Tone differences Stop Tail vs Tremolo

Artjr

My wife's a Lawyer
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
266
Location
North Carolina
i recently got a couple PRS guitars. A 2007 cu24 artist pac wt neck with hfs / VB pups and a trem using 9/42s The other is a 93 custom 22 wf neck dimarzio 36th anniversary pick ups and stop tail using 10/46.
About a 2k difference n the price on these guitars. I swear the old beat up 93 sounds like a dream compaired to the 07. Everything I play clean or dirty sound so much more defined on the 93.
Could it be the pickups , string gauge , stop tail or just the guitar it's self ?
I still have time to return the 07 and get another trem cu24.
 

veinbuster

Zombie Three, DFZ
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
13,229
Location
GTA or wandering aimlessly
It is probably mostly the pickups, though the 22 versus 24 frets does impact the placement of the neck pickups which does impact the sound.

Not everybody got along with the HFS/VB pickups - I like them and keep them on my SAS, but they aren't to everyone's taste. Good odds the dimarzio neck pickup is the biggest part of the difference.
 

Artjr

My wife's a Lawyer
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
266
Location
North Carolina
I'm thinking about a newer 24 with something besides the HFS. I know I could change the pickups in the artist, but I do what to change anything on such a beautiful guitar.
 

gush

She said "huge bag of dibs".
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
5,394
Location
washington iowa
Yup. I've heard people get good tones out of the HFS but I just can't. Lots of people like them and that's ok. It is too harsh for my tastes in normal tuning. I put one in my McCarty for a while back when I kept it tuned to D and it sounded pretty dam good that way. I was surprised.
 

markintime

Wood Grain Devotee
Joined
Jun 12, 2014
Messages
1,171
Location
Clinton, SC
I have 2 SE CU 24's, one that I ordered with 59/09's ad one that I kept with the HFS/VB'S. They are both 30th Anniversary models, but the one with the HFS/VB'S has an ebony fretboard, and I potted it with smoked blacked covers. They both sound great and the covered HFS/VB'S are toned out a bit smoother to my ears anyway. But this is all subjective anyway. I offer my experience FTW.
 

CantankerousCarl

Occasionally Onery Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
2,009
Artjr - I still like HFS/VB for higher-gain stuff, they do hold up better without getting flabby. Although I run .10s on all of my other guitars, I run .09s on my 2 older CE24s with the HFS/VB because the thinner strings help combat that bit-o-lifelessness in those pups. Congrats on the new PRSes!
 

swede71

Tja ba!Läget?
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
943
Location
Stockholm
I would say it's the difference in the guitars character.Swap pickups in the guitars and I'm convinced you still would like the CU22 better.Go check out some other CU 24s and find one that speaks to you totally and do a trade.
 

Artjr

My wife's a Lawyer
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
266
Location
North Carolina
I would say it's the difference in the guitars character.Swap pickups in the guitars and I'm convinced you still would like the CU22 better.Go check out some other CU 24s and find one that speaks to you totally and do a trade.
You're right.
 

ViperDoc

Plugged In.
Joined
Nov 26, 2013
Messages
3,541
Location
Idaho
Everything affects tone, but if we're talking bridge only, the stoptail beats trem any day of the week in my opinion.
 

Tridyed

New Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
22
From all the different guitars I have owned over 40+ years I find most times that a stop tailpiece will get you more lower mid's and bass to come through. With a floating PRS style I hear a bit more zing and bite come through. That being said.... you can work at everything from pickup height, to new pickups, and even the controls on your amp, or using a different amp.

So many things are variable that its hard to say from player to player what might help someone. The SE pickups... (to me) work well as long as I have the pickups set to the right height and playing through my Boogie Mark III (No Stripe, late 1985) and they sound great. If I use the same settings on my Vai Legacy its way too bassy and I don't get a nice round tone like I do with the Boogie. Now I just went to town on the tone controls on the Legacy and behold after a short time I was able to get a good tone. It wasn't like the Boogie but it had a great tone I could use. Try amps, strings, pickup height, new pickups, and anything else you can till you find what your after. Sometimes, no matter how amazing of a guitar you have, it may not be the one that let's you speak with the tone your after, same thing with amps.
 

Artjr

My wife's a Lawyer
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
266
Location
North Carolina
I back to back the 07 and a 2015 cu24 today. The 85/15 pickups seem to have a lot more range. Still don't didn't have the clairity of the 93. Tomorrow,Im going to check out a 1987 cu24. If I like it, I might just buy it for what it is and not care about tone.
 
Last edited:

Tridyed

New Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
22
Don't do that, without good tone the rest isn't worth doing...... as Santana said, you tone is your face, your identity. Its a life long search to get that perfect tone, its the struggle a lot of players hate but, its one you have to keep after.
 

LSchefman

Hears Tones
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
28,002
Don't do that, without good tone the rest isn't worth doing...... as Santana said, you tone is your face, your identity. Its a life long search to get that perfect tone, its the struggle a lot of players hate but, its one you have to keep after.

I knew I liked you from the last post.

I agree, though one thing of note is that we can vary the tone and still be ourselves because of how we approach the instrument, the overall vibe, etc.

I sound like me on all four PRSes, even though each one's a bit different.

Everything affects tone, but if we're talking bridge only, the stoptail beats trem any day of the week in my opinion.

I dunno...I like stoptails about the same as trems; a nice trem bridge, with the springs in a cavity, can have a very cool thing going on. A great stoptail has a different cool thing going on. And of course, each type of trem or stoptail bridge is different sounding from other designs.

So it's hard for me to generalize how I feel.

However, I can't possibly argue with your preferences for stoptails, because that is a personal matter re: what you like.
 

vox801

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Messages
483
Location
Elkridge, MD
i don't mind either, but then I block all the trems I have, except for a DGT. Something about blocking that one doesn't seem right. They all have good tone...
 

Tridyed

New Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
22
I agree, though one thing of note is that we can vary the tone and still be ourselves because of how we approach the instrument, the overall vibe, etc.

I sound like me on all four PRSes, even though each one's a bit different.

Yes, in the end I feel that 90% of the tone is in the fingers and attitude of the day. We spend the rest of our time hunting down that last 10% 8)

I always figured that Santana would sound like Santana even with some cheap POS guitar at Wal Mart.
 
Last edited:

Artjr

My wife's a Lawyer
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
266
Location
North Carolina
I was in Walmart today and couldn't find any guitars. Just joking.
I did get a 2 channel H and I think if I put a pickup on my fishing rod it would sound fantastic .
 

Brandon Dickerson

New Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2020
Messages
2
Paul Reed Smith seems to be the only company where it does not matter if it's a stop tailpiece or not, the sustain is amazing. I went with the staptail to my surprise because of the way it fells mostly palm muting. I play it everyday and I got mine in 97".
You go core you can't go wrong.
 

RickP

Established 1960, Still Not Dead
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
4,143
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
I’ve got stop tails and trems that I like, and always felt any one item wasn’t the total tone. One thing that’s seemed consistent is that if they don’t ring unplugged, I usually don’t get along with them plugged in.

I’d advise you to make it simple. If you don’t like the 07, send it back. Someone else will connect with it... go get one you like. There’s just no sense in keeping a guitar that is uninspiring.
 
Top