Info about PRS SE 85/15s pickups

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Offline waconiabay

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Info about PRS SE 85/15s pickups
« on: September 28, 2020, 12:08:54 PM »
The Dimarzio pickup site lists each pickup with a relative output number for bass, mids, and treble, plus overall output, example bass-6 mid-7.5 treble-5 output 380 so you can compare pickups relative to each other. Does anyone have an idea how the PRS 85/15s pickups EQ curve and output compare using Dimarzio's relative numbers?; Or which Dimarzio or Duncan pickups they are most similar to? I like the neck 85/15s in my PRS SE; but the bridge overdrives more quickly than I want and it's more bright/thin/harsh ~and~ more thick mid and bassy than I want. I know that doesn't make sense but I want a bridge that sweeter/rounder in the top, maybe a little scooped but warm mids, and not as aggressive bass, with good vintage versatile jazz to classic rock tone. Maybe a Steve's Special in the bridge? I have a Les Paul Special with DLX Plus p90 sized hums and I like those pickups. Any suggestions appreciated.

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Info about PRS SE 85/15s pickups
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2020, 12:31:58 PM »
It is very difficult to compare listed specs of different manufacturers. Not even of the same manufacturer ... A better comparison would be someone that replaced the 85/15 with something different, and that would also only be correct for that particular guitar.

Never played a Steve's Special but I have the DLX Plus - it is actually in a guitar that has a PRS shape and similar construction (mahogany body with maple top, set neck mahogany neck, rosewood board and wraparound bridge). I think it compliments the guitar very well. PRS guitars tend to be rich in the midrange so a pickup that is not midhyped such as the Steve's Special should work well.

A few years ago somebody complained on this forum about the honky tone of his PRS Custom and later solved the problem with a Transition bridge. 

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VPAF b, AT-1, Mo' Joe, FRED, Humbucker from Hell

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Info about PRS SE 85/15s pickups
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2022, 10:46:49 AM »
Old thread but since I have a pair of 85/15S pickups at hand I thought I share the specs:

Bridge DCR 8.7 kohms
Neck DCR 8.15 kohms

Readings measured while the pickups are in the guitar so the actual values would be a tad higher (8.8k and 8.2k).
Output is definitely in the hot PAF range.

Cheers Stephan

Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VPAF b, AT-1, Mo' Joe, FRED, Humbucker from Hell

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Offline RayBarbeeMusic

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Re: Info about PRS SE 85/15s pickups
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2022, 07:26:05 PM »
85/15Ss are darker, less articulate, and with less harmonics than, for instance, a 36th anniversary, but they are PAF types.  Same goes for the US version.  I've never regretted replacing them with a DiMarzio paf type.

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Info about PRS SE 85/15s pickups
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2022, 08:38:10 AM »
Opened the guitar up for the first time and the pickups are really 58/15S (not 85/15S as spec'd - EDIT: for the current models the specs are indeed 58/15S).

I actually really like the bridge pickup. The neck pickup is dark and probably gets replaced with a Duncan Full Shred neck.

Cheers Stephan
« Last Edit: July 15, 2022, 04:38:22 AM by darkbluemurder »
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VPAF b, AT-1, Mo' Joe, FRED, Humbucker from Hell

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Info about PRS SE 85/15s pickups
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2022, 11:11:54 AM »
The neck pickup is dark and probably gets replaced with a Duncan Full Shred neck.

It did get replaced :) and for me it is a definite improvement - it is brighter but not only that, it is much more "present" or clear.

I also replaced the bridge pickup with a Duncan 59/custom hybrid that I made myself from a 59 and a Custom. The reason for the change was primarily cosmetic because I wanted both pickups to have open black coils and I don't like the looks of one pickup covered and one uncovered much. The improvement in tone is minor to my ears.

I also replaced the original pickguard so that I could leave that basically untouched and got a new one. I used a multipole 5 way switch instead of the original 3 way and wired it up like this:

#1 bridge coils in series
#2 bridge and neck outer coils in parallel (tele-like tone)
#3 bridge and neck in parallel
#4 bridge and neck inner coils in parallel (strat-like tone)
#5 neck coils in series

Volume is a 500k pot (actually measuring 480k). Tone is a 500k push/pull pot with which I can put both pickups in single coil mode. As a result, I have retained the individual humbuckers split as in the stock set up.

Inner/outer coils on  24 fret guitars is useful to me. On a 22 fret guitar, they do not sound much different to my ears so with those I would go for a different set up.

If I install a push-pull for the volume pickup to be able to split the pickups separately, I could also get the bridge HB + neck SC and bridge SC + neck HB that are found on newer PRS guitars but I am not sure how useful these are.

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VPAF b, AT-1, Mo' Joe, FRED, Humbucker from Hell

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Offline RayBarbeeMusic

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Re: Info about PRS SE 85/15s pickups
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2022, 12:24:17 PM »
58/15 = 85/15 with a cover iirc.

Might also be a2 vs a5. Same wind as 85/15.


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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Info about PRS SE 85/15s pickups
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2022, 03:43:23 AM »
58/15 = 85/15 with a cover iirc.

That is what I understood as well.
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VPAF b, AT-1, Mo' Joe, FRED, Humbucker from Hell