S2 Vela Mods

Which pickup "zings" or both? Which pick up pole piece did you adjust? Does it "zing" in all pickup selector positions?
If it's in all positions, then I might be suspecting the bridge saddle might an issue. Sometimes the brass alloy (even when its supposed to be "solid" brass) can have variances in density.

If you're comfortable with doing basic set up stuff, one thing I'd try (after eliminating pickup height adjustment) is to swap the 2 saddles. They are identical.
Put the one now for bass strings to the treble position and vice versa. You will have to re-set the action and intonation after the swap.

The neck position on its own doesn't have that zing at all. It's in the bridge position and also when I use the middle position.

I adjusted the pole piece for the high E string only. Took it down quite a bit. As said, it did help to some degree. I am going to do a height adjustment on both pickups today because I feel they need a slight tweak in order to balance the two pickups out a bit more. Maybe that will help and maybe not. If I feel brave enough maybe I'll try swapping the two saddles as suggested. Thanks guys!
 
Here's what the final wiring looks like.
hto83Gu.jpg


I liked the way the treble bleed on the volume pot worked on the Vela so I stayed with the same value capacitor, 181uf, but upgraded it from the stock ceramic disc to a silver mica cap. I also liked the the stock tone capacitor value they used (.033uf) so I stayed with the same value there too but also upgraded it to an NOS Russian PIO capacitor.

Last but not least, I swapped out the stock jack with a PureTone multi contact jack. I started using these last year and absolutely love them. I've been swapping them out on my guitars slowly as the opportunity comes up.

d9MzgFD.jpg


I'm still waiting for another Ivoroid knob from Tone Ninja arrive to match the Vol and Tone knobs to complete the look. It reminds me of my very first PRS, an early 90's CE Bolt on when they were still using the rotary switching system.

So the downside to this whole wiring scheme is that switching pickups will be slower than a toggle switch, so if you're a shredder and do a lot of pickup switching whilst wheedling away 64th note runs, then this mod is probably not for you. (I am not one of those...hah.) Another downside is that coil splitting, more importantly, UN-splitting is not an exact motion. It's somewhere between 8 and 10 on the tone knob and getting it from split to un-split is a bit fiddly. Also, by utilizing the tone knob as the coil tap mechanism, you lose the ability to have tone control when in split mode. Meaning, you're relying on overall value of the tone capacitor and the resistor value of how the overall tone is shaped.

The upsides for me, at least, is now I can get the exact blend of neck and bridge coil I want for a particular part or song, just like I can with a Gibson style 2vol/2Tone setup. And I don't have to deal with the push pull pot. Even though I've only messed with it for a few hours today, I find pickup switching fairly intuitive and fast, although not as fast as a toggle switch. The trade off seems worth it for me. And not to be too much of a cork sniffer, I do find the upgraded components, wiring, caps, seem to let these pickups "breath" a bit more, I feel like I'm getting the most out of these pickups that were being a bit stifled before.

Anyways, I will try to record some clips and post back here with some sound samples and maybe something in the context of a tune at some point. Feel free to ping me for any of the wiring resources I used if you're interested. Also a big shout out to AxeGrinderz Tone Products. Great place to find hard to find parts, excellent service and an awesome resource!

Thanks for following me through my journey so far......!

M-
Old post revival…

Hey, mwong61

Very nice post. Which blender pot did you use? Is that 8385?

Would you mind posting a wiring diagram? My eyes suck too much to follow the wiring in the photos? Have you done any further mods?

Thanks!
 
I modded my Vela with a pair of Dylan Talks Tone Enduros (Modern P90s is what Dylan calls them.) I used a McCarthy electronics set and routed out a Vela pickguard. While I was in there I put copper tape all over everything. It turned out great! It didn't really reduce any hum, because it wasn't really there to begin with, but it sure helped some of my active-pre basses, so I figured what the heck.

IMG_1251.jpeg


New pickguard on the left

IMG_1248.jpeg


IMG_1249.jpeg


IMG_1252.jpeg



I really like the tone! But, honestly, I ended up preferring the native Vela pickups. They are a little more raw or something, which is more my style. I realized I don't really play any P90 tunes, so I put the whole pickguard up for sale on Reverb.

Anyone try an 85/15 for the treble pickup? I only ask because I've got a set of TCIs for my CE24 in a box because I can't bring myself to swap out the 57/08s that are standard to that edition I bought. Otherwise, I'll just stick to the lovely Vela pickups (with the screws!)
 
I modded my Vela with a pair of Dylan Talks Tone Enduros (Modern P90s is what Dylan calls them.) I used a McCarthy electronics set and routed out a Vela pickguard. While I was in there I put copper tape all over everything. It turned out great! It didn't really reduce any hum, because it wasn't really there to begin with, but it sure helped some of my active-pre basses, so I figured what the heck.

IMG_1251.jpeg


New pickguard on the left

IMG_1248.jpeg


IMG_1249.jpeg


IMG_1252.jpeg



I really like the tone! But, honestly, I ended up preferring the native Vela pickups. They are a little more raw or something, which is more my style. I realized I don't really play any P90 tunes, so I put the whole pickguard up for sale on Reverb.

Anyone try an 85/15 for the treble pickup? I only ask because I've got a set of TCIs for my CE24 in a box because I can't bring myself to swap out the 57/08s that are standard to that edition I bought. Otherwise, I'll just stick to the lovely Vela pickups (with the screws!)
"They are a little more raw or something, which is more my style"

Nice, I like it
 
Old post revival…

Hey, mwong61

Very nice post. Which blender pot did you use? Is that 8385?

Would you mind posting a wiring diagram? My eyes suck too much to follow the wiring in the photos? Have you done any further mods?

Thanks!
Hey there,

Hmmm, I can't recall which blender pot model that is but it's a CTS one. I ran that config for a while but wound up putting a PAF in the bridge and when I did that I returned it to the original PRS wiring schema (albeit with better components).

It was a cool novelty for a while but at the time I didn't have a ES335 style guitar and I was trying to fill that gap with some of the "middle position" tones a la Larry Carlton. But I've since picked up an Eastman TM184MX which fits that niche a lot better for me. So the Vela went back to being just a Vela hahah.

M-
 
Hey there,

Hmmm, I can't recall which blender pot model that is but it's a CTS one. I ran that config for a while but wound up putting a PAF in the bridge and when I did that I returned it to the original PRS wiring schema (albeit with better components).

It was a cool novelty for a while but at the time I didn't have a ES335 style guitar and I was trying to fill that gap with some of the "middle position" tones a la Larry Carlton. But I've since picked up an Eastman TM184MX which fits that niche a lot better for me. So the Vela went back to being just a Vela hahah.

M-
Thanks
 
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