Swap 85/15?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by alex1fly, May 18, 2021.

  1. alex1fly

    alex1fly New Member

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    Anybody replace their 85/15 pickups? I love the neck sound, not crazy about the bridge.

    Also considering trying some different magnets in the bridge pickup.
     
  2. Daniel Elam

    Daniel Elam New Member

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    What guitar are they in? The SE Floyd in your avatar? You could try adjusting pickup height and/or putting a brass block on the Floyd (but that may change the tone of the neck position in a way that you don’t like as much). I think the USA 85/15 set in my CE is amazeballz. They are bright but they can be tamed. Better than being too dark. You can’t add brightness that was never there in the first place.
     
  3. Masta' C

    Masta' C New Member

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    I love the 85/15 set in my SE CU24. What don't you like about the bridge?
     
  4. Going Modal

    Going Modal I should be practicing right now.

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    I have replaced the 85/15 pickups in both a Custom 22 and a Custom 24 (the only ones I've had that came with 85/15 pickups). I have to say that they ARE good pickups; but for the way I play and the sounds I want most often, they aren't right for me. (Does this mean that the CU22 & CU24 weren't the right guitars in the first place? I dunno, but they play so well and are comfortable to handle & play, etc., and I like the switching options. So there.)

    What I found difficult to handle in particular is maybe their direct/immediate "punch;" there doesn't seem to be any sort of inherent compression, such as what I feel in my favorite 57/08's, and especially in the original McCarty pickups. That compression (felt, but maybe not heard) seems to lend some confidence-building leeway in my playing dynamics--very much like a mild compressor might do. But I will admit that the 85/15 pickups sound pretty fantastic at pristine-sparkly-clean settings, and also with high-gain distortion. But that compressing "feel" thing is important to me where I live, in that zone between clean & overdrive breakup. This, of course, is where your mileage may vary.

    In both of the aforementioned guitars, I've installed 59/09 pickups, which keep the original look--and roughly the same output strength--but gets me back some of that vintage (late-50s pickup) feel. I'm perfectly happy with how the changes have worked out.
     
  5. BrianC

    BrianC more toys than talent

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    you don't like it - try something new. you can always put it back.

    experiment
     
  6. Simon Says

    Simon Says New Member

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    I did... for 2 weeks. I put the 85/15 back. I actually like the bridge pickup, its great for both clean and distorted tones which is not as common as I would like it to be. My beef was with the neck which was a bit to nasal. Took me a time to get used to it. Once I swapped them for a set of BKP I started missing something. They are back in my guitar again. My CU24 is the only guitar I had in past 20 years that has no mods what so ever - even tho, I was trying. Not trying to be a brand fan boy but this guitar is done right
     
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  7. alex1fly

    alex1fly New Member

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    Thanks all. The guitar is the SE Custom 24 Floyd in my avatar. I love the neck position but I find myself wishing the bridge position had a different sonic character, maybe a little more PAF-ish or a little more vocal-ish like the JB or a Norton. It's quite neutral and balanced which is why I was thinking about a magnet swap just to nudge the tone a little bit. I've adjusted the pickup and polepiece height to its extreme range, but surprisingly didn't find much sound difference.
     
    shimmilou likes this.
  8. Birdsofprey

    Birdsofprey Fly birdies fly!

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    Duncan Pearly Gates my go bridge pickup to cure any ailment!
     
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  9. Anthony Frevele

    Anthony Frevele New Member

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    interested in getting rid of those 85/15’s?
     
  10. Ovibos

    Ovibos Naughty Wood Librarian

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    Just to be clear: OP is talking about the imported “85/15s” G&B made pickups.
     
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  11. Bowtiefanatc

    Bowtiefanatc Confirmed Bird Snob

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    I had an 85/15 in the bridge of my Swamp Ash Special and I dug the tone I got from it. I pulled it because I got a set of \m/ for dirt cheap that I’m putting in that guitar.
     
  12. IceTre

    IceTre New Member

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    You probably already tried this, but when I play the bridge pickup, I roll down the tone knob a lot.
     
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  13. Johan Allard

    Johan Allard New Member

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    I think the 85/15s are the only regular sized PRS pickups in any of my PRSi. I also briefly tried replacing them in my Custom 22 Piezo with a set of BKP pickups and lasted a week or so before going back to the 85/15s. For me they work with everything I play. I have both the original 58/15s and 58/15lt and not a fan of either. I would be interested to try some 58/15mt’s at some point.
     
  14. chicagoslim

    chicagoslim New Member

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    I've got 4 S2's, that came with 85/15S pickups. I kept them in 2 guitars, as they are very versatile. I put Seymour Duncan, Saturday Night Specials (alnico IV's), in one guitar and Porter pickups (alnico II neck & alnico V bridge), in another. They defiantly have more of a vintage PAF sound. You might like an alnico V bridge pickup, for a more familiar sound.
     
    #14 chicagoslim, Jun 6, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
  15. Geo408

    Geo408 New Member

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    Try the PRS 59/09 in the bridge. I personally like the 85/15’s, and the 58/15 MT’s on my Custom 24, and my Special Semi-hollow, but in my McCarty I have a 57/08 in the neck and a 59/09 in the bridge…perfect balance.
     
  16. alex1fly

    alex1fly New Member

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    Thanks for all the ideas everyone. It's interesting that this keeps coming around. I actually really love the bridge pickup now. It's taken a long time - I've had the guitar just over a year, it's become my main player, and I'm just now getting a handle on the bridge 85/15. But once I realized that the bridge 85/15 is basically giving me a Telecaster sound (in single coil mode) with some extra beef on tap (in humbucker mode), then I started to understand what it can be used for. And then I spent nearly an entire week playing on ONLY the bridge pickup and working the tone/volume knobs and my picking technique to get all the sounds I wanted. And it may seem weird, but there's some real magic on the bridge pickup with the tone knob down at the 1, 2, and 3 range. Round sounds and clucky Stratty sounds galore! On top of that it'll do the more obvious screaming high-gain solo tone, some decent chug into the right amp, bright funk rhythm, some of the standards you'd expect from a bridge pickup. I'm glad I stuck with it, because Paul obviously knows more about guitar tone than I do, and now that I've unlocked how to use this pickup I can keep using the guitar as intended.
     
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  17. Simon Says

    Simon Says New Member

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    I liked Bridge pickup from the day one. It took me a while to love the neck. I'm not going to change a single thing about my 35th anniversary core, its officially the first and only guitar in my arsenal that needs no upgrades. Any change will just downgrade this otherwise perfect instrument.
     
  18. derFunk

    derFunk New Member

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    I had to lower the bridge pickup a bit to really love the 85/15s in both my CE24 SHes. The factory position was just a little too close to the strings and a little too bite-y for my tastes. Dropping it a millimeter or two was enough to tame it.
     
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  19. alex1fly

    alex1fly New Member

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    Mine are right around flush with the pickup rings. Sweetened things up significantly.
     
  20. Simon Says

    Simon Says New Member

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    Neck pickup on mine is also flushed with the rings, bridge to balance the output. I really like bridge pickup in any settings as long as not to close to the strings.
     

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