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Author Topic: Recommendations for PRS with Swamp Ash & Maple  (Read 1482 times)

MAJ Meadows SF

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Recommendations for PRS with Swamp Ash & Maple
« on: July 18, 2021, 09:12:16 PM »
Hi folks! I need pickup recommendations for a new PRS Custom 24. Iíve never had this wood combo: swamp ash body, flamed maple neck & fretboard, flamed maple top. Iíve also used nearly the entire BKP line at one point or another so Iím no n00b and have some ideas. This is just a new wood combo. I have had 7s in swamp ash and always favored ceramic pickups over everything else. The PRS currently has a 59/09 bridge and 85/10 neck. They arenít bad at all, but just canít drive an amp hard enough by themselves, and under heavy gain they get too round and dull. They actually do pretty well in my Friedman JJ Jr, but are underwhelming through a SLO 30, 5150, KSR Ares, JCM 800. Even my practice amps scoff at them (Yamaha THR10X, Dark Terror). I really need to push the amp settings and run pedals to make them sound bigger and aggressive, and dime the gain & presence to get into hard rock and metal. I play old school death metal and modern stuff on all these amps but had to really tweak things to get these to acceptable vintage hot territory.

Iím trying to stay vintage hot, but saturate easier to get to mid-era Opeth like tones, classic doom, traditional metal, and hard rock. Nothing modern, ultra tight, etc. The ability to play classic rock tones and do the 5 way split well is important and why I want to avoid modern contemporary pickups. Plus I have ALL of them (except the Silo but thatíll happen sometime).

I really want to use a VHII neck, as I love that in other guitars, but again, never tried this wood combo. I have ideas for the bridge, but want to defer to more expert opinions on here. Of course Iím going to ask the BKP team directly; Tim and crew never lead me astray. Any input is appreciated!!
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RobAbrams84

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Re: Recommendations for PRS with Swamp Ash & Maple
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2021, 05:27:11 AM »
I'm not personally a big believer in tone wood for electric guitars and think that the construction plays more into this than the actual wood chosen: i.e. quality of join, neck-thru vs set neck vs bolt on, etc, etc.  That aside, my Mayones Regius has the same swamp ash and maple top that your PRS does, but my Regius has an 11-ply neck-thru construction.  I tried a lot of different pickups in the Regius and went with the True Grits in the end (you can read my extremely long thread a few threads below this one if you want). 

Regarding neck humbuckers, I personally thought that the VHII was the second-worst of them all in the Regius (worst being the Emerald), even though it's universally praised. My favorite was probably a Suhr SSV actually, followed closely by the True Grit.  The Holydiver neck humbucker was awesome as well, but didn't sound a lot like a traditional neck humbucker to me.  The True Grit was definitely my favorite bridge pickup. 

If you're looking for something in the Vintage Hot range, unless you want a particular sound that another set gives you, I'd recommend starting with the True Grits.  They're just really good, really versatile pickups, not too hot or compressed but still able to drive an amp hard.  They split well and clean up with the volume knob, and they don't have a drastic EQ curve like some others that I've tried.   

I hope this helps.

Dave Sloven

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Re: Recommendations for PRS with Swamp Ash & Maple
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2021, 08:57:09 AM »
I have the Impulse set in my Schecter PT Apocalypse Rusty Grey, which is the first swamp ash guitar I have owned.  The neck is bolt-on maple with an ebony fretboard and stainless steel frets, and it is a Telecaster style body.

I really like the set in this guitar.  It is tight in the bottom end like a ceramic but lacks the strident top end that the ceramic Black Hawk that I tried in there before had.  In this guitar the effective, real world output feels as much as my alnico Black Hawks.  Depending on how your guitar interacts with the pickups that might be different.
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MAJ Meadows SF

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Re: Recommendations for PRS with Swamp Ash & Maple
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2021, 01:46:09 AM »
So no kidding I was recommended the Black Dog set, which is interesting and yet telling since I had always wanted to try a set in a PRS. I have played a BD bridge in a 7 string swamp ash and honestly it was excellent. I am very intrigued how it will sit in this guy with the woods as is. I do firmly believe tone wood makes a difference, although in my experience not as much as some make it out to be. Iíve swapped pickups in different wood combos and found subtle but noticeable differences. But, weíll see!
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ericsabbath

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Re: Recommendations for PRS with Swamp Ash & Maple
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2021, 07:12:31 PM »
So no kidding I was recommended the Black Dog set, which is interesting and yet telling since I had always wanted to try a set in a PRS. I have played a BD bridge in a 7 string swamp ash and honestly it was excellent. I am very intrigued how it will sit in this guy with the woods as is. I do firmly believe tone wood makes a difference, although in my experience not as much as some make it out to be. Iíve swapped pickups in different wood combos and found subtle but noticeable differences. But, weíll see!

sounds like a good pick indeed
true grits should work too, with a little more low end and compression

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« Last Edit: July 21, 2021, 07:14:50 PM by ericsabbath »
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