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Thread: 408 vs Studio

  1. #1
    Member jrw32's Avatar
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    408 vs Studio

    Hello,
    Curious for those of you who have both or have spent time with a Studio and a 408. How would you compare the 2? How would you compare the bridge & neck 'bucker on each (especially th neck)? Which do you think is more versatile? Thanks for any insight you have!

  2. #2
    Member mapleleaf14's Avatar
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    IMO, the 408 is a better guitar because of the ability to tap the neck pickup as well as the bridge. At least with my amp, (PRS Custom 50), the 408 gives me more variety. One of my absolute favorite tones is the middle position, bridge pup full and neck pup tapped on the 408.

    I've had 2 Studios and have gotten rid of both.

    Also, and this is totally personal pref, but I don't like the look of a covered Humbucker with the 2 narrowfields - an uncovered Humbucker would look a lot better IMO.

    In the end though, they're both PRS and great guitars!
    Last edited by mapleleaf14; 08-04-2013 at 07:23 PM.
    Paul's Guitar - Charcoal || DGT Std. - Frost Blue Metallic ||DGT 10 Top - Yellow Tiger || DGT Artist - Faded Blue Jean Tobacco Burst || C.A.D. Custom 50 2-Channel - Slate || 2x12 Pine Cabinet - Charcoal

  3. #3
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Not sure I'll be much help, but I'll give you my opinion. I love my 408 equipped guitars. I have two of them. The neck position tapped is among my favorite tones of any guitars I possess. I have yet to try a Studio because I generally dislike middle pickups as they tend to interfere with my picking position. I also think the 408's are a sexier looking pickup. So there's that.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member veinbuster's Avatar
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    I don't have a studio, but I do have two PRS with 3 pickups: an old SAS and one with 3 narrowfields. I also have a guitar with 408s and signature switching.
    They are all very versatile guitars and all quite different sounding.

    I think the range of the ones with 3 pickups is a bit broader - while I hate to say this, particularly if you are a fan of fender type sounds. I always felt like I should have a strat, but when I got the SAS I all but left those feelings behind. Once in a while I still think I should have one, but reality is it would probably mostly be a decoration so I've kept that money in my pocket for 15 or so years. I would expect similar range from the studio, which I consider to be the evolution of the SAS.

    There has been lots written here and elsewhere about the 408s. I really like the options I get that aren't available on anything else. I am one of those who does play with one pickup as humbucker and one single coil. I really like the sound of the neck pickup as a humbucker - it has a nice meaty growl to it that I favour for general playing.

    I'm lucky enough not to have to choose. I would rate the studio configuration a bit more versatile, but if I HAD to pick one, I would probably go with the 408s because the switching options give some really interesting choices.

    And to get the best of both worlds, I might have to steal the 3 pack of narrow 408s idea - or talk Jesse into it and borrow his.

  5. #5
    Raven Lunatic Raven17's Avatar
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    I have Studios and 408s. I agree with Mapleleaf14 on disliking the mix of covered and uncovered pups on the same guitar. That's why I swapped the covered 57/08 out on both and installed different pups. That being said the Studio is my go to guitar. The two Narrowfield pups are awesome and as much as I like my 408 the full bridge pup on it can't compare to the full bridge setting on my studio. Add that to having all the tone options of a 5-way selector with a push/pull tone pot to coil tap the pups? Did I mention the two Narrowfield pups are awesome?

    My two favorite settings are the 5-way in the 2nd position w/out coil-tapping, under high gain, fantastic for solos and the 5-way in the 5th position non-tapped using the whole neck Narrowfield pup.....fantastic tone on that one. I don't mind the middle pickup, I've played Strats and Ibanez Jems for years, you get used to it and adjust with out noticing after awhile.

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    2014Private Stock Custom 24,'14 Tremonti Artist,'13 HB II Artist, '11 SC 58 Artist,'10 Private Stock Custom 24,'12 Custom 22 Artist, '12 Tremonti one-off,2007/13 McCarty Korina,'13 408 10Top, '11 Custom24 10Top,'12 DGT w/BK Miracle Man pups,'12 Studio w/BK Cold Sweat,'07/13 Navarro w/BK Cold Sweat pups,'09 Tremonti SE with \m/ pups, EVH 5150 Half stack, Randall Half Stack, Hughs & Kettner TubeMeister, other fiddles beyond counting

  6. #6
    I've spent some quality time with the NF SAS, an SAS, a couple of 57/08 equipped guitars, and a 408 equipped Sig. Ltd. They're all cool, and they're all versatile. And all of them do things very well, but in different ways.

    The NF pickup sounds different from the 408. So on the neck pickup, the choice depends on which you prefer. The 408 bridge sounds different from a 57/08.

    In the end, it really doesn't matter how many tones you can get from a 408 or a Studio if you don't care for its tones in the first place. So it's really pointless to discuss which has more tones (i.e., which is more versatile), since they both actually have a lot of them, and both are very versatile. The real question is which pickups have the sound you like better.

    If I were to describe the 408 bridge pickup, I'd say it's bright, modern sounding, fat, in 'bucker mode, and doesn't have all that much in common with the 57/08, which is the best rendition of a vintage humbucker tone I've ever played (including owning custom shop vintage style Gibsons with their rendition of their own PAF) So right there you have a big difference between the two guitars. In split mode, the bridge 408 is shimmery and sounds very "single coil" while a split 57/08 is less authentically "single coil" by design, but is a wonderful pickup anyway.

    In the neck position, there's another difficult choice; the 408 neck pickup is a different sounding pickup than the NF. I'd say the NF is a rounder pickup with a more percussive attack. It has its own thing going on. The 408 can sound closer to a traditional humbucker, and the single coil sound is a little brighter, maybe has a bit less push. This stuff is hard to put into words!

    The 2 pickup 408 guitars won't "quack," the Studio will. So if you occasionally want that phasey, funky quack thing, your choice is easy.

    However, despite these descriptions, all the blabber in the world about this stuff is fine, but you still need to play both guitars and see which, if any, speaks to you as a player.

    As to covered vs uncovered pickups, the covers affect the tone a little bit, so that's why they're there. But pickups are easily changed out, and PRS does make uncovered ones.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 08-04-2013 at 11:08 PM.
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  7. #7
    Raven Lunatic Raven17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I've spent some quality time with the NF SAS, an SAS, a couple of 57/08 equipped guitars, and a 408 equipped Sig. Ltd. They're all cool, and they're all versatile. And all of them do things very well, but in different ways.

    The NF pickup sounds different from the 408. So on the neck pickup, the choice depends on which you prefer. The 408 bridge sounds different from a 57/08.

    In the end, it really doesn't matter how many tones you can get from a 408 or a Studio if you don't care for its tones in the first place. So it's really pointless to discuss which has more tones (i.e., which is more versatile), since they both actually have a lot of them, and both are very versatile. The real question is which pickups have the sound you like better.

    If I were to describe the 408 bridge pickup, I'd say it's bright, modern sounding, fat, in 'bucker mode, and doesn't have all that much in common with the 57/08, which is the best rendition of a vintage humbucker tone I've ever played (including owning custom shop vintage style Gibsons with their rendition of their own PAF) So right there you have a big difference between the two guitars. In split mode, the bridge 408 is shimmery and sounds very "single coil" while a split 57/08 is less authentically "single coil" by design, but is a wonderful pickup anyway.

    In the neck position, there's another difficult choice; the 408 neck pickup is a different sounding pickup than the NF. I'd say the NF is a rounder pickup with a more percussive attack. It has its own thing going on. The 408 can sound closer to a traditional humbucker, and the single coil sound is a little brighter, maybe has a bit less push. This stuff is hard to put into words!

    The 2 pickup 408 guitars won't "quack," the Studio will. So if you occasionally want that phasey, funky quack thing, your choice is easy.

    However, despite these descriptions, all the blabber in the world about this stuff is fine, but you still need to play both guitars and see which, if any, speaks to you as a player.

    As to covered vs uncovered pickups, the covers affect the tone a little bit, so that's why they're there. But pickups are easily changed out, and PRS does make uncovered ones.


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  8. #8
    Senior Member Suppalak Klabdee's Avatar
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    I only have 2 PRSi, 408MT BRW and Paul's Guitar. Both feature 408 pickup (at least the necks are the same, bridges are not) and same electronics.

    Both guitars sound different enough. I guess it from the BRW neck of the 408MT vs Mahogany neck on Paul's, with the 408MT on the darker side.

    I love both of them nonetheless
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  9. #9
    Member jrw32's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the comments. I actually do own a Studio, but have never played a 408, and was wondering if I might get a bit more versatility out of one. Love the Studio, but wish mine was a bit lighter, and that the neck PUP was just a little bigger sounding. But these posts answered a few of my questions about the 408...I had wondered if the bridge PUP sounded as good as the 5708, and I'm guessing it does not have that same great PAF-chime of the 5708. And a few of you reconfirmed the "quack" factor, which I definitely love about my Studio. I don't mind the look of the uncovered/covered PUPs together, and agree adjusting your pick attack with the middle pickup only takes a short while to get used to. Think I'll hold onto it for now and try to pick up a 408 down the line for a different flavor of versatility. And why not, here she is...


  10. #10
    That's a really nice looking guitar, jrw!

    Sounds like you have a good plan, too. I play an Artist V in addition to the Sig Ltd (408 type). While I love both guitars, they serve different purposes for me. The Artist V is definitely my lead guitar of choice. I like the vintage style bridge pickup (kind of similar to the 57/08 & 57/09, and it's definitely my soloing voice. The 408 is more of a rhythm and texture guitar for me. It has great openness and clarity, beautiful sparkle, etc. I think of it as a complement to the A-V, they both do different things for me as a player.

    My sound leans toward alt rock and bluesier material, not so much the harder stuff. Just as a reference.
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    Senior Member RedGuitars's Avatar
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    I've been crazy busy lately, not much time for playing. But this weekend I was able to jam a little with two of my stepsons. I love my Siggy Ltd (408) - it just feels and sounds great to me!

    I find I pick it up more often than my Cu22 semi-hollow Ltd.

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    Please enjoy another useless reply from a member who only owns one of the models in question, a Studio.
    As fas as versatility goes, I can't really see any 2 pickup guitars outdoing a Studio or other 3 pup geets.
    The 5-way switching has always offered-up some convincing Fender quack and chime but not like the in between positions of the Studio.

    As for the Studio's 57/08 covered hb, I kinda like the looks of the mismatch but I found the 57/08 o be way underpowered in that guitar, next to the mighty NFs at least so I put a Duncan Custom Custom in my Studio and now even the split tone is useable.

    Take what I say with a lump of salt though because the Studio was my favorite guitar...until....I got my new Tremonti SE Custom (looks around embarrassingly hoping no one heard me just admit that I prefer a $600 Korean guitar) which just continues to blow my doors off.
    It btw wears an uncovered 59/09 bass squabbin in the neck and another Duncan CC in the bridge. It kicks A$$!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. #13
    Raven Lunatic Raven17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaren View Post
    Please enjoy another useless reply from a member who only owns one of the models in question, a Studio.
    As fas as versatility goes, I can't really see any 2 pickup guitars outdoing a Studio or other 3 pup geets.
    The 5-way switching has always offered-up some convincing Fender quack and chime but not like the in between positions of the Studio.

    As for the Studio's 57/08 covered hb, I kinda like the looks of the mismatch but I found the 57/08 o be way underpowered in that guitar, next to the mighty NFs at least so I put a Duncan Custom Custom in my Studio and now even the split tone is useable.

    Take what I say with a lump of salt though because the Studio was my favorite guitar...until....I got my new Tremonti SE Custom (looks around embarrassingly hoping no one heard me just admit that I prefer a $600 Korean guitar) which just continues to blow my doors off.
    It btw wears an uncovered 59/09 bass squabbin in the neck and another Duncan CC in the bridge. It kicks A$$!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Funny you say the 57/08 is under-powered, I feel the same. I have 2 other guitars equiped with 57/08's in both positions and absolutely love them, but in my Studios the 57/08 felt anemic compared to the NF's. Like you I replaced the covered 57/08, but I went uncovered Bare Knuckle Cold Sweat in one and uncovered 59/09 in the other. I'm thinking about swapping a Tremonti Treble instead of the 59/09, the Tremonti is by far and away my favorite PRS bridge pup. I guess thats why I have 4 Tremontis and a Jackson PC1 with a Tremonti installed.
    2014Private Stock Custom 24,'14 Tremonti Artist,'13 HB II Artist, '11 SC 58 Artist,'10 Private Stock Custom 24,'12 Custom 22 Artist, '12 Tremonti one-off,2007/13 McCarty Korina,'13 408 10Top, '11 Custom24 10Top,'12 DGT w/BK Miracle Man pups,'12 Studio w/BK Cold Sweat,'07/13 Navarro w/BK Cold Sweat pups,'09 Tremonti SE with \m/ pups, EVH 5150 Half stack, Randall Half Stack, Hughs & Kettner TubeMeister, other fiddles beyond counting

  14. #14
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    Hmmm. I hear a lot of great things about the Tremonti bridge pup. I have to confess though, I don't play a lot of high gain stuff and I'm not really a ceramic magnet type of guy (I think the Tremonti bridge pup has a ceramic mag?). I pulled that scooped sounding ceramic magged HFS out of my old CE like the second I got the guitar back in the day.
    I like the Duncan CC cause it's hot and it's an A2.
    I'd love to one day try a BK pup. Hear SO many great things about them.
    The 59/09 in my Tremonti's neck position is probably the best neck pup I've ever had.

    I guess it's time to google and research the Tremonti Treble pup (see what thee mag is and get tonal reviews) and then probably start shopping to see how cheap I can find one for. Thanks a LOT!!! lol.
    Peace.

  15. #15
    Senior Member aduayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaren View Post
    Hmmm. I hear a lot of great things about the Tremonti bridge pup. I have to confess though, I don't play a lot of high gain stuff and I'm not really a ceramic magnet type of guy (I think the Tremonti bridge pup has a ceramic mag?). I pulled that scooped sounding ceramic magged HFS out of my old CE like the second I got the guitar back in the day.
    I like the Duncan CC cause it's hot and it's an A2.
    I'd love to one day try a BK pup. Hear SO many great things about them.
    The 59/09 in my Tremonti's neck position is probably the best neck pup I've ever had.

    I guess it's time to google and research the Tremonti Treble pup (see what thee mag is and get tonal reviews) and then probably start shopping to see how cheap I can find one for. Thanks a LOT!!! lol.
    Peace.
    Totally agree with the 5909 in the neck position. it's awesome. I have it with a Tremonti in the bridge position and it's my favorite combo. I am not a ceramic high output pick up kind of guy either, but I do like the tremonti bridge very much. I has a lot of definition and sounds very good clean too.
    Maybe, you should try those new \m/ pick ups PRS just released. I have a set installed in one of my guitars right now and will test them in a live situation this weekend. I am very curious about how they will compare with the Tremonti combo

  16. #16
    Member jrw32's Avatar
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    I agree to an extent that the 5708 in the bridge is a little underpowered, at least where it's factory height is set. Raising it up a bit does wonders. I also think it has it's own thing going on, and really shines at a low-medium gain for cleanish/vintage chime. When I'm at medium gain and I roll the volume down to about 5 on the bridge PUP, I can pretty much nail a Tele bridge tone. Also, I think being in the bridge position it helps add that nice sparkle to the Stratty quack in the 2nd position. When EQ'd right, it screams under high gain too.

  17. #17
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    Haven't had the pleasure of playing a 408, but I spent a lot of time with the Studio and it actually became my favourite PRS in a lot of ways. The Narrowfields sound spectacular and I actually really liked the 54/08 humbucker, too. I love everything from Daft Punk and Jeff Buckley all the way to the heaviest of metal and for my the Studio copes with that range better than any other guitar I've ever played. Played it through a Diezel Hagen and the lead tones I coaxed out of that humbucker were out of this world. Desperately hope to own one of my own some day!

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