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Thread: New 408

  1. #1
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    New 408

    I just got a Lemon Drop Maple Top 408 last week and I am loving it.

    I personally play mostly classic rock through Marshall and an EVH iii 50-wt amp. I do know these guitars have fantastic clean tones but I am also interested in what cool settings people have found for higher gain amp setups?

    For example - I have found the bridge pickup has a beautifully wide frequency response, but you really get the full force of it when you have an amp with a bass boost - such as my DSL100. The amount of low end in there is wonderful.

    Also - just like the articulation of the guitar on the cleaner amp settings, you also get nice articulation an gainier settings - a full chord but one where you can hear every note - all perfectly balanced. I love this pickup. If you want even more articulation you can set it on split coil - there is not really a big difference, just a little bit cleaner and more defined.

    I also like the neck pickup on its own - I do not find it to be too thin as some people mentioned to me. I think it has a nice round tone to it.

    I am not too crazy about having both pickups on at the same time - but that is true for me on almost any guitar. I personally hear phases anomalies when I set it up that way, but also the 408 does not have separate volume controls so there isn;t much way to blend the two pickups in the center position.

    I am just wondering if anyone else has noticed these things - or if your amps give you different responses. I am pretty comfortable with my amp & pedal setup with a number of guitars, though, so I feel pretty confident in what I have found.

    It also seems to me the CE24 10-top has a slight more growl to it - I am guessing because of the more "modern" wiring schematic (dual volume & tone pots) -- so I have wondered if anyone has experimented with different caps or resistance values for the pots in the 408 and what you might have found?
    Last edited by cruisemates; 11-05-2013 at 03:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    Without pics, you're playing a Squire... Just sayin'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Egads View Post
    Without pics, you're playing a Squire... Just sayin'.
    I have to be honest and say that as a person with nothing to prove I don't care for the tone of that post coming from a stranger. Is posting a picture kind of rule for newbies around here? If not, I would expect to see some kind of sign that you aren't serious.

    I have pics from a video I just shot of the tone, but in all honesty I was already thinking this forum is a little too focused on "bikini shots" and doesn't have that much talk about the sound, but Just in case that is a rule I will post a shot, but if its just a wisecrack, I hope that means the following conversation immediately becomes more mature. I can always just go back to TGP where I will have 4000 posts by end of day.



    Um, yeah - I checked the rules and here is what it says:

    1. General Forum Conduct and Etiquette


    Our rules are simple: "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything", "treat others as you wish to be treated", etc.


    We're all here for the love of music and instruments. Please treat your fellow forum members with respect and with respect for their opinion, as different as it may be from your own. Any "trolling", personal attacks or unbecoming behavior is against forum rules and won't be tolerated (and it just makes you look bad). We won't agree on everything, but let's not focus on disagreements.


    Be kind!

    I don't see anything about a requirement to post pictures.
    Last edited by cruisemates; 11-05-2013 at 05:14 PM.

  4. #4
    Just a member JustRob's Avatar
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    Thanks for your report on the 408 pickups. I don't have a 408, but I am considering it, so it's good to hear as many opinions as possible. And thank you for the picture. Nice looking guitar.

  5. #5
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    Some people say they like the sound of the Mahogany better. Of course, I got mine used (a 2013 at 25% off) so I didn't have that much choice, but if I was buying new I would listen to both types. People at TGP are also saying they would have liked dual pickup controls as well, so you can blend the two. I don't care about that much, because I am always in one pickup or the other (I guess a lot of people just think two pickups is better than one, I don't).

    By the way - one of the best features of the 408 over the CE24 is the way they preserve the loudness of the guitar no matter what pickup setting you have - (by adding additional coils to the "split" coil to boost the volume). You can easilyu switch tones on this guitar at will with no worries about massive changes in volume. Very versatile for playing live.

    So - the versatility of this guitar is astounding. You can also get a huge variety of tone just depending on how you set your amp. Turn the presence all the way off and dial in something completely different EQ, and then dial the presence back in and it will blow your mind.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    I wanted to see a picture so I could tell you nice looking axe.

    NICE LOOKING AXE. And a Forum TRC?! Win.
    Plank Owner

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    I wanted to see a picture so I could tell you nice looking axe.

    NICE LOOKING AXE. And a Forum TRC?! Win.
    Amps: PRS, Orange, Bogner, 5150 III

    Which of these amps do you like with your PRS? I am currently using a 5150 iii (but I have not yet heard the 408 through it - it is at our rehearsal space). I just heard it through the dsl100 - great sound though. I am thinking about getting a PRS H (MIA) - it sounded really nice.

  8. #8
    Hi cruisemates - I wanted to say a few welcoming and positive words about this forum. I assure you that Egads was just welcoming you in a buddy-kidding way. Like so many here, he's a great guy. I hope you recognize my moniker, as I began participating quite a lot at TGP when it first started (still do), and consider Scott Peterson and Brian Scherzer personal friends. I'm pretty sure I have a boatload of posts there, so...yeah, I like to talk. A lot!

    As someone who has always advocated posting about the tone, the music, etc., as a priority, I understand your concern about the seriousness of the site. But turns out, it's a great site, even for very serious musicians. There is a spectrum here from hobbyists to pro players. If you know me from TGP, you may know that I make my living in music. And no site has more PRS knowledge. PRS personnel participate here often!

    This is a wonderful, welcoming and friendly forum, where a great many members have personal contact, like each other, hang out in real life (again, not mandatory and I haven't had the pleasure of doing that yet either), and enjoy sharing everything about the guitars, including pics because in addition to being great instruments, they're certainly beautiful ones.

    The sharing of pics isn't mandatory at all. It's simply something that folks ask for out of enjoyment. It's just a fun thing that it turns out doesn't detract from the many serious posts. So it's become kind of a tradition to post things like "pics or it didn't happen." Not to worry. Not an insult in any way.

    It's a great site. Enjoy it!
    Last edited by LSchefman; 11-05-2013 at 09:48 PM.
    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
    Senior Member slang05's Avatar
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    We like pics! And it's kind of a running joke around here.."without pics, it didn't happen" kind of a thing! On here we are PRS lovers and like to see what everyone has so we can feel part of the enjoyment of a new guitar day even when it is not our own. And I like "bikini shots" I love to see what everyone has because the workmanship and beauty that goes into a PRS is so far beyond any other guitar manufacture (IMHO). I think it's just cool to see a guitar and to know someone is loving it. And you'll find that the more you are on here the personal relationships become very cool. JFB went out of his way to meet me in St Louis to give me some guitar buying advice and LSchefman was very cool to send me some hard to find info on my Artist V.

    Anyway, as far as your report on tone..URGH! I want a 408! I just have a gut feeling the 408 is one of the best sounding guitars out there. I have a Paul's guitar which is very similar to a 408. A lot of what you are saying is right on with the Paul's guitar. What about tone variations? Can you get a tele or a start tone out of it? Les paul??
    "Just one more and then I promise, no more guitars honey!" - The phrase I say most to my wife

  10. #10
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    Anyway, as far as your report on tone..URGH! I want a 408! I just have a gut feeling the 408 is one of the best sounding guitars out there. I have a Paul's guitar which is very similar to a 408. A lot of what you are saying is right on with the Paul's guitar. What about tone variations? Can you get a tele or a start tone out of it? Les paul??
    It has the same pickups. Somehow the name "Paul" seems fitting to me because the guitar reminds me of a cross between my CE24 and my '93 Les Paul Standard. It sounds more like a PRS, but it has that solid feel of a Les Paul. And with the fat humbucker you the same full tome as Les Paul. Also - the 408 does pinch harmonics BETTER than my Les Paul (whereas my CE24 does not do them very well at all). That says a lot.

    And yes, although I am not much of a tele player, I do think some people compare the 408 to a tele favorably. It has a very clean and tight treble sound that cutting and trebly like a tele. I personally would prefer to have just a little more upper midrange added to the sound (like the CE24) but I would not trade the CE24 for the other sound attributes I get from the 408. Do you know the "growl" a PRS can get a (higher gain) lead solos? I get a touch more of that from the CE24, that emergence of a higher harmonic as a note rings out. It happens on the 408 but the fundamental note is far more prominent. This I chalk up to the more straight-ahead single set of vol/tone control wiring components, opposed to the "modern" circular wiring of four pots where there is actually interaction between all the pots.

    If you have ever taken a Les Paul and wired it so each pickup has completely separate controls (that is more vintage style), instead of the "modern" wiring where both volume pots can turn down either pickup - the former sound more brittle (somewhat like the 408) while the latter sounds more "singing" (upper midrange). That was why I asked if anyone had experimented with different caps or value for pots?

    Still the guitar is so versatile in tone you can really get almost anything you want just in the way you dial in your amp.

    I am not actually a fan of the Strat sound - they always need a ton of gain added to work for the way I play. Now, strats give GREAT clean rhythm, and I while the 408 gets fantastic clean sound, with each note very cleanly articulated, (like a strat does), it is not exactly a Strat sound, it is its own unique sound and it is beautiful.
    Last edited by cruisemates; 11-06-2013 at 09:46 AM.

  11. #11
    The 408 pickups are, to my mind, a brilliant advance in pickup design. They do so many things well.
    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

  12. #12
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    Anyway, as far as your report on tone..URGH! I want a 408! I just have a gut feeling the 408 is one of the best sounding guitars out there. I have a Paul's guitar which is very similar to a 408. A lot of what you are saying is right on with the Paul's guitar. What about tone variations? Can you get a tele or a start tone out of it? Les paul??
    It has the same pickups as Paul's guitar (right?). Somehow the name "Paul" seems fitting to me because the guitar reminds me of a cross between my CE24 and my '93 Les Paul Standard. It sounds more like a PRS, but it has that solid feel of a Les Paul. And with the fat humbucker you can get the same full tone as Les Paul. Also - the 408 does pinch harmonics even BETTER than my Les Paul (whereas my CE24 does not do them very well at all). That says a lot.

    And yes, although I am not much of a tele player, I see some people compare the 408 to a tele favorably. It has a very clean and tight treble sound that cuts like a tele. I personally would prefer to have just a little more upper midrange added to the fundamental bite (like the CE24) but I would not trade the CE24 for the other sound attributes I get from the 408. Do you know the "growl" a PRS can get on (higher gain) lead solos? I get a touch more of that from the CE24, that higher harmonic as a note rings out. It happens on the 408 but the fundamental note is far more prominent. This I chalk up to the more straight-ahead single set of vol/tone control wiring components, as opposed to the more "modern" circular wiring of four pots where there is actually interaction between all the pots.

    If you have ever taken a Les Paul and wired it so each pickup has completely separate controls (that is more vintage style), instead of the "modern" wiring where either volume pots can turn down both pickups - the former sound more brittle (somewhat like the 408) while the latter sounds more "singing" (upper midrange). That was why I asked if anyone had experimented with different caps or value for pots?

    Still the guitar is so versatile in tone you can really get almost anything you want just in the way you dial in your amp.
    Last edited by cruisemates; 11-06-2013 at 10:18 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    The 408 pickups are, to my mind, a brilliant advance in pickup design. They do so many things well.
    I agree - also (to you) As far as pics go - I have no problem with them, but unfortunately since I always buy used and so I don't really get that much choice.

  14. #14
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    Hi I recieved my - flawless - used 408 standard tobacco sunburst last week. I play in a coverband that plays everything from Classic rock to punk over some funk. I first had a Hagstrom Swede nice humbucking sound, but not so hot output. A local dealer sold out some PRS se ONE for a third of listed price. Very very happy and that became my main gutar. Sold off the Hagström and another guitar and bought a used PRS SE Soapbar - more versatile I thought, but not the sound and versatility that I was looking for. Browsed the internet and found PRS 408 - priced very well and bought it. At last the ultimate guitarsound - I Think. Pretty hot pickups. I have set it on humbucking - neck and single coil - bridge. The humbucking sound is perfect for rythm guitar - great string separation. The sound just add something to the other instrumensts tone that makes it a very nice overall sound. Itīs hard to explain but I hope you understand. When I take a lead I switch to the bridge single coil pick up and the tones - frequence go through the other instruments - in a nice way - withot me having to raise the gain to much. The middle postion I use whenever I want a different - maybe little more warm funkie sound. Overall I donīt know if itīs a Gibson sound or a fender sound. I only hear a nice sound - maybe the PRS sound. My main amp is sent away for some service so I have only played through a Vox VR (EQ 12 o'clock) but sounded very very good. Looking forward playing it through my Vox NT 50. Regards Sorry I canīt post a pic (IPAD no pc or mac)

  15. #15
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    I found pretty much the same settings - the full bridge humbucker for heavy rhythm and leads, but take it split coil if you want the leads to cut through a little more. With both pickups you almost "have to" put one of them on split (I prefer to do neck on split). But for a round mellow sound I do just the full neck humbucker.

    I think that "if" you wanted to approximate a Strat tone you could try both pickups with the bridge tapped. But the tones remind me more of the CE24 coil taps than Strat 2 & 4 positions, and as you said the BEST part is no volume loss. That was the most ingenious part of the design over the CE24. Of course when you have it you take it for granted, but if they had not done it this guitar would not be as spectacular as it is.

  16. #16
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisemates View Post
    Amps: PRS, Orange, Bogner, 5150 III

    Which of these amps do you like with your PRS? I am currently using a 5150 iii (but I have not yet heard the 408 through it - it is at our rehearsal space). I just heard it through the dsl100 - great sound though. I am thinking about getting a PRS H (MIA) - it sounded really nice.
    I like the 408's through all of my amps. Shiva EL34 with verb, Uberschall Twin Jet and 5150 III if I had to pick just three.
    Plank Owner

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    ^^^ in that order?

    Actually, Like I said I just tried a PRS H amp ( =C= and a greenback, 12ax7 and 12au7 pres) and I really liked the sound of it. I was thinking about picking it up.

  18. #18
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisemates View Post
    ^^^ in that order?

    Actually, Like I said I just tried a PRS H amp ( =C= and a greenback, 12ax7 and 12au7 pres) and I really liked the sound of it. I was thinking about picking it up.
    I have been playing the Shiva and 5150 III equal amounts I'd say. The Twin Jet doesn't get much time.
    Plank Owner

  19. #19
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    Sorry to have set you off over a poke. As stated above it was meant as a friendly greeting and a desire to see your new guitar. No insult was implied or intended.

    Your guitar IS hot! Congrats on the 408. And, welcome to the forum.

  20. #20
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Bangin' lookin' 408! Congrats!



    Quote Originally Posted by cruisemates View Post
    I can always just go back to TGP where I will have 4000 posts by end of day.
    Yeah... but most of 'em will be posts about how they played one at GC once for 20 min. and it had no "mojo".

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