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Thread: 311 Tim Mahoney SE Pickup Swap opinion? usa model anyone?

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    311 Tim Mahoney SE Pickup Swap opinion? usa model anyone?

    i swapped the pickups for alnico pro II in the neck and the JB model in the bridge........they are better in some ways than the se pickups but in some ways the se pickups are better than the real deal. I think the overall 311 sound is presented better in the tim mahoney ses'???? but the real pickups have better harmonics, control, sustain bass..... but there is something missing that the SE's had. Maybe its because there is still way cheap ass string job on my guitar. Im going to put the rps ernie ball on it tomorrow and see if it actually stays in tune. If it doesn't stay in tune I have a problem....

    is there any word on an actual Tim M. Protoype or actual usa model anyone know? i would really like to have a real prs.

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    Junior Member TopRamen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gishlullmoon View Post
    i swapped the pickups for alnico pro II in the neck and the JB model in the bridge........they are better in some ways than the se pickups but in some ways the se pickups are better than the real deal. I think the overall 311 sound is presented better in the tim mahoney ses'???? but the real pickups have better harmonics, control, sustain bass..... but there is something missing that the SE's had. Maybe its because there is still way cheap ass string job on my guitar. Im going to put the rps ernie ball on it tomorrow and see if it actually stays in tune. If it doesn't stay in tune I have a problem....

    is there any word on an actual Tim M. Protoype or actual usa model anyone know? i would really like to have a real prs.
    Howdy! Unfortunately, as it's costly, the only way to get a USA made Tim Mahoney standard 24 is through the Private Stock program. As far as pickups I think Tim uses Arcane and Tom Holmes, the Bogner Uberschall and Diamond phantom play a bigger part of his sound I think. Here is my TM PS headstock.....


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    maybe you can put in the USA HFS/VB, it'll sound more transparent than the SE HFS/VB, if that is what you think was missing in the stock pickups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtuna26 View Post
    maybe you can put in the USA HFS/VB, it'll sound more transparent than the SE HFS/VB, if that is what you think was missing in the stock pickups.
    Solid advise.

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    hey topramen, i private messaged you with questions about the guitar, thanks for the advise guys...i put new strings on but still havent tried it through my rectifier yet. i just wish there was a way i could get them to make me a prs usa model through private stock......i tried asking my store about a usa model and they said there was a prototype but they acted like that was that. I didnt ask them though is i could get one through private stock....

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    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtuna26 View Post
    maybe you can put in the USA HFS/VB, it'll sound more transparent than the SE HFS/VB, if that is what you think was missing in the stock pickups.
    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    Solid advise.
    Fo shizzle. That PS is bad ass too.

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    i must admit i don't know much about guitars and pickups...... is the tim mahoney se pickups, are they made specificly for his tone+ that guitar, or are they a standard type of pcikups that prs sells for all prs guitars??? the reason i ask is i don't really want to go to my store and beg themfor tim mahoney usa model pcikups, it would be easier to get an easier avaible type of usa pickup...... so i guess what im asking is is the prs se tim mahoney pickups modeled for hios tone or are they for all kinds of se's? and what kind of pickups are in the tim M usa model?

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    maybe i should keep the stock since they are so balnced, the seymore duncans are noisey, and do not sound like the records at all, the se pickups sound like the cds...... they sound kind like the overall combination of prs+gibson sound of 311 where as the seymour sounds like just the prs. If anyone knows if the usa pickups sound balanced like the se please tell all, i will pour the coffee....heck just tell me about them

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    PRS SE HFS/VB found in the SE TM are made in Korea by a company called G&B Pickups, based on specs provided by Paul to emulate 70-80% of the USA HFS/VB pickups' sound. If anything, the SE pickups sound less transparent than the USA ones, which for some is a big deal while for others, it's not. It's really up to you, Tim's been using the USA HFS/VB ever since he started using the Standard 24s. While the SE's are not the real deal, they're pretty good. I've tried them personally and I couldn't imagine swapping them for any others, they just fit very well in the all-hog body, tonewise.

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    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtuna26 View Post
    PRS SE HFS/VB found in the SE TM are made in Korea by a company called G&B Pickups, based on specs provided by Paul to emulate 70-80% of the USA HFS/VB pickups' sound. If anything, the SE pickups sound less transparent than the USA ones, which for some is a big deal while for others, it's not. It's really up to you, Tim's been using the USA HFS/VB ever since he started using the Standard 24s. While the SE's are not the real deal, they're pretty good. I've tried them personally and I couldn't imagine swapping them for any others, they just fit very well in the all-hog body, tonewise.
    Agreed. You can probably pick up a used set of USA HFS/VB at a pretty reasonable price. They do sound great in an all mahogany guitar IMO. They are what came in Tim's guitar stock. Who knows if he's changed them out over the years, but they are likely the pickups you'd hear on the albums that came out when he started using PRS. That said, album tones are somewhat hard to discern because a player is using multiple amps, mics and multitracking parts most of the time. Not to mention mixing all that and mastering. The end result is often a rather "produced" sound by comparison of the raw guitar tracks. But...the HFS/VB combo is the place to start.

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    i ll have to pickup some hfs vb pickups usa. now all i need is some locking tuners... will phase III tuners fit tim mahoney SE? anyone know if they fit ses in general i plan to pickup the tremonti and billy martin.......maybe a navarro and musok in the future. if they don't can you guys recommend a good locking tuners? ive never used locks, do they actually work? do they stay in tune no matter how much you play or use tremolo, like those custom 24 floyds? i want that purple one!

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    The phase IIIs will require some filling and drilling to fit in, the screw position is different. I'm not entirely sure but that's just my guess here, I think the phase IIs will be direct drop-in tuners. Other than PRS tuners, I've always heard good comments on Grover 406c and the Schaller M6 or something like that. Not sure about Gotohs though, but they're pretty good as well. I personally think locking tuners are overkill on stoptails, apart from making restringing efforts easier, they don't really improve tuning stability by that much. Are you sure you really need them or just wanted to mod them for modding's sake? I think on the floyd custom, with the locking nuts, there's no need for locking tuners as the locking nut will lock down the strings and all that's behind the nut doesn't matter anymore.
    Last edited by maxtuna26; 01-19-2014 at 11:35 PM.

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    i just really need something to make my tim M to say in tune it goes out of tune as so as i play it, so is there anything i can buy to make it stay in tune??? have it installed by someone.....? you say those tuners dont make it stay in tune??? forgive me but whats the purpose than????!! im about ready to take it to my shop but i dont want to get sucked into buying something that is a ripoff

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    This is just basic restring knowledge, you need to stretch the strings right after restringing so that the strings don't stretch loose when you play Gilmour-esque bends. There's really no need for locking tuners for stoptails as the string doesn't move around drastically like when you're playing with a whammy bar, they're just there for easy restringing.

    Here's a useful guide to manual string locking technique and stretching strings. It taught me how to restring my guitars without locking tuners.
    I know the video quality is crap, but the lesson gets through perfectly. Enjoy.


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    I've kept a pulse on all of Tim's gear since becoming a huge fan of his in the '90s.

    AFAIK, Tim has almost always used third party pickups. For many years all his guitars were loaded with Duncan JB in bridge and Alnico Pro in the neck. That combination should give you his sound from any albums recorded roughly eight years ago or before.

    His first switch from a JB was a very short experiment with the Dimebucker. That was gone quick, and then he began using other third party pickups not from Seymour Duncan. What models exactly I'm not sure, and it's entirely possible he's switched back to an HFS/VB combo, but I doubt it.

    If I can make a suggestion, try a SD Alternative 8. It's a souped-up JB with even more output. All my guitars have been loaded with them for a few years now.

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    i reallly only want the tone for the music to transistor albums.... so should i just stick with the hfs and vb you think? i dont think im going to go with the usa ones after all, i think they wouldn't work right because they weren't specificly made for the guitar.........i just have that feeling after play the duncans......which if you were saying they were for albums after transistor its no wonder i thought they were horrible. Other people on other forums told me it was the classic sound.......i dont know who or what is right, but the hfs vb pretty much nailed it i was just looking for something even better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtuna26 View Post
    The phase IIIs will require some filling and drilling to fit in, the screw position is different. I'm not entirely sure but that's just my guess here, I think the phase IIs will be direct drop-in tuners. Other than PRS tuners, I've always heard good comments on Grover 406c and the Schaller M6 or something like that. Not sure about Gotohs though, but they're pretty good as well. I personally think locking tuners are overkill on stoptails, apart from making restringing efforts easier, they don't really improve tuning stability by that much. .
    you are saying do not buy locking tuners right? are you defintely sure it woulldn't improve the tuning of the guitar........... forget learning how to restring i id rather buy something and get it over with???? locking tuners wont work?! wtf anybody else agree with maxtuna is he right about locking tuners on the tim mahoney? im not saying he is wrong i just want to make sure locking tuners either work or dont

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    It's a very subjective thing here. Some people think locking tuners are essential for tuning improvements while some others (like me) don't really feel the need for it. It's really down to you, whether you think you need it or not. It's not that locking tuners won't work, they will, but personally I find that it's overkill on a stoptail since you don't play around with a whammy bar and the string doesn't "move" around too much, so there's no need for a locking mechanism to hold the strings tight, you can do the locking with the restringing technique, which I personally think, is more than enough to keep it tight around the tuning posts.

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