Modern Eagle V Pickups !

Matthew Seed

New Member
Dec 16, 2018
Hi gang, I finally pulled the trigger on THE most stunning Modern Eagle V, a wood library with maple neck and ebony fretboard….my dream combo. It’s even in River Blue. It looks to me like a Private Stock.

HOWEVER. I am struggling with the pickups. It may just be that they are not to my taste. From this guitar I was hoping to get a full on hard rock humbucker tone from the bridge and then from middle and neck, that spanky, qwacky Strat style tone. Ya know the holy grail, Les Paul & start tones all rolled into one.

I find the start style tones to be great, but I’m struggling with the humbuckers, I find them a bit lacking in…._well….humbuckerness! The bridge I find a bit soft and polite would be a good word. The neck I don’t find fat and rounded enough, feels like a thick single coil.

I’m only a few days into playing this guitar, but I just wanted to see what others thought. I guess the problem with this guitar is ya can’t really swap pickups out if your not keen…..or can you, is there any others that fit ?

Thanks for any help
The pups are only ONE of the factors. How about your amps, pedals, cabinets, speakers?

There are way more pieces to consider for dialing in the sweet tone than pups.

My recommendation: Buy the guitar and than set up your gear.
Have you played with the pickup height adjustment? If not, that's step one. Raising and lowering the pickup will change things quite a bit. There really is no wrong or right answer to pickup height. It all varies on player, guitar, and rig.

Next.. setup, amp, and chain. For swapping pickups you've picked the wrong guitar, but honestly you've got the right guitar, just need to get things dialed in.
Hi gang. Maertl513 yeah I have had a good play around, I have a Gibson Les Paul that I’m kinda A/B ing it with. I don’t expect to match it has such, but with the LP the amp rig sounds killer.

SinSir I have lowered and raised them a bit, of course that always makes a change but it’s certainly not enough to make them to my taste.

I just wondered if anyone else found these pickups not to their taste ?

Cheers gang
I have one. I treat it as a Strat sound with optional thickening agent in the humbucker settings. I don’t have any traditional Les Paul style guitars, and I am a clean/low gain player, so I am probably not the most helpful in answering your question. I also have a Paul’s Guitar. It is more aggressive in the bridge pickup and has more bass than the MEV. It might be because of the setup, but I suspect it has more to do with the wraparound tailpiece. I have only had the MEV for a little while, so I am like you in that I am learning its dynamics. I briefly had a McCarty with 58/15 (non-LT) pickups. I felt like it was more classic rock oriented. If I turned the volume of the Paul’s Guitar to 8, it had a very similar tone as the McCarty on 10. They all produce usable tones and I can’t say I would be at a loss if I didn’t have the Paul’s Guitar. I would lose the 2/4 Strat tones without the MEV, so if only given the option to keep one, I would stick with the MEV. Others will have more informed opinions on the Les Paul tone, but a DGT might be for you if the MEV isn’t doing it and you want to stick with a trem equipped guitar. Still no 2/4 Strat positions, but it has everything else.
And in the realm of counterintuitive steps that you have probably already tried, rolling back on the volume and tone really changes the way the guitar sounds. I think the 10/10 settings with gain in the bridge pickup of the MEV creates a tonal traffic jam. Volume on 8 and tone on 6/7 gets you to feeling like it is opened up on the freeway.
Thanks for all your input guys….i am finding it useful. I’m now intrigued by the thoughts of @markd21 ?

I've been pondering over this since I saw it...

I think, for me, the sounds just didn't deliver want I was expecting. In the end I was unsatisfied with constantly adjusting pickup heights to get the tones I wanted.

Really, that guitar lead me to find what I really like in a guitar. I'm happy I owned it, but I don't care that it's gone.

I know this doesn't directly answer your question about the pickups. I don't remember what they specifically sound like....

Oh yeah!! The weird high-end that the narrow 408 had - like a bell chime - after the TCI process. Ughh, WORST pickup "update" me anyway... pizzas here!!
I really like the MEV pickups, the humbuckers anyway, especially when downtuned a little bit. I keep mine in E#/drop C#. They are very clean, bright, focused and HiFi sounding, which may not be everybody’s thing. The single coil settings are a “nice to have” but really doesn’t replace “real” single coils.
If you set the amp up for a LP, the MEV will likely not sound great.
I really love the MEV especially the pickup sounds. 408 TCI pickups are amazing BUT I like playing it clean and with overdrive. I’m not playing it with a live rig, I don’t play out anymore. I use it with a fractal AX8, now FM3. When I’m not using that, I have a very simple, pedalboard rig going into my Fender Princeton, the MEV sounds amazing. Not sure what your style of playing is, musical tastes, the sound you prefer, that varies with everyone. I bought the Paul’s guitar with 408 TCI because of the pickup sounds (2018 and after) when the MEV came out, I was thrilled to have additional switchable tones and a trem bridge. The MEV is not the be all end all for everything just like any guitar model I suppose. There are times I prefer the tones of a Santana model, West St. Limited, 594, 90’s McCarty, etc. All very different animals, the MEV may be a Swiss Army guitar of tones but it’s still a tool with its own voice. The voice I heard on the demos was a sound I adored and I’m not trying to make it something it is not. (Not saying you are.) You may have to play with your amp settings, tweak things to get the sound you like. If it’s not, unfortunately you have to move on. I can’t tell you how many times I purchased a Guitar I was so excited about it and after a couple weeks or a month I realized it wasn’t for me. I try to make myself feel better by considering them rentals.

HA HA I like the idea of rentals Andrew. Yeah this one caught me out, i never thought a humbucker tone could put me off a guitar. I know all humbuckers can sound different but of course you alwasy have that thing of 'I could swap them out' in the back of your head !!! Not this time !!!

It is THE most stunning guitar but I may have to let it go.

HiFi sounding is the best way to describe it id say. Some guys love that from what I can tell, I just don't click with it.

Oh well....I just wished it didnt cost me £5300 to find out.

HA HA I like the idea of rentals Andrew. Yeah this one caught me out, i never thought a humbucker tone could put me off a guitar. I know all humbuckers can sound different but of course you alwasy have that thing of 'I could swap them out' in the back of your head !!! Not this time !!!

It is THE most stunning guitar but I may have to let it go.

HiFi sounding is the best way to describe it id say. Some guys love that from what I can tell, I just don't click with it.

Oh well....I just wished it didnt cost me £5300 to find out.


Dude, I feel your pain. Much like when I got a Boogie MKIV in 1991, I was hoping the ME-V would be THE one...the guitar that would fill enough of the sonic needs I have to be my ONE guitar. I have been looking for that instrument ever since I got into PRS. Ironically, I had it before my flirtations and time with PRS. My modified Jackson PC-1 was the main guitar I played for 15 years. It was a work horse. I was always hoping I'd find a PRS that would do the same. Didn't happen. I was always looking for something "extra"- something that could provide me with a great neutral tone that works in most situations.

I am finding myself back playing guitars that offer ONE sound. So, essentially I am back to where I was BEFORE exploring PRS. Oh well. My four modified SEs make me happy along with my ever growing quiver of other instruments. I am also finding that I can be MORE than satisfied with a guitars in the $750-$1600 price range. I no longer feel the need to spend THOUSANDS to chase tones I can achieve easier and cheaper ;)

Sorry you seem to have experienced what I did with the ME-V. On paper it is a beast. For my reality it was too much work to make me happy. And, BTW, I love switches. I recently finished a custom strat that has separate switches for each pickup, for the treble bleed, for series/parallel, to defeat the volume, and to defeat the tone. I am using alnico single coils and have NO problem getting the tones I want from that guitar. I don't have to adjust pickup height to get a killer HB sound only to turn around and lower the pickups to get a great "strat" tone.

Anyway, I spent two years with mine before deciding that it was a "ack-of-all-trades, master of none" type guitar.
I think the only way you can try to capture Strat and Humbucker Rock Machine tones in the same guitar is an HSS super strat style guitar. But Strats aren't LP's, and LP's aren't Strats. That's why you need both.

If you're adventurous, you could try lifting the ground wire of the bridge pickup and soldering a series resistor on it to ground, thus artificially raising the pickup resistance. Try 1-5k. Who knows, it could be a train wreck, or it could make it louder/more gainy.

Yeah, I have one and it doesn't do the humbucker thing. It's more like a P90 to me. Which is fine if that's what you're after. But yeah, I reach for another guitar if I want to bring the chug.
Taste is a funny thing. I immediately bonded with the HB tones in my MEV for precisely the traits that left you cold. To me they sound almost like FilterTrons or Wide Range Humbuckers - like PAFs with more clarity and not as “in your face”. They’re perfect for what I do, but I can see why you’d be disappointed if you were hoping for a LP sound. I expected to use the MEV as a Strat essentially, but I find myself living in the HB positions most often.
I love the tone of the Paul's 408s in my guitar that has them.

I posted a few clips in another thread; one a 594 with P-90s and one with humbuckers; the PG pickups clean and a bit overdriven.

They're all very different from one another.