PRS Pickups: New Design vs. Old

Discussion in 'PTC - PRS Tech Center' started by arres, Jun 22, 2018.

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  1. arres

    arres New Member

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    Is there a difference in sound between the newer pickup design -- which are less rounded on the corners, and more rounded along the top and bottom -- and the old pickup design, which look like a Seymour Duncan? Other than they look more modern, of course, but were there any changes to the pickup's wiring/magnets as well?

    Basically, are they a better pickup?
     
  2. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Silver pants make me wanna dance.

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    Yes and no.

    Some of the pickups with squared off bobbins (like the HFS and VB) have been in production for 25+ years and have the same specs as the older ones with rounded corners.

    The newer designed pickups that don’t have an older counterpart on the other hand are generally considered “better” than the old ones though, even though that’s still subjective.
     
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  3. arres

    arres New Member

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    Thanks. My question was specific toward the HFS/VB as that's what I have in my '98 Custom 24.
     
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  4. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Silver pants make me wanna dance.

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    Yeah, to my knowledge they’re the same.
     
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  5. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    Had to ponder Sergio's answers a little, but he's right on the money. Don't think anybody's ever commented that the HFS/VB sound changed when the bobbin shape changed. The post-2008 pickup designs (57/08, 59/09, 53/13, 58/15, 85/15, LT's, Narrowfields, 408s, Pauls' pickups) seem to be generally better regarded than the older ones. But if you like the HFS/VBs, you're not wrong!
     
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  6. vchizzle

    vchizzle Birdman.

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    FWIW - the newer squabbin pickups have an arch to the top that I believe matches the radius of the fretboard. Whether that changes the sound much is hard to say. You can adjust the screw in the pickups however you want, the slugs will be straight on the old versions and arched with the radius on the newer ones. Physics would say one might have a more even string to string balance in the sound of the newer pickups. Most people won't hear that difference.
     
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  7. JJJ

    JJJ asleep

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    the new square bobbins mean the pole pieces match the radius already, although in good practice you still need to adjust them. It's also for aesthetics, to cover the gaps in the pickups rings.

    As far as old PRS pickups go, I love the set of dragon IIs I have, and I have heard and love the McCarty's and dragon Is from back in the day.
     
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  8. gush

    gush New Member

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    I have 5909 in both round and square bobbins.

    My cu24 with round 5909s is my best sounding guitar.

    Mccarty has square 5909 and sounds very good but not exactly like cu24

    CE24 with square 5909 sounds good but a lot different than the other two. With bolt on maple neck I expected it to sound brighter but that's not the case. Cu24 on 8 is the brightest in kind of a tele way. On 10, the rest of the frequencies kind of catch up and sounds a little more balanced.
     
  9. Tone-y

    Tone-y New Member

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    This will be the effect of the 'treble bleed' cap on the volume pot not being optimised for your particular set-up (cable runs etc). It's a bit too aggressively letting the treble frequencies bypass the volume pot on 8 therefore making your volume act more like a bass cut tone control. It is for this reason that I have removed it from mine, but it can be a desirable effect at times - ideally I'd like to set it up with a switch so that it can be turned on and off as needed.
     
  10. gush

    gush New Member

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    I think the treble bleed switch would be cool although I love the way my cu24 is now. It would still be useful.
     

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