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Discussion in 'PRS News' started by Kathy Siple, Jan 17, 2021.
what's the difference between 58-15MTs on the prior specials and 58-15 LTs on the 2021 core model?
MT's are hotter (more output) and, as the name suggests (MT stands for Multi-Tap),you get a 'tapped' Humbucker with the mini-toggles. LT stands for Low Turn (less winds) so you get a lower output and you also get a coil Split when you use the mini-toggles.
The MTs sound closer to a single coil when split, IMO
I hope so. I have a 2019 Special Semi Hollow and hearing about the new ones coming out was curious if they’re different. I emailed and asked about the difference in sound. “Thank you for writing PRS Guitars. The new Special SH will have a nitro finish and the pickup and not the MT, they are the LT with the TCI style wiring. They sound very similar with a little less output, so a little clearer and truer singlecoil when split.”
If they really sound truer in single coil I’m going to be bummed, because that’s what I use about 90% of the time. Upgrade time?
MT pickups *are* a true single when split whereas 58/15LTs use a more traditional coil shunt through a resistor.
Interesting. Thanks! I don’t know about any of the technical stuff
Do you dislike the sound of your 2019 SSH? Do you hear the tapped HB's and wish they were actually more 'SC' like? or are you actually happy with the way your SSH sounds?
As PRS says, the Humbuckers are an actual 'split' on the LT's so you are only getting just a 'single coil' (hence truer Single Coil) where as on the MT's, the HB is tapped so you have 'some' winds active on both coils. The LT is also a lower output HB so you get a different sound and a bit less bite.
If you use the Tapped HB's about 90% of the time, you must like the sound they offer and so why are you feeling bummed? Just because you find out the new one is an actual split so its actually just a 'Single' coil active instead of some winds on each?
Just to be pedantic: MT pickups are actually tapped in humbucker mode. What's really going on is that you have unbalanced coils (say 4k/6k for examples sake) where the 6k coil has a tap at 4k so in humbucking mode you get 4k+4k for a normal humbucker sound. In "split" mode it changes both the hot and ground so you have *only* the 6k coil in circuit. With the LT pickups you physically have balances coils (say 4k/4k) so in humbucker mode you get all winds without any tapping. Activating the "split" grounds the output of one coil so you're left with 4k. Normally this makes a pretty weak pokey sound, but PRS puts a resistor between ground and the dumped coil so you still get some signal contribution from it.
All that to say they're different approaches with a slightly different sound because MT style "sees" a smaller portion of the string. I've had both and greatly prefer the MT system since I find it really difficult to switch between traditional splitting and full humbucker on the fly without changing a bunch of settings. Admittedly getting a Helix alleviated this concern somewhat since I can change everything with one click.
OK, that is cool, because I though it was practically the opposite: to my ears (and what do they know!), the MT pups when "tapped" via the mini-toggle sound like a lower-wound HB (not a split HB emulating a SC), almost like the 58/15MT are regular 58/15 pups without the mini toggle engaged, but then become 58/15LTs when the mini toggle is engaged.
I might just be fooling my ears, though. I'll need to go research that!
For the most part single coils are my go to, but I love the option of having the ability to quickly switch to humbuckers. I guess I’m feeling “bummed” because the newer ones can apparently get a “truer” single coil sound and that’s very important to me. I’ve got a silver sky though so it’s not really an issue. I just like to complain I guess!
I also think it kind of sucks that the first ones were marketed as limited edition. I made a pretty big purchase on one because I didn’t know if I’d get the chance again.
I was feeling the same way, Nathan. I also have a silver sky and the '19 Special 22 semihollow (autumn sky 10 top). I had listed my Special 22 for sale, but took it down 3 weeks later. The guitar is amazing, just simply amazing. The number of different tones you can get from it and the ease to play the instrument are well worth its price.
That said, I knew this would happen. I bought my 2012 Eriza Verde Signature Limited (see profile pic) thinking, "this is a one of a kind that I will keep forever and ever"... which I have kept and I love the guitar. But the "problem" is that the guitar was SO good that it became part of the core series as the 408, and then Paul's Guitar. Am I bummed? Nah, it's part of the fun and experience of owning guitars. I still play the Siggy and love it, and I think that the specs that guitar has still can't be found in a single core guitar all together (binding, sinker wood, bigger frets, headstock inlay). As it relates to the Special 22, I also think of it in the same way. We are governed by hedonic adaptation. Even if we buy the new '21 with LTs, in the long run we will be equally as happy. Enjoy your Special 22 and play it in good health!
My SSH is my “go to” guitar. I use it for recording, gigging and fun playing. Out of all the guitars I own it’s the most versatile and and authentic sounding, in any position I use. It covers the sonic spectrum of an LP, or S-style as well as a 336/335 type too. Now, that’s a lot of real estate for one guitar to handle. Just to clarify, it has its own thing going on, but in most settings, it can take the place of multiple instruments, and do it well.
My 24-08 covers SG’s, Firebird’s and again, S-style guitars. In my opinion, those two guitars cover the same sonic space as a small collection of expensive instruments, and does it quite well. I can go on about my Vela, and my Paul’s guitar, but I think you get the idea. To me, having 4 instruments that play excellently, stay in tune and do the job of about a dozen cranky, maintenance-heavy other brands, is worth its weight in gold! The SSH remains the star of the show, though.