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Thread: 57/08 TM VS early 57/08..any diffrence ?

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    Junior Member Tree's Avatar
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    57/08 TM VS early 57/08..any diffrence ?

    Hello Everybody..I noticed some earlier 57/08 pickups are not marked " tm " trademark...so I was wondering is there a sonic difference in the early production 57/08 vs 57/08 trade mark...did prs tweek them then throw the trademark on them ?..yes I have a tendency to pick it to it bleeds..sorry lol

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    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    I'd like to know also... I bought mine secondhand and the seller said they were an early set, in fact he claimed they were a prototype set. And we were on the internet, so it must be true . In all seriousness though, he was a great seller and I have no reason not to believe him. They are unetched, and there are rumors out there that the unetched sets are a little hotter, or have some extra ground up unicorn horn in them, or something. Whether they're any different or not, I love mine...

    but I wouldn't turn down the info.
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE 30 Head/Cab

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    Junior Member Tree's Avatar
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    andy474x..so you have them in gtr now ?..you never had a chance to a-b them w another guitar that has the trademark version ?...hopefully some people who know what we are talking about will chime here..any prs factory workers here ? lol

  4. #4
    I have the unetched version on my 2008 Blueberry 57/08ltd CU24. Compared to my other CU24 which has the HFS/VB combo they definitely have a weaker output and are a bit brighter, punchier and very dynamic. Neck 57/08 is bit warmer and muddier than the VB also.

    They do sound great but I am struggling to get used to them. Probably because I mainly play Hi Gain and am used to EMG's I also play through a Mesa Mark IV so maybe they are suited a bit better to a more vintage sounding rig.

    I heard the earlier ones were less consistent that the TM versions but who knows really!? Would be nice to have some info...........

    Sparkles

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    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tree View Post
    andy474x..so you have them in gtr now ?..you never had a chance to a-b them w another guitar that has the trademark version ?...hopefully some people who know what we are talking about will chime here..any prs factory workers here ? lol
    Yes, I have them in my SE Akesson, but I haven't had the opportunity to A/B them with another set. I did play a SC58 with the etched version pickups about a month ago, but it was in a shop and I didn't have my axe on hand for comparison. I did play through a familiar amp, and I would guesstimate the output of both versions were about the same. But as far as other characteristics, the guitars are different enough that it's hard to say. Though I will say that that both sounded great!
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE 30 Head/Cab

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    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparklesmcgraw View Post
    I have the unetched version on my 2008 Blueberry 57/08ltd CU24. Compared to my other CU24 which has the HFS/VB combo they definitely have a weaker output and are a bit brighter, punchier and very dynamic. Neck 57/08 is bit warmer and muddier than the VB also.

    They do sound great but I am struggling to get used to them. Probably because I mainly play Hi Gain and am used to EMG's I also play through a Mesa Mark IV so maybe they are suited a bit better to a more vintage sounding rig.

    I heard the earlier ones were less consistent that the TM versions but who knows really!? Would be nice to have some info...........

    Sparkles
    I've never gotten a satisfactory sound with my 57/08 SC245 and my Mark IV. Decent high gain tones with a different setup, but never quite got the Mark IV to work.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post
    I've never gotten a satisfactory sound with my 57/08 SC245 and my Mark IV. Decent high gain tones with a different setup, but never quite got the Mark IV to work.
    Very interesting indeed. I just thought the pickups werent as great as I kept reading. Guess I need to get myself a new amp........oh well

    Might have something to do with the dynamic nature of the Mk IV. Maybe it is just sensitivity overload!


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    Senior Member Whitecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparklesmcgraw View Post
    so maybe they are suited a bit better to a more vintage sounding rig.
    Bingo! If I was doing high-gain the 59/09s would be better, and I guess the \m/s better still although I've not tried the latter yet. Even an HFS/VB setup would be far more suited to loud, I'd imagine.
    HBII (faded gray black 'double' 10-top), HB12 (black gold), NF3 (antique white/birds), 25th ann. Mira 245 (frost blue metallic), KL1812, Starla (vintage cherry, IRW neck, birds), 2011 'Stripped' 58 (goldtop)

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    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    At first I was very disappointed with the sound of my 57/08TM pickups, but after adjusting the height and tweaking with my amp and fx chain, I love these pups.

    Sorry I cannot directly add to the OP's fund of useful knowledge, but I'd at least like to chime in with my assessment of my own 57/08s in my own HBII: they are low-output pickups, very dynamically sensitive and full-bodied. With a responsive amp at the edge of breakup, these pickups are especially rewarding for their sensitivity and dynamics (IMHO, of course); in some setups the pups can sound quite dark, especially with the volume down quite a bit (and particularly compared to PRS's own "post-2007"-style wired guitars (which thew Hollowbody II is not)), but given the circuit and the guitar, I find it a rewarding pickup of great character and tone, sweet and dirty-sounding in turn (or at once, delightfully, particularly in some Blues styles), depending on use and context.

    I would love to A/B the originals with my TMs in a similar guitar; I would love even more a set of 53/10s (in an appropriate PRS model), which -from their reputation- are a bit sweeter in their upper range than the 57/08s (!). Can anyone comment on this?

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    According to one poster here a while ago, the pickups haven't changed since they were introduced. He suggested that the engraving on the covers was only a cosmetic difference to identify the pickups. At the same time, I've measured the DC resistance of a few sets of 57/08s, 59/09s, 53/10s and DGTs and there's usually quite some difference from pickup to pickup. I would have thought there'd be more consistency in them.

    The lowest output 57/08s I've seen were unetched (neck 7.6KΩ, bridge 8.45KΩ) but a set of etched 57/08s (without the TM) came in at 8.8KΩ each. Two sets of 59/09s measured just over 8KΩ for the neck and 9KΩ for the bridge, which is very different from the official figures in the PRS store. A couple of sets of 57/08TMs were just under 8KΩ for the neck and around 8.75KΩ for the bridge.

    Based on that admittedly relatively small sample, I've come to think that the engraving/etching is no real indication of the output. Of course, DC resistance is only one way to measure a pickup but it does show that there is a degree of variation between them.

  11. #11
    Junior Member TheRockGuitarGuy's Avatar
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    I had an older PRS with the 57/08s and now I have a new guitar with the TM version. I played 57/08s live for years. There has been about an 18 month absence of those pickups in my arsenal. While I cannot directly A/B the guitars, I have found no discernible difference in tone, attack, clarity, etc. Keep in mind, that I'm basing it all on memory BUT the pickups sound as spectacular as I remember. I love them! I played my newest PRS with my band and the response was, "that's the tone I remember" ... so my bandmates even recognized the familiarity.
    "To me, you have 12 notes to work with, and whatever configuration you use is up to you." Edward Van Halen

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    I would love to A/B the originals with my TMs in a similar guitar; I would love even more a set of 53/10s (in an appropriate PRS model), which -from their reputation- are a bit sweeter in their upper range than the 57/08s (!). Can anyone comment on this?
    With guitar pickups, it's important to realize that every guitar sounds slightly different, and this will definitely mask the differences between pickups. In fact, the volume and tone pots in any two guitars won't have the exact same spec, they're notoriously inexact. And even well-produced pickups can sound a little different from one another.

    Really the only way to tell between similar pickups is to put them in the same guitar. I believe that our forum member CRGuitar is done this, and may have recorded them.

    I've had both the 57/08s and the 53/10s in recent Singlecut models, both with 24.5 inch scale length and two piece bridges. The two 57/08 TM guitars sound different, by the way, and my guess is it hasn't much to do with the pickups.

    The 53/10s have a more percussive attack, and a different frequency response that I hear as fuller in the low midrange, and a bit sweeter on top. They're very balanced sounding and most excellent if you can find them.
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    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    With guitar pickups, it's important to realize that every guitar sounds slightly different, and this will definitely mask the differences between pickups. In fact, the volume and tone pots in any two guitars won't have the exact same spec, they're notoriously inexact. And even well-produced pickups can sound a little different from one another.

    Really the only way to tell between similar pickups is to put them in the same guitar. I believe that our forum member CRGuitar is done this, and may have recorded them.

    I've had both the 57/08s and the 53/10s in recent Singlecut models, both with 24.5 inch scale length and two piece bridges. The two 57/08 TM guitars sound different, by the way, and my guess is it hasn't much to do with the pickups.

    The 53/10s have a more percussive attack, and a different frequency response that I hear as fuller in the low midrange, and a bit sweeter on top. They're very balanced sounding and most excellent if you can find them.
    Thanks so much for your response. I know that individual guitars and their vagaries in circuitry tolerances and so forth will make a difference in the sound of the full system (including the capacitance of the cable used and such seeming minutiae)... but I for one am keeping my sweet little "slash" pups right where they are; I love them so!

    A more percussive attack, you say? I suppose that a nicely saggy amp could help my own playing style with that (which I see as a slight drawback) but in any case they sound as though they are wonderful pickups.

    ...Oh, and you referred to having two machines with the 57/08s; were these both SCs done in the same woods, or in two SCs made somewhat differently (woods and such), or in different models, different scale length, or...?
    Last edited by Felix; 03-19-2014 at 08:53 AM.

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    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    There are at least 4 different versions of the 57/08's...this came directly from a PRS employee.

    I have had 3 of the 4. The early unetched 57/08's are closer to the very early McCarty's to my ear than any other pickup...strike me as more rounded and mellow when in full humbucker and can get a very warm strat like tone when split. The etched 57/08's versions that I have tried can rip your face off...very bright and much more aggressive...I had a set of these in a Ted...I also played one of Martysnarf's guitars with a similar set....the 57/08TM's are much more balanced...I believe these are the set that Paul finally decided were the ones. I can't remember the 4th version...nor do I have direct experience with them.
    -Bob

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    Thanks so much for your response. I know that individual guitars and their vagaries in circuitry tolerances and so forth will make a difference in the sound of the full system (including the capacitance of the cable used and such seeming minutiae)... but I for one am keeping my sweet little "slash" pups right where they are; I love them so!

    A more percussive attack, you say? I suppose that a nicely saggy amp could help my own playing style with that (which I see as a slight drawback) but in any case they sound as though they are wonderful pickups.

    ...Oh, and you referred to having two machines with the 57/08s; were these both SCs done in the same woods, or in two SCs made somewhat differently (woods and such), or in different models, different scale length, or...?
    Between the two SC245s with the 57/08s, the only difference was a Braz fingerboard on one. Whether that's significant enough a difference to explain the slightly different tones between the two is anyone's guess.

    I've also had a set of 57/08s in a limited production model, the CU22 Semihollow Ltd. As you'd expect, they sounded different in that model.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 03-19-2014 at 09:25 AM.
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    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Between the two SC245s with the 57/08s, the only difference was a Braz fingerboard on one. Whether that's significant enough a difference to explain the slightly different tones between the two is anyone's guess.

    I've also had a set of 57/08s in a limited production model, the CU22 Semihollow Ltd. As you'd expect, they sounded different in that model.
    There seems to be a lot a variation on these pickups, in output and sonic character. Obviously the guitar they are in and its circuit topology will make a huge difference to the tone achieved, but still, it is interesting to wonder just how much variation is allowed in the winding process.

    Also, does anyone know if these pups are scatter-wound? My local rep said that PRS had found that the way the pups were wound was more important to "good tone" than the variations in the wire's characteristics which give it its initial "year" designation (though the wire's characteristics definitely have noticeable effects), referring specifically to scatter-winding. From this I infer that PRS is using a process which causes the pups to be scatter-wound, but this is nothing I have ever heard confirmed, except as "confirmed" by those posters incorrectly thinking that PRS had acquired an "original PAF winding machine" (although never by name as a Leesona 102 pickup winder or the in-house "slug 101" machine - which is owned by ThroBak anyway), rather than the wire from (one of) Gibson's (and Fender's) extruding machines (lately IIRC slightly modified to give it some control over wire consistency, by "computer" (and presumably sensors)) -and the services of its original operator- to which PRS acquired the rights, ex-Gibson. Anyone care to comment? Are these pups scatter-wound, or not?
    Last edited by Felix; 03-19-2014 at 10:15 AM.

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    I'd like to agree with the ...there is too much variance between pups of even the same era (day?)...say unetched...or etched versions....to be able to tell. The employee who tried 3 of the 4 "versions" might just be noticing the "normal" difference between one pup and the next. Hey, maybe this inconsistency can be turned into a positive...the old '50s PAFs were about as consistent as a highschool student (IDK man...it was all I could think of for things that are very inconsistent lol) so a PROPER clone or rendition of them should probably be inconsistent too in order to be consistently accurate renditions of the real thing?

    You'd THINK that they would have done all the necessary R&D BEFORE putting them into production and not have to start tweaking/changing/modifying them AFTER they have gone into production? I mean it isn't PRS's first rodeo.

    Hey, a PRS employee ABSOLUTELY knows a lot more than I do about how PRSs and PRS products are made and I'm not wanting to argue with him of course...that would NOT be a winning sitch for me ...BUT....I call Bullpuckey on the 4 different 57/08 versions. I think there are probably more like 400 different versions...well...same versions but just with each their own character and personality. I'd wager that if he put a meter on them or analyzed them he would find as much difference between 2 version 1 unetched 57/08s as he would between a version 1 and a version 4 57/08.

    Now, if my 57/08 was an early unetched unit I'd surely be here spewing how much more mojo they have than the etched version or the etched 57/08 non-TM version...or version 4 (uncovered squabins?) too. I would be YELLING in CAPS how much more mojo the unetched versions have which would hopefully drive the price of the unetched versions (even higher) into the stratosphere. And people would believe it...and they would even (placebo) HEAR the difference. Since mine is a TM etched version though, yeah...NO DIFFERENCE! I mean, the etched examples sound more open due to the removal of some of the cover ;-) so are the more valuable ones.
    I think there might be 4 COSMETICALLY different versions...non etched, etched but without TM, etched WITH the TM and then the uncovered version...and this one WILL of course sound different than the uncovered versions. But...I have a feeling that you'd have no problem finding a version1 and a version 3 that are more similar than 2 version 1s are to each other. My guess would be that internally, there were no design changes (other than bobbin shape) from one "version" to the next.

    I'm typing out of my butt again though fellas. I have never A/B-ed the different 57/08 versions in the same guitar so I'm just guessing with all this nonsense. I'd wager (again) that if someone had an acceptable number (for study purposes) of different 57/08s, a meter, spectrum analyser and an automated string strummer, I think you would see NO pattern developing...other than the pattern that there is no pattern. My $0.02 anyway.

  18. #18
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
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    ^ Indeed. The fact that some PAFs sounded spectacular seems to have been something of an accident... or shall we say a "fortuitous coincidence". They were so changeable, day to day -even using differently-sourced materials so as to get the lowest price!- that to fnd a Gibson with "that sound" that is your own is one of trying perhaps many different guitars (and in the old days most certainly more so, what with the random differences imposed by the winding processes used), but also that variation in tone is what makes one certain guitar resonate in tune with one's soul (if you will allow me this conceit); that variation in material, as much as any winding pattern, certainly caused a lot of PAFs to be made which sound simply awful to my ears (and back in the day, before Eddie, many many PAF magnets were simply tossed indiscriminately, in favor of something "hotter" in order to drive the amps of the day into distortion more easily (from what I understand), a sad sad thing indeed IMO)... but it also caused some of the sweetest-toned pups on the planet to be magicked into being, if I am any judge of tone (among -I assume- millions with the same opinion).
    Last edited by Felix; 03-19-2014 at 11:40 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Jet Whitey's Avatar
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    Proto Types.....and yes they sounded way different than the production runs!


    PRS Guitars Endorsee....White and Relic'd Ones !

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    Junior Member Tree's Avatar
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    Jet Whitey..how so ?..what was the difference..do you have etched covers without TM ?..Or plain covers ?

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