To all the PRS pickup gurus, got a question

Jimmy Ramone

Last of the Ramones
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Where do the various PRS pickup sets fall on the vintage - modern spectrum? I have experience with McCarty’s, 57/08, and Dragon IIs. And I would place them in that order of vintage to modern. I’m exploring the tonal subtleties of the various sets and would like to compile a list. Have a set of Mira’s coming. Interested in knowing more about the other sets. What’s your opinion?

McCarty > 57/08 > Dragon II

Where do the other sets fall? Mira, Dragon I, #6, #7, 53/10, 58/15, 59/09, etc.
Is there something that falls between McCartys and 57/08s?

Looking forward to sharing opinions.
 
Tricky to rank them all without charting them all on a giant chalkboard. But here's what I would comment--based on evidence that I can find (published magnet types and pickup strengths, as well as how they feel & sound), I currently regard these all as being the same:

Identical neck pickups to each other (all Alnico II, same outputs):
Standard bass --> Vintage bass --> 57/08 bass ... all the same

Also identical neck pickups to each other (all Alnico IV, same outputs):
Dragon bass --> McCarty bass --> Dragon II & #6 ... all the same

Please prove me wrong on these, but I cannot find anything within either lineage that would point differently. No way could a small-ish guitar manufacturer like PRS make so many different pickups over time (in addition to guitars!) if they didn't carry over previous tried & true pickup designs. I've yet to compare/qualify all the corresponding bridge pickups, as those seem to vary a bit more from set to set.

Other speculations/observations that I could provide:
53/10 = more or less like a "low wind" 57/08; but the "53" seems to indicate that it's targeted after a P90 from 1953???
59/09 = more or less to me like a 57/08 with Alnico V magnets and possibly 5% overwind
85/15 = I dunno... modern strong yet clear alien invention from outer space... I've yet to fall in love with these.
 
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Identical neck pickups to each other (all Alnico II, same outputs):
Standard bass --> Vintage bass --> 57/08 bass ... all the same
There may be a 5708 version that is but as a whole no. There's quite a few versions or revisions.

Also identical neck pickups to each other (all Alnico IV, same outputs):
Dragon bass --> McCarty bass --> Dragon II & #6 ... all the same
This is correct. Differences are things like covers, zebra, uncovered, and wires.. otherwise same same.

Please prove me wrong on these, but I cannot find anything within either lineage that would point differently. No way could a small-ish guitar manufacturer like PRS make so many different pickups over time (in addition guitars!) if they didn't carry over previous tried & true pickup designs. I've yet to compare/qualify all the corresponding bridge pickups, as those seem to vary a bit more from set to set.
PRS does this A LOT! There's even more than you mentioned with changes like covers,.magnets, and sometimes even just the name.
59/09 = more or less to me like a 57/08 with Alnico V magnets and possibly 5% overwind
5909 is A2. There was a overwound version of 5708 that i have thats damn difficult to tell the difference between a 5708 besides the cover and uncovered
85/15 = I dunno... modern strong yet clear alien invention from outer space... I've yet to fall in love with these.
My least liked xx/xx pickup too


We can't talk pickups without mentioning the 5815LT. Another pickups with lots of versions over the years. Fantastic neck tone! Pairs well with 5909 or 5708 too.
 
I’ll keep my observations shallow, but in order of output, lower to higher, 58/15LT just a hair less than early 57/08, then 58/15 MT and newer 57/08, then 59/09. That said, I’ve had certain pickups hit a little harder/louder in certain guitars despite their position in the output hierarchy.
 
57/08 (unetched) > 57/08 Squabbin > 57/08TM > McCarty > D2
Even here there is quite the difference between sets. I have two sets of unechtched 57/08, probably produced within a month of each other (early 2009) and they vary quite a bit. Bridge of one is 7.9, the other 8.5. Neck read about 7.8 and 8.0. Might be considered within spec, but are definately different PUs.
 
wow...I just snatched up a set of unetched 57/08s. I've been after them a long time. They appear to be be uninstalled and look brand new!
Now what to do with them!

I love 57/08s the most. I have the TM in my PS Singlecut and custom 24, I have some PS collection series 57/08 in my CU22 hardtail.



chG39ff.jpg

7uKoGAz.jpg

kHfdkhN.jpg
cisuMiN.jpg
 
wow...I just snatched up a set of unetched 57/08s. I've been after them a long time. They appear to be be uninstalled and look brand new!
Now what to do with them!

I love 57/08s the most. I have the TM in my PS Singlecut and custom 24, I have some PS collection series 57/08 in my CU22 hardtail.



chG39ff.jpg

7uKoGAz.jpg

kHfdkhN.jpg
cisuMiN.jpg

Congratulations. Would love to see the full guitar please.
 
wow...I just snatched up a set of unetched 57/08s. I've been after them a long time. They appear to be be uninstalled and look brand new!
Now what to do with them!

I love 57/08s the most. I have the TM in my PS Singlecut and custom 24, I have some PS collection series 57/08 in my CU22 hardtail.



chG39ff.jpg

7uKoGAz.jpg

kHfdkhN.jpg
cisuMiN.jpg
Nice find!
 
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