new generation prs pickup swap requirements


New Member
Oct 15, 2022

i have an older ('93) prs that i changed the pickups years ago, including adding a three-way switch in place of the rotary and adding a coil split switch on the tone pot. the sound i really like is the old, classic low-output paf sounds of the late 50s (think 'burst). after buying a newer prs that came with a pair their new generation of pickups im investigating installing a set of new generation prs pickups in their place and keeping the three-way switch. i have a few questions and id appreciate any thoughts on them:

* im looking at the 57/08, 59/09 and 58/15 lines of pickups and, although ive read a number thoughts on these, id appreciate any feedback on pros and cons for these
* do each of these come as four wire (id like to to keep the splitting im currently using)?
* id suppose each of these lines would direct drop into an older prs but id appreciate clarity regarding any routing necessary
* are there any requirements for caps/pots/etc. that would vary from the current install? what are the best practices in installing these?
* are there any issues in removing covers on these (if a pickup set has them)?

thanks in advance, j
There should be no routing necessary. I have 57/08’s in my old CE24, and am getting ready to have them put in an S2 Semihollow. There is no one set of pickups that is “better.” Everybody has different taste, techniquse, amplifiers and music style. Please give us more info on the aforementioned, and we can tell you what we like and why. Also, is it a 22 or 24 fret guitar, bolt on or set neck ?
dog- thanks for your thoughts.

im not asking "better", i think, just about comparitive opinions of these three pickups. i hope some folks may have experience with a couple (or maybe all three) and can weigh in on things they like and things they dont. the other help i could use is more technical (e.g., four vs two wire, pots and caps for wiring, etc.). i would like the versatility of being able to split the coils for more strat-like sounds.

the guitar is a custom 24 with a set neck. i swapped out the hfs pickups years ago to lower output paf-style humbuckers and, while i like them, am really impressed by the r&d prs has done with these new pickups. also, my newest prs (with 59/09s) is a really fantastic sounding guitar. i am really looking for a vintage output pickup set that mirrors older classic pafs, which i think all three sets do. i dont need higher output as i can always boost the signal hotter if i need this.

hope i touched on the topics you asked about.

thanks, j
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If you want true vintage output you need to go lower output than the 57/08, (although for me I like those, the 59/09 and Dragon 1’s and 2’s ect…) . As PRS is trying to appeal to some trends these days, their newest pickups are lower wind, tci type but I don’t think they’re available to buy seperately…..
Years ago, my old ‘59 burst (stock) came with PAF’s that both measured in barely 7900/ 8K ….I had Lindy Fralin rewind them (horrors) to 9k ohms. That was perfect …They had bigger tone, get up and go and push to the sound and feel that works for me as a lead and rhythm player…..Alnico 2’s
.the 57/08’s and 59/09’s are wound in that range (for good reason) Alnico 2’s……..
The newer PRS pickups, imo, and some of their older pickups have greatly surpassed all the old PAF’s with their quirks and then some…
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I put 57/08s in my CU22. It transformed the guitar for my taste. I really like the 57/08s. I think there have been different versions of them with a different number of wires. It has been a good while since I added them to the three guitars that I have put them in. I know the ones that I have put in had 4 wires. I had the first set done by the PTC during the pickup promotion back in 09. If you buy them from the PRS store, they should have 4 wires because they are made to be tappable.
rod/jason- thx for your thoughts.

in doing a bit of research recently i found that the 59/09s & 57/08s have a pretty similar eq curve with lighter lows, netural mids and a treble bump. if i can figure out how to embed the marketing images i found ill post them. it looks like the major difference is that the 59/09s have higher output and maybe a bit more mids. although i currently have lower output pickups installed in the guitar im not scared by pickups =<10k. also, im leaning toward having a set of each in the two prs's.

thanks, j