US Made 85/15 Pickups ...

CrimesAgainstMusic

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I consider myself lucky enough to own 3 PRS guitars, 2 SE's and and S2 . All are quality pieces, beautiful, great feeling and all beyond my meager capabilities .

But that does not stop me from lusting after more PRS goodness. I do not have any first hand experience with US made pickups, as they only seem to come in guitars that cost north of $2K. ...:rolleyes:

So upon telling another guy how to spend his money ... I started looking at the CE line. The CE Semi Hollow to be specific.... It's kinda hollow (like the SE Hollowbody I am lusting for) Has the neck carve of my S2 (Pattern Thin) which I love in my S2 Thinline . and then, there are the Amurrican pickups. 85/15's no "S"

Now, the 85/15S seems to be the pickup, everyone loves to hate. I myself have replaced one set, (but I'm still holding on to the other, although aware of what I feel are its weaknesses)

So finally the Question (s) ... Has anyone using US Made 85/15's changed the stock Volume Pot which has a value of 500K (I'm assuming this, as I have not pulled one) ... for a 250K Pot to darken it a bit ?

See I'm thinking the 85/15 is articulate, clear, transparent ... but a tad "bright". I'm wondering if it might be more "mellow", with a lower value volume pot ?
 

Simon Says

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Bright is a last thing I would say about 85/15 in my CU24. This is what puzzles me as 33% people who dislike them call them muddy while other 33% shrill/bright. And there's 33% people calling them honky/mid heavy... go figure

Set in my guitar is dark yet articulate
 

rpoce24

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I have a CE 24 Semi-Hollow. It is the guitar I pick up 70% of the time. I love it. I think the pickups seem mid to bright in this guitar. It may have to do with the bolt on neck combined with the slightly airy body. They definitely come across darker in the cu24's.
 

CrimesAgainstMusic

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Bright is a last thing I would say about 85/15 in my CU24. This is what puzzles me as 33% people who dislike them call them muddy while other 33% shrill/bright. And there's 33% people calling them honky/mid heavy... go figure

Set in my guitar is dark yet articulate

My 2019 CE is the brightest guitar I own. Not dark or muddy in the least

OK ... this tracks a bit with my 85/15S experience ... And my thinking that the tonal extreme guys, (muddy /shrill) have not got their pickup height set to extract the possible cool tone out of the pickups ...

And I asked the original question (250 K pot usage) to see how it may affect "brightness" which I'm sure a properly adjusted set would probably display 'cause its just their "nature"
 

CrimesAgainstMusic

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I have a CE 24 Semi-Hollow. It is the guitar I pick up 70% of the time. I love it. I think the pickups seem mid to bright in this guitar. It may have to do with the bolt on neck combined with the slightly airy body. They definitely come across darker in the cu24's.

Didn't see your reply while I was checking out the other two guys ... This is the "trouble" I think I am subconsciously looking for ...

In keeping with my "advise" to another guy to "Buy Crazy" ... I think I'm trying to convince myself to shoot any potential "wad" on a CE Semi Hollow... like yours ! :)

I just might want to mellow out the pickups, hence the 250K Volume Pot question ...
 

The Dragonator

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33% say shrill, 33% say muddy. That means only one thing, and it is not debatable: 66% of you don't know how to properly set your amps. I see this sort of nonsense for all types of pickup brands and models that I and thousands of others know to be perfectly fine, balanced pickups. Now, the ones in question here? They are essentially somewhat hot PAF types with a bit more definition than some other models. What to mess them up by switching pots? Be my guest. I have both TCI-tuned and non-TCI 85/15 sets. I have numerous other brands too. They are all great pickups, some trending heavily but I would never pull any of the several PRS types I have that are stock on a Core model to replace it with something else. I will say, in any case, that the bridge pickup on the core Tremonti I have is hotter than what I prefer, but even then I easily took it down to more of a hot PAF sound by lowering it about a quarter inch. Me and my kind been in the business for years, how we make good livings -- don't obsess over pickups. Worry about your other skills, like playing the thing, knowing your amps.
 

Simon Says

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OK ... this tracks a bit with my 85/15S experience ... And my thinking that the tonal extreme guys, (muddy /shrill) have not got their pickup height set to extract the possible cool tone out of the pickups ...

And I asked the original question (250 K pot usage) to see how it may affect "brightness" which I'm sure a properly adjusted set would probably display 'cause its just their "nature"

If I would use 250k I expect it would turn my (otherwise perfect) guitar in to a mud city
 

CrimesAgainstMusic

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There’s often a knob on a guitar to tame brightness without doing any mods. While its main function may be to split pickups, if you turn it you’ll find it has an extra feature.

Cute. But No Help. The Tone controls are a broad brush method of attenuating tonal response. And they do not change the character of the pickups sound. I'm not sure what of the Pot change effect so I asked ...

Obviously , you have not made the change I asked about... so why reply ?

See, on these forums right next to the tone controls ... are the "ignore" controls ...

I have never played a guitar with US 85/15's and upon doing so may conclude not to mess with it .

But it is amusing the agitated replies a simple question can evoke ...
 

SinSir

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Kinda on task. I'm building a HSH strat right now. I'm not using 85/15, but I am going to try 250k pots first. I've read over and over the JB/Jazz set works well with 250k (esp JB). I also read they were designed for 250k pots. I dont know how true the latter part is.. i've used the JB many years, and I'd think it would work well with 250k pots. I plan to wire it up next weekend and will report back.
 

Ovibos

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Cute. But No Help. The Tone controls are a broad brush method of attenuating tonal response. And they do not change the character of the pickups sound. I'm not sure what of the Pot change effect so I asked ...

Obviously , you have not made the change I asked about... so why reply ?

See, on these forums right next to the tone controls ... are the "ignore" controls ...

I have never played a guitar with US 85/15's and upon doing so may conclude not to mess with it .

But it is amusing the agitated replies a simple question can evoke ...
Agitated?

I was just playing, semi-seriously.

You’ve gotta hang around here a bit to get the vibe.
 

JJDon

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Jan 13, 2020
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33% say shrill, 33% say muddy. That means only one thing, and it is not debatable: 66% of you don't know how to properly set your amps. I see this sort of nonsense for all types of pickup brands and models that I and thousands of others know to be perfectly fine, balanced pickups. Now, the ones in question here? They are essentially somewhat hot PAF types with a bit more definition than some other models. What to mess them up by switching pots? Be my guest. I have both TCI-tuned and non-TCI 85/15 sets. I have numerous other brands too. They are all great pickups, some trending heavily but I would never pull any of the several PRS types I have that are stock on a Core model to replace it with something else. I will say, in any case, that the bridge pickup on the core Tremonti I have is hotter than what I prefer, but even then I easily took it down to more of a hot PAF sound by lowering it about a quarter inch. Me and my kind been in the business for years, how we make good livings -- don't obsess over pickups. Worry about your other skills, like playing the thing, knowing your amps.

Partially agreed, except I'd say if you're going for a different sound, just change the pickup completely to something you like and not worry about the pots. The 85/15s lack some definition compared to other pickups because they're more mid heavy then treble heavy. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just depends what you're going for. I like them for chords or power chords, but I prefer JB/59s for lead and clean playing.. The 85/15s are probably my favorite pickup from PRS I've tried so far. But in my CE24, I pulled them out for a JB/59 set and much prefer it. I also did the same with the stock 58/15s in my 594 and didn't realize how much more clarity the 59 has over the 58/15s. Again, they're still good pickups and are good for a certain genre, but for what I wanted, they weren't. But for the most part, you can fix a lot of this with your amp or pedal settings. But if you don't like the 85/15s or 85/15s, just change them completely because I dont think changing out the pots is going to have as much of an impact on the overall sound.
 

Daniel Elam

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Oct 19, 2020
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My CE is bright and articulate but not muddy or shrill. Rather than change pots, why not just roll off the tone a bit? I would hate it if my 85/15s couldn’t quite “go there” any more.
 

CrimesAgainstMusic

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My CE is bright and articulate but not muddy or shrill. Rather than change pots, why not just roll off the tone a bit? I would hate it if my 85/15s couldn’t quite “go there” any more.

Hey, Thanks for the input. I don't even have 85/15' s to listen to (except on You Tube). I do have the "S" versions, which I'm sure are different.. "Bright & Articulate" is a good thing..

And ... If I convinced myself to go for a CE Line instrument, I would not be looking to change pickups . Like its a $2,300.00 guitar . But I do prefer "mellow" to bright, which is what got me thinking about the Pot change. Which like I have said before, is easily reversible . And waay cheaper than pickup replacement. Not going to spend $2K + on a guitar I feel I have to change the pickups on. The tone control may do it. But that is something I would know only upon playing. And my local retailers don't readily stock upper end PRS ...

I want to talk myself into the CE SemiHollow ... I just sat through a Darrel Braun "showdown" between a CU24 Core & a SE Hollowbody Piezo. The Cu24 beats it ... but it does cost more than twice as much. I'm thinking based on what I heard there the Pot change ...would not be nearly as a disaster as some of those who have not attempted (or wanted to) project ...

I dont think changing out the pots is going to have as much of an impact on the overall sound.

Yeah... I'm thinking like you. I would not be looking to radically change the way they sound, which is very good. I'm wondering if operating into a 250K pot would preserve their basic qualities, while making them more "mellow" . And again, if if musses them up ... it is easily reversible ...
 

dogrocketp

I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!
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With the USA pickups, I've never found it necessary to change them. I have raised and lowered every single set to get the sound I wanted. The USA pickups are remarkable different when you do that. I didn't like the pickups in my DC3 or 509 till I got them way down. Now I love them.
 

boardn10

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Are the 85/15 pickups considered bright? I don't see them on thr PRS site with the EQ. I like darker pickups like the Tremonti or Rio Grande BBQ

My SC250 has the SC250 pickups and the bridge pickup is bright and articulate so I roll the volume back to about 6 and it sounds good but then I lose volume when I switch to my clean tones so I'd like to just have some darker pickups. It depends on thr song we are playing. Some songs I keep the bridge pickup wide open so that my clean remains loud enough or I drop the volume to darken up the bridge pickup if I'm only playing a song with distortion.
Its working, but I would love to get some other PRS pickups, either a set or just a bridge pickup since the SC250 neck is so nice! It's sort of like the Tremonti neck Pickup.
So are the 85/15 pickups considered bright?
 
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