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Thread: HFS pickups - question

  1. #1

    HFS pickups - question

    Hi Friends -
    Newbie to the forum here...
    I have a 96 Custom 24 with stock/original HFS pickups - my question is, can pickups get "worn out"? This is my 3rd PRS (2nd with the HFS's) and they just don't sound as "alive" as my others, almost muddy.
    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
    TD

  2. #2
    Recovering Bass Player ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! 's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidsonCu22EG View Post
    Can pickups get "worn out"?
    The magnets in old Charlie Christian pickups are known to get weaker over time but I haven't heard of magnets in "recent" humbuckers getting weak. Heck, some guys around here even argue that pups get better with a little dirt, dust, rust, snot, sweat, beer, and maybe even a little blood.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidsonCu22EG View Post
    This is my 3rd PRS (2nd with the HFS's)
    Well... you're in the right place. Admitting you have an addiction is the 1st step. Sadly, it will only get worse. We're enablers.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidsonCu22EG View Post
    ...and they just don't sound as "alive" as my others, almost muddy.
    The pups in your 3rd PRS don't sound the same as the sets on your previous 2 guitars? If so, it isn't surprising to hear significant differences between two identical guitars with identical specs. So much plays into that and... there can be subtle variances from pickup set to pickup set - even within the same model. Were the pups in your latest guitar always muddier than the previous two or did the change come on over time?

    I assume you didn't change to nickel strings from stainless?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidsonCu22EG View Post
    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
    TD
    No Problem, TD. Welcome to the PRS Guitars forum!
    Last edited by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ; 09-06-2012 at 01:52 PM.
    One Life

  3. #3
    One of the biggest tone babies to have ever graced a gtr string with a signature tone certainly believed that a pickup's output level decreased in only a few years......and that great man was the ledgendary Jerry Garcia. I however don't have the acute hearing of a german shepherd that the likes of Jerry had. I think the only way to be certain is to measure their output. Plenty of folks here on this forum could tell you how. Its the only way to scientifically settle the matter with any certainty. It would also be VERY interesting indeed.

  4. #4
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidsonCu22EG View Post
    Hi Friends -
    Newbie to the forum here...
    I have a 96 Custom 24 with stock/original HFS pickups - my question is, can pickups get "worn out"? This is my 3rd PRS (2nd with the HFS's) and they just don't sound as "alive" as my others, almost muddy.
    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
    TD
    My first PRS was a '95 Standard 24 that I purchased new in 1995. That guitar was muddy sounding. I swapped pickups several times before I came to the conclusion that it was the guitar, not the electronics. PRS has gotten much better at building consistently lively guitars.


    By the way, what are your "others?"

  5. #5
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHARISMAFIRE View Post
    One of the biggest tone babies to have ever graced a gtr string with a signature tone certainly believed that a pickup's output level decreased in only a few years......and that great man was the ledgendary Jerry Garcia. I however don't have the acute hearing of a german shepherd that the likes of Jerry had. I think the only way to be certain is to measure their output. Plenty of folks here on this forum could tell you how. Its the only way to scientifically settle the matter with any certainty. It would also be VERY interesting indeed.
    An HFS is not going to weaken in your lifetime. It has a ceramic magnet.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post
    An HFS is not going to weaken in your lifetime. It has a ceramic magnet.
    I beg to to differ, the HFS in my '91 was noticeably weaker than my '94... which was noticeably weaker (though less so ) than the newer ones. I replaced the pups in my '91 with new HFS/Vbass and it definitely bumped up the power. That being said, it is a matter of taste, some people might like the more mellow tone...

  7. #7
    Senior Member AP515's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dantedayjob View Post
    I beg to to differ, the HFS in my '91 was noticeably weaker than my '94... which was noticeably weaker (though less so ) than the newer ones. I replaced the pups in my '91 with new HFS/Vbass and it definitely bumped up the power. That being said, it is a matter of taste, some people might like the more mellow tone...
    This may be due to the fact that they changed the pups over time too. Not all HFS were created equal. I could be wrong but I believe I learned that somewhere.
    1988 CE24, 1995 CE22, 2000 SC, 2003 Standard 22, 2003 Cu24 AP, 2006 Cu24 AP, 2006 SC AP, 2007 CuRo22, 2010 Starla Stoptail, 2010 Mira
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Proxmax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post
    An HFS is not going to weaken in your lifetime. It has a ceramic magnet.
    +1

    to hear the magnet weakness of pickups in different guitars is imho impossible.
    do they have the same electrics and values?
    is the pup height exact the same?
    do they have the same number of windings?
    and even the magnet strength can differ.
    Bavarian Barbarian

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