Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #128928  by playingdead
 Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:57 am
Was listening to the show we did back in March where I traveled lightly due to a huge snowstorm that day ... stock lefty PRS Custom 24 and a stock Vibrolux reissue (Fender speakers), no effects loop or buffer or any of the regular rig. That guitar was so nice to play that night (very light and balanced) I'm thinking about having PRS build me a Private Stock one with a cocobolo top, maple core, hardtail and an effects loop. Or maybe just a maple top with a purpleheart core a la The Wolf. The question is whether to shoehorn a middle pickup in it or not ... I was mostly using the #4 position on the 5-way, which is the neck pickup singlecoil with the bridge singlecoil in parallel. I would also throw it over to the bridge humbucker here and there, which I did at the very end of this tune.

Give it a listen. It's pretty fat and sassy. But is it "Jerry" enough stock without the DiMarzios? I like their 59/09 pickups for other tones. Thoughts?

 #128929  by shadowboxer
 Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:30 am
I've been looking at PRS's lately on youtube. I too would be kind of interested in knowing how some of their own pickups might work in that middle slot. That would include the single coil in the 305, the narrow field humbucker, and the 408 humbucker model that balances the volume level between single coil and humbucker. They also have the 408 in a slightly smaller humbucker size (in "Paul's guitar"). My interest in PRS guitars is fairly recent. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never actually tried one out in 30 years of guitar playing. Maybe today I ought to head over to Guitar Center.
 #128930  by tcsned
 Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:16 am
I've had one since 1989 and gigged with it through most of the 90s, they are great guitars and as Vic demonstrated, more than Jerry enough without the bells and whistles. With them, probably even better. I've been thinking of getting mine modded with at least the OBEL and buffer.

 #128932  by playingdead
 Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:51 am
Those narrow field pickups are pretty cool, too ... they have some sort of design where you can tap it and not lose any volume. They don't offer those in any of the stock lefties but I've played a righty Paul's Guitar upside down.

Not sure if I can get a third pickup in the space for the Custom 24 but maybe it would fit. Or one of Scott Walker's single coil DiMarzios. But I'm thinking I might not need the middle pickup anyway.

I'm a PRS dealer ... any rukind brothers that want any PRS guitar (electric or acoustic) or amp I will get you a killer price. I get photo updates daily on what's coming off the line at the factory for the various finishes for the different righty guitars, and can also see what's in stock at PRS.

There's a "Thank You" promotion right now where if you buy a guitar before 7-31 you get a year's worth of free strings (24 sets) and an entry to win an all-expense paid trip to the PRS Experience in the fall. Just PM me or go through my site.
 #128948  by Jon S.
 Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:38 pm
That was truly beautiful playing. I enjoyed your phrasing so much that I only remembered at the very end of the clip that you'd asked us specifically about your tone! But I liked it all.

I own an '86 Custom. Technically not a Custom "24" as in '86, all of Paul's guitars were 24 frets so they were just Customs or Standards. I'm the original owner. Walked into Chuck Levin's (today's Washington Music Center or WMC) looking for a LP, fell in love with my PRS the first time I played it, and bought it despite neither myself nor anyone I knew at the time having even heard of the builder. Never tried it for my Dead music but perhaps I should. Here it is!

 #128953  by playingdead
 Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:45 am
Thanks for the kind words, Jon! That is a sweet guitar, and it's worth some money, too.

Jimmy Herring plays a Custom 22 hard tail and a Hollowbody 2.


 #128955  by playingdead
 Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:41 am
That's correct. PRS also updated the Custom 22 and 24 recently to have a 5 way switch; the previous Customs had a 3-way and a pull on the tone controls to split the single coils.

I think the in-between positions on the Custom 24 are more useful tonally ... neck and bridge single coil in parallel, and neck single/bridge humbucker in parallel. Other three positions are Gibson style humbucking. Ballsy guitar.

Herring's Custom 22 has some mods on it, apparently, there's an extra tone control on it. The Hollowbody 2 also has a piezo pickup with separate outputs, a blend control and on/off toggle.
 #128960  by barefootdave
 Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:55 pm
I have three PRS and love them all. The 1991 EG with the Fralins is particularly pleasing...

Vic, if I went to a show and heard that tone, I wouldn't feel let down at all. Your clip proves once again that most of the tone is in the fingers. Great work.
 #128990  by James-T
 Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:44 pm
Hey Vic,
Great post. Anything PRS I’m game for jumping into. They are simply amazing guitars.
You inspired me to create a taste test for the Dual Sound in the middle versus in the neck and my conclusions are not what I expected.

Check out these two sound clips: ... kup-in-the

This soundclip is my modified PRS Torero in the neck position, single coil mode with a Wald Electronics preamp (UGB). The neck pup is a Dual Sound. The fretboard is ebony. The Torero is a 25.5" scale through neck guitar. The longer neck makes it more "snappy" as Trey Anastasio would say, or more glassy and less fat than a 25" standard PRS scale neck. Compare it to the PRS CU22 soundclip where the Dual Sound is closer to the bridge (middle position). This one is brighter and crisper, while the CU22 Dual Sound is fatter and softer. You would think it would be the opposite.

Image ... n-the-neck

This soundclip is my modified PRS CU22 in the middle position, single coil mode with a Wald Electronics preamp (UGB). Compare it to the PRS Torero soundclip where the Dual Sound is further from the bridge. This one is softer and fatter, while the Torero Dual Sound is crisper and brighter with a touch more bite. You would think it would be the opposite.


I think the neck scale has more impact on the tone in these to guitars than the location of the Dual Sound but I think you can also get a great Jerry tone out of either pick-up location. If you want it brighter in the neck position just crank your tone pot to 10. I find I play at 10 more often than not and I’m sure Jerry probably did as well. Not that I sound like Jerry, nor really know what I’m doing!

I checked out one of your Eyes of the World videos from when you first got your Ultra rig. You guys really can rock! Great vocals as well.

If I was in your shoes I’d go for three pick-ups, put a PAF style PRS in the bridge, a Super 2 in the middle and a comparable PRS in the neck. Then you would have everything! My CU22 with a similar layout offers me so much more access to different sounds than my Torero, which feels like as you say, a one trick pony. I play both, a lot, so I’ve got the best of both worlds.


 #129059  by playingdead
 Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:00 am
Sounding good, James.

I guess Jimmy Herring has been playing a PRS NF3 lately, too.


If you look close, you can see he's also using his AxeFX Ultra and a Crown power amp along with his Fuchs.
 #129064  by James-T
 Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:41 am
Thanks Vic!
He first time I saw Jimmy play was at a bar in Eugene in 1998 with Jazz is Dead. Pretty sure he would have been on a PRS. I went up to him afterwards when he was packing his gear and said “ hey man, you should play with the dead”. He laughed…..He was really humble and soft spoken and we had a nice chat about Georgia or something like that. I know now anything is possible in this world.

The next I saw him was in Ft Lauderdale with the Dead and saw him 4 or 5 times on that tour. His best show with then was in Tampa, played a Lost Sailor into Tennessee Jed into saint and a Help to open the show into FOTD with Dylan. One of my favorite help on the Way’s. Amazing playing. To be honest I never really grooved 100% on his PRS tone, just too jazzy for the Dead. Same goes for my PRS tone live. Getting there but not there yet. I think it’s the shorter scale neck. Sounds great with dirt, just an almost there clean.

I’m glad to see him with an AXE FX. My twin died last night at practice and I’ve got a gig on the Sunshine coast Saturday…and I was almost thinking after last weekend’s gig that I wouldn’t need a back-up, my Twin had been that reliable. Good news is I have a blues deluxe with a D120F in it. I can’t tell it apart from my twin with a hard trucker’s cab. Fenders sound like Fenders. Ok the Twin sounds a hair bigger, but they are so close. That may be my next taste test if I can get my Mac back on line. That too died this week!
Could be time for the AXE FX……..