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Does ‘TCI’ make a difference in PRS Pickups?

In this video we try to determine whether the new PRS 85/15 ‘TCI’ pickups sound better than the older 85/15 ‘TM’ pickups.

Get the PRS 85/15 TCI pickups here (limited supply)

Get the PRS 58/15 LT TCI pickups here (limited supply)

Get a PRS Custom 24 here (prepare for sticker shock…)

How we set up this experiment

To set up this experiment, I took my 2016 PRS Custom 24 with stock 85/15 ‘TM’ pickups and recorded several playing samples. Then I swapped the pickups out with a set of brand new 85/15 TCI pickups and played the exact same parts through the same Axe-FX III preset.

To keep things as consistent as possible, I used the same set of strings, and made sure the setup and pickup height were the same for both samples (they were done within a day of each other).

Gear details for the video

Guitar used in this video: 2016 PRS Custom 24 10-top

Gear used in the ‘playing sample’ clips: on-screen pedalboard into stereo amps (Dr. Z Z-Wreck and Matchless C-30, both into UA Ox’s)

Gear used in the comparison clips: Fractal Axe-FX III using the Matchless C-30 amp model

Video table of contents

  • Table of contents: 00:00 – Playing Sample 1 (TCI pickups)
  • 00:29 – Let’s answer the question: does ‘TCI’ make a difference?
  • 00:55 – My pickup journey in my Custom 24
  • 01:06 – PRS has been updating their pickups
  • 02:56 – Playing Sample 2 (TCI pickups)
  • 03:37 – What I don’t love about the old
  • 85/15 ‘TM’ pickups
  • 04:34 – Pickup comparisons – clean tones
  • 05:38 – Pickup comparisons – drive tones
  • 06:05 – Pickup comparison – add reverb and delay
  • 06:57 – My thoughts after listening to the A/B samples and playing the TCI pickups
  • 07:54 – The other big question: should you upgrade?
  • 08:54 – PRS 85/15 pickups are underrated (in my opinion)
  • 09:18 – All of the newer PRS pickups we’ve tried sound really good
  • 10:04 – Playing Sample 3 (TCI pickups)

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