S2/SE pup magnet change - big difference

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Threepiece, May 21, 2017.

  1. Threepiece

    Threepiece New Member

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    Just wanted to share that, like many before, I changed out the magnets in my S2. I've been unable to pick new pups (too many good choices) and had previously ordered some A5's and A4's - which arrived today. Figured nothing to lose so put the 5 in the bridge and 4 in the neck. Pickups used to sound dull and compressed. Now, getting much richer harmonics - more open. The neck has nice warm bell/bluesy tones and the bridge has a quacky but cutting tone. Thinner than the neck, but more aggressive. Best $8 I've spent in a while. Ordered new PRS pots - so look forward to putting those in as well. Anyway, If you have SE or S2 picks, my vote is to give the magnets a try before you drop $300 on new pups. Takes only about 15 minutes. :)
     
  2. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

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    Which pickups? Not sure how much you'd benefit if you end up swapping for the same material.

    But I agree, magnet swaps can be a great cheap way to revoice pickups. That's what ended up saving the McCarty Archtop pickups for me.
     
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  3. Threepiece

    Threepiece New Member

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    Well, I have the 2013 S2 C24 standard pups HFS/VB from overseas. So I"d replaced the bridge Ceramic with an A5 and the neck A5 (I think) with an a different A4. Actually, after some AB testing I decided I wasn't thrilled with the A5 so just put an A4 in the bridge. I'm mostly exploring but am interested in the Classic 57/08 tone. I'd read that A4's get you closer. I just tried it and it's not as thin. And, split with the indicator in middle position creates this really cool semi-strat bell like sound.

    Most fun I had was figuring out how to determine the polarity without a magnet. Made a dorky little video for my daughter.

    Thanks,
     
  4. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

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    The Vintage Bass should've been A2 to start, so I think what you're hearing makes sense.

    Gotta love some cheap fun!
     
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  5. Threepiece

    Threepiece New Member

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    Are you sure about that? If so, that'd be cool. I'd read that the imports have A5 in the neck and ceramics in the bridge (9/10) - as opposed to the US with the A2/Ceramic at (8.5/14.5). While they are unmarked, the bridge is definitley a ceramic. Be cool to have an A2 lying around.
     
  6. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenf├╝hrer

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    I should probably try that on my SC-J -- what'd you swap 'em with?
     
  7. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

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    No, not sure. Just going by the old USA spec. Wow, I'm surprised the G&B version varies so much in spec. At 10k in the bridge, I'm guessing they used 42ga wire on the HFS instead of 43ga like the USA version.


    I kept the bridge stock, but put A5 in the neck. I haven't positively confirmed, but went on the assumption that stock was A4, based on the regular McCarty pickup spec. For good measure, I also swapped to a nickel silver baseplate because I've read that brass mutes some of the high frequencies. The result was the mud was cleaned out and the middle position sounds more chimey. I've always dug the bridge pickup as-is. I find myself using the neck pickup a lot now, which was not at all the case previously.

    To reinforce Threepiece's point, I had bought a used set of Lollar Low Wind Imperials. I used them for a year or two until I decided to try the magnet swap. After the neck pickup magnet swap, I like the Archtops better than the (expensive) Lollars. Lucky for me, Lollar's stuff is still hot so I made my money back selling them. But ultimately my solution cost like $10 for magnets and a baseplate.
     
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  8. Threepiece

    Threepiece New Member

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    The 9/10 I got on this board. I didn't measure it. Someone got PRS HQ to respond and that's what they said the resistance was on the imports. I'll check when I do the Pot replacement and let you know where they are at. DustyChalk - I got my A4 and A5 pickups from Philadelphia Luthier on Ebay - $7.99 for 2. Pretty cool deal. Just make sure you orient them first since they are unmarked.
     
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  9. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

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    Ditto on Philadelphia Luthier. They're a great source for those sorts of odds and ends. I buy direct from their site. I noticed their eBay price was higher when i bought some screws recently.
     
  10. Threepiece

    Threepiece New Member

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    Hey, thanks for the direct idea. Much cheaper. Just got a bunch of little stuff - gibson pup screws, A2's UOA5's, a trem blocker for my floyd, etc. :)
     
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