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Author Topic: Abraxas vs PRS 85/15 set and general thoughts/review  (Read 383 times)

airikglass

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Abraxas vs PRS 85/15 set and general thoughts/review
« on: August 12, 2020, 06:49:44 PM »
Hi all new on the forum and new to BKP in general. Sorry if I've posted in the wrong spot the reviews thread seems in disuse with many dead links and little activity.

Ok so these reviews are always relative to the guitar being used imo so in this case it's a newer PRS Custom 24 piezo Artist Package with a maple neck (pic below). Maple necks being a bit rare on C24s as they are only available as an option on artist packages and have not even been an option at all some years. Point is, the Customs all generally have a mahogany neck and rosewood board vs this, a maple neck and cap. The net result being a brighter voiced guitar. I also have another PRS Custom 24 with the mahogany/rosewood board and HFS/Vintage Bass pup set (a good pup set imo) for comparison.

The pups that came in this are the 85/15 set. I don't care for these, particularly in this guitar. I feel the neck pup is weak as if in a permanent coil tap, nowhere near the low end beef and push of say a strat or LP neck pup. The bridge pup has a bit of a nasal notch like a several db bump around 800k and doesn't tame the harsher high frequencies that a mostly maple guitar produce. These are not a PAF style voiced pickup set, apparently an attempt to be modern. I tend to prefer a PAF style maybe a little more aggressive in output.

I read the Abraxas tone profile on the site and liked what it said about being similar to the Mules but a little more agro and with rounded highs. Unfortunately sound profiles online were almost all Les Pauls with very (um)interesting amps or models. The sound clips on the BKP site were just a few. So it was a little bit of throwing the dice here however it paid off in spades. the set is excellent.

Overtones and harmonics are rich and abundant, the nasal-ness is gone replaced with a great upper mids voice on the bridge pup for leads, fat LP/Strat like neck pup tone with highs. But the main thing is the harsh upper frequencies are nicely rounded with an emphasis of roll off I would say around 6k, a nice creamy zone. There are still plenty of highs above that for glassy cleans but the hash "shards of glass" frequencies are tamed. I have done a lot of recording and production and my ears are very attuned to bad frequencies. I saw a couple reviews on the forum here where people put these in darker LP style guitars and weren't crazy about the highs though the BKP description on these pretty much say they are made for brighter guitars.

I usually do my own pickup installs but on this guitar the electronics are pretty tight so I had my long-time guitar guy do it and he was blown away with the sound difference as well (being in the LA area he's also quite familiar with BKP and installs many for people)     

So overall I can say for this guitar, and likely other bright maple guitars the high-end management on the Abraxas are like audio medicine and really PRS should have these on their high-end maple offerings. Maybe the 85/15 sets sound better on the mahogany/rosewood C24s, I don't know. Honestly I found the difference embarrassingly bad considering this PRS retails north of 5k. I believe guitars in that range should have pickup options or at least not such a narrowly-voiced set or rather, mis-voiced.   

Ragnarok on order for another guitar, looking forward.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2020, 07:00:44 PM by airikglass »

Telerocker

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Re: Abraxas vs PRS 85/15 set and general thoughts/review
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2020, 08:58:29 PM »
Nice review and welcome! Abraxas and PRS are made for each other, especially in 24 frets models.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

richard

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Re: Abraxas vs PRS 85/15 set and general thoughts/review
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2020, 06:22:11 PM »
I love the Abraxas set. Mine are in a PRS Bernie. I have Rebel Yells in another guitar and between them they cover all my needs.
PRS Bernie Marsden Abraxas set
Gibson Firebird Studio  Rebel Yells
JV Strat  IT Bridge
Gibson SG Junior JB bridge
Cornford Roadhouse 30 combo
Yamaha THR 100 Dual

callan

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Re: Abraxas vs PRS 85/15 set and general thoughts/review
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2020, 11:47:00 AM »
Abraxas replaced 58/15 on my custom 22 and omg, what an improvement.
My favorite pick-up guitar combo I have.
Congrats on the new pickups !