NGD - PRS SE HBII Piezo Black/Gold

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by CandidPicker, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open-Ears / Zippered Lips

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    [​IMG]

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    Please welcome my new arrival to the PRS family.
     
  2. John Beef

    John Beef Opaque

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    Right on, man! Welcome to the SEHB club!
     
  3. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open-Ears / Zippered Lips

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    Thank you, John! Will provide a more concise report over the weekend or by Tuesday. Thus far, the tone outstrips my old S2 SC, the HBII favors the lower mids except when the piezo is plugged in, then the piezo adds a bit more crisp clarity. I've yet to try using both input jacks with the MIX plug sent to my audio interface and computer monitors, but will try later this weekend. The HBII 58/15s pickups smokes the #7s ones I'm used to, for possessing more bass and midrange that will stand out during solos than a higher range pickup.

    Can see this being useful for various applications being more versatile...
     
    #3 CandidPicker, Jul 17, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
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  4. Jazzedout

    Jazzedout More Guitars than Time...

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    The force is strong with this one....
     
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  5. Tahlee

    Tahlee Tollywood Rhode Island

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    Very nice. I really like the knobs.
     
  6. Davey

    Davey That's crazy enough, it just might work!

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    Congrats! Thats a beauty right there. They are such a great value. Cant put mine down. Wait until you run thru some full range speakers with the piezo. Hollowbody goodness!
     
  7. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open-Ears / Zippered Lips

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    It may be a while with the full range speakers (e.g. a traditional PA)...only ones that will accept the piezo is my Clarett audio interface and computer monitors. Am hoping the piezo will not need a DI box between guitar and interface.

    Our local open-mics (where the PA option is) are still waiting to open because of Covid, and the local music scene is almost non-existent. Plenty of open-air outdoor dining at restaurants and bars, just no indoor live music yet. Wondering if our local open-mic isn't thinking of some kind of workaround for their indoor seating...

    Meanwhile, will try my HeadRush Gigboard with various settings. Might find an option to run an IR and effects with the piezo and increase the output stage slightly for improved response...we'll see...
     
    #7 CandidPicker, Jul 18, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
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  8. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open-Ears / Zippered Lips

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    I agree with you here. The lighter amber knobs offset the black gold nicely. Guitar is loud through my Headrush Gigboard/FRFR108. May need to attenuate my boost effect and turn the amp gain down so the amp doesn't break up into distortion so easily...need a better balance of clean and lead...will check it out over the weekend and provide a tone report by Monday or early Tuesday...
     
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  9. Clashcityrocker

    Clashcityrocker RedPilled

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  10. WA Paul

    WA Paul It’s ok...I’m with Manny dog

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    Congrats! Always like a piezo option :)
     
  11. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open-Ears / Zippered Lips

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    Thank you! I've got to credit a steady hand while outlining the guitar several times in the images above. Adding the background and shadow was the easy part...
     
  12. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    Brilliant acquisition, congrats. It's a beauty!
     
  13. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open-Ears / Zippered Lips

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    Much appreciated, Dave,

    Spent some time practicing this afternoon but needed to create a HeadRush rig that was a close approximation of an acoustic amp. An AC 30 Top Boost model seemed to do the job. The HeadRush doesn't have acoustic amp models, but the AC plus a Marco Fanton acoustic cab IR will do in a pinch.

    I've not plugged a cable between the MIX jack and my audio interface yet, but will do so in the next day or 2, with a separate cable with INST jack for the HeadRush. Would like to hear the guitar clean (w/ and w/o piezo) and with a singing lead tone.

    Tone report most likely Tuesday...
     
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  14. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    Smokin' guitar! Congrats
     
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  15. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open-Ears / Zippered Lips

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    Thanks! Will put in some time with her this afternoon. Remind me to try the MIX jack/audio interface and INST jack/amp route for a full effect...
     
  16. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open-Ears / Zippered Lips

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    PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo Tone Report:

    Had a chance to sit down with my new arrival today, and stretch her legs somewhat. Here's what occurred:

    1) First plugged the MIX jack into my HeadRush Gigboard & FRFR108 powered speaker. Immediately discovered that my usual CLEAN rig setting was more distorted at higher guitar volumes. Solution: Adjust the Boost Volume and amp model gain and volume slightly downwards. After this, it was also noticed that my ACOU acoustic rigs also were much too bright and distorted. Again, an adjustment of Boost volume and Amp gain, volume and EQ was required. At this juncture, the HBII's tone was cleaner, clearer and less harsh.

    2) It was decided that it was time to try the HBII through my Clarett audio interface using the MIX jack. The INST jack was plugged into the HeadRush. It seems that the piezo control puts out appreciable signal. The Clarett's optimum input setting was just under 3 o'clock, based on a 7 to 5 o'clock range. Any more caused signal clipping. It was also discovered that the piezo knob works best just about 9, and the magnetic pickups knob set about 7-½ to 8. The full benefits of the acoustic properties are heard at these levels.

    3) Personal opinion: Utilizing a 2nd instrument cable for the piezo is almost a requirement if one desires to hear the piezo acoustic properties in its correct form. The MIX jack will work for both a mix of piezo and magnetic pickups, though the blended pickups won't represent both piezo and magnetic pickups as separate amplification possibilities. The cleanest and clearest acoustic tone is obtained with 2 instrument cables plugged into both jacks.

    4) All in all, IMHO, the PRS SE HBII Piezo shines when you can hear the magnetic pickups cleanly with the piezo. The piezo adds a touch of crispness and clarity above the magnetic pickups that is unobtainable when there is no piezo. Also, the SE HBII Piezo produces a beautiful lead tone reminiscent of Larry Carlton's work on Fingerprints and Fire Wire. Although it's necessary to credit the HeadRush's capability for imitating the classic 'D'-style amp tone using the Black Duo Norm amp model, that just on-the-verge of amp break-up produces a violin-like lead tone...smooth and slightly overdriven. It was also possible to dial in an acoustic amp tone by utilizing an AC Hi Boost model & an acoustic cab IR, and dialing back on the brightness and gain. This amp model produced the acoustic tones written about previously. The brightness and gain previously were much too harsh and clipped. Dialing down the gain and treble improved the acoustic tone appreciably.

    5) Conclusion: The PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo is both a workhorse and versatile guitar that can produce enjoyable tones with the correct amplification and settings. Although it took a bit of sweat equity and effort to dial in the desired tone, once the settings were saved to the HeadRush, practicing with the guitar, the HeadRush and audio interface was now a joy. It really doesn't take a lot of figuring at all to appreciate both the guitar and HeadRush. The guesswork is taken care of when you sit down with your gear and set about making some adjustments here and there. And now the adjustment aspect of my work is complete. Now to just practice and make sense of what my fingers are trying to say. I'm sure you'll experience something similar when you take some time to adjust your amp settings, and if possible, connect the MIX jack to a dedicated audio interface or PA. :)
     
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  17. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open-Ears / Zippered Lips

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    Just a brief update regards this guitar... @[email protected] and the West St. Accessories Shop sold me a set of SE locking tuners, which will replace the non-locking SE tuners in the above guitar. Am thankful for the DIY install instructional video provided on the West. St. Shop page, and to Shawn for providing the SE locking tuners sales link in a previous post. Will post some photo images of the work with locking tuners once the install is complete, likely later on this evening...
     

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