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Author Topic: PRS SE Custom 24  (Read 536 times)

optilude

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PRS SE Custom 24
« on: December 21, 2020, 01:18:08 PM »
Iím having a hard time choosing a new set of pickups for my PRS SE Custom 24 Zebrawood (mahogany body with maple cap and zebrawood veneer, maple neck with rosewood fretboard, currently has PRS S 85/15 zebra uncovered humbuckers and Alpha pots, with push/pull on the tone knob for splitting both pickups).

I find the stock pickups ok but uninspiring. I mostly use the middle position on full volume which I guess is kind of a neutral sound. Iíll sometimes use the neck (a bit too muddy) and rarely the bridge (too harsh) on its own. I very rarely use split coil as it sounds too tinny but sometimes the middle position can have a nice almost acoustic ring to it.

My other guitar is a Ď78 Custom Telecaster (so Wide Range humbucker in the neck and Tele bridge pickup) with a maple neck, which does the snap and twang thing really well. So I want the PRS to complement that and in particular provide some fatter and warmer tones.

I mostly play blues, some funk, some more crunchy pop/rock but nothing with super high gain. Certainly no shredding or metal!

Amp wise I use a modeller called Overloud TH-U that does rig emulation (think a fully digital Kemper), and mainly through headphones or small speakers. Mainly modes of Fender and Vox amps and similar, edge of breakup. My life wonít let me do anything louder!

This is all for enjoyment and fun, but I do want something Iíll love picking up. The PRS feels great in the hand so I think a pickup upgrade is the way to go.

Iíve had lots of chats with the lovely Bareknuckle people. But Iím a bit overwhelmed by choices. So far Iím trying to decide between:

- PG Blues: love the Peter Green sound, but maybe itíll be a bit niche?
- Stormy Monday: for that PAF sound?
- Mule: recommended by my local guitar tech
- Abraxas: recommended elsewhere on the forum

... or maybe a Mississippi Queen HSP90?

... or maybe a combination?

Suggestions and ideas most welcome!

darrenw5094

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2020, 03:46:54 PM »
I would say the Mule is a good all rounder for blues, funk etc. But the Alnico ll BKP would probably work also.

I've also got an Abraxas set in another Les Paul which is hotter and more middier than the balanced Mule. Maybe too hot for you.
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Nolly

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2020, 11:37:56 PM »
I'd recommend either the Mules or Abraxas. I can definitely understand your comments about the 85/15 S's that currently have, and I think if you want a thicker sounding bridge pickup and clearer neck position either of those sets will do it for you, with the Abraxas being a step hotter and fatter sounding but still very versatile and classic sounding.
The neck pickups in both sets are quite close to one another, so perhaps the way to determine which is better for you would be to say that the Mule bridge is going to be more vintage and bluesier in voice (less low end, more top end and more of a hollow/clucky mid character), though you can always roll off the tone knob a bit to access smooth tones too. The Abraxas will be bigger in the bass, with fuller mids and less pick attack but arguably might sound stronger when split, so if that's a sound you like that may sway you.

optilude

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2020, 12:22:36 AM »
That is super helpful!

I'm thinking the Abraxas might be a bit less similar to the Wide Range humbucker in the neck of my Tele Custom (ie this already has a very vintage sound, albeit not a PAF as such!) and so Iíd cover more range with them?

Telerocker

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2020, 12:40:47 AM »
Go Mules, I would say. They are quite balanced and cover a lot of ground. I like the dynamic and open, almost 3D sound sound of these pickups. Such a clear sound with great articulation. The middle position is great for funk as well. And they handle gain with authority! But stay defined.

I must emphasize I have amps with a lot of balls and midrange if necessary: Orange RV MK1 50 head en Diezel Schmidt. And my EP-booster is most of the time on, so my Mules never sound thin.

Only if your guitar has a natural bright voice I would go Abraxas.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

optilude

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2020, 09:07:33 AM »
Not entirely sure how to judge if the PRS is bright or not. My other reference point is a maple neck Tele but thatís not ever comparable. Certainly the double cut Custom 24 is brighter than a Les Paul I guess. It had a nice resonant ring when unplugged.

Iím thinking this will be fine either way, though.

Nolly

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2020, 05:10:13 PM »
I agree that you'll be fine either way. I think Telerocker's points make perfect sense given the amps he's using, which both have quite dark overdrive circuits that, in my opinion, require that you feed them a signal with a lean low end in order to avoid mush/muddiness particularly for rhythm work. Given that you're using modelling and can use any amp type you like, I'd suggest you won't have issues with an Abraxas in your guitar at all especially if you take the time to tinker with the pickup heights to control the low end as you see fit (this is pretty essential with any set of pickups in my opinion).

Dave Sloven

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2020, 01:37:15 AM »
I would have thought the choice would be between Mules and Stormy Mondays, given that you play funk sometimes.

Mules are probably the better all-rounders.  Stormy Mondays would have more cut.
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b.gandt

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2020, 01:41:27 PM »
I've got a pair of Mules that will be going in a PRS SE.  The only reason they haven't been installed is sloth on my part.  However, they should be going in sometime in the next few days, and I'll report back if they do.  It will be a week or so until I get to use them at gig volume (at a practice space),  but I'll can get a wee bit of an idea at lower volume levels.
Current BKP Pickups:  The Boss, Mules, Crawler, Supermassive 90, Nantucket.

Past BKP Pickups:  Blue Note 90

b.gandt

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2020, 07:30:12 PM »
I installed the Mules in the PRS SE Singlecut Korina.

Next week I'll hit the practice space for some gig level testing, but, FWIW, I did some low volume testing at home with my regular amp.  The amp is a Rockitt Retro 50.  That is a clone of the builder's favorite version of a 1968 50 watt Plexi (wonderful amp).  Has a PPIMV that works well.

At low levels I get a classic vibe in all the right ways.  The bridge does not sound exactly like the guitar in the Humble Pie song I'll Go Alone (a Frampton composition off the As Safe As Yesterday record), but it  has that vibe!

Neck pickup is one of the best I've used.  Warm, not muddy.  I've not understood the term "fluety" in the past, but I think it applies here.  Maybe another way is to say that compared to a Seymour Duncan Jazz neck (which I've used) there is more of a pleasant airy sound to it  The Jazz neck sounds like a simple note, there is more complexity with the Mule neck, and those complexities don't sound crammed together, or congested.    I don't have the bridge/neck balance where I want it, but that will come with time.

I'll report back after using them with volume.  I will attempt to be more descriptive then, if I can.  Right now, I am quite happy!

« Last Edit: December 26, 2020, 08:16:58 PM by b.gandt »
Current BKP Pickups:  The Boss, Mules, Crawler, Supermassive 90, Nantucket.

Past BKP Pickups:  Blue Note 90

b.gandt

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2020, 04:56:04 PM »
Finally got to the practice space.  Mules set in a PRS Singlecut Korina, straight into a Rockitt Retro 50, which is a clone of the builder's fave 68 50 watt Plexi.  I have the optional PPIMV.  Ran it into a Marshall 1960 4x12 that the studio has.  I think the speakers are the 75s?  I'm more of a Greenback guy, but this cab works decently well.

Volume was loud, probably louder than some gigs these days, but I didn't have the amp dimed.

Bridge Pickup:

Playing crunchy, the chords sounded balance in terms of frequency, no particular frequency was too much.  Classic crunch, although that's a description that could mean different things...

Leads:  Initially, it seemed a bit bright, probably because most humbuckers I've used for gigging hve been hot, various Duncan and Dimarzio offerings like the Invader, Super Distortion,  and X2N.  Currently, I have a Crawler in a Strat.

After playing the leads a bit, I really got to like the cut the brightness gave it, and I also realized that a number of artists I like have that brightness to their playing.  I think it was just a matter of my ear working with the sound.

Neck Pickup:

Talk about blues rock heaven!  I generally stay off neck pickups, but I see this one getting a lot of use.  Just a cool warm cut, if that makes sense.

It occurred to me that the overall sound of the Mules in the PRS, going straight into the Marshall clone has a somewhat similar sound that the Stones might have had if they'd used Marshall half or full stacks on Get Your YaYas Out.

By the way, I have used lower output humbuckers before, but it was a long time ago.  What I do remember was that the bridge pickups were bright in a cheap way, and the neck pickups were just plain mud.  Certainly not my experience here.

I also did some clean playing, and they would be fantastic for funk, or blues, or any rock style that requires clean sound, IMHO.

As always, YMMV, but I am happy.

Edit:  As I listen to Savoy Brown's Blue Matter, I'm thinking that the soloing is right down the tone alley of these Mules, especially on It Hurts Me Too.  I know that there are different ways to get there, but the Mules are doing it for me.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2020, 07:09:43 PM by b.gandt »
Current BKP Pickups:  The Boss, Mules, Crawler, Supermassive 90, Nantucket.

Past BKP Pickups:  Blue Note 90

Telerocker

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2021, 01:57:45 PM »
I like how the Mule cuts. Yes present but with a good roundness to it. Put a EP-booster in front to take a little edge off.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

b.gandt

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2021, 07:14:04 PM »
Iím having a hard time choosing a new set of pickups for my PRS SE Custom 24 Zebrawood (mahogany body with maple cap and zebrawood veneer, maple neck with rosewood fretboard, currently has PRS S 85/15 zebra uncovered humbuckers and Alpha pots, with push/pull on the tone knob for splitting both pickups).

I find the stock pickups ok but uninspiring. I mostly use the middle position on full volume which I guess is kind of a neutral sound. Iíll sometimes use the neck (a bit too muddy) and rarely the bridge (too harsh) on its own. I very rarely use split coil as it sounds too tinny but sometimes the middle position can have a nice almost acoustic ring to it.

My other guitar is a Ď78 Custom Telecaster (so Wide Range humbucker in the neck and Tele bridge pickup) with a maple neck, which does the snap and twang thing really well. So I want the PRS to complement that and in particular provide some fatter and warmer tones.

I mostly play blues, some funk, some more crunchy pop/rock but nothing with super high gain. Certainly no shredding or metal!

Amp wise I use a modeller called Overloud TH-U that does rig emulation (think a fully digital Kemper), and mainly through headphones or small speakers. Mainly modes of Fender and Vox amps and similar, edge of breakup. My life wonít let me do anything louder!

This is all for enjoyment and fun, but I do want something Iíll love picking up. The PRS feels great in the hand so I think a pickup upgrade is the way to go.

Iíve had lots of chats with the lovely Bareknuckle people. But Iím a bit overwhelmed by choices. So far Iím trying to decide between:

- PG Blues: love the Peter Green sound, but maybe itíll be a bit niche?
- Stormy Monday: for that PAF sound?
- Mule: recommended by my local guitar tech
- Abraxas: recommended elsewhere on the forum

... or maybe a Mississippi Queen HSP90?

... or maybe a combination?

Suggestions and ideas most welcome!

OP, any decisions made yet?
Current BKP Pickups:  The Boss, Mules, Crawler, Supermassive 90, Nantucket.

Past BKP Pickups:  Blue Note 90

optilude

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2021, 09:47:37 PM »
So...

Ordered the Abraxas. Learned how to solder. Asked a bunch of dumb questions of the amazing people at BKP.

They sound amazing. They look cool. Even coil split is decent.

The one thing that I wasnít expecting though is that bridge and middle positions sound very, very similar. More so than on any guitar Iíve played.

Attached is a file with a play through of neck, middle, bridge first with humbucking and then split pickups.

optilude

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Re: PRS SE Custom 24
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2021, 08:44:02 AM »
I was considering changing my volume pot to a push/pull and wiring the coil splits independently, thus allowing middle positions with a mix of humbucking and coil split sounds. Is that worth trying / likely to be useful?