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Thread: 53/10s in an Archtop, and 57/08s in a Hollowbody?

  1. #1
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    53/10s in an Archtop, and 57/08s in a Hollowbody?

    Hey all! I'm kind of a newbie around here but I've owned a PRS or two for over twenty years now. At the moment, among the guitars I'm lucky enough to own, I have a 1999 Archtop Spruce and a Hollowbody II from the same year, neither of which has the piezo option. Recently, I've been lucky enough to find a set of 53/10TMs and a set of 57/08s (etched but without the TM).

    My question is this: which of the two sets of pickups would be the best fit in each guitar?

    If I were to replace the original McCarty Archtops, I'd consider fitting a push/pull (possibly with the new resistor wiring).

    Or do I even need to change the pickups? I like the ones that came in the guitars, but I've played a few newer PRS guitars with DGTs and 57/08s and like what I hear.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    I've got an SC HB Std with 57/08s (and coil taps) and love it. I've got a P22 with 53/10s and love those, as well. I'd love to have another set of the 53/10s. I just got an SC HB II with 57/08s and love the thickness of the tone, but need to add coil taps to make it more versatile. Granted, the SC HBs are thicker and hollow--no center block like the HB.

    The McCarty neck pickup is one of my favorite PRS pickups, but I'm not a huge fan of the bridge version. I think the 57/08 bridge would be a great compliment to the McCarty neck. Try that with the Archtop and throw the 53/10s in the HB II for grins. Let me know what you think.

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    Thanks, Egads. I'm fairly open to suggestions at the moment. I didn't mention it n my previous post but I also have a 2013 Hollowbody II, which has 57/08s, so I was thinking that makes it a good candidate for the 57/08s. On the other hand, perhaps that's a good reason why I should try to make them more different. Then again, a 1999 Hollowbody doesn't have a centre block so it's already a slightly different animal and of course, adding a push/pull would give the guitar three more sounds. I just wonder if one of the pickups is more suited to the Archtop to give it a warm jazz tone.

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    ADP - we seem to have similar tastes; I have a 1999 Archtop II and a 1999 Hollowbody II. Late last year I put 53/10s into the Archtop and posted a long review on various boards but perhaps not here. I've linked it below. Dramatic change for the better; I always felt that the McCarty Archtop pickups were a bit stiff and sterile, so the 53/10s were a big improvement. I've left the HB-II unchanged; if as you say your 2013 HB-11 already has 57/08s then you might leave your 1999 HB-II intact and enjoy the differences. 53/10 in PRS Archtop review at either http://www.vintagerocker.com/forum/s...I-(tone-report) or at http://www.thegearpage.net/board/sho....php?t=1184793 =K (Sorry about the run-on formatting but this software does not want to let me make new paragraphs.)

  5. #5
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    If you do go for the coil taps, don't limit yourself: use a push/pull (or push/push) for the volume pot to tap the neck, and the same for the tone pot to tap the bridge! Some of my favorite tones on the SC HB Std are the full neck and tapped bridge, and visa versa.

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    Thanks for the link to your review, Kiwi. It was interesting to hear your impressions. I really like the sound of the 57/08s in my new Hollowbody II but once I'd put it through its paces, I plugged in my old 1999 Hollowbody to compare the tones and was just as impressed with the sounds that came out of it. Yes, it was totally different - with much pronounced mids - but cool all the same. I might try both the new sets in the Hollowbody II and see which I prefer.

    One thing that I've been surprised by is the variation in 57/08s. I've measured the DC resistance of three different pairs now.

    A non-etched pair came in as follows:
    Bass: 7.6 Treble: 8.45

    The etched pair (57/08TM) in the 2013 Hollowbody II were:
    Bass: 7.98 Treble: 8.76

    But the etched pair I've just bought (57/08 without the TM) are really surprising:
    Bass: 8.79 Treble: 8.81

    These particular ones are gold with nickel screws. I'm not sure what model they came out of. I wonder if there was a mix-up and someone stuck a bass label on a treble pickup or if the model they were fitted to was supposed to have a hot neck pickup. I might drop customer services a line and find out.

    Thanks again for the suggestions, guys.

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    It seems the gold 57/08s came from a Modern Eagle II. I guess the neck pickup is as hot as the bridge to counteract the darkness of the rosewood neck. I'm still surprised though.

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    Hi ADP! If you do put the 53/10īs in the Hollowbody II let us know of the results.

    Thanks in advance.

  9. #9
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    Will do!

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