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Thread: So is the rotary dead forever?

  1. #1
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    So is the rotary dead forever?

    I don't mean to moan about features that are no longer available on production guitars, but I love that little guy. At least with the three way toggle I could always swap, is it gone forever?

  2. #2
    Gone like silver spoons last night.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Even Ricky Schroder made a comeback.

  4. #4
    Senior Member slev's Avatar
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    Got to admit, I really like the 5 way switch but there's just something very 'PRS' about that rotary.
    Gear: Fender, PRS, Orange, Budda

  5. #5
    Senior Member MA Pete's Avatar
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    I am thinking of converting a guitar to a 5-way rotary. Maybe my new Earth PS Cu24...
    Ted Club President

  6. #6
    Member CE-man's Avatar
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    I've got one PRS with the blade switch and I don't like it because its location is always just beneath the tremolo bar in the relaxed position. Inevitably I go to switch pickups and that bar is in the way. I'm quite used to the rotary and I like its positioning much better than the blade switch. I hope the 5 -way rotary stays as part of the PRS electronics package.

  7. #7
    Member prsrocker1988's Avatar
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    I hope so.

    I do quick pickup changes live and I come from playing Les Paul type guitars and so on my CU24 I needed that 3 way toggle. And I much prefer the coil tap sound to the out of phase Peter Green type sound I never cared for.

    I am ok with the blade though... I just have to be able to do pickup changes very quickly and it was impossible on my CU24 pre-modification.

    Also, when I removed the 5 way rotary and put in the 3 way drop in and kept the same pickups in (so it wasn't that), it was like someone removed a blanket off of my guitar sound. I didn't realize how muffled it was with the rotary in there.
    Last edited by prsrocker1988; 09-08-2012 at 12:25 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    I have to say, even though the functionality of the rotary never worked well for me, I'm sad to see it not exist anymore. The 5-way switch is easier to use IMO, but I don't love how it looks on PRS. Call me old

    What I'm also curious about is the people who use the Custom 24 as their main guitar - aside from the physical difference of the switch...
    do you like the 5909's and the different pickup selection options? I know quite a few people always missed the both humbucker mode with the rotary.

  9. #9
    deus ex machina
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    I struggled with the rotary switch on my '95 Standard 24 for two years before I finally gave up and had Orkie convert the guitar to McCarty wiring in the fall 1997. I would have performed the conversion myself; however, installing the toggle switch in the rotary switch hole required taking a tapered reamer to the guitar, and that was a sphincter tightening moment for which I did not have the stomach. It was much easier to just hand the guitar to Orkie.

    With that said, I too do not care for how the 5-way looks on a carved-top PRS. It gives the guitar a far less polished look.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MA Pete View Post
    I am thinking of converting a guitar to a 5-way rotary. Maybe my new Earth PS Cu24...
    Pete... you are the undisputed, heavy-weight, world champion of GAS.


    I love it!
    One Life

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MA Pete View Post
    I am thinking of converting a guitar to a 5-way rotary. Maybe my new Earth PS Cu24...
    The way you buy 'em and sell 'em, maybe you should keep it stock.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post
    With that said, I too do not care for how the 5-way looks on a carved-top PRS. It gives the guitar a far less polished look.
    My feeling is that first and foremost, these are instruments to play music with. I'm one of the guys who found the rotary a nice design touch, but an impediment to efficient playing.

    I also found the pull-to-split-coils knob that's used with the 3-way fussy and difficult to use in the heat of playing.

    I got used to the blade with my CU22 Soapbar a dozen years ago, and found it ergonomically superior. I still think it's a super choice now that I have the Artist V, which is my #1.

    The guitar's still plenty good looking.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 09-08-2012 at 12:13 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member slowro's Avatar
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    I love my rotary, its not fast for change but I don't play live so I'm not bothered. If i played live would probably only play bridge OR neck and ride the volume knob.

  14. #14
    Shoegazing Member Serious Poo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slev View Post
    Got to admit, I really like the 5 way switch but there's just something very 'PRS' about that rotary.
    FWIW, Framus and Bill Lawrence designed the 6 position rotary selector in the early 70's. The specs are, um, "interesting" when compared to the 5 way rotary found on PRS guitars:

    http://www.framusakkerman.net/6_way_rotary.html

    FWIW, this is the 6 way pickup selector from my 1974 Framus Jan Akkerman:

    Be.
    Do.
    Have.

  15. #15
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    The only thing difficult about using the rotary for me was the fact that it was a "new" thing I had to learn how to use, just like the phase one tuners were to me at the time, and the body shape, and the tone switch, and the faux binding, and the trem, and the inlays, and the scale length, and the fancy top, and the tones, and the headstock design, and the fact that American guitar making was superior to anything else out there again, even the price point seemed new at the time.

    Some of the features had roots in previous designs but when added together they made an entirely "new" instrument, unlike anything available at the time. The MI world adapted, embraced, and flat out ripped off some of the concepts that Paul, EKP, Mr. Mann and Co. implemented in the PRS guitar, why not my beloved little switch!?!

    It's super easy, all the way back is treble, all the way forward is bass, and any where in between is a single coiled combo.
    Learn it, love it, live it.
    Last edited by sergiodeblanc; 09-08-2012 at 03:32 PM. Reason: typo of great magnitude

  16. #16
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    Some of the features had roots in previous designs but when added together they made an entirely "new" instrument, unlike anything available at the time. The MI world adapted, embraced, and flat out ripped off some of the concepts that Paul, EPK, Mr. Mann and Co. implemented in the PRS guitar, why not my beloved little switch!?!
    I believe you meant to say EKP (a.k.a. Eric K. Pritchard).

  17. #17
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post
    I believe you meant to say EKP (a.k.a. Eric K. Pritchard).
    Word, fixed.

  18. #18
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    When I bought my first new PRS in 1992, I had never seen anything like the 5-way rotary, and it's burned into my brain as one of those things that make a PRS a PRS. I would not ever convert a 5 way to McCarty switching; nor would I lie and say I have never been confused as to which position I am in on the 5-way. But melikes.
    1990 CE24 MT | 1991 CU24 | 1991 CE24 | 1992 CE24 MT
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    2011 SE Akesson | 2011 CU24 GC Throwback | 2012 Signature Limited
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    2013 CU24 Swamp Ash Limited | 2014 SE Zach Myers

  19. #19
    I have to agree with slev. There is something very "PRS" about the rotary. I've always gotten along fine with it.
    Last edited by RickO; 09-08-2012 at 04:08 PM.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    The only thing difficult about using the rotary for me was the fact that it was a "new" thing I had to learn how to use, just like the phase one tuners were to me at the time, and the body shape, and the tone switch, and the faux binding, and the trem, and the inlays, and the scale length, and the fancy top, and the tones, and the headstock design, and the fact that American guitar making was superior to anything else out there again, even the price point seemed new at the time.
    I used the rotary from 1991-2000 or so. It's not like I didn't get used to it. I just didn't think it was ergonomic. Everything else about the guitars rocked, though.

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