question about 85/15 and 58/15 pickups

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by pac90, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. pac90

    pac90 In Helix Land, the waters warm

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    maybe a simple question but are 85/15 pickups the same as 58/15, but just without the cover? or are they hotter like 59/09s?

    there are some 85/15 sets coming out in the wild and I love the 58/15 neck which I have, so was mulling over grabbing a pair while I can
     
  2. Ovibos

    Ovibos Naughty Wood Librarian

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    My understanding was they were same, altho have heard contrary opinions...
     
  3. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Ditto. Although, I remember someone here stating that Paul had said the only difference was the cover.
     
  4. colinkanders

    colinkanders Compulsive Noodler

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  5. Johnny

    Johnny New Member

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    I thought they were different. I remember reading somewhere the 58/15s are more vintage and are only available on the more upper end core US models (like Vine McCarty, Vine CU24, etc) while the 85/15's are more modern and come in the CE, regular CU24.
     
  6. Ben Pinkus

    Ben Pinkus New Member

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    Yeah I've heard both sides, hope they are the same and the difference is just the covers
     
  7. 67King

    67King New Member

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    I seem to recall that the 85/15 is based on the pickups that were in the early guitars that were designed in 1985, but redesigned in 2015 with modern technology. Sino would assume these are pretty hot.

    The 58/15 is basically the same, but designed after the Gibson pickups from 1958. So I'd assume those are 8K pickups or thereabouts.....not nearly as hot.
     
  8. Shawn@PRS

    Staff Member Moderator

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    They are very similar, but not identical. Tonally there are other differences besides just the covers.
     
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  9. Stoptail22

    Stoptail22 El PRSidente

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    My 85/15 are not hot. I measured 7.92 kOhms for the neck ones and 8.55 kOhms resp. 8.73 kOhms for the bridge ones.
     
  10. pac90

    pac90 In Helix Land, the waters warm

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    thanks to all, I ordered them
     
  11. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

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    I've heard PRSh confirm that, but with the added stipulation that the covers do actually affect the tone very slightly, since they're metal, so they will produce a very slightly hotter signal, even though the DC resistance should be exactly the same (within variance).
     
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  12. watelessness

    watelessness Member

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    The biggest difference i noticed was the covered ones lacked clarity
     
  13. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I thought both were very clear sounding, more so than most humbuckers. I’m honestly surprised by this reaction!

    I had the 58/15s in my McCarty (the new 594 came with 58/15 LTs, another very clear pickup), and I have a CU24 30th, and my reaction has been that both are great pickups. With the covers, the 58/15s are a little bit warmer, and drive an amp a little differently.

    The 85/15s have more high frequency push, however, so possibly that’s why your reaction was that they have greater clarity? I could see that being the impression with some amps. Brighter sometimes comes across as clearer.
     
  14. Screamingdaisy

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    The 58/15s have more honk in the midrange while the 85/15s have more top end detail.

    It's more than just a slight frequency shift, covers will change the way your amp feels through your guitar.

    I find covers make me think about 50s guitar tones while open coils make me think of the 70s.
     
  15. ooglybong

    ooglybong New Member

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    I’ve also heard PRSh in a video, saying they were essentially the same pickups, save for the covers darkening things ever so slightly.

    Related question: I have several PRSes, including a CU 24 30th Anniversary, and to be honest, I find it’s 85/15s a bit dark sounding somehow. Screams, yes, but still missing some top end anyway. IMO. Which surprises me since I also have a great 2016 SE CU22 Semihollow, and it’s got noticeably more bite with its 85/15 *S* pickups. (Gulp. Frankly, I might even like it better.) Is there a mod available to give a guitar overall a bit more top end, without having to swap pickups?

    Comments would be most welcome. TIA.
     
  16. Screamingdaisy

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    If you're not using them currently, try D'Addario strings.

    I was a long time Ernie Ball user but I found they didn't work well on PRS. Too dark and lacking top end. D'Addario have a brightness that I hated on my Gibson's, but they works well on my PRS.
     
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  17. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    In addition to strings, as Screamingdaisy suggests (always good to experiment with strings!), have you tried adjusting the pickup height?
     
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  18. ooglybong

    ooglybong New Member

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    Hmm. Somehow, I have neglected to do that over time. That'll be tonight's experiment! Thanks!

    And Screamingdaisy: Yeah, I'm pretty sure there are D'Addarios on it, but it's probably time for a string change all the same. Thanks!

    It's funny, because one day the CU24 sounds a bit dark to me, but then the next, it's pretty much perfect. Of course, I know that can be the perceptual problem with various guitars—along with how well I feel I'm playing from day to day—but still, I just notice this see-sawing a bit more with this guitar.
     
  19. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    You are so right with the observation that our perceptions are somewhat variable when it comes to tone!

    I realize that we’re all a little bit different in what we physically hear, how our brains interpret that, and even how desirable certain tones are or aren’t in the first place.

    One thing I do in the studio is set up the amp(s) I’m using for a session fresh for each guitar every time. I do know many players who sort of do “set and forget” with their amps, but it’s always a good idea to start with the amp fresh. Here are some reasons why (maybe I’m preaching to the choir, here?):

    Louder frequencies tend to mask less loud frequencies; the frequency response can be quite similar once the amp is EQ’d for each guitar, or it can be varied quite a bit, depending on what one wants to accomplish. EQ is good at unmasking a nice treble tone simply by reducing the bass, lower midrange, or midrange, for example.

    Also, some amps compliment a given guitar, and others don’t. I’m personally not a fan of, say, a Fender Twin with a Les Paul style guitar. But run that same guitar through a Plexi, and wham! It’s good. There are ten zillion examples of this kind of thing, but you get the idea I’m sure. Matching guitar, pickups, amp and speakers (not to mention pedals) is important because the sum of the parts is a system.

    Also, the room you’re playing in matters. People underestimate the room sometimes. But in a room, we’re hearing not just the speaker output, we’re hearing the reflections and absorptions coming off the floor, walls, ceiling, furniture, etc. A dark sounding room gobbles up treble frequencies, and gives everything a bass-heavy tone. A bright room can make the most reasonably set treble sound screechy.

    These reflections not only deal with absorption and accentuation of various frequencies, certain frequencies are subject to phase cancellations in every room. Just as with mic placement, even where we stand in the room (or sit) matters.

    Not to repeat myself (too much! ;)), but it never hurts to cut the bass if you want to hear a better balance with the highs, or to mess with the presence and treble controls.

    Finally...there is the matter of cable capacitance, cable length, whether the pedal chain is buffered, etc. Most cables and pedal chains are long enough to negatively affect high frequencies. Anything longer than a few feet will start to roll off the high end, absent a buffered signal.

    I know, blah blah blah, I do tend to go on and on. Sorry!
     
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