The "Show Off Your ZM" Thread

shinksma

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Over a month ago I toyed with the idea of putting pickup covers on my ZM. Here it is, new covers, and new strings (.010s).

IMG_1718LR_1024_zps35c9787c.jpg


IMG_1716LR_1024_zps72480e80.jpg


Pup covers are from Philadelphia Luthiers. Chrome 50mm and 52mm pole spacings.

http://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/pickup-covers/

The headstock looks nice in the sunlight too:

IMG_1723LR_1024_zps3f17bf94.jpg


I must admit, the back is not terribly fascinating, but I don't spend a lot of time looking at it, I guess, and neither does anyone else!

IMG_1726LR_1024_zps49b2bdaf.jpg


The hog back is quite a bit lighter than I expected. That is about as light as mahogany can get, as far as I can tell. Dunno if that has any relationship to tonality. PRSh would know, I guess.

I was going to swap out the nut for a spare USA nut that I had, but after looking at the "spare", I now realize why it wasn't on the guitar it came with: it seems to have been over-zealously filed for larger strings. I'll consider getting a US nut later, perhaps.

Anyway, the guitar seems to have a different sound with the pup covers, a bit smoother and fuller. Which means it is purely a placebo effect, I'm sure... I do like the look, regardless.

I considered swapping out pup rings too, to something black perhaps, but I think I like the cream look. Time will tell. And I'll get lazy, so they'll remain as-is. ;)
 

Howlingmine

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I've wanted to order one of these for a very long time now, but from all the photos I've seen there is a huge color variation in this model and if I got one that looked even the slightest bit blue, I'd throw a fit. The other thing that turns me off is the zebra pickups, I HATE zebras so much. I really wish PRS would stop using them. I'm sure there are tons of people that like them, but I just can't do it. When I 1st bought my tobacco burst SECU24, I thought they looked great, but over time, and after many friends saying how crappy they looked, I ended up buying nickel covers for them. Then I really wanted and SE245, and ended up buying the soapbar model just to avoid the zebras (no regrets, I love the sound of soapies). Anyway, I love all of my SEs, they all sound great, I just wish that someone would render the zebras extinct, I've never seen a guitar of any brand that looked good with them.
 

shinksma

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Well, the Trampas green certainly can look blue-ish in certain light, I guess, and depending on your own color perception too. (I have an ex who would describe a particular couch as "green" even though it looked brown to everyone else.)

You could pick up one of the other available colors: tobacco burst, spalted maple (natural or Santana Yellow), or who knows what else is available.

The zebra pup thing is all because "people" (you know, "them", "those guys") took the covers off their pickups, and convinced themselves that the better ones were the ones that turned out to be the ones with zebra pickups. Eric Clapton was supposedly the first to take the covers off, but I don't think he was the person who started the whole "zebras are better" thing. Unfortunately for those that don't like it so much, it has become a "look" that is a "feature" and desirable. I'm not enamoured by them - I prefer the look of covered pups anyway, so that's why I put covers on my ZM, obviously.
 
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redmax61

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This thread is making me seriously jones for one of these guitars. I've been wanting a PRS Semi-hollow for years, but haven't seen the right one yet (that I could afford . . .), and the ZM looks like a pretty amazing guitar.

WANT!
 

shinksma

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looks GREAT... black pu rings would look better IMO

And here it is with those aforementioned black pup rings and switch tip:

IMG_2791LR_1024_zpsc6f7802c.jpg


Sorry for the lousy indoor lighting (vs. the lovely sunny day of the previous shots), but it is nighttime now...

I'm liking the look.
 

rubalup

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And here it is with those aforementioned black pup rings and switch tip:

IMG_2791LR_1024_zpsc6f7802c.jpg


Sorry for the lousy indoor lighting (vs. the lovely sunny day of the previous shots), but it is nighttime now...

I'm liking the look.


:rock::rock::rock::rock::rock::rock::rock::rock::rock:
 

shinksma

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OK, here's a nice outside shot of the new pup rings and switch tip. Because we all need gratuitous sunny shots from Florida this time of year:

IMG_2697LR_1024_zps5f3ba03a.jpg


And another down-the-body shot:

IMG_2704LR_1024_zpsd7aab7a4.jpg


I'm gonna leave the stock tuners on there for now - the antique faded jade green (or whatever that color is called) button seem to add that slight touch of color.
 

Duffy

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OK, here's a nice outside shot of the new pup rings and switch tip. Because we all need gratuitous sunny shots from Florida this time of year:

IMG_2697LR_1024_zps5f3ba03a.jpg


And another down-the-body shot:

IMG_2704LR_1024_zpsd7aab7a4.jpg


I'm gonna leave the stock tuners on there for now - the antique faded jade green (or whatever that color is called) button seem to add that slight touch of color.


That looks really good.

I just got a new SE Custom 24 in vintage yellow and it is really nice looking. I'll post some pictures.

Anyway, the zebra's look decent on this guitar, but I would love to put on some covers. I would not know exactly how to do that. Did you wax pot them?
 

shinksma

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That looks really good.

I just got a new SE Custom 24 in vintage yellow and it is really nice looking. I'll post some pictures.

Anyway, the zebra's look decent on this guitar, but I would love to put on some covers. I would not know exactly how to do that. Did you wax pot them?

I did not wax pot mine. I followed a YouTube video, putting some double-sided tape on top if the bare pickup (non-adjustable pole side), and soldering the cover to the pickup chassis. I dunno whether wax potting would have resulted in anything different, sound-wise.

I figured if the new covers didn't result in what I wanted, I would just swap out the whole pickup. But frankly, I'm quite happy with the sound as it stands, and I'm not getting any negative-quality microphonics or anything.
 

Duffy

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I did not wax pot mine. I followed a YouTube video, putting some double-sided tape on top if the bare pickup (non-adjustable pole side), and soldering the cover to the pickup chassis. I dunno whether wax potting would have resulted in anything different, sound-wise.

I figured if the new covers didn't result in what I wanted, I would just swap out the whole pickup. But frankly, I'm quite happy with the sound as it stands, and I'm not getting any negative-quality microphonics or anything.


I like the idea of trying the covers before buying new covered pickups. I like the stock pickups but I would like to put covered ones in the guitar. I might try putting on some new covers myself. I'm good at soldering and this type of thing.

Did you have to clamp the covers onto the pickup base when you did the soldering, or did the covers fit on just right with no need to clamp them together? Also, where did you get the covers? I guess you take the screws out of the pickup and put them back in after you solder the cover on - the pole piece screws? Or did the covers just fit over the screws?

Really interesting and nice job done on a beautiful ZM.
 

shinksma

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I like the idea of trying the covers before buying new covered pickups. I like the stock pickups but I would like to put covered ones in the guitar. I might try putting on some new covers myself. I'm good at soldering and this type of thing.

Did you have to clamp the covers onto the pickup base when you did the soldering, or did the covers fit on just right with no need to clamp them together? Also, where did you get the covers? I guess you take the screws out of the pickup and put them back in after you solder the cover on - the pole piece screws? Or did the covers just fit over the screws?

Really interesting and nice job done on a beautiful ZM.

I did not clamp the covers onto the pickups before soldering. I considered it, to get it a little tighter, but I just put a slightly bigger blob of solder instead. ;)

The fit was snug but not too tight.

I got the covers from Philadelphia Luthier, one of each of these (50 and 52mm pole spacing):

http://www.philadelphialuthiertools...ickup-cover-chrome-plated-nickel-silver-50mm/
http://www.philadelphialuthiertools...ickup-cover-chrome-plated-nickel-silver-52mm/

They are described as Chrome plated nickel silver, and are supposed to be relatively transparent (vs. some of the cheaper options available out there).

I did not have to do anything with the pole piece screws - they fit exactly.

Thanks for the compliments...I'm quite happy with how it looks now!
 

Duffy

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I did not clamp the covers onto the pickups before soldering. I considered it, to get it a little tighter, but I just put a slightly bigger blob of solder instead. ;)

The fit was snug but not too tight.

I got the covers from Philadelphia Luthier, one of each of these (50 and 52mm pole spacing):

http://www.philadelphialuthiertools...ickup-cover-chrome-plated-nickel-silver-50mm/
http://www.philadelphialuthiertools...ickup-cover-chrome-plated-nickel-silver-52mm/

They are described as Chrome plated nickel silver, and are supposed to be relatively transparent (vs. some of the cheaper options available out there).

I did not have to do anything with the pole piece screws - they fit exactly.

Thanks for the compliments...I'm quite happy with how it looks now!


I just ordered the set of these in raw nickel silver. I hope that they are not backordered. I didn't see anything indicating anything was in stock or not. It accepted and processed my order.

Did you solder these in two places on each pickup or just one?

I'm looking forward to doing this great looking mod.
 

Duffy

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So the clear knobs were not working for me against the tobacco sunburst so thanks to a generous bud on the other PRS forum I now have amber speed knobs which fit like they were meant to be......



These knobs blend in very well with the top of the guitar; very beautiful by the way.

Which Duncan pickup set is that anyway? They look nice on your guitar.
 

Duffy

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JB in the bridge and an Alnico II in the neck. Seem to work well in this one.

I think I could appreciate that combination of pickups. I have a few guitars with bridge JB pickups. I have a great sounding tele I put tele Alnico II Pros in, and I have a strat A2Pro pickup. I am thinking of putting a set of A2Pro's in an LP type guitar.

It sounds like a versatile pickup set. The JB can "scream".

I have a JB open coil black bridge pickup in an SE Standard.

I'm sure you have noticed a big difference in sound between the stock pickups (245's ?) and the premium Seymour Duncan JB and A2Pro. How would you describe the sonic difference?
 

shinksma

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I just ordered the set of these in raw nickel silver. I hope that they are not backordered. I didn't see anything indicating anything was in stock or not. It accepted and processed my order.

Did you solder these in two places on each pickup or just one?

I'm looking forward to doing this great looking mod.

I soldered in two spots, one on each of the long sides.

I almost went for the raw nickel silver...

Mine shipped right away, so if they are in stock expect a shipping notice within about one full workday - so by end of day Tuesday, maybe early Wednesday morning, based on your posting time...
 

Duffy

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I soldered in two spots, one on each of the long sides.

I almost went for the raw nickel silver...

Mine shipped right away, so if they are in stock expect a shipping notice within about one full workday - so by end of day Tuesday, maybe early Wednesday morning, based on your posting time...



You know Shinks, PLT's outfit actually blew my mind on my order. I ordered the items Sunday evening. Then, when viewing the summary of my order I noticed only one item was showing of the 50 and 52mm covers - the 52mm I think. This worried me so I sent an email to their support site asking if one of the covers was back ordered.

On Sunday night, about two thirty in the morning I got an email back and they stated that they see the actual order, just like I did (that showed both items were ordered). I don't know why only one showed up in the summary during the transaction, but I was charged the full amount for both items. They said that both items were already being processed to be sent and even sent me an email with the USPS tracking number. They said that they do not allow you to actually buy items that are not in stock and that they do not back order items - so I will be getting both covers.

Processing the order at two thirty in the morning, and responding to my email question kind of blew my mind. These guys apparently have super great customer service. I will order more stuff from them in the future.

I'm getting organized to do the job. I suppose I should start a new thread.

I'll start a new thread in this section. Please check out the new thread there.

Here is a link to my new thread: http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthread.php?11197-Soldering-nickel-silver-covers-onto-SE-zebra-pickups&p=173976#post173976 ,
 
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