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Thread: Coil splitting (and tone) of the 408 MT vs the 513?

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    Coil splitting (and tone) of the 408 MT vs the 513?

    Hi,

    I'm looking to buy my first PRS in a few months and may have to order since the dealer around here don't stock every models. I tried a few Custom 24 and McCarthy in the past but have yet to lay my hands on a 513 or 408.

    Coil Splitting is very important to me, so the "new" 408 MT might be exactly what I am looking for. I've read a few times that its volume does not drop much when going from bucker to single-coil tone. How is the 513 in this regards?

    I'm into blues, classic rock and jazz. I am not really a "trem guy" and was considering buying a stoptail until this video had me reconsider the trem due to the tone difference
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGcqqfZi--s&feature=plcp

    Could anybody who owns/played both a 513 and 408 comment on their tone/pickup?

    Thank you,
    JFT

  2. #2
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    If you give me a few days, I can throw a quick clip together, but they're really different animals.

    The 513 is really five single coil pickups, and the two humbucker modes pair up two of the singles. There's a pretty clear difference between those two modes, but I don't remember if there's an obvious volume drop going to single coil.

    On my 408, there's a bit of a volume drop, but not nearly as much as on my other splittable guitars, like the Mira.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

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    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    I don't have a 408 (yet), so I can't compare. There is a volume difference with the 513, but it isn't very bad. It makes a nice change from fairly clean to pushed to driven when you switch through the three modes. For me, the full hum setting gets a little muddy with the amp set to work well with the other two settings. That said, the full hum settings rip for driven single note runs and solos.

    Now if I could just figure out how to add a piezo (a la Hansomatic's PS 513), I'd be in heaven...

  4. #4
    Senior Member sleary's Avatar
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    You will always have some volume difference when coil splitting. You cut two coil to one coil, or half the power. My suggestion is to go somewhere to try them both out.

    I love the 408's and love the 513. Personally, the 408 would probably my choice. Oh no then there is the DGT that I'm having Gas over..ok I'll stop now lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post
    If you give me a few days, I can throw a quick clip together, but they're really different animals.

    The 513 is really five single coil pickups, and the two humbucker modes pair up two of the singles. There's a pretty clear difference between those two modes, but I don't remember if there's an obvious volume drop going to single coil.

    On my 408, there's a bit of a volume drop, but not nearly as much as on my other splittable guitars, like the Mira.
    The comparison would be very nice. I've been hunting youtube for samples. It is however hard to judge the volume drop from videos and I have yet to hear a side by side comparison of the 513 and the 408. Thank you in advance

    Quote Originally Posted by Egads View Post
    I don't have a 408 (yet), so I can't compare. There is a volume difference with the 513, but it isn't very bad. It makes a nice change from fairly clean to pushed to driven when you switch through the three modes. For me, the full hum setting gets a little muddy with the amp set to work well with the other two settings. That said, the full hum settings rip for driven single note runs and solos.

    Now if I could just figure out how to add a piezo (a la Hansomatic's PS 513), I'd be in heaven...
    I am quite surprised that it becomes muddy. The soundbites of the 513 I have listened too didn't seem that midrangy (if that is what is causing the muddiness...)

    Quote Originally Posted by sleary View Post
    You will always have some volume difference when coil splitting. You cut two coil to one coil, or half the power. My suggestion is to go somewhere to try them both out.

    I love the 408's and love the 513. Personally, the 408 would probably my choice. Oh no then there is the DGT that I'm having Gas over..ok I'll stop now lol
    I would love to try them both the problem is that I couldn't locate any nearby store that carried either let alone both

    I've watched an interesting comparison of the 408 and the DGT and the DGT appeared a good bit brighter than the 408 is that your experience? The DGT was whole mahogany so I would expect the maple top one to be even brighter?


    Thanks for any information guys.
    JFT

  6. #6
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    I'm smelling a CR Video...maybe?

    Don't have a 513, but I can tell you that the 408s in my Siggy sound pretty amazing in single-coil mode...but it's a thicker single coil type sound, not Stratty if that's what you're after. Hardly any (if at all) volume drop. In comparison, the Mira has a significant drop (plus the bridge split is super-thin), the new SECU24 a little less so but comparable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CantankerousCarl View Post
    I'm smelling a CR Video...maybe?

    Don't have a 513, but I can tell you that the 408s in my Siggy sound pretty amazing in single-coil mode...but it's a thicker single coil type sound, not Stratty if that's what you're after. Hardly any (if at all) volume drop. In comparison, the Mira has a significant drop (plus the bridge split is super-thin), the new SECU24 a little less so but comparable.
    Eh Eh you guessed right for CR's videos

    Thick single coil might be ok since my main interest for single coil is for the neck pickup to play cleanly. I've had bad experience when modding one of my guit, in addition to extreme volume drop the tone was simply to thin (the alder might have made it worse?) So altough I wouldn't mind getting the strat twang for added flexibility it is honestly not a priority.

    The DGTs seems much too bright for my taste. Of course I would have to try one to know for sure!

    JFT

  8. #8
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    http://soundcloud.com/alantig/408-v-513

    Here we go - I probably should have put comments on the track itself to make it easier for you, but I'm too tired today.

    So, this is how the track is set up - 408 first, 513 second, volume and tone both on 10. Everything is guitar directly into a PRS 2-channel C, no effects, PRS Big Mouth 2x12, recorded with an SM57 and a CAD ribbon mic straight into ProTools. Track volumes are approximately level, no adjustments or processing done in PT. The basic pattern is neck pickup, followed by bridge. On each pickup, I go back and forth between single-coil and humbucker - for the 513, it's single coil then both humbucker modes. Clean first, then dirty, and pretty much the same parts clean on each, then a different bit for the dirty sound. I think it's fairly easy to hear where the changes happen, but just in case (or if you want to jump around):

    408 Clean Neck Pickup - 0:00 Single coil; 0:13 Humbucker; 0:27 S; 0:37 HB
    408 Clean Bridge Pickup - 0:48 S; 0:55 HB; 1:03 S; 1:12 HB

    408 Dirty Neck Pickup - 1:26 S; 1:33 HB; 1:40 S; 1:47 HB
    408 Dirty Neck Pickup - 1:57 S; 2:03 HB; 2:10 S; 2:16 HB

    513 Clean Neck Pickup - 2:29 Single coil; 2:35 Clear Humbucker; 2:42 Heavy Humbucker; 2:49 S; 2:56 CH; 3:03 HH
    513 Clean Bridge Pickup - 3:15 S; 3:22 CH; 3:31 HH; 3:39 S; 3:47 CH; 3:56 HH

    513 Dirty Neck Pickup - 4:07 S; 4:13 CH; 4:20 HH; 4:26 S; 4:34 CH; 4:41 HH
    513 Dirty Bridge Pickup - 4:51 S; 4:58 CH; 5:05 HH; 5:12 S; 5:18 CH; 5:25 HH

    A few clams, but try to ignore them!
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

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    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post
    http://soundcloud.com/alantig/408-v-513

    Here we go - I probably should have put comments on the track itself to make it easier for you, but I'm too tired today.

    So, this is how the track is set up - 408 first, 513 second, volume and tone both on 10. Everything is guitar directly into a PRS 2-channel C, no effects, PRS Big Mouth 2x12, recorded with an SM57 and a CAD ribbon mic straight into ProTools. Track volumes are approximately level, no adjustments or processing done in PT. The basic pattern is neck pickup, followed by bridge. On each pickup, I go back and forth between single-coil and humbucker - for the 513, it's single coil then both humbucker modes. Clean first, then dirty, and pretty much the same parts clean on each, then a different bit for the dirty sound. I think it's fairly easy to hear where the changes happen, but just in case (or if you want to jump around):

    408 Clean Neck Pickup - 0:00 Single coil; 0:13 Humbucker; 0:27 S; 0:37 HB
    408 Clean Bridge Pickup - 0:48 S; 0:55 HB; 1:03 S; 1:12 HB

    408 Dirty Neck Pickup - 1:26 S; 1:33 HB; 1:40 S; 1:47 HB
    408 Dirty Neck Pickup - 1:57 S; 2:03 HB; 2:10 S; 2:16 HB

    513 Clean Neck Pickup - 2:29 Single coil; 2:35 Clear Humbucker; 2:42 Heavy Humbucker; 2:49 S; 2:56 CH; 3:03 HH
    513 Clean Bridge Pickup - 3:15 S; 3:22 CH; 3:31 HH; 3:39 S; 3:47 CH; 3:56 HH

    513 Dirty Neck Pickup - 4:07 S; 4:13 CH; 4:20 HH; 4:26 S; 4:34 CH; 4:41 HH
    513 Dirty Bridge Pickup - 4:51 S; 4:58 CH; 5:05 HH; 5:12 S; 5:18 CH; 5:25 HH

    A few clams, but try to ignore them!
    Thank you VERY MUCH

    This is extremely helpful and don't worry about the comment it is fine as is!

    408 Clean Neck Pickup - 0:00 Single coil; 0:13 Humbucker; 0:27 S; 0:37 HB
    What are these at the end? Both pickups or the neck pickup again by itself in single and humbucker?

    Thanks again!
    JFT

    edit: I just discovered SoundCloud Storm for Chrome to download the file and edit it
    Last edited by JFT; 11-10-2012 at 08:52 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sleary's Avatar
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    Maple always brightens the sound abit.

    I have an secu 24 and it drops when coil splitting. Gives a nice strat twang

    My Ce 22 has the five way rotary knob. It doesn't drop and hives a nice warm tone however it is parallel poling. I think thats correct lol

    One more thing, if it is too bright then adjust your amp or look at another pickup.

    I'm looking at a HFS bass for my ce as I find the dragon II alittle trebley. The neck pickup is awesome though lol

  11. #11
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFT View Post
    Thank you VERY MUCH

    This is extremely helpful and don't worry about the comment it is fine as is!

    408 Clean Neck Pickup - 0:00 Single coil; 0:13 Humbucker; 0:27 S; 0:37 HB
    What are these at the end? Both pickups or the neck pickup again by itself in single and humbucker?
    Cool - glad it helps.

    Strictly the neck pickup again by itself, single and humbucker. I started to do middle pickups but backed away from it.

    I was personally a bit surprised at how small the volume difference was on the dirty channel, but it makes sense because of how the sound compresses. I almost eliminated the dirty channel from the file, but I figured it was informational if nothing else.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  12. #12
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Should have added this from the beginning (but I'm posting it separately so it doesn't get lost above)...

    The 408 is a standard all-mahogany with a rosewood neck.

    The 513 is one of the early runs - maple top, BRW neck. The electronics are the original configuration, not the upgrade that was made available a year or so later.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

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    Interesting. With or without trem on the 408?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post
    Should have added this from the beginning (but I'm posting it separately so it doesn't get lost above)...

    The 408 is a standard all-mahogany with a rosewood neck.

    The 513 is one of the early runs - maple top, BRW neck. The electronics are the original configuration, not the upgrade that was made available a year or so later.
    Intresting... so the 408 MT would be a little bit brighter with a bit less midrange then?

    What's the difference between the old and new electronic of the 513?

    JFT

  15. #15
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dancing Frog View Post
    Interesting. With or without trem on the 408?
    With trem. Sorry about that - nice catch.

    Quote Originally Posted by JFT View Post
    Intresting... so the 408 MT would be a little bit brighter with a bit less midrange then?

    What's the difference between the old and new electronic of the 513?
    I haven't played the 408 MT, so I can't comment on that, but based on what people said about the MT Miras, I'd think you're on the right track.

    As for the difference, I was told by an employee whose opinion I really respect (but I won't name, for reasons you'll see momentarily) that the upgrade is supposed to make the guitar sound warmer and just "better". He said it was a subtle difference, but Paul said it was better with. I asked him if he could hear the difference, and he said, "Uh, no - but Paul says it's there." Paul's got freaky good ears - I don't. So I passed on it.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  16. #16
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    From experiences with 513's, the maple cap makes the guitar brighter.

    On 513 vs. 408, I think if I'd done that comparison, I would have done a sweet spot to sweet spot comparison. I never play the 513 at full volume and tone, it's too muddy on the humbuckers at full volume. I turn up on the single coil mode, so there really is no volume loss overall. My Siggy I'll play somewhere close to full on the humbuckers and may be a little lower on the coil tap/coil split depending on whether I want it to be closer to narrowfields or single coils in tone.

    I am thinking about getting a 408 MT with a trem. If I do, I'll do a comparison. The Siggy is a stop tail, it's got profoundly different eq signature than a trem, so comparing it to a 513 doesn't make sense. I kind of regret that I didn't pick up a trem as well when the Signature Limiteds were out.

  17. #17
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFT View Post
    I'm into blues, classic rock and jazz. I am not really a "trem guy" and was considering buying a stoptail until this video had me reconsider the trem due to the tone difference
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGcqqfZi--s&feature=plcp
    All guitar woods are different, and so the differences in tone in Chris' video can't be attributed purely to the trem. I have both a stop and trem PS Sig, plus a couple of other stoptails with 408s, and in my opinion the trem softens the attack of the picked note. It's a rounder, furry-er tone which is most noticeable on the bass strings. To my ears it sounds a bit thicker in the lower midrange as a result. The stoptails have more 'snap' and bite, which seems to highlight the upper midrange instead.

    I prefer the stoptail tone, some other folk will prefer the trem I'm sure

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    Thank you to all that chimed in. I'll keep hunting for a 513 to try until it's time to order. So far my decision would be to go with 408 MT.

    JFT

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