PRS Original Pickups: Looking for Specs


Who is John Galt?
Sep 20, 2013
What I mean by "original" is the Standard Bass and Standard Treble pickups from 1985 to 1987/88 prior to the end slug change mentioned far below.

Specifically what I want to know is,,,
1.) What type of magnet was used?
2.) What gauge(s) of wire was used?
3.) What specific resistance measurement was there for each pickup?

If this information was discussed previously, I wasn't able to find it due to too many search results with the word pickups in it.

This is from the PRS web site:

  • Pickups were originally Standard Treble and Standard Bass. End slugs on E & B changed in '87 to reduce high end. Changed on CE, Custom and Standard to HFS Treble and Vintage Bass by November '91.
Of course, as soon as I post this, I find some answers. Anyone have anything else to add?

I only know of two lists of PRS pickup specs. The first is the old one from 1995:


The second is this newer one:


I'd sure like to know what the magnet type is in the Dragon 2s. I suspect Alnico2.
I really, really like these pickups. When I bought my first PRS back in '87 I was already a seasoned pro with thousands of gigs & sessions under my belt and frankly, I was more than a little jaded. The first time I plugged that Standard in was a revelation. Music has been so central to my world that to call it a life-changing event would hardly be hyperbole. This was the first guitar I ever was inspired to give a name to, my #1 for years while the old warbird Floydcasters gathered dust and my vintage axes languished neglected in their cases, coming out only for specific recordings.

The T&Bs, sweetswitch, and great 5-way rotary delivered pretty much everything I wanted, a useful and genuine bridge between classic & modern sounds. Life without a tone control did take some getting used to though. Still, I think that adjustment was easier for me because the guitar is all mahogany, no maple cap. Plenty of sweet voicelike midrange there, and incredibly lively wood- any slightest tap to the headstock sets the whole instrument shivering as if she wants to take off and fly. Really quite extraordinary. Anyway, had there been the extra sizzle of maple I might've missed a tone control more than I did. Mine was after the slug change (5/2 mags, another innovation where Paul was way ahead of his time) but even so these pickups are on the crisp side. In resonant mahogany, they're perfection. I wondered for years what it could be that made them feel so different. Since seeing the specs I'm convinced that part of the magic is in those unusual slug coils, an unorthodox element that wasn't carried over into later designs. The DGTs might share this too; I think it could be one of the reasons they sound so focused.

As 2016 dawns, I have a fleet of guitars. A majority of them (thirty or so, including a couple of the PRSs) have had pickups changed out, or magnets swapped in. That's over half my electrics- far more than half if you count only the ones that aren't vintage collectibles. But I've never even thought about changing the pickups in my '87.

On a list of my all-time favorite humbucker/guitar pairings, the T&Bs in my Standard and the 57/08s in my McCarty would both rank near the top.
So now I need a ce/standard with original t&b pickups!!!! Or electricsynergy can post a track for me to drool over.
Of course, as soon as I post this, I find some answers. Anyone have anything else to add?
Hey all, sorry to dig up this old post.
Does anyone have the Standard Treble and Bass specs? The image that Hangar18/Sage posted has been removed.