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  • PRS TCI?

    Greetings, Anybody know what's going on with PRS TCI technology? Is it a capacitor across one coil to achieve a dual resonance similar to dimarzio dual resonance? damping one coil with a capacitor? they sound clear in the top end, more high harmonic content. any theories?

  • #2
    Originally posted by singtone View Post
    Greetings, Anybody know what's going on with PRS TCI technology? Is it a capacitor across one coil to achieve a dual resonance similar to dimarzio dual resonance? damping one coil with a capacitor? they sound clear in the top end, more high harmonic content. any theories?
    CenterStaging, LLC in Burbank (where my shop is) has a Paul Reed Smith Artist Relations office. I'll have to stop by to chat with Wynne to see what he knows about that. I personally don't know anything about it.
    Logic is an organized way of going wrong with confidence

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    • #3
      Originally posted by singtone View Post
      Greetings, Anybody know what's going on with PRS TCI technology? Is it a capacitor across one coil to achieve a dual resonance similar to dimarzio dual resonance? damping one coil with a capacitor? they sound clear in the top end, more high harmonic content. any theories?
      Here's their marketing https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php..._tuned_pickups

      In the Silver Sky model they are using a 300k pot and apparently putting a resistor across it in order to get a near perfect 250k resistance, apparently to make high tolerance into a selling point. They say that some pickups sound like "the voice of God" and some "just OK", and they assert that this ambiguity is due to poor tolerances. Thus going forward, all PRS pickups will sound like the voice of God.

      As for the pickups, they obscure what they're doing with technical jargon about capacitance and inductance, also to the effect of tightening tolerances somehow. They claim the results are "very musical". We won't know more until someone provides some gut shots of a PRS with "TCI" technology.

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      • #4
        From what I can deduce the TCI technology is a control process.
        (which includes among other things the 'tweaking of the control resistance)
        The goal is to make every guitar coming off of the assembly line sound identical.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by singtone View Post
          Greetings, Anybody know what's going on with PRS TCI technology? Is it a capacitor across one coil to achieve a dual resonance similar to dimarzio dual resonance? damping one coil with a capacitor? they sound clear in the top end, more high harmonic content. any theories?
          TCI stands for Tuned Capacitance Inductance. When you wind a pickup, the coils are capacitors, resistors, and inductors simultaneously. Our more refined ability to be able to tune those factors is what we have incorporated into TCI pickups,” said Paul Reed Smith.

          Resistance: As is well known, adjusting the tone control when it is closer to 10 than 0 is like changing the resistance across the pickup. This modifies the height and width of the resonant peak.

          Capacitance: The capacitance across the pickup and the inductance determine the resonant frequency. The cable provides most of the capacitance. The easiest way to tune the capacitance is to select a cable with the capacitance that sounds the best.

          Inductance: This is determined by the design and production of the coil. Making consistent pickups requires consistent materials and winding.
          If you say some of your pickups sound so much better than others unless you tune them individually, you are saying that you cannot make a consistent product, or just striving for a way to sell more guitars in a market where sales are declining.

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          • #6
            "If you say some of your pickups sound so much better than others unless you tune them individually, you are saying that you cannot make a consistent product, or just striving for a way to sell more guitars in a market where sales are declining.:
            Hah!
            Back atcha PRS.

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            • #7
              thanks for all the responses. i was looking more for a wiring trick, or cap across a coil or something...those tci pickups sound very open and articulate, as the reviewer in this video says https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjCKNed2f00

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              • #8
                Originally posted by singtone View Post
                thanks for all the responses. i was looking more for a wiring trick, or cap across a coil or something...those tci pickups sound very open and articulate, as the reviewer in this video says https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjCKNed2f00
                So the guy in the video did not touch the amp controls when changing from one guitar to another. So which guitar was used to adjust the amp? In the real world you adjust the amp to sound the way you want with the guitar you are playing. Might not work well for a guitar with pickups that have a different output level and/or frequency response. A meaningful ABCDE.... test is really hard to do.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
                  If you say some of your pickups sound so much better than others unless you tune them individually, you are saying that you cannot make a consistent product,
                  In the fine details, consistency is elusive because pickup makers are at the mercy of slack tolerances on every batch of wire and magnets they get.

                  Then there's the matter of wood variability which shouldn't need elaboration.

                  What I see is PRS making 1st order corrections for industrial facts of life when no one else bothers.

                  -hizself
                  When they close the gun shops, I'll know that the Texas gov't is taking the pandemic seriously.

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                  • #10
                    It is a proven marketing strategy to offer solutions to made-up problems.
                    - Own Opinions Only -

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                    • #11


                      Originally posted by singtone View Post
                      thanks for all the responses. i was looking more for a wiring trick, or cap across a coil or something...those tci pickups sound very open and articulate, as the reviewer in this video says https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjCKNed2f00
                      IMO, words like "articulate" and "open" are filler words that YouTube reviewers use when they have nothing to say that is specific to sound and audio, they're less about sound and more about emotion. They're such cliche words, along with "musical" or "warm" or "harmonically rich", that I almost think of them as being derogatory remarks. The demo uses a dirty amp that his known to have a very characteristic sound in its own right. The fact that they're not demo'd clean doesn't fill me with confidence. As pickups are filters, the amp they are demo'd though should ideally be very flat and very clean, so that the influence the pickup's filtering will be more easily discerned.

                      The truth is that pots can be tuned to precision, the way they did it, by putting a resistor across it to drop the pot value to a precise resistance, but that's not really possible with a guitar pickup, because while inductance is intentional, the resistance and the capacitance are "non ideal" side effects. There's only one plausible sense in which I can imagine the idea of tuning the pickups having truth; suppose they want the unloaded resonant peak of the pickup to be 5kHz, because because of all the variant L and C the resonant peak is instead 6kHz. They could add a capacitor across the pickup that drops the peak to precisely 5kHz. It would be sort of pointless to do that, because the capacitance will further change due to other parasitic capacitances elsewhere in the guitar wiring, but for the sake of selling refrigerators to Eskimos, it's technically possible. I'd have to see it to believe, none the less.
                      Last edited by Antigua; 08-14-2020, 05:15 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by singtone View Post
                        Greetings, Anybody know what's going on with PRS TCI technology? Is it a capacitor across one coil to achieve a dual resonance similar to dimarzio dual resonance? damping one coil with a capacitor? they sound clear in the top end, more high harmonic content. any theories?
                        I don't know what is TCI but the idea of "tuning" the coils of humbuckers by manipulating their RLC specs is very familiar to me as well as very effective (many experiments about that having been done here for a local winder)... and in my understanding / IMHO, your suppositions are on the right track, that's all I can say. :-)
                        Last edited by freefrog; 08-18-2020, 10:39 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks freefrog , hopefully we will get to the bottom of this!

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