"That" neck pickup lead tone on a Custom24?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jimcu24, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. Jimcu24

    Jimcu24 New Member

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    Hi guys

    Been a while since I last posted. I've been enjoying my custom 24 for about a year and a half now and it's a great guitar, if they would just make that neck just a millimeter or two narrower though! They are pretty good necks though and completely different in feel to a lot of other guitars.

    Anyway, more and more I've started to become dissatisfied with the tone of the neck pickup on my Custom 24, it just doesn't have that famous "liquidy", bluesy classic neck pickup tone for leads and solos that I love. Mine came stock with the 57/08 and I changed them for some Bareknuckle pickups which are decent pickups but they aren't producing that tone in the neck....Is it the pickup or something more fundamental.... With the CU24 having 24 frets and having the bridge moved up the body to compensate, it doesn't affect the bridge pickup sound but the neck pickup doesn't have the same fullness from where it's positioned on the body as a 22 fret guitar like a Les Paul, it's slightly more trebly. That's my theory anyway.

    So what I'm asking is, can you get "that" lead tone from a cu24 in the neck? I've tried rolling down the tone knob which gets quite a similar effect but it can also make the guitar sound a bit strange in some ways. So I'm wondering if anyone else has this issue with the 24 and whether they managed to get that tone i'm after by getting a particular pickup maybe voiced slightly bassier or maybe EQ'ing their amp in a certain way? Or alternately if I want that kind of tone would I be better off getting a Custom22? My CU24 is a great guitar so it seems a shame to have to go to the trouble of selling it and getting a 22 but tone is tone right? I don't know why they made them 24 frets, I can't find a use for that note, it's way too high and the radius once I get that high makes it fret out pretty much... Anyway.

    Hopefully someone on the forum can help me out with my questions.

    Have a great Sunday.

    James
     
  2. nicholsonian

    nicholsonian Expressor of Opinions

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    I believe the actual question you want answered is "Can my PRS sound like a LP?".

    Not really. Even a Custom 22 doesn't quite sound the same. People are always looking at changing pickups but pickuos are just part of the equation.

    I am on othe forums as well and I can tell you it's the same there as well...How can my strat sound more like a LP?...Why doesn't my LP sound more like a strat when it's coil tapped?...What PRS sounds most like a tele/strat/LP?

    A Guitar is a system. A combination of all it's properties. Either find some tones you are happy with or if you just can't scratch that itch, maybe look for a LP.
     
  3. Jimcu24

    Jimcu24 New Member

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    Hi, thanks for replying. I think you misunderstand me though, I have a Fender Mustang with two humbuckers where the neck pup has that bluesy quality to it, but I wouldn't say it sounds like a Les Paul. I had pretty much expected that I would not be able to get that sound with a pup change just as I cant get it by rolling down the tone knob.
    My real question should be "Does the Custom22 when compared with a 24 have that richer neck pickup sound I'm talking about?". Besides I've never been keen on Les Paul's! Also don't think me lazy by getting on the forum instead of just doing the simple thing and trying out a Cu22, where I live you have to drive a long way to find one and watching youtube videos aren't the same.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  4. nicholsonian

    nicholsonian Expressor of Opinions

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    Well the Custom 22 will have a different tone to it...a bit thicker in the neck pickup overall.

    I grappled with this question a lot myself after really loving my Custom 24.

    What I did was after years of buying, selling, trading and pickup swaps was to just settle on a guitar...a Custom 24...and got better at adjusting my amp and using the tone knob to find my tones. I used always just be a volume on 10, tone on 10 lets rock guy. That being said, I find the tone knob on my Custom 24 really helps me shape different tones for different tunes. Much more so on some other guitars I have owned.

    If all else fails, you could try anEQ pedal.

    There is a rig rundown video on youtube where Billy Gibbons' tech explains how they adjust the EQ to make all his guitars, be it a tele or fur covered Gretsch sound like Pearly Gates.
     
    #4 nicholsonian, Mar 22, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  5. Jimcu24

    Jimcu24 New Member

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    That's a really helpful answer actually, I'll probably end up trying a Custom22 out at some stage for curiositys sake, but I'm pretty happy with my 24 and it has it's plusses with the pickup placement that you get a more evenly blended middle position. I've been fiddling with the tone knob and got some decent results, I think it's something I'm going to experiment with more.

    The EQ pedal is a good shout also, sometimes I have the lead channel setup so it gets that tone but then I can't get a good rhythm tone as I've purposely dialled it a little bassier to compensate so the EQ pedal for solos would be interesting.

    It's all about EQ sometimes, when people chase tone some simple smart EQ'ing can give them most of what they need. I'll check out that video it sounds cool, I heard Billy plays 8 gauge strings apparently, you wouldn't know it!

    Appreciate your suggestions.
     
  6. nicholsonian

    nicholsonian Expressor of Opinions

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  7. guitarman001

    guitarman001 New Member

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    Very good option to use the volume and tone knobs - good post, nicholsnian!!
    I have a Riot Reloasded distortion pedal set to high distortion. If I want crunch I simply roll the volume knob down.
    It I want a little more cream I roll the tone down a little.
    People don't use the tools on the guitars they already have!

    Saying that, the OP might want to look into a custom 22. The one complaint I have is that the pup positions do all sound very similar on a Cu24 and there is nearly no "quack" like on a strat. I believe it's because the pickups are just too close together. Saying that (!) other guitars do manage it (Suhr Moderns?) so it leaves me wondering. I'm actually about to try a Suhr Modern today. If the Cu24 just had that bit more warmth and quack I'd be 110% happy.

    I distinctly remembering trying a custom 22 once and it did sound warmer (nice!!) however the fret access was a little trickier and I have mainly always been about the fret access. The fret access is incredible on Cu24's - the thumb can go on top of the neck almost all the way up to the last fret!
     
  8. CatStrangler

    CatStrangler PRS Enthusiast

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    If you love the guitar, may I suggest you try out some different amps? The guitar/pickup is only ~50% of the equation. For me, my Marshall flavored HXDA and my several Vox type amps are different animals entirely, and I prefer different instruments with each. My warmer toned instruments seem to work better with the HXDA and the brighter ones are a great fit for the Vox styles. Don't get me started about speakers. I used to feel the same way about 24 fret instruments and since I have acquired some more amps and learned how to dial them in, I almost don't notice the difference in tone, at least not in a way that would make the instrument less inspiring to play, YMMV. Good luck!
     
  9. Jimcu24

    Jimcu24 New Member

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    Yeah this is similar to my experience that the pup positions do sound similar, there's not much space between them so you do get less of the depth that you would maybe get on a guitar with a larger space between the buckers, strange about the Suhr guitars though! They are meant to be very good. If you have the time report back on your findings!

    I have heard that the fret access is better on a 24 and is actually very noticeable by a lot of players which I didn't expect.
     
  10. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    The farther away from the bridge a pup is positioned, the more bassy the pup will sound (true until you get to mid string length).

    If everything else is the same, the neck pup on a 22 will be fuller and bassier than the same pup positioned for a 24 fret guitar.

    Because physics.

    You can bass tweak the tone of a 24 fret neck pup, but the same pup can be tweaked even bassier in a 22 fretter.

    [​IMG]
     
    #10 rugerpc, Mar 22, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  11. guitarman001

    guitarman001 New Member

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    For the benefit of Jimcu24, here is a post I made on another forum. Sorry for the non-PRS content!
    PRS conclusion: Cu24 is THE one for me. Massively more playable, it is the standard, and I didn't think the tonal differences were THAT much greater. The Cu22 heel is longer and made it that bit more difficult to play.
    General conclusion - if you want a specific tone that you know a specific guitar type produces - you might be as well buying that type of guitar! Otherwise be happy with what you've got and try to get the sound as close as you can - it's do-able these days.

    Anyway, here was my post:

    So I went to the one in Edinburgh just now. First I tried this:



    http://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/electric_guitars_detail.asp?stock=14081114375416

    [​IMG]



    I'll be honest - I never bonded with it. It may have been the feel of the woods (not the standard rosewood or maple), I'm not sure (and I think I prefer standard woods). The pickup definition I was looking for was there, but not as much as I'd hope for.


    Then I tried this:
    http://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/electric_guitars_detail.asp?stock=px-EH127XF10774

    [​IMG]



    Used, good value I'd say. Not the original pups. Anyway, maybe it was the maple neck - it felt amazing, just like my Pro S4. It sounded like there was more definition between the pups - could it have been due to the basswood body and maple fingerboard? I thought it was great - but very similar to the S4 I already have. If I didn't have the S4 I might have considered it... but I do have the S4 so I can't see the point in going for it. While the pup definition was there, I didn't get the "holy grail" moment I was expecting. My PRS might not have outstanding pup definition (compared to an HSS strat-style guitar - so likely an unfair comparison!!) but the 57/08 and 59/09 pairs still sound damn good. Not worth getting something else (or replacing one). The fret access was better than I anticipated but not as good as my PRS. Oh! I noticed it had jumbo frets - I'm damn sure my S4 and my PRS are just "normal/average" fret sizes. I decided there and then I don't like jumbo frets - they're too restricting when you get to the higher frets. Similarly, I played a Wolfgang a year ago which had narrow frets and those were way too thin and I had trouble bending. I've never been a gear-hound but I'm finding it interesting to note what does and does not work for me, gear-wise!




    Oh, lastly... I played this:
    http://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/electric_guitars_detail.asp?stock=13082815082758

    [​IMG]

    It has the two things I wanted to try - hard-tail and also 22 frets so I can hear the real difference in neck humbucker warmth. I've decided I like standard trems - not floyd roses... and not hardtails. I like to have the option. Felt weird not having one. I also wouldn't say the tone was that much warmer than the Cu24. Pups were HFS/vintage or whatever - not as good as the 57/08 and 59/09s I have. Also the neck wasn't satin - and you all know I'm all about the satin necks! The larger heel reminded me again why I chose the Cu24 over the Cu22 so long ago now... fret access and playability is much better on the Cu24.


    I think I have the Suhr for me now. I was looking for the "master guitar" - the sounds of the S4 in a PRS-type guitar but I never quite found it. I think I've some of the best guitars I'll ever have in my possession right now. I see some PRS online and they look amazing... but in person they don't look as stunning. I can honestly say mine look absolutely stunning "in the flesh". Their feel and sounds are top notch. I've come to the conclusion I wont get the quack I get out of the S4 out of a dual-humbucker 24 fret guitar. I've got it in the S4! I remember playing a Fender Deluxe that sounded and felt a little better - but it felt rough around the edges. My point is... if I want quack, go the HSS/SSS Fender-style route. If I want balls-out rock, go Les Paul/PRS etc. There's no magic bullet or "all-in-one" guitar. I almost tried the Gibson Class 5 again but there would have been no point - I remember it had "fight" in it and the fret access wasn't spectacular. I'm going to give it a rest now, get on with the album and get the most out of what I've got.
     
    #11 guitarman001, Mar 22, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  12. guitarman001

    guitarman001 New Member

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    Oh, here are the guitars I own:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  13. Jimcu24

    Jimcu24 New Member

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    guitarman001, i've got to say I'm blown away by that guitar collection! Every guitar is bringing something its own thing to the table, and that flamed maple satin neck looks beyond cool. Your Suhr looks great, I'm interested by these guitars I hear they're made incredibly well and are properly shielded? I actually got my Cu24 from guitarguitar in scotland, although it was over the internet, I had played a few and knew I wanted one so there was a sale on and I just went for it. Bummer about the Cu22, I'm going to try one out when I get round to it, I was thinking it was just going to be exactly like the 24 but with 2 frets less and a warmer neck, but from what I'm hearing the fret access isnt as good and tone isn't too different anyway. Kind of makes you wonder why they bothered with the 22, I think the CU24 shape looks a little nicer, the way the bridge comes up makes it look a little nicer than the cu22.
    I agree about the hardtail, originally I wanted one but I didn't like the feel of it.

    RUGERPC: Thats a great diagram, I came across it the other day actually when I was trying to get my head around the pup positioning, it makes it easy to understand.
     
  14. Audie

    Audie a.k.a. Charlie

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    What kind of amp are you playing through? As stated previously, the amp settings have a lot to do with your overall tone and obviously settings differ from guitar to guitar. I have found in many conversations that folks discussing the tone you seek were scooping out the mids, when they should have been dialing them more into the mix. In my opinion, I would think the 57-08s would have got you right where you wanted, assuming the amp is the right one, or where it needs to be set.

    I dig the 57-08's. I find a neck humbucker with an output rating in the 7's, a tube amp with the treb set at 5 to 7, the mids set at 6 to 10, and bass 4 to 5, you get the classic bluesy blooming notes depending on the amp you use. Depending on the amp, a tubescreamer may get you over the hump. What makes the tubescreamer so special in my opinion is that it is not a harsh overdrive , but does focus on the mids and adds some subtle tube compression that emphasiszes the note bloom that I hear in classic blues. On a another note, part of the confusion with metaphors describing tones of pickups, amps, settings and what have you,are unique to us all individually. Everyone has a slight, moderate, or severe departure of what a tone metaphor means to them and their ear, which makes it truly difficult to pinpoint a solution. Hence, the tone quest.

    Most of the tone I believe you seek is found in the 57-08's. They are quite the PAF style humbucker type. PAFS define the humbucker blues sound. While their are many PAF styles out there, I am amused at the supply and demand result of the PAF pursuit. I know I have departed somewhat from your questions, but i cannot help myself. With all prejudice aside for the PRS PAF style pups, I cannot shake my head more at all this PAF nonsense. The orginal PAF is simply that the original PAF. There are no need for knockoffs. If someone wants a PAF that is only differentiated by time then buy the Seymour Duncan Seth Lover. Seth invented the things. Before his passing, he worked with Seymour Duncan to manufacture his original design that was and is, in all the original Gibsons to his exacting specs. The result is the Seth lover pickup. Seymour Duncan, in an effort to right the wrong done to Seth by Gibson and show that he was not doing this joint venture for the money, but to reward Seth for his invention and to distance himself from the venture and show the original PAF is still here, deferred compensation or profit on the sale of the pups. Till this day, all proceeds for the sale of Seth Lovers go to Seths widow. I know this is a departure from the OP's request, but I wanted to share it. All said, most of the tone I believe you seek is found in the 57-08's. They are quite the PAF style humbucker type. PAFS define the humbucker blues sound in my opinion.
     
  15. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    I hear huge differences between neck pups on 22 vs 24 fret guitars.

    I recently A/Bed a P22 and a P24. Both had 57/08 neck pups. Even though the P22 neck pup was uncovered, it still was warmer and bassier than the P24 neck pup.

    YMMV.
     
  16. Jimcu24

    Jimcu24 New Member

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    Hi Audie, I've got a few amps I play thru: a 65 Princeton Reverb, a Fender Excelsior, Marshall JVM and dual rectifier. Funnily enough its the dual rec's EQ that gets me that wam, bluesey distorted neck pickup lead sound. I can't remember what pickups I had they were either the 57/08 or 59/09 but the amp I had didn't have much gain and I couldn't push it enough with those pickups so I got a pair of bare knuckles, the bridge is based on a JB but with an Alnico magnet and the neck is a vintage hot style 7.9. Decent pickups, but I ended up selling the PRS pups because I needed some cash, it would have been interested to try them out now....
    Just looking at the frequency graph for my neck pickup on the BKP website, it's low in the bass and high in the treble which may contribute a little to the lack of warmth on the neck.
    Funnily enough I have a special edition Fender Mustang, dual humbucker and they are really great! You don't usually expect Fender and humbuckers in the same sentence, but they are chimey on the cleans and brutal with distortion (if needed), they have that neck sound I like but it just doesn't play like my custom 24....They don't sell the pickups separately either.
    I have a Fulltone Plimsoul which acts in a similar way to a TS, there's some compression and a midrange "bump" there. I'll get round to trying a cu22 eventually and probably be totally disappointed! Guitarists chasing tone and all that, but at the moment clever EQ'ing gets me there, it's just a shame the sound isn't there out of the box, but you can't have it all, that's why we all end up collecting guitars i suppose!

    Rugerpc - Do you play a custom 24 also? I know what you mean, I haven't ABd any 22/24 fret HH guitars with this thought in mind, but on my mustang it has two humbuckers and a configuration that allows you to select either the back or the front coil of the humbucker and it really is surpising the tonal difference you get from one coil to the next, even though it's just milimetres of space!
     
  17. swede71

    swede71 Tja ba!Läget?

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    Hi Jimcu24!Try a DGT.With 2 volknobs you can set volume on neckpickup.To me most neckpickups,especially with distortion sounds too bassy or muddy.Lowering volume to 5-7 helps alot.Sounds very bluesy.So try volumeknob and see what difference it makes.
     

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