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Thread: Frustrations of a PRS Owning HSS Strat player resolved

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    Frustrations of a PRS Owning HSS Strat player resolved

    Been playing a HSS Strat (Pearly Gates+Tex Specs) for years and recently purchased a lovely PRS Cust 24 25th Anvsry 57/08's. Found I just couldn't get my 'comfort tones' out of it initially, but have succeeded now and happy to share my journey if anyone's interested, since I suspect I'm probably not alone.

  2. #2
    I'm not a Strat player, but I'd love to hear about the journey!
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

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    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd be interested to hear about it. I needed a telecaster "comfort tone" so I hear where you're coming from.

  4. #4
    Please share the story!

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    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
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    I'm interested.

    Sergio and I have something in common! The Tele is my touch stone tone - I'd really like to send my P22 in for the push pull pot mod so I could get SINGLE coil out of it!

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    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Do tell.
    Plank Owner

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    OK. I wasn't sure if it was the right topic in a PRS zone... if you get what I mean. Sometimes 'it's just not cricket' as we say here in England. I'll start by identifying what I felt were my 'issues' then how I resolved them... none of which is rocket science. My first 'issue' was my benchmark comfort tones.... I tend to use only 3 settings on my Strat. bridge-HB, Middle+Neck SC's and Neck SC. The body is Alder, which was another factor. I was getting really frustrated with my PRS and thinking 'Damn! why can't I get my sounds out of this'! (1) I found the Bridge HB setting, well just a bit too 'glassy' probably made more prominent by the Maple top and thin body. (2) I just couldn't get on with using a neck HB... aargh! I know... but it's just me I guess. (3) The Single Coil settings didn't get there either, and (4) well, I just found the Rotary control irritating. My initial gut reaction was... 'change pups'. The pickups are 57/08's which I know are well rated, so I thought I really shouldn't need to change these... perhaps it's just me. I need to work with it. But in the end I just couldn't get to where wanted to be tonally, so I had a hard think and came up with a plan. Firstly I changed the rotary selector for a standard 3-way toggle.... Feeling better already . Then it occurred to me that my Pearly Gates loaded Strat uses 250k pots, which of course affects the impedance loading of the pups. So I changed the Volume control to a 250k log..... RESULT! (for a temporary fix you can of course just strap a fixed value resistor across the 500k pot.. I found 560-680k worked, halving the pot resistance). I also changed the tone pot for a 250k log. You can get the 250k tone value setting by just turning the 500k tone pot down to about '7' but the treble roll-off was more linear with a 250k log in there. The pot changes took the top-end 'glass' off. However, I also didn't like the 180pf treble bleed over cap...too small a value to my ears... made the tone thin out too much when rolled back. So I used an old Schector trick, which works well on ANY value pot value, get a 150k resistor in parallel with a 1000pf cap and connect across the Hot and Wiper of the Volume pot. Makes the Volume pot much more linear both in volume and tone. Now the single coil issue..... Just remove the 6 adjustable pole screws from the neck HB and you got yourself a SILENT single coil pup! One coil picks up strings, the other acts as a dummy coil so the pup remains humbucking. You can of course rotate the pup through 180% to get the active coil nearest the neck, but I found this compromised the in-between sound too much for me. (its a Cust 24 so the pups are closer together anyway). For cosmetic reasons, I replaced the metal pole screws with some white nylon ones just to fill the holes. There you have it! Now a happy PRS Custom 24 playing traditional HSS Strat playerOf course none of these mods are permanent, and more importantly don't require changing pups. The 250k pot values can be achieved temporarily with fixed value R's across the pots, the HB pole screws can be replaced easily at will... in either position. The Schector 150k//1000pf Vol-Pot bleed-over is a boon.... you gotta try it. And, finally .... the Rotary 'splot'... well that just aint coming back I'm afraid!... Sorry Paul. Good move to change to a 5-selector on new Custom 24's... so maybe it's not just me then. Hope that helps y'all. 'Here endeth the lesson' as we say in church.

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    Senior Member veinbuster's Avatar
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    It sounds like a very orderly path that could only be taken by someone with an understanding of the components underneath the cover plate.
    Well done, and well explained.

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