The Studio needs a different pickup!!
Hey everyone. If you've been to other PRS forums ;) then you've surely already heard me rant on this subject. If you haven't....THIS is your lucky DAY!! lol.
I have to set-up my profile still...you know...list my gear and stuff...
I have been a PRS player for quite a few years. Was always a strat guy. Been playing in bars since I was 12 (36 years now).
I first got a '94 CE24 and an '03 McSoapy Standard. The CE was my main stage guitar for a lot of years until this last Christmas when my Wife bought me a new 2011 Studio. It's a plain top...well..far from PLAIN but not a 10 in SapphireSomkeBurst with trem and PatternThin carve. I LOVE it and it has been my #1 since the day I got it.
But...also since the day I got it, I couldn't understand who the genius at PRS was who thought the 57/08 was a good match to the NarrowFields in the Studio. I immediately found the 57/08 to be badly whimpy compared to the Narrowfields. Hey, I think both the 57/08HB and the Narrowfields are GREAT pickups but...just not together in the same guitar.
At first I thought it was surely just my poor taste, bad ears, or that this guitar had a problem.
I fell head over heels in love with the Narrowfields. So warm and powerful but also still as spanky as a fender...crystally, punchy AND smooth....but then you switch to the bridge 57/08 and it sounds like it's in a tin can...well..not THAT bad but..I DEFINITELY couldnt hope to gig with it and be able to switch from bridge to NF pup in the same song..
So, the first gig/night I mostly stayed on the NFs. The next day I did some height adjusting. Way lowered the NFs and raised the 57/08. The balance improved a bit...obviously, but it still wasn't really useable as a 7 sound guitar.
Again, I think the 57/08 on it's own, or maybe paired with something a little less overwhelming, is a great pickup. For the next couple months I gigged the Studio only using the 57/08.
OK...background time again....I didnt like the HFS in the CE when I got it either. To me and for my style it was a little scooped and ...I dunno...modern sounding? So I put an old Dimarzio PAF PRO into it and liked it much better.
I still have the HFS.
I was thinking that maybe I'd throw the old HFS into the Studio instead of the 57/08 but instead I bought a Duncan Custom Custom from a PRS forumate. I went a couple months before finally getting off my lazy butt and last weekend I yanked the 57/08 and put it in the CC.
I had written to PRS Customer Service and told them that I felt the 57/08 was a BAD match for the Studio back in January probably. I havent tried one but surely an uncovered 59/09 would be a better option tonally and maybe for some, visually? I have a feeling that the 59/09 would also be underpowered in the Studio though.
I then started the above mentioned ranting at forums, whining about the 57/08 being in the Studio and quickly discovered that my taste and hearing and even the Studio had nothing wrong with them. It seemed that almost EVERYONE who replied who had a Studio felt the same as I did. Many had sold their Studios, others like me, just managed to get by and make it work with some height adjustments and by not switching pickups a whole lot. I don't think I heard a single Studio owner say..."I think the 57/08 is a perfect pickup for this guitar with the Narrowfields...".
It made me re-ask myself....the people at PRS and PRSh say this is a good pickup combination??? Really? Because....
With this CustomCustom in the Studio it is a NEW guitar again. The CC has an Aii magnet so I guess some people might find it a bit "dark" in the Studio...maybe the Custom5 or whatever it is (a CC with AV instead of 2) would be better for them but I like the CC. No...I'm LOVING it.
Not only can I now go back and forth between the Bridge and NFs without it sounding like the guitar amp is cutting in and out...I can actually USE the coil split!
I've never been crazy about ANY bridge pickup. Especially not sc ones. Yes I was a strat guy but I always had a hot bridge pup. Either a bucker or a rails or something.
The CC in the Studio sounds WICKED as a singlecoil. And of course, the bridge/middle pickup tones are awesome with the bridge as an hb or sc.
It now really DOES have 7 USEABLE tones...with the same amp setting...in the same song if you want...without having to change anything but the pickup selector.
It had a nickel or chrome cover on it but I flipped the magnet and didnt bother putting it back on.
My Wife says it looked better with a covered bridge pup. Says it "ties-in the chrome tuners to the rest of the guitar better". I'm on the fence. It looked more "elegant" with the cover and looks meaner and tougher without it...I think.
So...for you Studio owners or future owners, get a Custom Custom or a Custom5 or even an HFS. The Duncans can be had used for $50 or less.
And for you PRS employees/family....the 57/08 doesn't work in the Studio with the NFs. TRY one! It seems no one has?? ...or they are all seeing the Emperor fully dressed??.
And for anyone who is still reading...sorry for the long-winded rant. I'm bad for that.
Have a great day!