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Thread: New Member looking to Learn

  1. #1
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    New Member looking to Learn

    Greetings;
    I recently learned of this site, and thought I might learn and share some guitar insight. So thank you in advance to all.

    I have an '04 Artist, gold hardware, Dragon IIs (I believe), One piece top, with the 5 way rotary. And NO horn dingers......so far!
    I bought this about 5 years ago, knowing little to nothing about PRS.......long time Custom player, and have the blown up left shoulder to prove it. I'm interested to hear some insight from more informed owners/players about this guitar. I seldom play it, but when I do, I can't seem to find many tone settings I like with the D2s...Sounds always very low, dark, unresponsive on upper mids and highs. Would a setup of the "newer" pups make a resounding difference? I understand tone can be subjective--I'm comparing to sounds/ranges of my other guitars. And , no, I don't play any strats, etc.pretty much a humbucker guy on everything. Has anyone any suggestions, or am I not using my Marshall 800 eq properly?
    Also, the previous owner lost the hang tag, can I find out if the fingerboard/ headstock is a Braz.........it sure looks like it? And finally, I would bet some guys/gals have had the tone selector setups converted to 3 way toggle. Any insight here would be greatly appriciated.
    It is a stunning guitar from asthetic standpoint, hence my relectance to play it too much, but if I'm going to keep it, I wan't it to sound as good as it looks, and right now I believe it could be improved upon.
    Thank you all for your time, and sorry in advance for probably asking the same silly questions all us newbies ask.........it's just that all my ax type buddies seem to be armchair experts about the PRS brand, yet none play them.
    Oh yes, I did take a picture of it......being the computer baffon that I am, 'can't figure out how to get it on the post........'can't walk and chew gum either.............

  2. #2
    Welcome Benjamin,

    I guess one of the first questions should be: what kind of music do you play and what sort of tones are you looking to get? As you said, so much (if not all) is subjective. My observation over the years has been that many people are not fans of Dragon II's. They seem to be the one PRS pickup that is love or hate. I personally don't like them in my Custom 24s, but I have a set in a CE 24 that I really like. Maybe the maple neck helps to brighten that darkness (?). It may sound obvious, but I also EQ each guitar individually by ear until I hear what I like.

    In my Custom 24s (and several others), I have Dragon Is. I play a wide range of styles and they cover everything I do VERY well. For me, hands down the most versatile pickups in my stash. Bridge has lots of punch and power and is not too bright. They split very well and I can get nice "acoustic like tone" with a 5way. The neck pickup is cozy warm without being muddy at all. I'd HIGHLY recommend a set if you can find them, but I am admittedly biased :-) I haven't had much time with many of the newer PRS pickups, but the 59/09 and 53/10 sets are just a few that seem to make alot of people happy., but as you say it is so subjective. Other members here will have much more experience with the other pickups than I do and I'm sure you'll get some great recommendations. Check out this thread: http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthre...y-DGT-Standard. It's being done with a very different guitar, but may give some good insight.

    As for the details on your guitar. If you pull the pickups you will find the "modcat" sticker. It will be a series of numbers that are not the serial #. Here is a link to a decoder that may help decipher the code: http://guitme.bravehost.com/

    Good luck in your quest!! Hope that helps a bit.
    Andy

  3. #3
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    Thank you so much Andy;
    I guess I left out important details. And even spelled buffoon wrong! 30+ year mostly rock player. I've gravitated towards more progressive arrangements, but from old school Zep,Lizzy, Rush roots. I'd say I'm looking for maximum versitility, without sacrificing tons of defined crunch, or pretty neck tones, you know, holy grail. I wouldn't expect a miracle change with a pup swap, but I'm thinking there should be something better matching the quality build of the instrument.
    I will pull it apart, and examine the data you've kindly offered, and thank you again for the excellent assistance.
    Ben

  4. #4
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Trem or stoptail?
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  5. #5
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    It has the trem........

  6. #6
    Senior Member AP515's Avatar
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    I have a 06 Artist Su24 and highly rocmmend the HFS/Vintage set. You can pick them up without super high cost, and they are a great pup set. I do believe that a pup change can bring that beauty to life. Oh, and I am one who likes the 5 way rotary. YOu get two tones that you can't get with the 3 way and push pull tone.
    1988 CE24, 1995 CE22, 2000 SC, 2006 Cu24 AP, 2006 SC AP, 2007 CuRo22, 2008 Mira, 2010 Starla Stoptail, 2012 Mira
    2007 SE Soapy 2, 2010 SE 25th Anni Cu24, 2012 SE Bernie, 2013 SE Angelus

    PRS SE50, Mesa Single RectoVerb, Mesa Lonestar, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

  7. #7
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    I would recommend u replace the brassblock to a steelblock in your trem.
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  8. #8
    Yes change the pickups. Try to spend some time playing similar PRS gtrs with different PUs through a similar rig to get a sense of what appeals to you. Don't blindly believe all the hype out there... check out other pickups for yourself. Most of the opinions you hear overwhelmingly side with the newer PRS PUs, so I think that does lend credibility to the public opinions. The bottom line is that YOU got to love them. For what its worth, I have two 24s, one with the HFS/VB and the other with 59/09s....I love them both. Always play around with adjusting the PU highth first because this can change the sound a bit. Also, while I'm airing opinions, some folks hate PRS PUs....I think they are all crazy! I did swap the rotary for the toggle, but only so I could quickly switch between PUs, not because of sound. AP515 is right about the 5-way rotary giving more tones. If it doesn't bother you to turn a knob rather than flip a switch, then I strongly recommend sticking with the rotary sound-wise. The new Customs have a 5-way blade switch. I doubt that I would ever go back to the rotary, but in 15 years I still can't bring myself to sell the parts either, and that does say something.

  9. #9
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    For your style, I think 59/09's will be great. You'll find them to be much clearer sounding than the D2's. In the older school PAF range of pickups. The change from rotary switch to a 3 way toggle/tap is an easy mod. The hole for the rotary switch needs to be made slightly larger to fit the toggle switch, but you'll be able reverse it and put the rotary back in if you want. I have a CU22 that I switch back in forth between the toggle and rotary. Here's the schematics page: http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/schematics.html

  10. #10
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    That sounds like some good realistic advice. I have 1 playing bud who owns a CU with HFS/VB setup.......it is a resoundingly different sounding instrument. I have played it, and think he got lucky with the sound/tone gods on that one, as he's made no mods; yet the thing plays like an ebay PRS sale descripition..............................thank you.

  11. #11
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    Whoops, still learning the site. This in reply to vchizzle: Thank you also, I would of course, love to have something near the PAF range, minus about 2 pounds on my shoulder. I have ordered the PRS prewire 3 way toggle setup from a dealer (at least I hope there is such a thing as a PRS drop in kit!), and re-drilling was something I was unaware of, so now I'm getting nervous. This will be a one shot deal, with a one piece top on a body with zero blems. I'd surely have it done by a luthier........but no one local I'd feel good about. Is there any danger when drilling , of cracking/lifting any finish coat material? Drill from inside or outside?
    And back to Charismafire, as far as retainning OE hardware, no worries........total music hoarder. I still have the brass nut that came on my 78 SD Curlee; which was surely string cut with a hacksaw! G and B strings lasted about 2 hours on that turd.........hmmmmm, or perhaps it was my expert technique????????????
    Great site, here........learning by the day. Thank you; and sorry for answering good replies with more questions. I should be more knowledgable of guitars after so long playing, but the truth is, when I came across an ax that I couldn't get behind, I'd take the easy road and sell it. I consider this Artist a keeper, and am determined to iron out the issue.

  12. #12
    Pull My Goldtop... Goldtop's Avatar
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    benjamin,

    This may be a dumb question, but are you familiar with the PTC? For anything major - or not so major, PRS has an in-house team that can do amazing things as far as refinishes, upgrades, repairs, you name it. There are plenty of examples of their work to be found here. Just do a search.

    I've never had anything done by them, but I wouldn't hesitate if the need arose. If you're looking at doing something (drilling, etc.) that makes you nervous, then maybe having them do the work would be the way to go. I have no affilliation with them; I just believe they're the best based on what I see and hear from others who have gone that route. At least shoot them an e-mail and check into the possibilities.

    Goldtop

    P.S. - Welcome to the board.
    Last edited by Goldtop; 07-31-2012 at 06:06 AM.
    'And the answer is... none. None more Gold.'

  13. #13
    HFS Lover
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    Benjamin, post a pic of your axe

  14. #14
    Pincher of Harmonics Blackbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjamin View Post
    This will be a one shot deal, with a one piece top on a body with zero blems. I'd surely have it done by a luthier........but no one local I'd feel good about. Is there any danger when drilling , of cracking/lifting any finish coat material? Drill from inside or outside?
    Use a tool called a reamer. Take your time, stop frequently to measure, ream from the inside of the cavity pointing out through the body. Do not use a drill or power tool for this.
    12 408 - 12 DGT - 09 Tremonti II - 98 CU24 - 97 CE22 - Mesa MarkIV - Kemper Profiler Amp - EVH 5150 III - PRS Archon

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by benjamin View Post
    Thank you so much Andy;
    I guess I left out important details. And even spelled buffoon wrong! 30+ year mostly rock player. I've gravitated towards more progressive arrangements, but from old school Zep,Lizzy, Rush roots. I'd say I'm looking for maximum versitility, without sacrificing tons of defined crunch, or pretty neck tones, you know, holy grail. I wouldn't expect a miracle change with a pup swap, but I'm thinking there should be something better matching the quality build of the instrument.
    I will pull it apart, and examine the data you've kindly offered, and thank you again for the excellent assistance.
    Ben
    You're very welcome, Ben. It's nice to see so many great suggestions being left for you. I have been FLOORED by the difference that swapping pickups can make....and I've been very happy with the guitar prior to any swap (except one, which was easily "cured"). As others have suggested, try your friends' HFS/VB guitar and any other similar ones with different pickups and/or switching....you may find a setup that you gel with. Miracles do actually happen
    Andy

  16. #16
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    Dantedayjob;
    I have a picture finally on my "avatar?"/profile......I'm thinking I'd have to start a new thread for it to come up?........heck I don't know a lot about these machines. Sorry, I can play "The Rain Song" fairly well.......can't get a picture to upload....duffess boy here. Thanks for askin', I'm sure there are some real beauties amonst the members here.

  17. #17
    HFS Lover
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    Benjamin, do you have a photobucket account? Most people use that or similar image hosting sites for pics. You upload the photos to photobucket then copy and past an image code from there into your post. It seems like an extra step, but is actually pretty simple

    By the way, the avatar pic looks pretty cool.

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