and perhaps less articulate than the Mira in my opinion. I specially love the S2 Mira pickups when they split.

    So I was wondering if anybody has tried the s2 #7 pickups and the s2 85/15 pickups, and could provide some advise in what to expect from this pickup change. I am considering to buy a set of used 85/15s from an SE Custom 24. Also to my understanding SE and S2 pickups are the same, right?

    Thanks very much beforehand.

    Cheers
     
    shimmilou likes this.
  2. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    I think you are correct, SE and S2 both use import pups. I have the #7 in my S2 Singlecut, and really like them a lot. I have the 85/15 S in my SE Custom 24, and really like them a lot too. The two pups are really not like each other to my ears. It might well be the particular guitars the pups are in that contribute to their unique sounds. In fact, I’m certain that the S2 woods are a big influence on the sound, and the same pups in an SE would sound quite different. So maybe the wood contribution is a big part of why I really like the #7 pups in that guitar.

    I think that the 85/15 S pups are a perfect match for the SE Custom 24, at least in the one I have, and the 85/15 US made set is perfect in my Custom 22.

    Before swapping pups, you might consider pup height adjustments. Lowering only the bass side of the pup if it is bass heavy, etc. Maybe try several adjustments and see if you can get a better sound.
     
  3. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Hmm. My experience has been that the #7’s are more upper-mid focused and articulate than some of the newer PAF inspired PRS pickups, so while I can’t comment specifically on the 85/15 “S” pickups, I would expect that there may not be a huge improvement in making the guitar less bass heavy, brighter, etc. Honestly, the #7’s would usually be what I recommend to remedy the issue you’re having. Is your S2 a semi hollow? Those tend to be more bassy than the solid bodies, so if that’s the case, it’s more about the build.

    Regardless, one nice way I like to clear up tone on a guitar that sounds muddy or bassy is to go to strings with nickel plated steel, rather than pure nickel, as they are brighter and tighter on the wound strings. And, of course, yeah, play with pickup height.
     
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  4. Josh_guitarreiru

    Josh_guitarreiru New Member

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    Thank you both for your answers. Its a solid body guitar. Also I have already played with pickup height, lowering a bit both pickups as they were too high. What I have to say is that the guitar still has not the optimal setup to me (for example strings are too high) but I'm not sure this would make a big difference to the sound.
    It may be that I'm so used to the S2 Mira Pickups but Damm, my Miras sound so good... And I was expecting to be really impressed by the S2 Cu 22...
    One think I dislike for example is that the coil splitting is much less obvious in the CU 22 than in the Mira. Also the Pickups sound a bit too basy and nasal to me, specially the neck one.
    I'll give them a bit more time to catch me, but I may get a pair of used 85/15 s to give them a try...
     
  5. pac90

    pac90 Helix user

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    Maybe try your S2 mira pickups in the SC? the circuits are similar, except the SC doesnet have treble bleed

    I have both S2s as well, and I put usa 85/15 set in the SC which works well, but I plan to swap them into the mira and try the SC with set of HBp90s next string change, the SC is definitely darker with the extra wood, think the p90s will suit it
     
  6. Josh_guitarreiru

    Josh_guitarreiru New Member

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    Just to let you know that I did the swap and installed the 85/15 S into the S2 Custom 22 and could not be happier with the change :D
    I'm not saying the #7 S pickups are bad at all, just that they were not what I was looking for. To me the split coil in those PUs are their weakness.
    The 85/15 S are much more aligned with what I expect from a versatile PU that can work as Humbucker or Single Coil.

    Cheers
     
    68reissue, shimmilou and pac90 like this.

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