Tone Report Weekly Issue 115 - Page 61

new(ish) 85/15 pickups that were released last year. They certainly sound like classic humbuckers, but they are a little more defined in the lows, slightly scooped in the low-mids, and clearer in the high-mids. High fidelity is kind of a bad word when discussing guitars, but it works here. The 85/15s are balanced across the frequency spectrum and have a lovely, built-in compression. Yes, they’re hot, but rolling back on the volume knob takes some of that edge off. I found myself playing with the volume on the guitar set at 7 and then rolling up to 10 for full distortion. One of the things that has always set PRS pickups apart from their peers is that they actually sound good when splitting the pickup for single-coil tones. The CE24 and the 85/15s do the best tappedcoil tone I’ve ever heard. Split the coils, plug into a Fuzz Face, Tube Screamer or both, and you get instant Hendrix and SRV tones. Switch back to both coils and you have ‘70s and ‘80s rock and metal and any modern tone you could want. The heel on the neck of the CE24 is substantial but it’s carved asymmetrically so that it doesn’t hinder upper fret access. Compared to most bolt-on guitars, the neck on the CE24 is thicker where it joins the body and it is inserted more deeply. In fact, the way in which it joins the body is almost like the joint on set-neck PRS guitars. It’s a super-solid connection but it still offers the snap and twang you would expect from a bolt-on neck. Speaking of the neck, the satin Nitro finish is one of the nicest finishes I’ve felt—quick and svelte even with sweaty hands on the fourth set of the evening. And it has just right amount of luster to show off the subtle birds-eye pattern of the maple. WHAT WE LIKE The CE24 was and is a classic for a reason. It’s a combination magician, chameleon, and jack of all trades. If I were the type to limit myself to just one guitar (hint: I’m not), I could easily do an entire gig with just the CE24 running from classic rock, to indie rock, to alt-country, and on. CONCERNS If you are using a lowheadroom amp or some vintage style fuzz pedals, the full-on humbucker tones can be a little too hot (especially if you’re looking for clean tones). ToneReport.com 61