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Thread: Still learning about my new NF3

  1. #1
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    Still learning about my new NF3

    Hi all... I recently purchased an NF3 (rosewood neck). I've been trying to browse the forum for more info on my guitar posted by other users. (The problem is that the forum Search tool won't allow search phrases only 3 characters long!)

    Anyway, I've been having trouble 'cleaning up' my NF3 sound. I find that the sound is quite a bit more Bass influenced. Even backing off the volume does not allow me to get shimmering/bright clean tones that I was expecting in the guitar. I also own a Fender American Strat...so I've been comparing it to that. My strat is basically stock but with a seymor duncan screamin' demon in the bridge. It's clean tones really beat my PRS NF3, and that makes me sad! (OR my ears just don't "GET" the NF sound yet?) I think that Nf3 neck is the greatest neck that I have ever played on,.I just can't seem to get really bright, clean tones out of it - in ANY of the pickup positions. I've also tried to lower the NF pickups... because the bridge and middle pickup were slightly elevated compared to the neck - not sure if it comes from the factory or if the dealer tweak it a little. Even so, that hasn't seemed to help.

    The only thing that has helped is to us my Xotic RC booster pedal on all the time with a slight bump to the Treble knob. I just feel that shouldn't be necessary.

    I'm still learning the nuances of this guitar... I absolutely LOVE it in a overdriven state.

    Can any other NF3 rosewood owners that can weigh in on my sound issues???

    Thanks!!!!
    TJ

  2. #2
    Senior Member Whitecat's Avatar
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    This won't be too much help, but in my experience with the NF3, the cleans just don't compare with single coil instruments. That's not to say they are not worse, you may just not prefer them - they definitely have their own thing going. I too agree that this guitar works best in an overdriven scenario - the dirty tones are exceptional. But I find the pickups lack sustain when they're played clean. Just my 2 cents.
    PS Starla (burnt orange smokeburst), Starla (vintage cherry, IRW neck, birds), HBII (faded gray black 'double' 10-top), HB12 (black gold), NF3 (antique white/birds), 25th ann. Mira 245 (frost blue metallic), KL1812, 2011 'Stripped' 58 (goldtop)

  3. #3
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    What year is your NF3? They were revised at some stage with a 160pF (from memory) across the volume pot, which acts as a treble bled circuit. Basically this cap keeps the tone trebley and bright as you wind down the volume pot. I had a similar experience to you, and having limited access to parts where I am, tried the only cap the local music store had in stock. It's now too trebley when I wind down the volume and have to compensate with the tone knob.

    I'll be trying the "correct" one (as per the current PRS wiring diagram found in the support section), and if that's not perfect (for me and my amp setup), I'll try some others.

    Note this does affect the tone when the volume is at 10, so it also sounds like you need to tweak your amp settings to suit (the NFs will be "fatter" and more P-90/minihumbuckerish with the volume on 10, but will move into singlecoil territory once you wind it down.

    They're an amazingly flexible guitar, and I agree, the necks on these are fantastic!

  4. #4
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    That's really good information, Thanks! Mine is a 2010 (I think)... I'll have to verify that once I return home from a trip. I'm a novice when it comes to schematics... I'll talk to my local PRS rep that I purchased it from and ask them about the modification/update that you mentioned.

  5. #5
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    No problems, if it is a 2010 then it most likely doesn't have the cap (mine's a 2010 too).

    Here's the schematic:

    http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/schema...2/nf3_2012.pdf

    You can see the 180pF cap across the volume pot, mine didn't have this.

    Now, where's the pics of your NF3?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Whitecat's Avatar
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    That is interesting, justmund. Do you (or does someone from PRS) know when the revision was made? 2011 or later?
    PS Starla (burnt orange smokeburst), Starla (vintage cherry, IRW neck, birds), HBII (faded gray black 'double' 10-top), HB12 (black gold), NF3 (antique white/birds), 25th ann. Mira 245 (frost blue metallic), KL1812, 2011 'Stripped' 58 (goldtop)

  7. #7
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Pretty sure in 2012 there were quite a few wiring changes to several models, I can't tell you if it was early or late, you can see here there's "2012" versions of some schematics.

    http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/schematics.html

    NF3 (and others?) got the treble bleed cap, and guitars with coil tap got a resistor between the "dead" coil and ground, so there was a slight him canceling effect, less of a volume drop and also a slight tonal difference. In the case of the DGT (and others?) it was 2 different resistors, so obviously there was a fair bit of R&D that went into selecting the resistance values. Probably other changes too e.g. the 513, not sure what they did there.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Whitecat's Avatar
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    Cheers, thanks for the info. I'm not sure any dealers in my part of the world have anything later than a 2011 NF3 in stock at the moment so I might be SOL as far as trying one, but I've always wanted to love them fully because as I mentioned, the overdriven tones out of the those narrowfields are just off-the-scale good, and yet I hate the cleans. I do wonder if the two are related.
    PS Starla (burnt orange smokeburst), Starla (vintage cherry, IRW neck, birds), HBII (faded gray black 'double' 10-top), HB12 (black gold), NF3 (antique white/birds), 25th ann. Mira 245 (frost blue metallic), KL1812, 2011 'Stripped' 58 (goldtop)

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