NGD: Late 2023 build of the new 2024 Model - Custom 2408 with the Paul's Guitar TCI Pickups

Update - I spent some more time playing this guitar with higher gain through both the 100W Superplex and the MT15. The results were a little better through the Superplex. The MT15 is a great amp! That said, 100W always wins, through the OxBox and into headphones with modeled Cab and Speakers, or attenuated to sane volumes through a great Cabinet (JD Simo's old Marshall 4x12, in my case - which is an amazing cab, he had optimized the speaker setup in that for playing 100W Marshall Heads with his loaner 1960 Les Paul and his ES-335).

I am very impressed with the Bridge Pickup for heavy rock tones at higher gain. If you plug it into an amp that is set up for a 58/15 LT guitar, with the guitar tone at 10 and the guitar volume at 7-10, like I would normally do with a 58/15 LT equipped guitar, it doesn't sound quite as good at first. It lacks the girth at the lower frequencies, and sounds thinner. But if you play with the amp settings a bit (turn up the bass a little, and then optimize, mids, treble and presence) and turn the guitar tone down to 3-7 (I rarely tinker with the guitar tone on 58/15 LT equipped guitars with the Bridge Pickup) - it really fattens up and sounds terrific. Still a little different than a "full-sized" Humbucker, it does sound a little more "focused", but still sounds big and has the low end. I imagine it would cut through the mix very well in a band setting, as Paul claims.

I think that is a key with these pickups, taking the time to figure out the guitar volume and tone settings, and the amp settings. I think to get those sparkly Singlecoil tones, the pickups need to be a little brighter, so to get more so the darker/warmer humbucker tones, it takes a little more work to dial that in. One you figure that out, you realize it a very versatile guitar!

Now I have GAS for a Modern Eagle V, which should have the exact same Humbucker capabilities, with a lot more versatility for the Singlecoil tones. At the expense of being even more complicated to figure out, at least on the Singlecoil side. ;)
I was looking at an ME V but wasn't sure I wanted to move away from coil taps with a 3 way switch and the mini-toggles. I've never had a lot of success with managing the 5 way blades in live settings. So I went with a 24-08 to keep it in my wheel house. If I were recording at all, I think the ME V would have won me over.
So my adventure continues getting back into playing guitar here in 2024, and rebuilding a PRS collection.

Got this in yesterday:






I actually really like the Tuner Knobs, they look really good in person IMO, especially on a Custom 24.



What is going on in the Universe? I am turning into a Custom 24 guy? LOL... ;)

I am very impressed with this guitar, I had certain expectations of it and so far it is exceeding my expectations.

My context (as mentioned on the other thread) is that I seem to be really locked in in my preferences for PRS guitars with the traditional Gibson wood formula, Mahogany Body, Mahogany Neck, Maple Top and Rosewood Board. Every time I try some deviation away from that, I don't end up loving the guitar. I have tried about every variation of PRS guitar that leans towards fenders tones. And when I say that, I mean pretty much every one PRS has ever made. Nothing really ever stuck with me. So your mileage may vary as they say - this is my context, which may be very different from other peoples' context.

This time around I am focused more so on 25" scale length PRS guitars, for now at least. And I seem to also be favoring Trem-equipped guitars at this point as well. I was looking at Paul's Guitars and Modern Eagle V's, and nothing available out there really jumped out at me with regards to a finish and top. (I am still very vain in that regard! That hasn't changed.) When I saw this one, I was very intrigued - since I had acquired that Custom 24 Private Stock and really liked it, whereas I had never bonded with Custom 24's as much before, having owned a few, including one that I played out with my band a few times.

This time around I wanted to try another Paul's Guitar or Paul's Guitar variation (like a Modern Eagle V, or now this new 2024 Model), since the new revision of the Paul's Guitar TCI pickups in 2019 or so.

I wanted a Trem-based guitar, and I preferred to start with the 408 sort of configuration (like in the Paul's Guitar and in this new model) versus the additional complexity of the Modern Eagle V with the third pickup and the 5 Way - that seems more complicated, almost too many choices. Maybe I will later consider a Modern Eagle V, but when I saw this model and two to choose from available (the other one is also sold now, after I posted a PSA on it yesterday), I grabbed this one pretty quickly.

I had owned two Signature 408's back when those came out, and later a DC 245 Private Stock with 408 Signature Pickups and Switching / Electronics. I was very fond of that DC 245 408 Sig PS, I gigged it for a couple of years. I really liked the Pickups and the switching.

I owned a 2020 Paul's Guitar briefly in 2020, but I never really gave it a chance, I sold it or traded it fairly soon after I got it, to fund another 594 with the 594 madness that was going on at the time.

The singlecoil tones are great - FOR ME and my preferences, criteria and context. They are not pure Strat sort of Singlecoil tones - for that, buy a Strat or a Silver Sky. But for me, I wanted something true to my seemingly very hard preference for the Gibson Wood Formula for a PRS guitar, a 25" scale length, Pattern Thin or Pattern Nut Width and resulting string spacing, 10" Radius and PRS Medium Jumbo Frets. With those very strict criteria, this guitar is terrific for what I want it to be.

I put it through the paces last night with a variety of tones through a Metropolis Superplex 100W Amp, which is a terrific JTM45/100 KT66-based head, which is great for sparkly cleans, cleans at the edge of breakup, all the way to some great rock tones and even pushing a little bit into some metal tones with pedals.

The cleans and cleans at the edge of breakup are amazing, in both Humbucker and Singlecoil settings, across the Bridge, Neck and Middle Positions (my favorite is always the Bridge). At the edge of breakup, there are a lot of dynamics to be had, cleans with the Singlecoil on the Neck and switching to the Humbucker on the bridge, in that classic way.

These pickups are very sensitive to settings with the volume knob and the tone knob. I think more so than other more traditionally designed pickups.

The Singlecoil tones with Medium to High Gain are very good as well - great for Hendrix sort of tones, which is important to me. You do get Singlecoil hum, which is more noticeable with higher gain. These are truly Singlecoil Pickups when selected as such.

What I was most surprised about was how awesome the tone was on the Bridge in Humbucker mode for Rock tones. Really fantastic! The trick is dialing the tone in for that. I hadn't figured that out previously with the Paul's Guitar in 2020, back then I had the Amps set for the 5815 LT's in 594's, and didn't play around enough with the settings to find the great Bridge Humbucker tones that were available.

There are two tricks to get that tone. Number one, it helps to darken up the tone with the tone control on the guitar by turning the tone knob down to 5-7. Number two, you can thicken up the tone by turning up the Bass a bit on the Amp, at least for a Marshally sort of amp. In doing those two things, I found I could get the Bridge Humbucker to sound as good as the 5815 LT Pickups in the McCarty or the Private Stock Custom 24, for those medium to high gain Rock tones.

When I figured that out, I was quite blown away - I didn't think that would be possible. I am sold on these pickups, and the 408 switching configuration.

I don't play out with a band these days, but if I did, this would be the guitar I would grab for a gig.

I think the expectation is that this model will be announced as a new Core model for 2024, at NAMM late this month. There were a few that showed up as early builds from late 2023, three so far that I have seen, in dealers and posted here previously.

More to follow here as I get more time with it. And no doubt soon we will pull together a "2024 Windy City Tonefest" with the local crew here (like we did in 2020), for others to compare and review.
PSA and update here - I have decided to sell this guitar. It is posted on the The Gear Page Guitar Emporium for sale.

I am very much loving these pickups! I am planning to get a Modern Eagle V, to get another guitar that has these pickups, but in a 22 Fret design, since I now have 2 other Custom 24's.

I got a Neural DSP Quad Cortex, and that has allowed me to experiment with this guitar and these pickups with a broader range of amp models. I am very pleasantly surprised with these pickups, especially with higher gain amp models...