My First Core Purchase Advice

jacobmatthew

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Aug 3, 2018
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Hey everyone just looking to get some advice on buying my first Core model. For the last few years I have been rocking a 2018 PRS SE CU24. I wasn't crazy about the 85/15 pickups in them as they seemed a little dull with a lack of definition in the low end. I ended up replacing them with Rebel Yells and have been mostly happy although the split tones aren't the best. I think they split better than the 85/15's but they still sound a little thin to me. I have been eyeing a 24-08 as I heard Phillip Mcknight say they are the best split tones he's heard on a PRS, but also on my list is a used 2017 C22 Piezo with 85/15's and a 2016 Custom 24 with 58/15's. I tried out a new CU24 at Guitar Center and there seemed to be a little more brightness and bite than my old SE 85/15's, but I am missing some of the extra flexibility from the 24-08 pickup selection, or the Piezo 22 acoustic option. Right now I am leaning towards the 2017 Piezo just based on having an acoustic sound available to me, but the 2016 I found is an amazing color I haven't seen before. The 24-08 I know will probably fill my needs but the wait is until next year :(

So I wanted to get some feedback here, what does everyone think of the 58/15's compared with the newer 85/15's or Rebel Yells? Am I stressing too much over a 24-08 having one or two "extra" sounds from a regular CU24? Does the Piezo sound good enough to be my VERY occasional acoustic sound or would I be better served by buying an acoustic guitar?

My playing style: I play in church a few times a week so my needs range from super clean punchy funk gospel lines to worship style music with light overdrive to full on 80's ballad rock solos. I like my pickups to be very clean, bright, and clear. I add on overdrive with pedals. The bridge should be a tight bright sound to cut through a heavy mix when doing power chords. The low end should be clear and defined.
 

Martin Lenihan

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May 8, 2020
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For worship music I would buy an acoustic guitar as I use one for the same purpose. My core is a McCarty 594 semi-hollow that I love because I can get jazz tones out of it along with just about anything else. Except for a true single coil sound. Then I use a PRS SE Paul's guitar. You could consider the core version of that guitar but I think it's worth trying the SE model first. I think it has the tone you want and it's an amazing guitar for $1100. Of course the core Paul's guitar is great as well.
 

jacobmatthew

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Aug 3, 2018
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For worship music I would buy an acoustic guitar as I use one for the same purpose. My core is a McCarty 594 semi-hollow that I love because I can get jazz tones out of it along with just about anything else. Except for a true single coil sound. Then I use a PRS SE Paul's guitar. You could consider the core version of that guitar but I think it's worth trying the SE model first. I think it has the tone you want and it's an amazing guitar for $1100. Of course the core Paul's guitar is great as well.
Yeah I've seen those two but I need a trem, I don't do tons of dive bombs but I like using it for adding some extra spice to chords.
 

dmatthews

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I have Rebel Yells in a 2000 SC and I think they are great. They don't split in my guitar though so I can't comment on that.
I have 58/15 LT in my 2017 WL 594 and they are great as well and split nicely. Both the Rebel Yells and 58/15 are articulate with the RYs being maybe a tad hotter?
I have a 2013 P22 Piezo and do get some use out out of the piezo. Note that if you only have a regular guitar amp the piezo won't give you its full potential. It is much better served going to a PA, or DI to PA/full range amp. Works well in my cover band.
That being said, blending the piezo into your magnetic pups can result in some surprisingly wonderful full tones.
 

jacobmatthew

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Aug 3, 2018
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I have Rebel Yells in a 2000 SC and I think they are great. They don't split in my guitar though so I can't comment on that.
I have 58/15 LT in my 2017 WL 594 and they are great as well and split nicely. Both the Rebel Yells and 58/15 are articulate with the RYs being maybe a tad hotter?
I have a 2013 P22 Piezo and do get some use out out of the piezo. Note that if you only have a regular guitar amp the piezo won't give you its full potential. It is much better served going to a PA, or DI to PA/full range amp. Works well in my cover band.
That being said, blending the piezo into your magnetic pups can result in some surprisingly wonderful full tones.
Thanks! I'll take into account the cost of an extra DI box if I go with the Piezo 22.
 

Malloc

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I’ve been doing weekly worship on and off for 10 years with a P22. The piezo has come in handy a few times, but not nearly as many as I had planned when I got it. Running through a modeler with separate DSP paths (I.e. Helix) is a great option to get more out of the piezo since it sounds decent with a little processing. Aura Spectrum DI is another good path for handling the piezo output.

All that said and all the good service my P22 has given me I must admit I’m personally looking for a 3 pickup PRS to get some Strat 2/4 position sounds since I reach for those frequently (much more so than piezo sounds) and the PRS position 4 isn’t quite there. However, to directly answer your question: yes you are over thinking it. Good worship can be made with anything that has 6 strings (we’ll *anything* really).
 

jacobmatthew

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Aug 3, 2018
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I’ve been doing weekly worship on and off for 10 years with a P22. The piezo has come in handy a few times, but not nearly as many as I had planned when I got it. Running through a modeler with separate DSP paths (I.e. Helix) is a great option to get more out of the piezo since it sounds decent with a little processing. Aura Spectrum DI is another good path for handling the piezo output.

All that said and all the good service my P22 has given me I must admit I’m personally looking for a 3 pickup PRS to get some Strat 2/4 position sounds since I reach for those frequently (much more so than piezo sounds) and the PRS position 4 isn’t quite there. However, to directly answer your question: yes you are over thinking it. Good worship can be made with anything that has 6 strings (we’ll *anything* really).
Thanks for the feedback, that Aura looks awesome. I've seen the 3 pickup PRS guitars like the Special 22, and the flexibility would probably be great but it feels overwhelming aesthetically. I think I like the clean look of the dual humbucker, I know it's trivial but when you're spending this much on something it's hard not to think of how will this look in my room :p
 

xarkon

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A Cu22 or Cu24 with Piezo would be a reasonable solution. (previously known as the P22 and P24, I think)

I much prefer the 58/15 over the 85/15.
 

jacobmatthew

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Aug 3, 2018
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To give an update, I ended up getting a good deal on a 35th anniversary CU24. The additional splitting options are great, genuinely a huge upgrade from my SE. I did try a CU22 Piezo at a local store and it sounded great, but I wasn't digging the color. The Faded Whale Blue that came on the 35th I got is very unique, often Faded Whale Blue looks more gray than blue but this is the opposite, more blue than gray or light blue. Some comments on the pickups in case anyone comes across this thread in the future,

SE 85/15 2016: Felt very dull to me. Low end was a bit muddy. Split tones weren't very usable.
SE 85/15 S 2021: I did try a newer SE for a few days, and they seemed brighter but they were too hot. Split tones were better but only slightly. Overall not crazy about the SE pickups. Perhaps the S 85/15 sound better in Core models but in the SE they seemed harsh to me.
Rebel Yell: Brighter with better low end but still very smooth. Split tones were...usable, but I'd only use them in very specific situations.
Core 85/15 TCI: Not as bright as the Rebel Yells, but they are more full sounding. Listening to these compared with the Rebels It's almost like I took cotton out of my ears. There is a clarity and seemingly fuller range of EQ. Low end isn't muddy at all, everything feels fairly tight. The split tones are fantastic and I spent most of my time in split modes while playing for two service sets. This guitar isn't a strat, It doesn't have that same bright, sparkly, quacky tone, but while split there is a clarity to them that I really like.

I have yet to try what others have mentioned here (the 58/15), but for now I am pretty happy with the 85/15 TCI. And for the acoustic sound I needed, I ended up getting a Seagull to account for when I need an acoustic sound, although I do still feel like the P22 had something special as someone mentioned before that mixing in a bit of the piezo with the regular pickups definitely had it's own thing. Thanks everyone for the input!
 
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