Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: S2 Tone Too Dark - Suggestions ?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4

    Question S2 Tone Too Dark - Suggestions ?

    Hi All -
    Just purchased an S2 Custom 24. Overall, I'm really pleased with the guitar - the setup is nice and physically the guitar is just a delight. I do, however, have an issue with the tone. Through my amps (very old, modded FBD, and a stock Mesa Express 25) the neck pickup on the has that distinct 'blanket over the amp' tone. And there's just no amp setting that will make up for it. Coil tapped, it sounds great - exceptional even - but in humbucker mode it's as though the Tone knob has been cranked down. Of course, *actually* turning down the tone knob produces an *entirely* useless tone - like the sound you hear standing outside the tightly closed door of a rehearsal room in use. Admittedly, my other two guitars are Strats so I'm used to the present tone of single coils, but the neck HB on the S2 would only be good for Wes Montgomery tones. I'm looking for Hagar.

    Is there something in the guitar's circuit that cuts down the treble in Humbucker mode? Are there some 'non-mod' adjustments, even string changes to consider? I'm not too keen on having to change the pickups on a brand new guitar but if that's the best way to correct this, then maybe... Although if that's the only answer, then maybe I've got the wrong guitar. -? I sincerely hope that's not the case.

    Thanks in advance.
    - Mike

  2. #2
    What might be the simplest is to first make sure the pickup height is in spec (I believe the factory spec is on the PRS site). If it's in spec, and it's still not to taste, try adjusting the height. Simple, free,

    As you no doubt already know, most humbucker neck pickups are bassy. But they do come in different flavors, so if the pickup height adjustment isn't working, you might want to research pickups. Caps might help with a pickup volume rolled down, but if it's up all the way I don't think a cap will matter much.

    However one of the members here, CRGTR (Chris Reynolds) has done extensive demos and swaps with PRS pickups, and has put up lots of videos.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    1,412
    http://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/ti...g-neck-pickup/

    I know you said no mods... but if you're thinking of changing pickups, I would highly recommend giving this a shot first, it's easily reversible and stupid cheap. I've done this mod to a few of my guitars, and love it. Especially on my singlecut, which is a very thick sounding guitar, the neck pickup was really boomy and muddy, and this mod did the trick. All you need to do is add a capacitor to one pickup lead, and it will filter out a lot of that woofy bass, and leave you with a tone more reminiscent of the EQ of a single coil. But a word of warning, the article says to use a .047 cap, and it should actually be a .47 cap. And in your case, being a 24 fret guitar, I would actually try a .22 first, as the .47 might be too much.

    If you want to get fancy, I think it would be possible to wire it up to your push-pull so that the cap is in the circuit in humbucker mode, but is taken out when coil tapping - that way your split tone is unaffected.
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow - SE Akesson+57/08's - Mira X - SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE 30 Head/Cab

  4. #4
    Narrowfield Pickup Fan HANGAR18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    810
    Try a different amp and a top quality cable and see if you get the same results. That will let you know if it's the amp or the guitar.
    MEGADETH - METALLICA - JUDAS PRIEST - IRON MAIDEN - SLAYER - BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - TED NUGENT - AC/DC - TWISTED SISTER - KISS - CHEAP TRICK - ZZ TOP - ALICE COOPER

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    838
    micstew, could you give an example of the tone you're looking for from that pickup?

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    18
    Lollar El Rayo neck, boom. If you like the rest of the guitar, I wouldn't worry about swapping the pickups. The S2 with new pickups is still much cheaper than a Core line, unless you buy a used one.

  7. #7
    Yippy ki yay! xjbebop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Bottom left corner
    Posts
    468
    If it's that noticeable/extreme, is it possible he got a faulty pup or wiring??
    Would be great if you could compare it next to another S2...
    I love technology.... when it works....

  8. #8
    Senior Member sleary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,484
    Guys wait a second here. New member and new guitar yet we see no pics.......

    Try lowering the pickup just 1 mm and see if that helps. I had stock pickups in my s2 cu24 (swapped for a set of emg jh )and liked the tone a lot . Not too dark and not too bright. I did eq my amp a little too.
    2013 PRS DGT,2011 PRS CU24, 2015 Esp Ltd Ironcorss, 2015 Esp MH2015
    1988 Washburn G1V
    Mesa rectroverb 25 ,Marshall 1960/Saxon 2x12

  9. #9
    Try a 1 megaohm volume pot. That will brighten it up a little. If you don't need the tone control, removing the cap will also add a tiny bit of highs. Even with the tone pot on 10 the cap bleeds off some high end.
    I'd start with lowering the neck pup and going from there.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4
    Wow, this is an active board.
    Seems to be some difference of opinion on the cap mod, unless I'm reading it wrong, but hopefully it won't come to that anyway. Will try pickup adjustments first, and maybe go down to a set of 9's, which I would eventually migrate to anyway. Sincere thanks for all of the input - really appreciated. And apologies for missing the new member / new guitar photo protocol.


  11. #11
    Member Johnnyboy94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Southeast-central Florida
    Posts
    164
    Pretty^ Whats that word Sergio would use? Spanglin? nah thats not it.....

    On topic, Most neck Buckers, as someone already said, are pretty Bassy. try using the Bridge Bucker yet? On driven tones I prefer More trebl-ish pickups anyways.
    PRS SE Zach Myers SemiHollow2014
    PRS SE Angelus Standard w/Piezo
    PRS Santana SE (Custom 22 w/Santana Headstock Inlay)
    Fender T-Bucket 300CE Acoustic-ElectricFender Mustang I
    Quote Originally Posted by gush View Post
    I'm in the"buy all the prs guitars you can afford" camp.

  12. #12
    Senior Member sleary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,484
    It's a freakin blonde...I love blondes .
    2013 PRS DGT,2011 PRS CU24, 2015 Esp Ltd Ironcorss, 2015 Esp MH2015
    1988 Washburn G1V
    Mesa rectroverb 25 ,Marshall 1960/Saxon 2x12

  13. #13
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Downers Grove Il.
    Posts
    7,555
    Always bet on blanc.

  14. #14
    Very sweet guitar!
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa
    Posts
    261
    I am probably going to replace the pups in my S2 Singlecut with the \m/ pups. For me the best neck pick up I ever played was the R496 Ceramics in a Gibson Explorer I had. I had an 02 LP standard with the new then burst buckers and hated the neck pup. muddy as heck. I happen to like the crispness of ceramic pups. plus if you add some major gain they do not get all muddy and lose definition like non ceramic. I am not even totally crazy about the 53/10s in my P22 in the neck But it is not as bad as many Humbuckers in the neck.
    2010 Taylor 816CE
    2014 S2 Singlecut Antique White with PRS \m/ pickups!

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    4
    Replies by responder:
    Please note my response to _pete_. I'll have to read up on the treble bleed cap function, but that could be the adjustment I'm looking for if the effect of the cap is increased as the volume knob is turned up.

    LShefman – Slammed the neck pickup down into the body. It’s better, but only because it’s less – like the difference between all passive EQ knobs on 10 or all on 5. Also tried unscrewing the poles a bit (not sure where I read that) but that didn’t seem to make too much difference. Will look up Chris Reynolds for vids, thanks.
    Andy474x – Yep, this is exactly what I want: a bit of of a single coil-ish EQ, and without affecting the tapped signal, because that’s actually really great. Will look into this before changing pickups, thanks.
    HANGAR18 – Yep, tried my two amps. The Mesa Express is *very* true to the natural tone of the guitar. And I always use top (ish) quality cables. The guitar is the only new item in the chain.
    NomadMike – The tone I’m looking for is just more present, more open on the high end. What I’m getting from the neck pickup in Humbucker position sounds like a well EQ’d guitar with the tone knob rolled way down. What I really want is to be able to crank the tone knob up another half turn. ; )
    presense – Will check out the Lollar El Rayo, thanks.
    xjbebop – I wouldn’t say it’s extreme. Certainly doesn’t sound defective – although I’ll take a look at the wiring at least. A friend of mine has a core line PRS, will do some A-B testing.
    sleary – Photo posted, thanks. And yes, moved the neck pickup down, not really much tone (EQ) change as a result. Will check out the EMG’s. Thanks.
    _pete_ – Interestingly, the problem is actually the WORST at full volume. In fact the LOWER the volume knob is set, the more present and open the EQ gets (assume that’s the effect of the treble bleed cap -?). And ya, I’d like to keep the tone control working, although admittedly I rarely use it.
    Johnnyboy94 – Yes, the bridge PU is a bit more present, but it’s also VERY quacky – almost a parody of quack. Would only use it on serious country songs.
    leeasam – Sorry, not sure what \m/ PU's are, but clearly you have some of the same tonal intention as I do - or at least the same general direction. Thanks for the input.
    Last edited by micstew; 08-04-2014 at 10:09 PM.

  17. #17
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arizona USA
    Posts
    2,109
    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    http://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/ti...g-neck-pickup/

    I know you said no mods... but if you're thinking of changing pickups, I would highly recommend giving this a shot first, it's easily reversible and stupid cheap. I've done this mod to a few of my guitars, and love it. Especially on my singlecut, which is a very thick sounding guitar, the neck pickup was really boomy and muddy, and this mod did the trick. All you need to do is add a capacitor to one pickup lead, and it will filter out a lot of that woofy bass, and leave you with a tone more reminiscent of the EQ of a single coil. But a word of warning, the article says to use a .047 cap, and it should actually be a .47 cap. And in your case, being a 24 fret guitar, I would actually try a .22 first, as the .47 might be too much.

    If you want to get fancy, I think it would be possible to wire it up to your push-pull so that the cap is in the circuit in humbucker mode, but is taken out when coil tapping - that way your split tone is unaffected.
    I haven't ever seen this kind of thing before, but would love to try it.
    The Bovine Fury <-- New Album Yes, Please available NOW!
    05 Custom 22 / 07 Mira / 08 Baritone SE / 03 Santana SE

  18. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    83
    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    http://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/ti...g-neck-pickup/

    I know you said no mods... but if you're thinking of changing pickups, I would highly recommend giving this a shot first, it's easily reversible and stupid cheap. I've done this mod to a few of my guitars, and love it. Especially on my singlecut, which is a very thick sounding guitar, the neck pickup was really boomy and muddy, and this mod did the trick. All you need to do is add a capacitor to one pickup lead, and it will filter out a lot of that woofy bass, and leave you with a tone more reminiscent of the EQ of a single coil. But a word of warning, the article says to use a .047 cap, and it should actually be a .47 cap. And in your case, being a 24 fret guitar, I would actually try a .22 first, as the .47 might be too much.

    If you want to get fancy, I think it would be possible to wire it up to your push-pull so that the cap is in the circuit in humbucker mode, but is taken out when coil tapping - that way your split tone is unaffected.
    I think I am totally going to do this to mine. I just made a thread myself about how muddy my s2 sounds, if the cap will help I am all for it!

  19. #19
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    1,412
    Since posting this, I too got an S2 with the #7 pickups. The neck pickup was muddy, but I was able to dial it out by lowering the pickup, and then raising the pole pieces on the treble side. So do try that first. But if you find yourself still needing the mod, I'm liking the .22 caps these days. Still rocking one in my SE singlecut.
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow - SE Akesson+57/08's - Mira X - SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE 30 Head/Cab

  20. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by micstew View Post
    Wow, this is an active board.
    Seems to be some difference of opinion on the cap mod, unless I'm reading it wrong, but hopefully it won't come to that anyway. Will try pickup adjustments first, and maybe go down to a set of 9's, which I would eventually migrate to anyway. Sincere thanks for all of the input - really appreciated. And apologies for missing the new member / new guitar photo protocol.

    Wow, that looks really good. I'm wanting a 24 fret guitar (and my first PRS) and I've been trying to choose between the PRS S2 CU24 and the 30th Anniversary CU24 but I'm thinking I might just go with the regular S2. Plus I hear the finish on the S2 wears really easily which is a plus for me.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •