Pick-up (DC594 58/15LT) Response: Tuning and String Gauge?

xxxadixxx

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Feb 13, 2022
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While I have really enjoyed by DC594, it was almost an after thought when compared to my SC594's and Tremontis. It seemed "thinner" and I had a difficult time dialing in a tone which worked for most of my situations. I ended up with a different rig for the DC594 because the normal SC594/Tremonti rig sounded weak and thin. Where I would normally play on a bridge pick-up somewhere between 7-10, I had to use the middle position (Bridge on 10 and Neck on 7) on my DC594 to get enough low end to sound even close to my SC594.

All of that changed with my last string change and I am curious to understand exactly what happened. For background, I play rhythm with mid/high gain (Bad Religion, Mastodon, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Deftones, etc.). My main SC594 is in Drop-C with 11-56's and my main Tremonti is in D-Standard with 11-56's. I have another Tremonti and SC594 (P-90's) in E-Standard with 10-46's. My DC594 was also in E-Standard with 10-46's. On a whim, I changed it to 11-56's and D-Standard with no setup changes (other than a full turn on the bridge, treble side, to reduce some buzzing). I did not change the pick-up height or anything like that.

I am floored by the difference. It is an entirely new guitar for some reason. I play it through the same rig I use for my main SC594, which previously sounded terrible. Now it is amazing. The pick-ups seem to have a lot more power to them. They are full and deep with a perfect amount of low end. Can someone please explain why this happened? Are the pick-up magnets that sensitive that a slight increase in the string gauge (more mass) cranks the output?

Since every post is better with pictures, here is my modest collection:
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Guitars react differently to tunings.
I have PRS guitars tuned to E Standard all the way down to B Standard and it’s taken some time to pick a tuning that fits each one.
For example - 2 of my Singlecuts are 2000’s, same pickups, set up, and string gauge. One stays in C# Standard and the other is tuned to Drop D. Reversed, the difference was super noticeable. One was too bright, the other too dark. Switched the tunings, perfect.
 
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Sound to me like you could go back to 10's and raise the pickups a little bit and be where you want to be. Pickup adjustments can make a huge difference. I have a P22 that I was really not fond of the sound of it. It was to the point that I was thinking about swapping the pickups in it. I happened to notice that the pickups were pretty far away from the strings. I typically set the pickup height when I do the first setup on a guitar. I must have either liked it where they were at the time or I missed this step in my process. I plugged it in and grabbed a small screwdriver and started adjusting. It is a completely different sounding guitar now.

I will also say that I was not a fan of the 58/15 LT pickups. The reason I didn't like them was that when going from a guitar with 57/08s to my 594 with the 58/15 LT pickups in it the volume drop was too much to work with. I put a new set of 57/08s in it and that transformed the guitar. I have been wondering if I swapped them back and got them adjusted if I would actually like the 58/15s now. I like the 57/08s so much in it that I doubt I will swap them back to try.
 
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