View Full Version : Pickup Experience help: archtop & 57/08

05-03-2012, 04:34 PM
A bit of experience with these two types of pickups would be helpful: I have a HollowBody I w/ the archtop pups in it. It is my gig guitar and I'd love to have a coil tap. I'd need to go to a different pickup to do that.

Have any of you played both the Artchtop and 57/08 pickups. What are the similarities, differences, opinions?

I had a '92 CE24 for 15 years and loved my coil tap on it. Before I send my HB I into PRS for new pups and a tap, I'd love to hear some opinions. I play classic rock in a weekend warrior band. My PRS is my only 6-string guitar, so versatility is important. I play slide, rhythm and lead on everything from Beatles to Grace Potter. I play a Bad Cat amp and get my distortion from the amp--no pedals. I like the sound of my guitar now, I prefer the more vintage tone and less compression with the HB vs my CE that had HFS pups in it. All help is appreciated.

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05-03-2012, 05:11 PM
I had 57/08's installed in my Archtop by the PTC and also play through a Bad Cat (most of the time) with nothing more than a clean boost. The biggest difference was, obviously, the ability to split the pickups. The 57/08's were a little fuller to my ears and slightly hotter. I liked them a great deal. Len Johnson (who did the install) said the Archtop reminded him of his old Byrdland when he was done.

I have heard (but cannot confirm) that you can mod your own humbucking pups to add the coil tap but you have to disassemble the pickup to some degree, do some soldering, reassemble, and then wax pot it.

While I like the 57/08's in Archtops/Hollowboys a great deal, I eventually went back to the stock setup (with Archtop pickups). I am a big fan of them - especially through my Bad Cat. I prefer a Vox-style chime with glassy tube saturated shimmer.

05-03-2012, 05:55 PM
First Hans, you have impeccable taste in equipment, Ha! I too am a Vox chime fan; So you thought the 57/08s sacrificed a bit of this? Interesting. Maybe I should leave well enough alone. Though I'm handy w/ a soldering iron, I'm probably not interested in modding (read-screwing up) my stock pickups.

Dirty Bob
05-04-2012, 10:40 AM
I have been slowly converting the majority of my guitars over to the newer pickups...The guitars for now that are off the table in terms of pup swaps have original dragons and archtops.

(I have been toying with the notion of dropping 59/09's in my HB)

05-05-2012, 05:44 PM
Bob, thanks. What do you like about the new pickups vs the old. And what keeps you attached to the archtops? I'm still toying with the notion as I would love to have the tap option available.

Dirty Bob
05-05-2012, 09:09 PM
Honestly...when a guitar sounds amazing right out of the gate I tend not to screw with the recipe...for me that was my experience with the archtops....I was able to pull some pretty amazing Albert king type tones out of the particular axe they are in...I also happen to really dig regular McCarty pups as long as they are adjusted properly and are in the right guitar...

The newer pickups overall have more clarity...less mud...and I seem to have greater control due to the enhanced articulation and vintage output. They clean up amazingly well and split wonderfully. They give me different flavors....I dig all of em...older pups and new...D2's can sound downright amazing with a little time and love...Also never forget that each guitar has its own natural voice.

I always recommend people spend time fine tuning pup height...learn to use volume and tone knobs on your guitar and become intimately familiar with your amps mid and presence controls before swapping pups...hope you can make some sense out of my rambling! Good luck and have fun!

05-06-2012, 11:39 AM
Thanks. Great info. And good to keep in mind that any change will usually require some amp tweaking.