Is it stupid to use tci tuned pickups on a non prs guitar?

Cale

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Hi guys

I have a 335 copy guitar with a 58/15 lt tci installed.

I became interested in those pickups through YouTube and forums, and eventually installed them on my guitar. They were the most expensive pickups I've ever purchased and I was very satisfied with the tone of my guitar.

But I just came across something I didn't know about TCI tuning through this forum. That is, tci is customized tuning according to various structural characteristics of the guitar.

If tci tuning varies depending on physical and electrical characteristics such as the type of cutway, neck joint method, body thickness, etc., for guitars other than PRS, the pickups must be tuned differently from PRS guitars for the pickups to provide the best performance. .

I don't know if I'm lucky and the 58/15 lt tci pickups on my guitar sound good, or if my guitar isn't a prs guitar and the pickups can't perform at their best.

PRS released limited edition 58/15 LT TCI pickups a year ago. But it seems like a stupid joke to me. If the TCI tuning that expensive pickups costing $500 in a set boasts does not apply to all guitars and instead shows the best function only under certain conditions, people who buy it will be like taking a gamble.
 
It's not so much about the guitar, it's a process to make the pickups "match" better. Sure, they're designed and built by PRS, but that doesn't mean they can't go into other guitars. 58/15LT TCI can go into more than the 594, which is where they started (the LTs, not TCI, that was the Silver Sky). It's all about pickup consistency.
 
It's not so much about the guitar, it's a process to make the pickups "match" better. Sure, they're designed and built by PRS, but that doesn't mean they can't go into other guitars. 58/15LT TCI can go into more than the 594, which is where they started (the LTs, not TCI, that was the Silver Sky). It's all about pickup consistency.
Is it just to ensure consistency of quality? Where can I find the most reliable explanation or information about tci tuning?
 
I think the TCI thing is mostly marketing hype. I wouldn’t worry about it. The same thing can probably be achieved just by trying different capacitor values to find one that suits you the best.
I think there is definitely some marketing going on there. It isn't so much about the pickup itself as it is matching the components to give the exact circuit that they are trying to achieve. I would like to see inside the cavity of a few TCI tuned guitars to see if they are adding different values of capacitors or resistors in there somewhere to get it all where they want it. None of my PRS guitars have the TCI stuff.
 
IIRC, the purpose of TCI pickups were to maintain a level of consistency across product. Too often, varied windings caused different resistance values that increase the chance of things sounding different from one guitar to the next.

"TCI-tuning" is designed to mitigate the variances, so that each guitar model sounds like what Paul intended the prototypes to sound like.

Regards marketing, it's more of a leveling of the playing field regards how each guitar sounds within its model group.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is what I recall from several discussions of TCI in recent history...
 
I think the TCI thing is mostly marketing hype. I wouldn’t worry about it. The same thing can probably be achieved just by trying different capacitor values to find one that suits you the best.
Not to bust on you, but it is not "marketing hype." It's a tried and true way to tune pickups... similar to what you just suggested that he do.
 
IIRC, the purpose of TCI pickups were to maintain a level of consistency across product. Too often, varied windings caused different resistance values that increase the chance of things sounding different from one guitar to the next.

"TCI-tuning" is designed to mitigate the variances, so that each guitar model sounds like what Paul intended the prototypes to sound like.

Regards marketing, it's more of a leveling of the playing field regards how each guitar sounds within its model group.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is what I recall from several discussions of TCI in recent history...
That is true, but only part of the equation. Yes, it was made to tune to a similar range, so consistency was one goal, but the other was to tune to a "specific" range that Paul felt sounded best on whatever guitar they were tuning it for. THAT is sort of the key here, IMO, as Paul said he didn't just try to "normalize the range" so they were all consistent, but he did that AFTER finding what range he thought sounded best, THEN tuned them all to that range. IMO, the second have is even more important than the first. The first only yields consistency. The second tunes to the preferred sound, and THEN the consistency aspect makes sure they are all close to that ideal.
 
The note I think Paul is talking about is an inherent resonant frequency that can be tuned. Things like that are subtle.

Nonetheless, they're real.

The fact that they can do it consistently probably matters. And it's also good for marketing. What's not to like?

As for whether it's a mistake to buy them, I'd say it isn't - the mistake is not buying a PRS to put them in!! ;)

I kid the OP, or course. Kinda. :)

The consistency thing is desirable, because there are very subtle things about certain guitars that we aren't necessarily aware of that make us think, "This guitar is great," or "This guitar doesn't float my boat." No doubt things are improved if the resonant frequency of the pickup is consistent.

In a similar way, people wonder about NOS tubes in amps. I always tell folks it's not that you hear big differences, though you do hear some very clearly depending on the amp. It's mostly about living with an amp for a while, being satisfied with it every time you play through it, and deciding it's a keeper. The subtle differences we don't think about sometimes matter quite a lot, even if we're not quite certain we can articulate why.

EDIT - I see DTR's post was put up just as I was posting, too. I agree with him.
 
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Hi guys

I have a 335 copy guitar with a 58/15 lt tci installed.

I became interested in those pickups through YouTube and forums, and eventually installed them on my guitar. They were the most expensive pickups I've ever purchased and I was very satisfied with the tone of my guitar.

But I just came across something I didn't know about TCI tuning through this forum. That is, tci is customized tuning according to various structural characteristics of the guitar.

If tci tuning varies depending on physical and electrical characteristics such as the type of cutway, neck joint method, body thickness, etc., for guitars other than PRS, the pickups must be tuned differently from PRS guitars for the pickups to provide the best performance. .

I don't know if I'm lucky and the 58/15 lt tci pickups on my guitar sound good, or if my guitar isn't a prs guitar and the pickups can't perform at their best.

PRS released limited edition 58/15 LT TCI pickups a year ago. But it seems like a stupid joke to me. If the TCI tuning that expensive pickups costing $500 in a set boasts does not apply to all guitars and instead shows the best function only under certain conditions, people who buy it will be like taking a gamble.
If you like the results and don't feel a need to improve on the pickups, then maybe you're done.

I have a 2000 Gibson ES335 that is my pride and joy. Stop tailpiece and TOM bridge.

Tom Holmes humbuckers.

But I have a set of PRS 57/08's that are the newer, stronger model and they're my favorite paf style pickup I've found.

I'd love to try them in my ES-335.

If pickups were as easy to replace in a 335 as they are in a solid body I'd have done it by now.
 
If you like the results and don't feel a need to improve on the pickups, then maybe you're done.

I have a 2000 Gibson ES335 that is my pride and joy. Stop tailpiece and TOM bridge.

Tom Holmes humbuckers.

But I have a set of PRS 57/08's that are the newer, stronger model and they're my favorite paf style pickup I've found.

I'd love to try them in my ES-335.

If pickups were as easy to replace in a 335 as they are in a solid body I'd have done it by now.
Definitely not a 20 minute job on that guitar... They are possibly the worst guitar to change pickups on that exists, definitely one of them if not the worst.
 
I guess I had a misunderstanding about tci. Can I understand it as tuning that tries to minimize the variation that each individual pickup has?
 
I guess I had a misunderstanding about tci. Can I understand it as tuning that tries to minimize the variation that each individual pickup has?
The way I understand it is that in recreating vintage pickups there are a lot of variables that come down to tolerances in the parts: the copper wire, the magnets, the steel baseplate, the polepieces...even the brass or stainless steel screws that hold the two bobbins to the baseplate affect the tone slightly.

I think the goal is to tune those TCI pickups to consistently sound like Paul's vision of what they should sound like, despite the unavoidable variance in the parts that tends to make any two pickups of the same model sound slightly different from each other.

I'd think if you know you like the sound of them, you could use them in any guitar that they would fit in, and be fine.
 
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I originally thought it was more tuning pickup circuit for each guitar, but like others posted it just seems to be to tune a pickup sound design, for consistency during manufacture. They have blurbed about using this to get hotter variants of a pickup model number for SC bodies but then conversely they then fit same hotter pickup in runs of thinner body guitars.

So install them where you've got them.
 
The most important thing is to like the sound of what you have. As others have said, the pickups are tuned to what Paul believes is the best sound. That can vary considerably from model to model, depending on scale length, number of frets, wood materials, and body shape. I’m a sound chaser, so I have different pickup models in different guitars. All of the guitars are PRS with PRS pickups, except a 16” non-cutaway archtop. Our ears will want to hear different things. I have one guitar with TCI (I think), and a few with every variation of 57/08’s that I could find. They hit my sweet spot sonically. In some guitars, I prefer non TCI pickups. Always; your guitar, your ears, your sound.
 
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