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Thread: NF3 Question. Pickup related.

  1. #1

    NF3 Question. Pickup related.

    Right now I have a DC3 and a Les Paul. I really LOVE the neck on the DC3 and I got it because I gave up trying to find a good Fender for single coil tones. The playability and feel of the DC is even better than high end Custom shop strats, for me. Now, I love the sound of my Les Paul for hard rock and metal but if I could get thick humbucker tones from a guitar that felt and played like my DC3 I'd be a happy camper. I've owned a few other PRS guitars in the past like a Custom 22, SC, and McCarty with a rosewood neck. But I steered away from PRS and tried Suhr's, Anderson, Ernie Ball, and I'm back playing PRS again, funny how that works out. If money wasn't an issue I'd stock up on Anderson's and PRS, with a Suhr or 2, but the money tree in my backyard won't grow.

    Anyway, can the NF3 pull off thick hard rock/metal tones? I know the NF3's are like a low output PAF and or close to a P90. I just wonder if I sold my LP would I be happy with a DC3 and an NF3? I do lean towards humbucker tone but I like to cover both grounds. Thinking the DC3 for single coil tones and the NF3 for heavier stuff. Or should I just look at McCarty's?

  2. #2
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    i'm wanting to hear about this too! There wasn't much info about the NF pickups that I could find on the web, so i'm curious. Last I remember McCarty comes with lower output pickups, but the newer version called MC 58 comes with with the 57/08s, which are vintage-voiced moderate output(?). And i've read that the NF was based on the 57/08(?). Please correct me if i'm wrong.

  3. #3
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Interesting question, I've not played a DC3 but have owned a couple of 513s (hog and rosewood neck) so I'm familiar with those pickups. I wouldn't say a NF3 is far enough removed from a DC3 to be a worthwhile addition to the stable, especially if you're looking to move into metal territory. If you were looking to replace the DC3 and looking for something with a bit more versatility and P-90 vibe, and add a HB equipped guitar as well, then sure that could be a good solution.

    The NF3 is a blend of SC, P-90 and HB tones, and is very reactive to volume settings. At lower settings it's very SCey, and full up it's kinda like a noiseless P-90, but not quite as round and fat as a proper P-90 (I'm not about to sell my CU22 Soapy anytime soon). The pickups are apparently narrow 57/08s, so I assume that means same wire and magnets, I've owned a 57/08 equipped guitar too and I can hear a touch of their influence in the overall tone, however the NF3 is very different, for the above reasons, and obviously construction.

    Basically they don't do HB thickness like a full HB equipped guitar.

    If you're after a guitar that feels the same but with HBs, why not give a Brent Mason a try? Slightly different construction to the DC3 but same neck, and specially wound narrow 408s. They're the new kid on the block so I doubt there's any reports on how they cover metal (people have said their 408 model does metal, sameish pickups, very different construction), but they would definitely cover hard rock.

    I want one, in maple/maple and Whitewash. David Grantham has one incoming, and there's a couple of guys on here with them too. Maybe if you ask a specific "Does a Brent Mason do metal" question they will chime in.

  4. #4
    Member TFC's Avatar
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    I've owned an NF3 for a few weeks now and I think justmund sums it up very well. You aren't going to naturally get LP tones from an NF3. However, a lot really depends on what you're playing thru. With the right pedals/EQ/processing you can get good hard rock tones. But the thick, dark-ish full humbucker sounds are definitely not in the NF3's wheelhouse. I've never played a DC3, though based on what I know of it, the NF3 is probably not the complementary guitar you're looking for.

    I also love the neck and feel of the NF3, and like you, I use it to complement my hard rock guitar (CE24). The two are a great combo and cover a very wide variety of tones. If you're willing to stray a bit from the DC3/NF3 format, I'm sure just about any of the dual humbucking PRS guitars can get you where you want to go. I'm curious about the Brent Mason model as well, so maybe someone will chime in with a tone report.

  5. #5
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    I asked J. Hayes about using a Brent Mason for hard rock and metal, see post #50 onwards here:

    http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthre...eetings!/page3

    Ok now I really want one of these axes!

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    Personally, I think that the NF3 pickup can be more PAF like than 408s in humbucker mode.

    For what it's worth, here's the NF3 in comparison with the 408 in humbucker mode in different pickup positions. It's just guitar into amp and gain tone changes come from guitar volume and tone knob roll off. I really like the NF3....at least in the McCarty body style anyway...


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    In my previous cover band my SAS 25th NF was my "goto" guitar for a ton of things. We covered a wide range of stuff and I needed hard-rock metal tones on a lot of tunes. You can get those tones with NF3 pickups no problem. You'll miss some of the chunkiness that you get with a fullsize humbucker. However, in return you'll get clarity and cut. Honestly, pretty much any humbucker can do the job/ Ultimately it's more a matter of your amp settings and your hands - the NF and 408 pickups are certainly up to the task.

    The DC3 is a great platform - have you thought about sending it to the PTC? Have them put in a bridge humbucker - a 5909 would be great. Maybe a NF or 408 in the neck.
    You're never too old for tater tots.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by hippietim View Post
    In my previous cover band my SAS 25th NF was my "goto" guitar for a ton of things. We covered a wide range of stuff and I needed hard-rock metal tones on a lot of tunes. You can get those tones with NF3 pickups no problem. You'll miss some of the chunkiness that you get with a fullsize humbucker. However, in return you'll get clarity and cut. Honestly, pretty much any humbucker can do the job/ Ultimately it's more a matter of your amp settings and your hands - the NF and 408 pickups are certainly up to the task.

    The DC3 is a great platform - have you thought about sending it to the PTC? Have them put in a bridge humbucker - a 5909 would be great. Maybe a NF or 408 in the neck.

    I thought about adding a humbucker into the DC3 bridge. but, I think I'll leave it as is. I have found it's just good to have at least one single coil loaded guitar. No matter what, to my ears coil tapping a humbucker just doesn't get close enough to real single coil tones. And the DC3 is great with gain, think old Gary Moore tone on Victims Of The Future. I've learned to deal with the noise by just turning the right direction or use an ISP Decimator.

  9. #9
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    I own a NF3, it's not a Les Paul sounding guitar at all, with EQ and pedals you can get close.

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