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Pickup Recommendations for PRS Custom 22

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  • Pickup Recommendations for PRS Custom 22

    Hello to all! I am looking for a new set of pickups to put in my PRS Custom 22 (2003 model i think) and I wanted suggestions from you guys because my research so far did not produce any definitive results.

    The guitar currently has a set of Bare Knuckle Pickups Rebel Yells. I've gone through some pickup changes and none seemed to sit well with me so far. Specifically:
    1) PRS Dragon II - The original pickups for the guitar. Ok but nothing special. Neck was really nice. Bridge was underwelming
    2) Bare Knuckle Pickups The Mule - Very bland
    3) PRS 57/08 - Severely undepowered for this. No character, bland, weak in this guitar.
    4) Bare Knuckle Pickups Rebel Yell - Current pickups installed. Ok in terms of power but very honky in this guitar. Cocked wah type of sound which I hate. Works well enough with a Mesa Mark IV with scooped EQ though.

    The sound i'm looking for with this guitar is progressive rock /metal type tones mainly (recent Opeth for example, or Dream Theater) but also general all round hard rock tones. I need something to cover a lot of styles, mostly in the more modern-ish type of sound. Anything from late 80s onward. I don't care for vintage 70s tones (i've got my Les Paul for that). Defintely NOT anything djenty. Not my style. I play in E standard 95% of the time. So anything that can cover from Metallica, Dream Theater, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, Whitesnake, etc. I understand that all of these bands are vastly different in terms of sounds, I'm just giving them as reference points in terms of style not in terms of tone. Basically I'm looking for high gain sounds but not ultra modern djent-y type of sounds. Opeth again are a good example.

    In terms of tone I want a clear and fat bridge pickup. Something with a lot of girth for soloing and good overdriven tones. I don't play cleans in the bridge so that is not an issue. I like tones that are defined but have body to them. The things I DON'T want are to sound nasal, and I dislike piercing highs. I also don't need a lot of bass. I like a round, even tone, with enough clarity to not lose definition.

    For the neck pickup I want someting that can do two things: Bell like clear tones, maybe something jazzy as well, and smooth overdriven lead lines. Again, girth, clarity, and roundness are the things I want and I don't like anything nasal, too bassy, and shrill.

    I understand that all of these can be kind of contradictory. The main problem I have with my PRS is that I feel that it is quite mid focused and nasal by design and also the sound is quite "loose" for lack of a better term. So I'm looking for somethings to balance that. In that sense I think I'm leaning towards A5 pickups as they are tighter and have strong bass and treble compared to A2 which I think will suit this guitar. Maybe a ceramic in the bridge could work as well (although I've never owned a ceramic pickup). I've read a lot of suggestions in this forum and elsewhere and I couldn't reach a conclusion. Actually there was another thread where the guy had exactly the same issue as me and very simillar requirements but it never reached a conclusion. So I opted to start a new thread hoping that maybe you guys can guide me. The thing is that a lot of the info on the SD website seems contradictory. Especially the EQ descriptions of the pickups compared to the actuall sound.

    From my reasearch so far I think that the following models would be candidates:
    - Full shred set: The output seems perfect, the highs I think are ok as they don't seem too brittle. From the clips I've heard they seemed a little subdued and bland. They're supposedly scooped which I like but from the clips I've heard they didn't seem scooped to me. Maybe because of the lack of bass accented the mids?
    - Pegasus / Sentient set: These on paper seem perfect. A5, medium output, slightly scooped. I am however worried that they might be too djent-y and if they have prominent high-mids too nasal as well. It doesn't help that all the clips I could find are all djent type of music which is not my cup of tea.
    - Custom bridge - Ceramic, scooped, lots of power. PAF on steroids description which I like. I'm worried it might be too bright / piercing and sterile sounding? Custom 5 is out for these reasons since from what I read it is TOO much bass and TOO shrill. Custom 2 wouldn't work I think due to looseness of A2 in this guitar.
    - Custom / 59 Hybrid bridge - Maybe? I don't know much about this one.
    - 59 Neck - Seems too bright and bassy at the same time but I'm considering it.
    - Jazz Neck - I don't think it would work well for my requirements. Too trebly and not enough body for soloing work?

    That's where I am so far. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Re: Pickup Recommendations for PRS Custom 22

    Your guitar has a tremolo no? It doesn't matter though, you gave a good description anyways. I'd say: PATB-3 for the bridge and PGn for the neck. PATB-3 is exactly the pickup you want, and I hope you like the looks of it.

    B

    PS: My gigging guitar is an 04 McCarty with a Brobucker in the bridge and PG in the neck. Could not be happier. Brocbucker is a custom shop pickup (that is why I am not recommending it) and I think PATB-3 would be a better fit if your guitar has a tremolo. If you can sacrifice some of the clarity in the bridge, you could look into Custom/59 hybrid as well.
    Last edited by dr.barlo; 03-24-2020, 04:29 AM.
    FaceBook; SoundCloud; Barlo's Blues; Barlo Digitalized; Soundclick!;

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    • #3
      Re: Pickup Recommendations for PRS Custom 22

      I love the 59/Custom for my heavier tones, though you are going a little heavier than I do. Other heavier players will chime in shortly and will probably have plenty of advice.

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      • #4
        Re: Pickup Recommendations for PRS Custom 22

        My suggestion is going to be Custom bridge, Alnico II pro for the neck. Or Custom Custom for bridge even. They're both great.

        Currently rocking custom custom /, alnico 2 pro combo and loving it, I mostly play metal in E standard but I love that I can flip down the volume control and pretty much be in PAF heaven, play a bluesy line and then go right back to metal

        Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
        Last edited by BeKindRewind; 03-24-2020, 06:33 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Pickup Recommendations for PRS Custom 22

          Welcome to the forum!

          I thought Custom bridge right away, and maybe a Jazz neck, although it does most of what you want, it doesn't sound very jazzy. But a jazzy-sounding pickup doesn't do all the other things, either.
          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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          • #6
            Re: Pickup Recommendations for PRS Custom 22

            PRS HFS? I put HFS/VB into my son's SE22.

            Or even the \m/ series.
            I still have a neck \m/ (no cover, square bobbins) listed on reverb
            Had them in my CE24, but was just too full sounding. Great for the heavy stuff though.

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            • #7
              Re: Pickup Recommendations for PRS Custom 22

              Thanks for the replies so far!

              Some clarifications on my part. Yes, my PRS CU22 is with a tremolo. Also, let me clarify that I am not really looking for a metal pickup set per se. I am mostly concerned with versatility and with giving the guitar which I find quite narrow and mid focused tone wise a broader, rounder, bigger sound.

              I am branching into more progressive rock / virtuoso guitar (not that I am nowhere near at that level) / ambient rock kind of stuff so I want something that can cover a lot of areas. I am not into really heavy stuff all that much. I am much more in the rock camp so the heaviness is not an issue I think. Definitely no death, black, or djent stuff. My Les Paul used to have the afforementioned BKP Mule and Rebel Yells and I swaped them out for SD A2P Slash and never looked back. I use this guitar for anything from classic rock to metallica and anything in between (although it does excel in hard rock). I could never bond with the BKP. They always seemed to have this high mid tonality that really annoyed me and made the pickups kind of sterile / stiff IMO anyway. Although the clarity was nice.

              Also, since I am in Greece and options are kind of limited around here (I don't know if I could find a brobucker) I'd suggest we stick to more readily available models. Btw, it doesn't have to be SD specifically.

              Concerning the suggestions so far:
              - For the PATB-3 the description on the pickup page is quite contradictory... I mean the EQ chart says that there's a mid scoop (which i like) but the text describes them as "Honky" and "notched" which is the exact opposite of the EQ chart! Any guidance on that? Also, I have to be honest I'm not crazy about the looks, but I can ignore that if it is a good fit tone wise.
              - Concerning the custom / 59 hybrid, it seems like an interesting choice. Again, going by the description on the website, it says it has pronounced high mids which makes me worried that it might be honky. Any comments on that? I think the output would suit me just fine. Also, why do you say that I would sacrifice some clarity with it? Is it a particularly middy, murky pickup?
              - I am keeping the two votes on the Custom. From all I've red so far it seems like the safest choice, at least as a starting point. My only concern is if it is too ice picky / sterile in the highs. What do you think?
              - The Custom Custom from what I've gathered so far is quite middy, fat, and loose due to the A2. I don't think it would be a good fit in a guitar that is already dark, middy and loose. I am kind of looking to remedy that :P Is my estimation correct? I am actually considering the Custom Custom for my Les Paul though :P
              - The Jazz neck again seems like one of the pickups I am interested in. My concern is that it might be too bright and not have enough beef to be used for lead stuff. What are your thoughts on this?
              - The Alnico 2 Pro Neck suggestion I like as well. As i said I have the A2P Slash set in my Les Paul and I am quite happy with it. I understand correctly that A2P is a bit milder and less pronounced in the high mids? My concern with this is that it might be too soft, in an already quite dark and loose guitar? Although I am really considering it.
              - The PRS \m/ set I think might be too much for me as well. As I said I am not a metal guy all that much. I much more into the prog, lead guitar virtuoso stuff. I am considering the Mark Tremonti set though!

              In the meantime I read some stuff here concerning the Pegasus / Sentient set that pushed me a bit in that direction as well. A lot of people seem to think they are not a djent type of pickups and that they are actually quite versatile. Anyone has experience with this set?

              So far the suggsetions are:
              Bridge pickup
              1) Custom
              2) Pegasus
              3) PATB-3
              4) 59/Custom Hybrid

              Neck pickup
              1) 59
              2) Jazz
              3) A2P
              4) Sentient

              Thank you so much for all the suggestions so far! Keep 'em coming!
              Last edited by ASB; 03-24-2020, 03:09 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Pickup Recommendations for PRS Custom 22

                the sentient is a great all around neck pup, kinda between a jazz and 59. ive never tried a pegasus so cant comment on that. the patb3 is a great pup but might not be enough for you but the patb1 might be sweet though if you can deal with the look

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                • #9
                  Re: Pickup Recommendations for PRS Custom 22

                  I do a lot of prog and ambient stuff, and my fav neck pickup for that is the Alnico II Pro. I don't use a ton of gain (hardly any), but it sounds great just straight, or processed to hell.
                  Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pickup Recommendations for PRS Custom 22

                    I've got the JB/Jazz set in my PRS S2 Custom 22, and I love these pickups in this guitar.



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