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Thread: Replacement pups for 2010 PRS CU24

  1. #1
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    Replacement pups for 2010 PRS CU24

    I have a custom 24 I bought used. I am not sure what the pups are, but I read that they should be HFS/VB.


    I don't hate the sound, but after playing the guitar for a few months, I am coming to the conclusion that I would prefer a more vintage, less hot sound, more like my 71 Les Paul custom. Nice, round, mellow but clear. The PRS pups sound a bit flat on the one hand, and overly bright and biting on the other. Again, I can get a good sound from them, or I would never have bought the guitar, but compared to my tele, LP, strats, they seem less colorful and harsher. I don't want them to sound exactly like a vintage axe, just a bit less harsh and mellower. I am mostly concerned with getting a nice clean country/blues/jazz tone. I find I can enjoy distortion just fine with low output pups, except shred, which I rarely play.


    I have heard lollers, fralins and wolftones is other guitars, and loved them. I have not heard bare knuckles, but I see they are very popular, paticularly in PRS's.


    Others I see mentioned are SD Antiquities and DiMarzio 36 Ann PAF. Btw, I want to change both the neck and bridge.


    Just looking for experiences, opinions, suggestions.

  2. #2
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    I don't think you can go wrong with a set of 57/08's or 59/09's if you're looking for vintage tones. I have both sets and I can't decide which I like better.

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    Senior Member slev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS View Post
    I don't think you can go wrong with a set of 57/08's or 59/09's if you're looking for vintage tones. I have both sets and I can't decide which I like better.
    A big +1 to this...I put 59/09s in an older CU24 and it was fantastic. I can't say enough good things about the 57/08s either, love the one in the bridge position of my studio. The 36th Ann. PAFs are pretty nice as well and will be cheaper and easier to get your hands on than a set of 57/08s (59/09s are still available from PRS and others) but the 5x/0x series pickups just have that "something" that gives them the edge to my ear.
    Gear: Fender, PRS, Orange, Budda

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    I heard the 5x/0x series cost like $200 each. If that is the case, I'd rather stick with a pair that is @ $300 or less, since there are enough great options at that price point and below. If the 5x/0x can be had cheaper I might try them- guess I would go to GC and play a PRS that has them.

  5. #5
    Senior Member gush's Avatar
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    My cu24 has 5909s, they are very good pups. Rolling them back to 9 on vol pot produces very nice classic tones. 5708s are on my wish list but are impossible to obtain at a reasonable price. MTC

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    all the PRS 5x/0x pickups get rave reviews, so that's where you should go if you're looking to stay within PRS perimeters. SD Antiquities are very popular, but there's also some other vintage output ones like the Whole Lotta Humbucker set. The Slash set also sounds cool. For Dimarzios, it's always the 36th Anniv. PAF that grabs the attention. The (Eric Johnson) EJ Custom and Air Classic also sounds classic. For a more bright/singlecoil-y sound, you can take a look at the Bluesbucker and the HFH too.

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    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that all the super distortion hot humbucker was designed to mimmick the sound of PAFs at very high volumes for lower volumes at clubs or at home for example You can try using less preamp distortion on the amp with hotter pickups and turn up the master volume.Try to put the HFS/Vintage combo in a Les Paul and they will sound different.So many factors involved here.Im not a believer in the magic of changing pickups but of course they will sound a little different.Look at the Grissom model,he thought the custom model sounded too thin and wanted a thicker body.
    Last edited by swede71; 09-02-2013 at 11:50 AM.
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  8. #8
    It's my honest feeling that the 57/08s are perhaps the best sounding PAF style pickups out there for a PRS guitar.

    Yes, there are other good ones on the market, but these were voiced for PRS guitars with their unique sonic characteristics. So I would at least try them at a store before investing in a "one size fits all" pickup. In the long run, the extra $100 or so you'd spend is a drop in the bucket, compared to the satisfaction you might have with them.

    But as I said, play them first.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by swede71 View Post
    Keep in mind that all the super distortion hot humbucker was designed to mimmick the sound of PAFs at very high volumes for lower volumes at clubs or at home for example You can try using less preamp distortion on the amp with hotter pickups and turn up the master volume.Try to put the HFS/Vintage combo in a Les Paul and they will sound different.So many factors involved here.Im not a believer in the magic of changing pickups but of course they will sound a little different.Look at the Grissom model,he thought the custom model sounded too thin and wanted a thicker body.
    Some of what you say is true, but I generally don't agree. The hfs/vb do not sound anything like "...the sound of PAFs at very high volumes for lower volumes..." And pickups can make a very dramatic chaange in a guitars tone, in my experience.

    Obviously, I have played the guitar at all the different tone/volume/pu configuration settings. I have a few guitars, have played for 35 years, including professionally, and I know how they work, and how many different variables effect tone.

    @LShefman: I will checkmout some 57/08s but not sure they are even available, and I doubt they are any better then other aftermarket options. The hff/vbs are supposedly voiced for the CU24, and a lot of good that did...

    Thanks for suggestions, so far. I will also check out some of those other SD's.
    Last edited by srmd22; 09-02-2013 at 12:46 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Im convinced the guitarmodel is not the right one for you srmd22 .Instead of buying new pickups,check out some other models and perhaps do a trade.
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by swede71 View Post
    Im convinced the guitarmodel is not the right one for you srmd22 .Instead of buying new pickups,check out some other models and perhaps do a trade.
    Not sure what you are basing your opinion on, but you are way wrong. Way, way wrong. I love the guitar, just want to tweak the tone a bit. I like tHe resonance, 24 fret neck, light weight, neck feel, mostly everything about this guitar. Also, the tone is not bad, I would keep it as is. But I know I can improve it consideraby, for my tastes. This is not a new concept, hello? I sure won't be the first to swap out the hfs/vb pips, according to what I have been reading.
    Last edited by srmd22; 09-02-2013 at 01:08 PM. Reason: spelling

  12. #12
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    ...at least go check out a CU24 with 59/09s
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  13. #13
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    I definitely will hit GC and try to find one.

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    Going with the wolfetones! Lollers were 2nd place runner up.

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    update: finally put some wolfetones in there - it was the right choice for me. I mean....HUGELY the right choice. Oh good golly holy smoking whoa whoa whoa-- I really love the way they sound. I had low expectations, as the HFS/VB were growing on me, and I didn't think the difference would be that huge - after all, pickups are just one ingredient in the stew of materials and hardware that affect the final tone. Well, screw that, pick ups make a HUGE difference, and in this case, for my tastes (you know, standard ymmv caveat here) a WAY better result. I am over the moon with these wolfetones.

    Except I ended up with an out of phase middle position, which is another story- I posted about that in the tech section, for any interested in the beginning of that adventure. So right now I have a superb neck position tone, and smokin' bridge tone, and an... interesting... middle position sound. Split coils sound great, btw.
    Last edited by srmd22; 12-31-2013 at 10:32 PM. Reason: learning how to spell and type with my thumbs

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