I’ve had this PRS McCarty Soapbar for ages and never truly loved the sound of it. Will new pickups give it the new life it really deserves?
Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.
Welcome to my vlog! In this episode I’m fitting some new pickups to a guitar that has always been fantastic to play… but has never really had a sound that I’ve loved, purely personally speaking. Outgoing are the original Seymour Duncan-made P90s and incoming are a pair of Lollar Soapbar P90s.
Acoustically, the guitar has wonderful tone and resonance so I have high hopes that a less powerful bridge pickup especially might bring more of the guitar’s natural voice forwards.
I begin by listening to the old pickups, using my much-loved Collings 290 DCS as a reference, before installing the new pickups in the PRS and playing again. There’s also a quick track that I made so that we can hear all the pickups in the context of some, erm, ‘music’.
Quick note about the track: All the guitars are recorded throughout use exactly the same amp and pedal settings; cab, mic, mic pre and EQ treatment. The levels are set exactly the same in the mix too.
There are four guitars in the track towards the end – sorry I managed to not video one of them! (It’s the little button with the red dot on, for future reference.)
Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Welcome – what are we doing here?: 00:00
- The problem is the pickups: 02:00
- My fave P90 guitar: 02:43
- Sounds, pre-pickup swap: 03:45
- Ooh – Dan Drive Tweedy! 05:25
- Clean with tremolo: 08:15
- Original neck pickup sounds: 09:36
- Post playing thoughts, old pickups: 12:49
- Wiring diagram?: 14:50
- Pickup swap begins: 17:48
- Comparing the old and new pickups visually: 18:25
- The covers don’t fit: 19:22
- DC resistances: 21:40
- Mounting the new pickups: 24:05
- Making a template for the cavity wiring: 24:51
- Pots values? 26:55
- Wiring progress: 27:34
- Wiring harness almost finished: 28:44
- Putting the harness in the guitar: 31:10
- Does it work?: 32:35
- New covers! Damian to the rescue: 36:10
- Wiring finished: 38:05
- Sounds with new pickups: 37:16
- All pickups in a track: 46:13
- Closing thoughts: 48:55
We hope you enjoy this episode. Please subscribe to our channel.