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Thread: List of PRS Pickup Specs

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    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    List of PRS Pickup Specs

    Anyone know where to find a current (or relatively so) list of PRS pickups / specs. Resistance, magnet type, etc...?
    1990, 91, 92 & 97 CE24s | 1991 CU24 | 2000 CU22 Semi-Hollow | 2003 & 04 SE EG
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    2012 NF3 | 2013 408 Brazilian | 2013 Paul's Guitar | 2013 Hollowbody II | 2013 CU24
    2013 CU24 Swamp Ash Limited | 2013 XPRS 408 Semi-Hollow | 2014 CU24 Semi-Hollow

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    Senior Member Sage's Avatar
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    I only know of two lists of PRS pickup specs. The first is the old one from 1995:



    The second is this newer one:



    I'd sure like to know what the magnet type is in the Dragon 2s. I suspect Alnico2.
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    Senior Member wardog's Avatar
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    that first one looks like it has info PRS may not want to share (turns and wire gauage).
    I like surprises!!!

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    Narrowfield Pickup Fan HANGAR18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CantankerousCarl View Post
    Anyone know where to find a current (or relatively so) list of PRS pickups / specs. Resistance, magnet type, etc...?
    If you were able to find such a list/chart, I would almost be willing to bet that it wouldn't reveal much information about the different types of wire that PRS is getting from that vintage wire machine that was described in a recent video someone here posted.
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    If memory serves, the spreadsheet attached in the response, above, was created by our friend (the late) Bill "Wilerty".
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    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    Very cool info, I had seen the first document from the VintagePRS site, but the second one I don't think I did.

    Does anyone know where the 408 sits relatively? Other than sheer curiosity, I noticed that there seems to be more volume difference than I would have expected between a 57/08 at the bridge and a 408T in the bridge with same cable & amp settings. So wondering if the 408T, which I believe is based upon the 57/08, is higher output...
    1990, 91, 92 & 97 CE24s | 1991 CU24 | 2000 CU22 Semi-Hollow | 2003 & 04 SE EG
    2008 SE Semi-Hollow Soapbar | 2011 CU24 GC Throwback | 2012 Signature Limited x2
    2012 NF3 | 2013 408 Brazilian | 2013 Paul's Guitar | 2013 Hollowbody II | 2013 CU24
    2013 CU24 Swamp Ash Limited | 2013 XPRS 408 Semi-Hollow | 2014 CU24 Semi-Hollow

  7. #7
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    I am going to bump myself here and maybe rephrase my question:

    Should I notice a significant volume difference between a 408MT (D'Addario .10s) and a 57/08-equipped HBII (D'Addario .11s wound 3rd) with all other factors being equal?
    1990, 91, 92 & 97 CE24s | 1991 CU24 | 2000 CU22 Semi-Hollow | 2003 & 04 SE EG
    2008 SE Semi-Hollow Soapbar | 2011 CU24 GC Throwback | 2012 Signature Limited x2
    2012 NF3 | 2013 408 Brazilian | 2013 Paul's Guitar | 2013 Hollowbody II | 2013 CU24
    2013 CU24 Swamp Ash Limited | 2013 XPRS 408 Semi-Hollow | 2014 CU24 Semi-Hollow

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    From some of the figures in Bill's chart, it would look a lot like some individual pickups are renamed, covered/uncovered versions of other pickups, sometimes with a change in wiring options thrown in. For example, the Tremonti treble pickup looks like it's a 250 treble with no cover but with split options, and the Tremonti bass is just a 7 bass. The Hiland pickup set seems to be a Swamp Ash set. At the same time, the 250 bass, Dragon II bass and McCarty bass could all be pretty much identical apart from the wiring options/number of conductors.

    All this is based on limited information of course, but I have read a review where Paul said the Santana III pickups are a covered Santana bass and a Dragon II treble so there is a precedent in the company for taking individual pickups and recombining them to make a different set. The same goes for the 245 pickups; with no cover they're Miras.

    Not that there's anything wrong with it of course. I just noticed and thought it was worth commenting on.

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    Senior Member jimistephen's Avatar
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    I've been wondering this my self, a lot of people don't like the harshness of the HFS, they can get a magnet off of Ebay for $6 or $7 and just swap that out and see if they like it more...
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    Just to complete the comparison, the first chart shows that the Vintage bass and the Standard bass are pretty much the same pickup. And we already knew that the Dragon bass became the McCarty bass.

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    Junior Member ghochan's Avatar
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    Can anyone tell me where Starlas fit on the spectrum?

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    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimistephen View Post
    I've been wondering this my self, a lot of people don't like the harshness of the HFS, they can get a magnet off of Ebay for $6 or $7 and just swap that out and see if they like it more...
    It's amazing to me that more people don't do this. I had a HFS in my baritone and it was very, VERY nu-metal toned with the drop tuning, so I swapped in a roughcast UOA5 magnet (two of them cost me $5) and it made it much more rock oriented - unfortunately not enough for my tastes, but much more in that direction. It would work well in a standard tuned guitar - the baritone always wants to be a metal monster with basically any pickup wound with 43 gauge wire.

    SE humbuckers, specifically the bridge pickup, really come alive with a magnet swap (I rather like the stock neck pickup).
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    So Dragon I is hotter than Tremonti and hottest of all?

  14. #14
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alostpick View Post
    So Dragon I is hotter than Tremonti and hottest of all?
    No, it just uses a thinner wire compared to the others, which drives up the resistance. DC Resistance is not a very good indicator of a pickup's output or tone. It's only useful if you're comparing two pickups with the same coil size (which we can assume here, since they're all standard sized HB's) using the same gauge wire. That first chart is helpful because you can compare, for example, all the pickups that use 42ga wire. The ones with more turns will have higher output and resistance compared to those with less turns. More turns also means a lower resonant peak, which means less focus on the highs, and more on the mids. Comparing the Dragon to most of the pickups in that list is apples and oranges, though.

    Inductance is probably the most reliable indicator of output. It's likely the inductance of the Tremonti and HFS will be higher than that of the Dragon.
    --Garrett--

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrett View Post
    No, it just uses a thinner wire compared to the others, which drives up the resistance. DC Resistance is not a very good indicator of a pickup's output or tone. It's only useful if you're comparing two pickups with the same coil size (which we can assume here, since they're all standard sized HB's) using the same gauge wire. That first chart is helpful because you can compare, for example, all the pickups that use 42ga wire. The ones with more turns will have higher output and resistance compared to those with less turns. More turns also means a lower resonant peak, which means less focus on the highs, and more on the mids. Comparing the Dragon to most of the pickups in that list is apples and oranges, though.

    Inductance is probably the most reliable indicator of output. It's likely the inductance of the Tremonti and HFS will be higher than that of the Dragon.
    Nice explanation.

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    Cool

    I'm scanning the first chart and obviously, am looking at the pickups that I have. I notice that the HFS treble and the HFS II have the same specs. What do you think is the difference in the two? I mean other than the slugs.....
    Last edited by claythomas; 02-01-2014 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Additional info.

  17. #17
    PRS user since '87 eclecticsynergy's Avatar
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    Slugs can make a difference, I guess. My '87 PRS has the original Standard pickups and they are exceptionally sweet- not only my favorite pickups of all time, but utterly unique in my experience. I've wondered for almost thirty years what the elusive magic was. Now I know that part of it may be the slugs. I never would have guessed.

    I am so glad to have found this list.

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    [Some More Details]

    Friends, just found a list of specifications from 2009 with differences regarding magnets. I'm purchasing a PRS #7 Bass, but it's being difficult to find information on its EQ (Lo: 6; Mid: 7; Hi: 5 - as an example).

    Also, it is still tough to point out which pickups use alnico II and which use alnico V.

    What about the choice of the names of the pickups? The webmaster has replied saying PRS doesn't plan to display details of the products - "legacy products" in his words as I also mentioned discontinued models.

    Why do some models of pickups are sold separately and others aren't? Information also not included on the reply written by the webmaster.

    Perspectives are surely welcome.
    Last edited by diegoambrosio; 02-04-2015 at 10:59 AM. Reason: One post instead of many for better organization.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Whitecat's Avatar
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    Strange how many pickups are missing from that list though, considering that by 2009 the 57/08s, 59/09s and Starlas were also available. They also don't specify what grade of Alnico is being used... I know that with the Starla, they were intentionally cagey about it and referred to it as 'Alnico X'.

    The list in post 2 is minorly more up to date I guess...
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  20. #20
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    I have said it before and I'll say it again - They need to specify which alnico they are using in each pickup. There can be major differences in the response a pickup has just by swapping out various alnico varieties.
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    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

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