My Studio is my favorite axe. Most of my love of the Studio is owed to the NarrowFirld pickups. The ONLY major gripe I have with the guitar is the 57/08. If any of you are members at the "other" PRSForums ;-) you've heard me state my observations too many times already. For those of you who arent members there...well since day1 of owning my Studio I have not understood why they ever put a 57/08 in that guitar with the NF pups. The bucker is just so underpowered compared to the NFs on that platform. I tried height adjusting till I was blue in the screwdriver and still the NFs outdid the 57/08.
Hey...I love the tone of the 57/08...and I REALLY love the NFs but together, to me, they don't work. I found myself having to use either or onstage but not both. If I switched from the NFs to the bucker there was a big drop in volume and balls and bottom end and power. At first I was using only the NFs and after a couple of gigs I found myself using only the bucker.
Decided it must be time to try something else in the bridge position.
I had/have an old HFS from my CE but I pulled it from that guitar cause I dont play metal and the HFS was a little scooped, hot, and dare I say...sterile for me. I considered putting it into the Studio but yeah..that ceramic mag would do the same in the Stood as it did in the CE.
Found buddy in the FS forum at the other PRSForums site was selling abarely used Duncan Custom Custom. Researched it and found it has an A2 mag in it and measured around 14K. PERFECT.
Well...now my Studio is a MONSTER! It's balanced and the split coil is actually useable now. Even IT keeps-up to the NFs almost.
OK so what was the question in the OP again? lol...oh right...the number of "voices" and that middle pup getting in the way..
Well like I said...NOW I find ALL the positions useable..and I do use all of them now..even in the same song.
I THINK I kept hitting that middle pup at first but I can't remember. What I DO remember though is that after playing the Studio and going to the Strat, THEN I would hit the middle pup all the time..on the Strat..and I used to be a Strat guy and never noticed that before.
Maybe I compensated for the Studio and got used to that placement and when I went back to the Strat I kept hitting the middle pup?? I know I was hitting the strat's middle pup a lot at first and even consoiously thought about it but...by the next night I had forgotten so I guess I either got used to it or moved my hand a little.
SO...if you find that middle pup getting in the way, don't worry...after a few hours of playing it, that will stop. Or you may stop noticing it?? IDK but I dont have any trouble (any more..if ever) with mine.
And to the poster who said "well they are selling..."...yeah I don't know about that. There dont seem to be many out there and a LOT of people who DID buy them, turned around and sold them pretty fast..like a poster in this thread did. As far as I could tell, a lot of people who bought Studios and sold them went to a DGT.
I've said..no I've predicted it before and I'll do it again.
I think the PRS Studio will soon be discontinued (like the NF3 or SASNF or whichever got chopped). Especially if they don't put a hotter pup in the bridge than the 57/08 (as awesome as that pup is...it just isnt for this platform).
YMMV...but I LOVE my Studio!!!
I had a similar experience with all 3 Studio variations I've owned with the 57/08. I replaced mine with several different types of slightly hotter pickups like the 59/09, Wolfetone Marshallhead, and the WCR Godwound. All of those have an output around around 9-9.5k. I found those to balance out pretty good with the NFs. My current studio AP with a squabbin 59/09 really smokes. I think the hog body studio with the maple neck is the perfect blend of very thick tones in the bridge with plenty of snap with the NFs in the neck. I don't usually play the middle NF by itself, mostly in combined with either the neck or bridge/split for approximations of the S-type tones.