New to PRS. Couple of questions.

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Screamingdaisy, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. Screamingdaisy

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    Hi.

    I picked up my first PRS yesterday (a McCarty). I've been avoiding them for years (blame nü-metal). So far I'm really happy with my decision. I've been using Les Pauls for the last 12 years and was looking for something a little different, but not too different. A "little hotter and with more clarity". I think I found it.

    It's a bit weird at times because it has so much of the sound yet lacks the top end bite. I'm constantly reaching for the tone knob thinking I've got it rolled off when it's already full up. The trade off is that the McCarty isn't giving me any of the high gain "fizz" I get with a Les Paul, thus I'm getting a smoother sound that I really like. Overall it seems a bit more focused... not quite as much top or bottom end, smoother and tighter, and my effects seem to behave better because of it.

    Additionally, I'm surprised at the coil splits. I've had these a few times in the past on different guitars, but found them underwhelming and never used them. On this guitar however the split sounds are really good and in the short time I've had it I find myself reaching for them quite a bit. Despite my choice of amp I work my volume/tone knobs at lot and go for a vintage-meets-modern sort of vibe, and having access to these lower output sounds without switching guitars is really nice.

    So... questions:

    Headstock - Is it safe to put a McCarty in a gig bag? I've heard PRS aren't as prone to headstock breakage as Gibson, but I want to make sure.

    Straplocks - I'm used to putting strap locks on my guitars, but the stock PRS oversized pins seem secure enough. Is it safe to say that those pins combined with a stiff leather strap will be adequate? Or am I asking for trouble by not converting to Schallers?

    Pickups - I like the stock pickups and don't plan on changing them (I want this guitar to sound like a PRS, not force it to be something it isn't); but, do most of you adjust the screw heights or leave them flat?

    Treble bleed - do these come stock with a treble bleed circuit? I notice the tone isn't darkening up as I roll the volume off.

    Cheers,

    SD

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    Steinmetzify likes this.
  2. XiXora

    XiXora New Member

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    Congrats on the McCarty. I assume this won't be your first PRS :)

    I'd say it was safe to put it in a gig bag. The S2 guitars come with a gig bag. Although, they use scarf joints afaik.
    I'm using a Mono Vertigo bag. It seems quite protective.
     
  3. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    Congrats!

    Gig bag: yes, you can use one. Especially if you are the only one picking it up and putting it down, and you don't put it in your truck bed with a couple of loose full kegs of beer on a regular basis. But I must admit I use hardshell cases for my Core PRSi just for the added protection.

    You don't need to use strap locks - the oversized buttons/pins will hold on any mildly-stiff leather. But! It is easier to remove straplocks when putting the guitar in the hardshell case than it is to remove regular straps from the stock pins. So you may want to use strap locks for convenience more than safety.

    I have occasionally fiddled with pole and total pickup heights, but I'm NOT [edit here] obsessive about it.

    Yes, most PRSi come with treble bleed circuits.

    As for your perceived lack of top-end bite - it might be you got too used to that "fizz" you mentioned from the Les Paul, and now you miss it a little bit...

    :dontknow:

    Again, congrats, and welcome to the PRS club!
     
    #3 shinksma, Dec 16, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
  4. markintime

    markintime Wood Grain Devotee

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    +1 ^^^^ to all that, beat me to it.

    Beautiful guitar, btw. Congrats!
     
  5. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    The headstock is pretty strong. It is rare to have one break. Many gigging musicians (including me) use a gig bag. The PRS bag is a great one.

    Straplocks are not required, but many of us put locking ones on anyway. I have both locking and original. I don't jump around everywhere (I'm 53 after all), but I've never had the strap come off.

    Pickups - I would only change the adjustable pole heights if I heard a difference between strings. You can balance strings with pole height. I would use pickup height to balance the two pickups to play in the middle position.

    Bleed caps - There have been a few different wirings over the years for McCartys. I don't remember one that didn't have at least one cap but you can also add/change yours if you want. Here's a schematic.

    http://prsguitars.com/csc/schematics/schem08/mccarty.pdf
     
  6. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    Paul uses an SE gig bag when he travels short distances. He stuff his 22 fret gtr in it. I used to use straploks, pre PRS. They're all in my parts drawer now. I 'm a firm believer in adjusting pickup height and/or the polepieces. I think a lot of us are too quick to reach for new pickups. I've twice replaced the pickups with big brand good stuff, and then decided it sounded much worse. It think the adjustable bridge will change the high end, hopefully to your liking. I use locking studs as well.
     
  7. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

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    First of all, nice guitar! Looks great.

    I unscrew the pins, thread the strap through the holes from the other side so that I don't stretch out the hole, then screw it back in, and then I feel perfectly comfortable that short of breaking the strap, it won't come off.

    Pickup height makes a big difference -- I screwed with the pickup height after having a pro install a new pickup in one of mine (including adjusting the pickup height), and now I can't get it quite right, so be patient when you're playing around with pickup height -- a little bit goes a long way. I'm not saying, "don't", I'm saying, "be patient" and "be careful", that's all.
     
    #7 Dusty Chalk, Dec 16, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
  8. The Fight

    The Fight Long Hair Demigod

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    Hey man how do you like that Deja Vibe? I'v seen them, and they look really cool but have never played one. Have always wanted to try one.
     
  9. Screamingdaisy

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    It's like taking drugs... without the drugs.



    The warmly throb is a Deja Vibe. It's pretty cool recorded, but live through a loud an amp is an experience. It kicks a low end throb that becomes hypnotizing.
     
    #9 Screamingdaisy, Dec 17, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2015
  10. Screamingdaisy

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    It is my first PRS but it might not be my last. I'm totally in the honeymoon period but I do like what this guitar is bringing out of me.

    I rarely regret anything, but I do regret having taken so long. I've spent about a decade chasing "vintage tone" so for me this is really refreshing. Since I have no preconceived notions of what a McCarty should sound like it's like starting with a blank slate. I can just accept the guitar for what it is.

    It's funny you reference the "you can't buy just one" thing. Should this guitar move into #1 position I'm already thinking it would be nice to pair it with something that contrasts it. I'm thinking something high output (all my guitars are PAF right now, except for my Tele), but the 405 and 513 look pretty interesting.
    I was thinking about the Vertigo double guitar bag, but it's mucho $$$ and I'm kind of broke at the moment.:cheers:


    Do the PRS bags have a neck support?
     
  11. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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  12. vchizzle

    vchizzle Birdman.

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    I carry a McCarty and an SC around in a Mono dual gig bag- M-80 I think without issue. Important to not put it in harms way like where a 100 lb 4x12 could fall on it:)

    I use strap locks on my gig guitars most for ease of use. PRS buttons hold securely but can be a pain getting straps on/off since they're big.

    Adjust overall pickup height to suit my rig. Haven't had to adjust individual pole piece heights, though I've done that on other pickups. Big thing is to know the starting point by measuring and knowing how many turns you make on an adjustment so you can go back to stock if need be.

    That's a beauty of a guitar and nice rig!
     
  13. CantankerousCarl

    CantankerousCarl Occasionally Onery Member

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    I will also say that is a georgeous BGW on that McCarty. Love the 58/15s...nice setup. I would so hard case that baby 100% of the time...
     
  14. alantig

    alantig SSBMA

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    A "last" PRS?

    There's no such thing...
     
  15. Screamingdaisy

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    Statistically speaking, there is a 100% chance that I will die eventually.


    On a less morbid note, I'm becoming more and more impressed with this guitar. While I still look down periodically to verify my tone control hasn't backed itself off, I'm really starting to appreciate the honky sound of the bridge pickup. Midrange just explodes out of this guitar and the overtones coming out of the amp are crazy. The string to string separation is outstanding into levels of gain I previously considered barely usable. I've never really been a fan of a Recto's modern mode (too scooped), but this guitar is giving it a midrange grunt and chunk that I've never previously heard out of it. The string to string balance is also great, which when combined with the explosive midrange is making leads a breeze to play. Which segues into...

    ...the sustain. At first I thought it was hotter pickups that were driving the amp harder, but then I started to understand that it was the guitar was sustaining longer. It finally sank in this morning when I set the guitar down on it's stand and it just sat there ringing, then I left the room, had a quick piss, and when I came back it was still ringing. Impressive.

    Next up is the single coil tones. These are still impressing the hell out of me. I spent awhile comparing it to my Tele and I thought the McCarty generally captured the vibe while having it's own unique sound. The Tele was a little more compressed and snappy, while the McCarty was a little more bold and solid sounding, but for a humbucker guitar with coil splits it held its own. I see myself getting a lot of use out of this feature.

    Lastly, last night I restrung my guitar just to try these locking tuners out. Probably the first time in history that I've restrung a guitar willingly (my very first guitar had a Floyd and still I loath changing strings), I think I was done in under 5 minutes. I'm sold. I want these on all my guitars.
     
    #15 Screamingdaisy, Dec 17, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
  16. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

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    Cheers to a fellow nihilist!
     
  17. alantig

    alantig SSBMA

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    That may be true, but until we can be certain a) that there's no afterlife; and b) there's no PRS store in the afterlife (and really, what kind of afterlife would it be if there were no PRSi there?), we can't say for certain that there's a "last" PRS. :rock:
     
  18. The Fight

    The Fight Long Hair Demigod

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    I keep telling myself I'm done buying more prsi. But then you see that one, and in that color, and that price, next thing you know you trying to convince family you do don't have a problem.
    Oh I can stop! Na man~ that's what I said then I had to buy two single cuts in one week. Laughing all the way home.
     
  19. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I use the stock strap buttons and always have, and yes, gig bags are safe unless you're pretty careless.

    As to treble bite...here's the thing. As with most pickups, the longer the cable, the more capacitance, and the more treble rolloff. I noticed in your pedal chain that you don't have a good buffer. It makes a difference, and really preserves your treble, because even with just a few pedals, if you're running say 20 feet of cable to the first pedal, and then some pedal interconnects, and then a cable to the amp, chances are you've got 30-35 feet of cable capacitance.

    Unbalanced cable rolls off high end noticeably at 20 feet.

    Now, I'm not talking about Boss buffers, parts that cost about ten cents. I'm talking about a good, dedicated buffer box circuit, of which there are several good ones on the market (I use a Suhr, but there are many others).

    Put the buffer first in your chain, or at least, after your wah, and voila, suddenly your high end doesn't get lost. I also run a ten foot cable to my first pedal, again, there's less signal loss, better high end, and also less noise picked up by the cable.

    Finally, of course, set your amp up differently for a PRS than for a Gibson. I generally set the amp up with the guitar volume around 5-6, to get that "edge of breakup" tone. Roll back the guitar volume to clean up more, roll it higher to get more gain, and of course, more treble bite. Do the same thing with your guitar's treble control. Want more bite? It's on your guitar, without even touching your amp!

    You'll find you have a lot more control over your tone as you play this way. It's old school (heck, I'm old and therefore school was new when I started out!) and you may already do this, but it's the best way to run a PRS IMHO, and in fact that's how famous PRS session players like David Grissom do it, too. You'll also get the most out of your coil splits this way (and yeah, they're great sounding aren't they?).

    The thing about a good PRS is that it has a beautiful, balanced tone that sings. It doesn't really favor any one part of the frequency response in an edgy way. But there are lots of ways to skin a cat, and with a PRS, it's not hard to figure out what is going to get the job done.

    Enjoy that McCarty; in fact, I have one that's very similar, but with the maple neck option.
     
    #19 LSchefman, Dec 18, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  20. celtic757

    celtic757 New Member

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    Awesome guitar. Love my McCarty and Black gold is a great color.

    I've got a PRS \m/ pup in the bridge and it has all the bite you need. It cleans up well also. You might want to try that if you're looking for a little more umph.

    Congrats again.
     

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