TCI Pickups vs TCI Tuned Puckups

Julian

It's a '59 with 4 knobs
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May 3, 2021
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149
Hey,

what’s the deal with TCI Pickups vs TCI Tuned Pickups. Like they’re obviously different but are they related in any way? Like is the split coil on TCIT 85/15s as good volume wise as TCI on PG?
 

Moondog Wily

Howlin' At The Moon!
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I may be wrong, but I believe they are the same thing. TCI stands for "Tuned Capacitance Inductance" so a tuned tuned capacitor inductance pickup would just be tuned twice! Just kidding, I believe that is just them putting the word tuned at the end to let people know they have been tuned using this method. Here is a PRS bit about them - https://prsguitars.com/news/story/p...w_models_new_finish_and_new_tci_tuned_pickups According to this, most =>2020 models now have TCI-Tuned pickups (same as TCI). I have seen plenty of these guitars listed without this information, but I do not believe there is a difference between TCI and TCI-Tuned.
 

SinSir

Mad Scientist
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Sep 7, 2020
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I may be wrong as well but I thought TCI was a pickup and TCI tuned was a pickup that's been through the TCI process.

Example, Paul's Guitar is listed with TCI pickups. The Cu24 has 85/15 listed but now have the TCI treatment.
 

markd21

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St. Petersburg
I may be wrong as well but I thought TCI was a pickup and TCI tuned was a pickup that's been through the TCI process.

Example, Paul's Guitar is listed with TCI pickups. The Cu24 has 85/15 listed but now have the TCI treatment.

That's my understanding too. My MEV has "TCI" pickups and a "Modern Eagle" single coil. I had a CE24 SH that had 85/15 pickups with the "TCI treatment". Never opened it up to see what hubbabaloo was about though....
 

RC Mike

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Mar 2, 2020
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PRS made a hash of the TCI marketing. TCI started out as a type of pickup, then became both a specific set of pickups and a process apparently applied to other pickups in the lineup. Problem is, they never really had a clear and understandable definition of exactly what TCI might actually accomplish.

Near as I can tell, TCI is a method of making pickups that have more consistency within a type of pickup. Meaning each 58/15 LT TCI more identical compared another 58/15 LT TCI, where as a 58/15 LT might have more variability compared to other 58/15 LTs.
 

Julian

It's a '59 with 4 knobs
Joined
May 3, 2021
Messages
149
Yeah it's either poorly explained or a marketing scheme. I wish there was more technical info on TCI tuning besides colloquial jargon.
 

Julian

It's a '59 with 4 knobs
Joined
May 3, 2021
Messages
149
https://prsguitars.com/news/story/p...w_models_new_finish_and_new_tci_tuned_pickups

"The 35th Anniversary Custom 24 models feature TCI (or TCI “S”) treble and bass pickups that are paired with two mini-toggle switches that allow players to put either or both pickups in humbucking or true single-coil mode. The clarity and unique tone of these vintage-inspired pickups is both big and nuanced, so players can easily find their sweet spot."

Clearly their marketing department doesn't understand the difference either lol. Nowhere in the press release does it mention 85/15.

Here's a link to screenshot:

https://www.linkpicture.com/view.php?img=LPic61aa750e6e05b787782067
 
Last edited:

Jim Halinda

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Sep 23, 2020
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The whole thing is something new and proprietary that PRS doesn't want to share with its competitors.

Paul has found a way to analyze and identify certain properties of a great sounding pickup, and then to tune the circuit (by picking the right values for pots, caps, resistors etc) to consistently reproduce them on a large scale.

So he has found some new measurable factor and figured out how to control it to get the response he wants consistently.

You won't find any special new parts or magical items if you take the pickup / circuits apart - I think it's just the combination of all the parts of the circuit he has chosen.

If I were him, I would not want to tell the world how I did that. But I'd want the world to know that I'd found something special.

Edited to add: I agree with what was said above, PRS have done a poor job of naming or explaining it consistently.
 

Jim Halinda

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Sep 23, 2020
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P.S. A company I worked for was developing software to run over an Oracle database. We were in a meeting with product management, deciding whether the name should include "on Oracle" or "for Oracle". Someone actually suggested that we use "for on Oracle". So it wouldn't surprise me if a marketing team messed this one up.
 

Black-Viper75

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Greece
I may be wrong, but I believe they are the same thing. TCI stands for "Tuned Capacitance Inductance" so a tuned tuned capacitor inductance pickup would just be tuned twice! Just kidding, I believe that is just them putting the word tuned at the end to let people know they have been tuned using this method. Here is a PRS bit about them - https://prsguitars.com/news/story/p...w_models_new_finish_and_new_tci_tuned_pickups According to this, most =>2020 models now have TCI-Tuned pickups (same as TCI). I have seen plenty of these guitars listed without this information, but I do not believe there is a difference between TCI and TCI-Tuned.
This.
 

RC Mike

New Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
358
The whole thing is something new and proprietary that PRS doesn't want to share with its competitors.

Paul has found a way to analyze and identify certain properties of a great sounding pickup, and then to tune the circuit (by picking the right values for pots, caps, resistors etc) to consistently reproduce them on a large scale.

So he has found some new measurable factor and figured out how to control it to get the response he wants consistently.

You won't find any special new parts or magical items if you take the pickup / circuits apart - I think it's just the combination of all the parts of the circuit he has chosen.

If I were him, I would not want to tell the world how I did that. But I'd want the world to know that I'd found something special.

Edited to add: I agree with what was said above, PRS have done a poor job of naming or explaining it consistently.

I’m pretty sure that’s incorrect, or at least the part about tuning the rest of the guitar’s wiring. There was a lot of discussion about this around the 2020 594 revision. Some folks thought it was individually measuring and changing the entire wiring, but Shawn largely pooh-poohed that. It’s just the pickups themselves.

Seems like whatever TCI really is, it’s not been the world-beating change that some thought it might turn into. More like a poorly done marketing job about a relatively minor improvement.
 
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