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Thread: Pickups Question

  1. #1
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    Pickups Question

    I have a PRS SE 24TH Anniversary Custom 24 and I love the feel an sound of it,
    but the stock pickups (SE HFS Treble Humbucker and SE Vintage Bass Humbucker)
    are too weak for metal. However, I love the tonal characteristics I get from
    playing this guitar like the articulation from the chords. I
    would like to retain the tonal characteristics I get from the current setup, but
    upgrade to pickups with a stronger signal for metal style music. I was wondering
    if I should upgrade to a higher quality brand of PRS pickup? Or if I choose
    another brand, like Bare Knuckle, would I sacrifice the PRS tonal
    characteristics for a stronger signal? Thanks guys.

  2. #2
    Narrowfield Pickup Fan HANGAR18's Avatar
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    \m/ pickups for playing Heavy Metal.
    http://www.prsaccessories.com/collec...s/metal-pickup

    You'll probably have to ask a teckie if you have to also change the pots and caps or not.
    MEGADETH - METALLICA - JUDAS PRIEST - IRON MAIDEN - SLAYER - BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - TED NUGENT - AC/DC - TWISTED SISTER - KISS - CHEAP TRICK - ZZ TOP

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    Thanks for replying. I've looked at those pickups, they look pretty nice. I guess my follow up question is, will my guitar still sound like a PRS if I install a different brand of pickup? I love the "PRS" tone that is so clear and vibrant, I just need a stronger signal from my pickups.

  4. #4
    My name be scrambled ElrytNamrogo's Avatar
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    There is no doubt that the articulation you're after will remain with the \m/ pickups. A lot of that tonal character also lies in the build of the guitar. The maple top, for instance, gives the guitar the bright top end....so you're not changing that part. From the videos I have seen with the \m/ pickups, these sound very articulate when played clean and can BOOM when driven. They're also great on the low end because they retain a tight bass response - perfect for fast, low-end metal riffs.

    I browsed the Bare Knuckles for a while when I was modding my Singlecut SE, and even though I don't play metal, I was looking for something with similar output and response. I decided on the Rebel Yells, which ended up being great for what I was looking for but I would definitely put it in a different sound catagory than PRS pickups. I will say if it's the "PRS sound" you're looking for, you won't find it in Bare Knuckle....they're great pickups, but kind of their own breed.

    There were some videos posted on a couple of threads here, but I'm sure you could find plenty on various websites by now, I'd recommend searching for sound clips of the \m/ pickups, probably right up your alley.
    Last edited by ElrytNamrogo; 01-14-2014 at 02:57 PM.
    --Tyler G--
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  5. #5
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    My personal experience is that changing pickups will in fact change the tonal characteristics of the guitar. It's the main reason people change pickups and why there are so many different aftermarket types available. If you love the tone of the guitar you may well be disappointed, especially in that higher output pickups tend to diminish all of the things you are saying you like most about the tome of the instrument at the expense of output.

    That being said, I've not used the \m/ pickups myself, so perhaps they do manage to retain the clear, vibrant, articulate tone of the guitar and I am sure others with more experience can chime in on that. But my own experience with other high output types makes me think it unlikely. Personally, I have been moving to lower output pickups and using a clean boost when playing heavier styles so that I am not locked into the less dynamic sound of the high output pickups all the time.

  6. #6
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    That's a good idea, maybe just put a pedal in front of my amp to boost the signal a little bit. Another question I have is are the SE HFS Treble Humbucker and SE Vintage Bass Humbucker any good? Would it be worth upgrading to something better than SE versions?

  7. #7
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    The SE pickups are made by a company called G&B Pickups, they're korean, so i guess that can tell you how much about their quality. They're pretty decent, in fact I find them to be the best stock pickups out there for import guitars. They do give you around 70-80% of "that PRS sound", so it's up to you whether you wanted to change them or not. You could drop in the USA HFS/VB pickups if you wanted to retain the original sound, with added transparency.

    I had the SE pickups pulled from my SE Custom about a year ago. I was looking for tighter bass response and wanted bright-sounding pickups. I dropped in Dimarzio D Activators and couldn't be more happier with the metal tones as well as the twangy cleans. However, sometimes when I drop by at my nearest PRS dealer, I pick up and SE Custom and play it, I do miss that original sound sometimes. Just sometimes. They're just that great for stock pickups. So, go figure.

    If you want a clear comparison between the SE HFS/VB with the USA HFS/VB, here you go!


  8. #8
    Senior Member ViperDoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtuna26 View Post
    The SE pickups are made by a company called G&B Pickups, they're korean, so i guess that can tell you how much about their quality. They're pretty decent, in fact I find them to be the best stock pickups out there for import guitars. They do give you around 70-80% of "that PRS sound", so it's up to you whether you wanted to change them or not. You could drop in the USA HFS/VB pickups if you wanted to retain the original sound, with added transparency.

    I had the SE pickups pulled from my SE Custom about a year ago. I was looking for tighter bass response and wanted bright-sounding pickups. I dropped in Dimarzio D Activators and couldn't be more happier with the metal tones as well as the twangy cleans. However, sometimes when I drop by at my nearest PRS dealer, I pick up and SE Custom and play it, I do miss that original sound sometimes. Just sometimes. They're just that great for stock pickups. So, go figure.

    If you want a clear comparison between the SE HFS/VB with the USA HFS/VB, here you go!

    Nice video!

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