Replacing 5909 bridge pickup


New Member
Apr 6, 2021
Hi there:

So I got a 2012 custom 24 couple weeks ago and I’m really loving it.

My only issue is that I find its 5909 bridge pickup a bit too bright for my taste.

Does anyone have any recommendations on pickups with similar output level but slightly warmer/less harsh on the treble side?

I’ve been considering a SD 59 but I’m not sure if it’s less bright. Has anybody compared both pickups?

Thanks so much!
I’ll second @Boogie on redoing amp settings, including gain levels, with any PAF-ish pickup. Higher power pickups will make a more mid and bass forward tone, by comparison, and a 50s-60s equivalent pickup will sound thin and harsh using the same settings... especially if you’re looking for a somewhat similar tone and output. What sounds like a lot of highs is actually just less compressed in that region and is why folks search out those pickups. I had to completely change my setup going from 513 pickups, or the darker Archtop pickups in my Hollowbody I, to the 58/15LTs, for example.
My only issue is that I find its 5909 bridge pickup a bit too bright for my taste.

I wouldn't necessarily say that the 59/09 is a "bright" pickup per se; however, I would agree that it's maybe a little "forward" on the attack of the mids & highs. (Obviously, tone--and our vocabularies to describe it, can vary greatly!) I would agree that a first step would be to really spend some time dialing-in your pickup height... it can be a process that you keep repeating for a while, too.

And if you DO still decide to swap it out... Yeah, maybe the 57/08 (one of my favorites, ever) might be good in there...

Aren't they like the brightest PRS pickups out there?

No, not really, I don't think. I actually find the 57/08 to be sort of the perfect evolution of the McCarty pickup (which is actually kind of fat & dark) but I'd say it's very "balanced" at best. It can be bright, but only if you adjust it that way.

Beyond that, I would take overall balance into consideration--such as, what pickup is in the neck position? (And, do you want the covered or uncovered "squabbin" look?") OR if you like your pickups on the hotter side, don't discount the Tremonti or \m/ pickups for the bridge position, either. In fact, the 57/08 neck + \m/ bridge is a favorite combination of Phillip McKnight on YouTube.