The narrowfield equipped guitars seem to be falling faster than a hooker's skirt on shore day.
It seems like the only guitars offered with them now are the NF3 and the Studio? I didn't notice the McCarty NF on the products list but it might be there. Oops..just re-checked..don't see ANY McCartys on the list...hmmm
I haven't been spending a lot of time with my Studio lately. Did a couple of gigs with it since I got my new Tremonti SE Custom...not because the Stood is hurtin'...it's because the SE is THAT good...plus I've been filling-in with several other bands in the last couple/few weeks in standard tuning so I was using the SE for that (standard tuning..the Stood is a half step down). I miss the Stood and can't wait to plug it in again after getting used to the double bucker voices of the Tremonti.
The Studio is/was my favorite guitar of all times and it owes a good deal of that title to it's NF pups. I KNOW that when I strap it back on and grab the NFs for some clean stuff I'm gonna go...."ahhhh...NOW we're talking!!!".
I know that the SASNF is no more and it looks like any other NF equipped guitar that used to be available/on the products list (other than the Studio and NF3) has also been discontinued?
From all the reviews I have been able to find, the NFs seem to have always received nothing but thumbs-ups. People who didn't give them stellar reviews are the people who haven't tried them yet.
To me, the NFs seemed like they would (should) be the next best greatest innovation in the pickup world...not that the NF idea is a new one or a PRS one but still...I LOVE them!! They are SO versatile. They make my hog and maple studio that has a hog neck (not very Fender-esque) quack and chime like the best strat or twang like the best tele...but, they also give-up a nice...a NICE warm womany round brown "bucker" tone. They are articulate and dynamic. They can take-on the characteristics of many different types of pickups depending on your attack/dynamics...better than anything I've ever experienced...in fact, they almost "out-do" the pups they emulate. Hey, I have a McSoapy and LOVE the P90s for what they do. People say the NFs do a great impersonation of the P90s but to me, they are a little too well-behaved or "pretty" sounding to cop a REAL P90's snarl and vomit but....I suppose they could pull-off a convincing P90...at least probably better than anything else that isn't a real P90??
ANYWAY....do you think that 2014's PRS Product list will still contain the Studio or NF3? Or any NF equipped guitars? If I had to guess, just based on the history (decline and fall) of the other NF models, I would say a resounding...NO...I don't think there will be any NFs after this year. Hey, if they aren't big sellers (and they don't seem to be..at least not the Studio), I too would discontinue them. I wouldn't stay tooled-up to wind those pups if they were not a money maker either. That is NOT a good way to stay profitable and in business...but...like I mentioned, the Studio and the NF pups are like my FAVORITE ever!
Clearly a case of my poor taste or bad hearing I guess. It's like the old "I'm insane" thing...you know...if everyone ELSE seems crazy...it's probably ME. Well...if I'm the only one who LOVES the Stood and the NF pups...well then, they probably suck and I'm the crazy one :-(
I don't imagine it's possible...their width is odd and they must be quite deep, but..maybe if they had been a standard size (of course then they wouldn't be so magical I suppose) they would have been embraced better by the guitar community? Not that Paul would allow them to be sold separately like the 57/08s. I mean, Shawn says Paul will never, if he has his way, release the 57/08s for sale to the general public..but the 59/09s and 53/10s are for sale. I have a feeling that the 57/08 NFs would also be unobtainium?
I have to think that the reason the NFs aren't making a bigger "splash" than they are is that they are/were only available in a few non-flagship models and so not a BIG number of players got to give them a fair shake? Or again just that thing about my own poor taste in pups?
I dunno man...it's a mystery to me. Again...when I first started playing the Studio and it's NF pups I was like :-O!!!! Now THIS is something NEW! Yay PRS for the non-stop innovations! I think the NF pups might be todays PAFs. I sure had never experienced (no pun intended) a pup like the NF before. I've always liked the tones of SC pups but always disliked their anemic output and hum and thinness. Especially in a bridge position!
Well the NFs offer-up everything I love about SC pups but they are not weak thin gutless bright twanggy Fender singlecoils....unless you want them to sound like that. They WILL do that but they will also do just about anything else you demand of them. To me they are the one pup does it all..pup.
Normally, just like gearing in a car's rear-end, you can have great acceleration but not great top speed...or you can have real steep gearing that'll give you an insane top-end speed but nothing off the line. Then you can get something like 3:73s which are "good" at everything...but great at NOTHING.
Well the NF pups are GREAT at almost EVERYTHING (again...with the exception of nailing a P90 voice) I throw at them.
To me they are the best thing since sliced bread or a humbucking pickup or X-bracing that can handle steel strings or seatbelts! Oopsies...skip the seatbelts lol.
Is it purely a matter of most people just not having TRIED the NF pups?
Who of you has tried the NFs but DID NOT like them? And what don't you like about them?
I hope I'm wrong but I have a feeling I might receive an invite to a funeral early in 2014. It's gonna be the PRS 57/08 NF pickup RIP party :-(
In one way I hope I'm wrong. I still say the NFs are a big step (forward) in guitar manufacturing/design. I thought that they would almost flip the industry on it's ear. Other than active pups, I think this is a serious innovation in guitar pickups..and maybe the only major one SINCE active pups...or piezos in electric guitars.
There was the magnetic pickup, the humbucking magnetic pickup, piezos in an electric guitar to give it an acoustic guitar voice...or just piezos in general, the active EMGs, and....the PRS Narrowfield pickups. Since the PAF, piezos and actives...the pickup industry has been pretty stagnant.
Sure there are many boutique/custom winders out there but they aren't really CHANGING anything...they're just trying to improve on an old design but without actually changing it.
It took like 55 YEARS for someone (Paul) to realize that square topped bobbins are "smarter" than the two round bobbin SC pups stuck together. For almost 60 years we have been putting a round peg into a square hole and no one even noticed. Now they fit a square hole...properly...crap wont find it's way down into the cavities of the pup rings. It took PRS and over 5 DECADES to figure that out???
For over 50 years people have been trying to recreate or improve upon the PAF. They haven't done it yet. At least I have yet to see ANY non-PAF pickup fetch even 10% of the price of a real PAF..yet, that's all anyone seems to do...try to improve upon perfection.
OK...we know...you can wind and make a pup that is real close to a PAF. Companies try to use the same winders, wire, wire making machines, alnico composition, wire gauge and type, spacer materials, polepiece materials, bobbin colors...anything they CAN to get closer to the real thing.
Meanwhile, Paul was busy creating pups like the HFS, which is probably amongst the hottest passive pup out there. He tries to come up with brand new(-ish) designs. Granted, he is not immune to jumping on the PAF bandwagon..but...he also came up with the NFs and 408s and 513 and 503 pups.
To me, the NF pup is an important step in the evolution of the electric guitar. I just don't understand why almost any PRS model that came with them seems to go the way of the Do-Do bird :-(
We still have a couple..the NF3 and the mighty Studio.
Hey...if they discontinue them too, I think anyone who does have a NF equipped guitar might be sitting on a gold mine. I have a feeling that in 50 years or so people will be talking about and wanting those rare old awesome 57/08 Narrowfield pups that PRS offered for a few short years on a few short-lived models. People will be claiming to have bought the old wire making machine from PRS..the same machine that made the wire for the old Narrowfield pickups (and other pickups before that rotflmao).
So...in conclusion...for those of you who have never tried...I mean EXPERIENCED a 57/08 NF pickup...GET out to a store and TRY a Studio or NF3...or any other older model that came with them. It could be one of your last chances to do so. :-(