Replacing Dragon1 bridge in '97 CE with a 59/09...?

Discussion in 'PTC - PRS Tech Center' started by eclecticsynergy, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy PRS user since '87

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    The Dragon1 is a great lead pickup, totally understand why high gain guys love it. But I want something with more versatility, better fingertouch and most importantly, something that interacts better with the volume knob.

    I have an extra 59/09 bridge that should be perfect, but I want to keep the rotary switching unchanged.

    Do I need a four-wire pickup to keep the '97 version of the rotary? or will the three-wire 59/09 be okay as a drop-in replacement?
     
  2. gush

    gush New Member

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    Rotary requires red white and black wires soldered to rotary switch and braid soldered to ground. This is what most consider 3 wire.

    Pickups with big black wire , separate small white wire and braid is considered 2 wire and only works with 3way toggle.
     
  3. gush

    gush New Member

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    Before you switch it out, try lowering the pickup in very small amounts. Dragon 1 is very sensitive to height adjustments. I have a ce22 with dragon 1s and it does o lot of what you are searching for.
     
  4. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy PRS user since '87

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    Thanks for the advice. I'll try backing the Dragon1 off a bit. At present, when I roll back the volume it's just way too midrangey.

    About the 59/09: I was told the black is hot, the braid is ground, and the thin white one is used for splitting. That's correct, isn't it? My understanding was that two-wire humbuckers generally can't be split without alterations. Either way, I get that it won't work with the rotary (or with the five-way blade in my 30th Anniversary SE). Bummer.

    I guess it wouldn't be tremendously difficult to change the lead to a 4-wire, but I haven't done that before and don't wan't to risk screwing up a fabulous sounding pickup. Ah well- I have a Les Paul with a BurstBucker2 at the bridge that's kinda icepicky. Good candidate for the 59/09. I'd just hoped to get into one of those two PRSs.
     
  5. gush

    gush New Member

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    You are correct , black is hot, braid is ground and white is split.

    I think there are prs pickups that do not have provisions for splits. Johnbeef can probably give you some guidance as I think he has experience in altering pickups.
     
  6. gush

    gush New Member

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    It has been suggested that if you completly tape the braid it's entire length and use it as a ground wire maybe it could work with rotary.

    I can't say if it will or not
     
  7. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy PRS user since '87

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    Thanks; I might just try it. I do have a viable spot for it in one of my Les Pauls- a Burstbucker 2 is just too thin & harsh in that guitar, and I think the 59/09 might be just the ticket.

    I kinda wanted to put it in a PRS just on principle, and the CE22 was the only one of my PRSs that I'm not happy with the way it is. The '87 has T&Bs, probably my favorite humbuckers ever for modern feel & tone. The Starla pickups are cool & almost Gretschy, perfect for that guitar. One of my McCartys was upgraded with 57/08s, probably my favorite humbuckers ever for vintage feel & tone. They have fabulous touch response, amazing air & detail and a certain 3-D quality that I haven't found in other pickups, with a cool sepiatone vibe that makes me want to drink bourbon and play the blues all night. Not exactly transparent and certainly not uncolored. But it's a magnificent coloration. Totally in love with the 57/08s.

    That only leaves my other McCarty (a korina/Braz), and I'm pretty happy with the stock A4 buckers. Love the A4 neck especially given the extra snap of the korina. Actually the 59/09 might be a good fit for the bridge spot in that one- the stock pickup is sweet & balanced but perhaps a little bit... polite? At one point I'd actually thought about swapping the mag to A5 or UA5 though I never did (too lazy to pull it and take off the cover). Maybe that'd be the right place for this pickup. I've got a number of 4-wire Duncans & DiMarzios that might suit the CE22, and a handful that would be a good fit for that Les Paul too.

    Need to do a little more thinking about it but I'm surprised i never seriously considered putting it into the McCarty. Sometimes writing things out can really help you clarify your options.
     
  8. gush

    gush New Member

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    It's funny you mentioned that. My Mccarty has 8515s and I love the neck pickup but i had 5909s in it at one time and the 5909 bridge was killer on that guitar. I think the 5909 bridge and 8515 neck would be the perfect pickup combo ever!
     
  9. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy PRS user since '87

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    UPDATE:
    I found a set of reissue T&Bs for a reasonable price, so I'm probably going to put those into the CE22. Not sure whether I'll keep the 90s style 5-way; I might want to replace it with the 80s type- the original 5-way configuration has different combinations in positions 2 & 3 that just work perfectly with the T&Bs. Also, that's the version that I've been using for 35 years in my '87 so by now it's very intuitive for me.

    I think I may put the 59/09 into my korina McCarty, pairing it with the stock A4 neck. Should be a great combo. If the McCarty neck is too fat in combination, I'd consider a magnet swap to A3, which is vintage warm/crisp, lower output and lighter in the low end. I think at around 8K the pickup should still be strong enough especially in the neck position. My only reservation is that it might not split very well, but that can likely be fixed with a higher value resistor on its shunt to ground.

    I'd love to find a 57/08 neck, or a 58/15 for this guitar. But those are fairly expensive when they come up for sale these days. Very glad to have found another set of T&Bs, though. They're modern sounding but fantastic.
     
  10. gush

    gush New Member

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    I have a set of reissue T and Bs. Please tell me what you think about them. I haven't installed mine in a guitar yet.

    I have a CE24 that came to me with HFS VB pickups and push pulls on both Vol and Tone plus 3 way. I put 5708s in it and liked them but.I've grown tired of the 5708 bridge. I put 5909 bridge in but it doesn't sound as good as it did in my Mccarty or in my cu24 so I'm starting to think maybe the wiring is causes it to not sound as good.

    I' thinking about putting rotary in it and 5708 bridge back in it. If this doesn' t help then maybe T and B pickups.
     
  11. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy PRS user since '87

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    I will let you know. The T&Bs have that magic slug coil that gives them amazing clarity but especially helps the split tone. They're bright humbuckers to begin with, and I expect them to be even brighter in the CE because of its maple neck & maple cap, while my '87 is all mahogany. But this guitar also has a tone knob where the '87 only has the sweet switch.
     
  12. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy PRS user since '87

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    ANOTHER UPDATE:
    Finally got the T&B reissues in and they sound great. Exactly as I'd hoped. All positions on the 5-way are wonderful, especially the one using the two slug coils. This is a big relief; I can bring along my favorite tones without ever having to put my beloved '87 in harm's way.

    Marginally brighter sound in this guitar, as expected: maple bolt-on vs set mahogany neck. But I can roll off the tone a bit and be right at home in familiar territory.

    Much better for cleans than the Dragon 1 set. I'll keep the Dragons, though- great high-gain pickups, those. But the '85T & '85B hold up really well with plenty of drive; they keep their exceptional definition across chords, and have that same wonderful chirp on the pick attack that I love. Everything from chunk to chime is readily available. Roll the volume back and pick gently and they become downright crystalline.

    The only thing they don't do well (same as the original T&Bs) is the vintage smoky-velvet thing with spongy attack and afterbloom. I have other guitars I can turn to for that.

    These reissues give me everything I wanted from them.
     
  13. gush

    gush New Member

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    I still have my reissues in my parts drawer but recently picked up an 89 cu24 with T and Bs so I'm golden.
     
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  14. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy PRS user since '87

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    I've gigged the reissues now and they're great! It's nice to have a tone very much like my '87 in a guitar I can bring along without worrying much since it isn't too valuable. Don't need to be too paranoid about damaging this one onstage either 'cause it already has some dings. Pretty axe though, downright luminous in the right light and has drawn a number of comments already.

    [​IMG]

    I'm going back to .010s though; I'd switched to,095s on this guitar in the hopes that it'd be easier for my aging fingers- I have a condition known as finger clubbing due to my lung disease. But the loss of tone, and especially loss of easy harmonics on the top two strings, are just not worth it. Plus, they're nearly useless for slide work. Should just have stuck with the gauge I've used for decades now. Still, I wouldn't have known if I hadn't tried .095s once.
     
  15. gush

    gush New Member

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    That is a beautiful guitar!
     
  16. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy PRS user since '87

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    Thanks!
     

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