Username: Password:

Author Topic: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245  (Read 477 times)

tolm

  • Junior Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 18
New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« on: October 25, 2021, 01:56:11 AM »
Hi … been a while since I’ve logged on here but looking for some advice!

I picked up a second-hand PRS SC245 a couple of months back and I’m really enjoying it: great to play and the bridge pickup (stock PRS 245) actually sounds pretty good, if a little higher output than I would normally go for.  The neck pickup, however, sounds really muddy and I find it basically unusable other than to blend in with bridge pickup very occasionally.

So … I’m considering trying something new and I’m wondering if a HSP90 in the neck would help get a less woofy, more Strat-like tone?  Yeh, it’s a mahogany/maple/rosewood 24.5 inch scale singlecut … strung with 11s!!  I’m aware pickups can only do so much … but a clear, bright neck pickup tone is what I’m after.

I think I’ll take the opportunity to switch the bridge for something a little lower output whilst I’m at it.  The obvious go-to being a Mule.  For the neck I’m thinking the Blue Note for its mid-scooped EQ - would hopefully stay clearer than a mid-heavy pickup … but would it have too much bass and suffer the san muddiness issue as the stock humbucker?  I’ve had (and loved) a Nantucket in the Bridge pos in various guitars but I think it would be too aggressive for a neck pickup?

So … Mule Bridge / Blue Note Neck. Could that work in that guitar?  Any other combos folks have had success with in similar guitars?

Cheers!

Dave Sloven

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 4288
    • Get our album here (alnico Black Hawks)
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2021, 06:02:03 AM »
You might want to consider a Riff Raff set.
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
COBRA-T
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN
TRUE GRIT

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases

tolm

  • Junior Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2021, 08:49:47 AM »
Oh, that’s put the cat among the avians!  Not considered those and they do sound good from the online clips (though, let’s be honest, ALL the pickups sound good in those!!) and the description / EQ curve does suggest they’ll reign in the bass response a bit vs the Mules.

You reckon a set though?  So. RR neck pos would be less “woofy” than an HSP90?

I wonder if a neck RR would be okay with a bridge Mule?  Or would that just be weird …

Dave Sloven

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 4288
    • Get our album here (alnico Black Hawks)
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2021, 10:31:52 AM »
The neck RR is one of the brightest necks in the whole range, besides the Strat necks

A more modern alternative to the Riff Raff set would be an Impulse set, which also has a tight bridge pickup and bright neck pickup, but I figure you want something more conventional.

Here's a Riff Raff bridge in a Les Paul:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMAPpAIT7Ck
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
COBRA-T
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN
TRUE GRIT

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases

tolm

  • Junior Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2021, 12:16:53 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions … been reading up and listening to demos and it does seem that the Riff Raff could have the “bite” I’m after from a neck pickup - and would look “stock” vs a HSP90 which is an added bonus.

Not sure I want the bridge RR, though … I actually quite like the beefy sounding bridge 245 pickup … I could keep that but where’s the fun in that?!  Would an Abraxas Bridge / Riff Raff neck setup balance out okay?

Dave Sloven

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 4288
    • Get our album here (alnico Black Hawks)
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2021, 02:27:30 PM »
Others would be better qualified to answer that than I.

The pickups I've seen used with a Riff Raff neck are usually brighter ones with more output than the RR bridge, e.g., the Emerald.  I still tend to think that if the guitar is a darker single cut type you are probably going to be happiest with a RR set.

You could always consult with BKP on this.  I've called them international from Australia before (my mobile phone plan includes unlimited calls to the UK), you just have to get the time zone stuff right. They are extremely helpful and knowledgeable.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2021, 02:29:05 PM by Dave Sloven »
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
COBRA-T
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN
TRUE GRIT

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases

tolm

  • Junior Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2021, 03:51:18 PM »
Hmmm … Emerald could be a good shout … looks to have similar “poke” to the Abraxas but with an EQ curve more like the Riff Raff.

I’m in the UK so time zone not an issue - only ever spoken to BKP via email before but I agree they are very helpful.

Dave Sloven

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 4288
    • Get our album here (alnico Black Hawks)
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2021, 02:54:00 AM »
Another pickup that you should consider pairing with a Riff Raff neck is the True Grit.  It is only available in a few configurations but definitely nickel covers short leg is available

Also string spacing on a PRS bridge is probably 53 mm but measure it to make sure.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2021, 02:56:11 AM by Dave Sloven »
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
COBRA-T
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN
TRUE GRIT

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases

tolm

  • Junior Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2021, 01:03:55 PM »
Good shout on the string spacing … I will definitely check that vs the stock pups.

Spoke to Ben at BKP over email. He agrees with the RR neck being the right call (thanks all!!) and suggested a VHII bridge would be smoother / less bright than a RR or Emerald bridge whereas an Abraxas would really round out the high end.

So looks like some more demo listening for me …

tolm

  • Junior Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2021, 05:18:30 PM »
Well, having listening to the BKP online sound demos (repeatedly!) and every YouTube video I could find for those pickups … I’ve put an order in for a Riff Raff Neck and Emerald Bridge, with Raw Nickel covers and aged screws so they don’t look too new and shiny in the 14 year old guitar!

The Abraxas was a little too smooth/soft sounding whereas I really like the cut that the Emerald has in the “Classic Rock” example tones - whilst also not being quite as shrill / brash as a RR bridge.

The VHII was tricky … I feel like it could have been half way point between the Abraxas and Emerald but the online demos - both BKPs and others - all seemed to be EVH shred-type stuff (shocker!!) … which made it difficult to compare!  But as that’s not my style (or capability!!) the Emerald felt like a better fit.

Thanks for everyone’s input - fingers crossed for when they arrive!!

b.gandt

  • Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 63
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2021, 09:18:25 PM »
Let us know what you think once you've had some time with them please!

darrenw5094

  • Lightweight
  • ***
  • Posts: 890
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2021, 10:49:50 PM »
I just fitted an Emerald set in my Tokai lp and the tone really is pure Thin Lizzy. The bridge is nicely balanced in the lows and mids department, with the highs having a nice cut to it, similar to the Mule. Mine measured at 13 oHm and feels even hotter than that reading.
BKP: Abraxas - Les Paul
Holy Diver - Charvel
Mule - Les Paul
Rebel Yell - Les Paul
VHII - PRS CU22
A-Bomb + Cold Sweat - Les Paul
Warpig - Caparison Horus

richard

  • Lightweight
  • ***
  • Posts: 816
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2021, 12:25:39 PM »
I just fitted an Emerald set in my Tokai lp and the tone really is pure Thin Lizzy. The bridge is nicely balanced in the lows and mids department, with the highs having a nice cut to it, similar to the Mule. Mine measured at 13 oHm and feels even hotter than that reading.

How does the Emerald bridge compare to the Abraxas? Is it a lot brighter?
PRS Bernie Marsden Abraxas set
PRS S2 Singlecut RY's
JV Strat  IT Bridge
Gibson SG JB bridge
Fender Mex Tele Thinline TV Jones Classics
Fender Bassbreaker 15
Yamaha THR 100 Dual
Quilter Aviator Cub

tolm

  • Junior Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2021, 11:47:48 PM »
When I discussed with Ben over email, I said that after listening to the sound demos I felt the Riff Raff bridge would be too bright but the Abraxas was too smooth / rounded and I liked the extra “cut” from the Emerald - hence my choice to go for that.

His response confirmed that assessment: “you describe the Emerald well - more cut and attitude , dynamics, but not as bright as the RR.

tolm

  • Junior Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: New Pickups for 2007 PRS SC245
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2021, 08:27:47 AM »
Yes, yes, yes!!!  New pickups arrived yesterday: Emerald bridge, Riff Raff neck, both in raw nickel finish with aged screws.

Firstly, the raw finish has the perfect look: not too new and shiny but not so aged as to mismatch with the other hardware on the guitar. They actually look a little bit matte - kinda halfway to the brushed look which some PRS guitars have by default but not so full-on as to look “fancy” … aged brushed?  Could that be a thing?  I dunno … anyway, they look great. 😂

More importantly … they SOUND amazing. And they’ve done exactly what I wanted them to for this guitar.

The neck pickup has a clarity and sweetness that the stock pickup could only dream of!  It’s actually usable for rhythm playing, chords, etc rather than a muddy mess.  And riffs sound HUGE!  There’s still a hefty low end from the wound strings but it doesn’t sound woofy or overpower the tone.  It’s an addictive tone and I actually find myself struggling NOT to switch to the neck position when noodling … very, very happy with that.

At first I was a bit underwhelmed by the bridge - a little thin sounding - but I seemed to be having some trouble getting it closer to the strings.  Then I realised that the stock pickups were long leg (in a PRS???) whereas the new ones were short and I had reused the original mounting springs .… so I snipped the springs to 2/3 length and re-adjusted the pickup height and suddenly everything was sorted: still a big bold tone but more clarity and bite. At lower gain settings I might have been okay with an Abraxas but once you pile on the gain for some punk-pop or Foo Fighters, that cut from the EQ on the Emerald means everything holds together with a nice focused tone and the bass never gets out of hand.

So, thanks to all for the suggestions and advice .. most definitely ended up with the right result!!