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sha33

The best P.A.F replica to YOU ?

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Hi everyone,

 

I seen there is hundreds of PAF replicas, but wich one is th best to YOU?

 

Iv'e tried some, and for me the best is actually the Historic PAF Hysteric Bar. Very Good.

And have you some recommendation of models like "man over the pond", or some really crazy replica with vintage mojo-blues that costs 8000k (or more?) ...

 

Thanks :rolleyes:

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Welcome sha33.

I have very limited knowledge of after market pickups, but without doubt the best Gibson USA ones are the 59 Tributes. I've compared them with my friends early 60's (62 I think) PAF equipped ES335 and there pretty close in my opinion.

 

Ian

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Hello and welcome to the Forums!

 

Gibson makes perfect replicas, covering all possible PAF variations.

 

Cheers... Bence

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The "Best?" I honestly couldn't tell you. The original PAF's were all over the place,

sound wise, depending on how they were wound (totally by hand, and so an accurate wind,

was nearly impossible). Some sounded Awesome (usually slightly overwound), and other's

were flat, and kind of "lifeless" sounding, by comparison.

 

But, for my money (so far) Gibson's '57's and '57 Plus, have been my humbucker of choice,

in all my Gibson guitars. I replaced the hotter Ceramic's, that came stock, in my 2000

LP Classic, with '57's and immediately loved the tone that I remembered, from the "Sixties!"

I've seen no reason to switch! Not yet, anyway. '59's and Burstbucker's would be a good

choice, as well. Some like the Duncan '59's, too. But, for me, I'll stay with the '57's! [thumbup]

 

 

CB

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The "Best?" I honestly couldn't tell you. ...

 

CB

Me too. It's always the one that supports a musician's individual desires best. There also is not a specific pickup tone as such. It will depend on strings, guitar, what amp and speaker make out of it and, most of all, the player.

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Wow!

 

It's like asking which is the best guitar ever.

 

I think the best guitar in the world is: The one you're holding.

This likely means your playing it and all is good.

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Thanks for answering guys. But i did precise, the best paf replica to YOU !

 

I tried Classics 57 and i didn't like them, they were too brigh for me. The doyle pickups seems very good.. :)

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Thanks for answering guys. But i did precise, the best paf replica to YOU !

...

Besides twelve more Gibson humbuckers of nine other types that came stock in some more guitars, there are six '57s, four splittable '57s, one series/parallel switchable '57, one '57 Plus, one series/parallel switchable '57 Plus, splittable BurstBuckers 1 & 2, and "capacitor-tuned" splittable BurstBuckers Pro Neck & Bridge here, stock in five Les Paul guitars and three SGs.

 

I'm fairly content with them all and wouldn't replace any of them with anything else.

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Thanks for answering guys. But i did precise, the best paf replica to YOU !

 

I tried Classics 57 and i didn't like them, they were too brigh for me. The doyle pickups seems very good.. :)

 

Well, to each his or her own. I've never found '57's to be "too bright" sounding. :-k However, if I need

less brightness/treble, regardless of pickups, I just turn the tone knob down, a bit. Or, the treble on the amp.

Fattens up the tone, nicely, without degrading the articulation. Lowering the pickups, might help, as well.

 

But, again, that's just Me! We all have different experiences, and preferences. Nothing wrong, with that! [biggrin]

 

CB

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I'm lucky to have used a few sets of PAFs when I was a kid. 57 Classic and 57+ are the only ones I'd even think about putting in the one Gibson I have that doesn't have 57s in it, they are as close to my memories as I can get.

 

rct

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Thanks for answering guys. But i did precise, the best paf replica to YOU !

 

I tried Classics 57 and i didn't like them, they were too brigh for me. The doyle pickups seems very good.. :)

Brightness is good, if you have it you can turn it down, if you don't have it then that's one less option open to you.

 

 

Ian

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Really not sure I know what a "PAF" actually sounds like :rolleyes: - I thought I did, years ago, but when I started chasing it I found the sound that I was originally after was mid-70s rock, so Patent Received and T-Tops (makes sense, that's the music that woke me up)

 

There's plenty of records with "hey! here's a proper PAF... listen to this" reputation... and they all sound different... it's in the hands of the player, the amp, the room it was recorded in, the mics... (some of the recordings even turn out to be strats or teles if you research it far enough [biggrin]).

 

Once you've agreed it's not a ceramic, high output, whatever, pickup, "PAF" seems to be about a certain responsiveness to player input. When you play a guitar that gives you "that" humbucker tone (whatever "that" tone is to you) and it cleans up nice on the volume control, and it blooms when you want it to, and bites when you dig in... etc... etc... that's when you go "now THAT'S what I'm talking about, that's a PAF tone".

 

Unless you've got a real PAF in your hands (and that might sound good, it might sound awful or not even work, but it'll certainly be expensive!), unless you've got a real one in your hands, I think it's an "idea" or "concept" a bunch of us aspire to... And that makes us a market ripe for exploitation [biggrin] (I'm quite happy with that, btw).

 

 

Anyhoo, my personal favourites for "PAF" are Stormy Mondays from Bare Knuckle Pickups. I've dabbled about for several years trying several humbuckers (BKP have another model, The Mule, which they describe as "59 PAF", I like that, but not as much). I'm not particularly looking for "PAF" on my humbucker guitars, I've just got a pretty good idea of what I'm after now - and describing it as "PAF" probably communicates it as good as anything. Last year I gave in and tried the BKP Stormy Mondays. They're A2 magnets and fairly low output. I'd always thought they'd be too low for me, but no, I absolutely love them (I have them in a 2012 LP Traditional, and I'm probably about to get them for a 2016 SG 61 Re-issue).

 

I like Gibson 57 and 57+ Classics but, for me personally, BKP's Stormy Mondays seem to have a bit "more" of what I'm after. They seem kind of clearer and sweeter, they seem to let more of my playing/personality through.

 

However, I have to say - I haven't tried Gibson's 59s. It's possible, from the descriptions I've read (including the reports from guys that didn't like them on LPs from recent years), that I might like those more than the 57s (it sounds like they might be like the Stormy Mondays in character).

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I went with a Seymour Duncan Joe Bonamassa Magellan PAF set.

 

Joe sat down with MJ at Duncan and they took his 1st Burst he ever bought called Magellan and they made 6 different sets of prototypes till the came up with a pair that sounded like his 59 burst.

 

that's good enough for me.. so I've got a set, and I like them in my Paul

 

 

 

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Gibson makes some solid pickups. I'm not a fan of their Burstbuckers, but the 57 Classics (and 57+) are great. And the 59 Tributes are outstanding (IMO, clearly the best pickup offered in a Gibson USA product in years).

 

That said... there's A LOT more options out their than just Gibson made pickups. Makers like DiMarzio and Seymour Duncan all offer excellent PAF type pickups that are very affordable and sound great. A buddy of mine has some Duncan 59s in his Epi Les Paul... completely changed the tone of that guitar from average to excellent. I personally have a set of DiMarzio 36th Anniversary PAFs in my 2016 Trad... and frankly, they are even a bit better than the Gibson 59 Tributes I have in my 2014 Trad.

 

Then there's the plethora of boutique pickup winders that specialize in making PAF replicas and capturing that PAF tone. Many of which, frankly, easily surpass what Gibson builds. But you do pay for them (upwards to $300-$400 a set usually... and many times you have to wait several weeks to get them as they are made to order). I have been very, very seriously contemplating getting a set of Zhangbucker pickups (one of these many boutique winders) for my 2016 Trad. As much as I do love the DiMarzio 36s, I'd really like to give these Zhangbuckers a try (have read nothing but exuberantly glowing reviews on them). Plus David Plummer (the owner of Zhangbuckers) is having a 10% off sale right now... soooo... [thumbup]

 

Anyway, if I do pull the trigger on them, I'll come back and update on my take on them as well. [biggrin]

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PAF appears to be a marketing hype. I have them in the sixties; but the goal at that time was to get more volume. I still have no idea what anybody mean by PAF sounding. Audio memory is very short term.

 

I've got a few with the old aging stickers and they sound mellow and lower volume. Some of my early to mid sixties pickups with the pat number on them sound similar. I guess, I just do not have the audio finesse to discriminate the difference.

 

The Gibson 57 pickups sound similar except a little more brilliant. Depending on the amp setting, it breaks up easily and sound primitive.

 

To be honest, it all depends how you EQ your amp to get what you think is a PAF sound. Listen to the likes of Bonamassa playing a 57 LP and listen to old record blues or early rock players with PAFs. They're all PAFs but sound different...that's disregarding the playing style.

 

PAF, ahhh...selling a fantasy of being in the forefront era of the electric guitar. It's just an old fart's opinion...

Playing Always Frequently is the true PAF! msp_thumbup.gif

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Right, pretty much how it is. In general I just think players prefer either a slightly more compressed sound or the non potted choices which are slightly more open sounding. To me I lean toward the slightly more compressed sound of the 490- 57 or DiMarzio than say the BBs 1-2-3 or the Seths. But as an alternative the 59 Tributes really do it for me. I also think the Seths and BBs vary slightly from set to set. At least to my ears. Not so much with say the 57s or say DiMarzios. Pretty much drop in and play situations. The non potted and the Tributes I tweaked endlessly it seems to finally arrive where I felt was a great balanced sound from string to string.

 

As far as boutique, you can spend a lot of cash chasing a figment of your imagination. I would for example give the Seths or 57/DiMarzio a good look first and find your space. Same thing with Alnico II and V, I mean we are talking lots of different things.

 

That said I have heard the Seths A/Bd with some of the better boutiques and for sure dollar for dollar they hold their own.

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Right, pretty much how it is. In general I just think players prefer either a slightly more compressed sound or the non potted choices which are slightly more open sounding. To me I lean toward the slightly more compressed sound of the 490- 57 or DiMarzio than say the BBs 1-2-3 or the Seths. But as an alternative the 59 Tributes really do it for me. I also think the Seths and BBs vary slightly from set to set. At least to my ears. Not so much with say the 57s or say DiMarzios. Pretty much drop in and play situations. The non potted and the Tributes I tweaked endlessly it seems to finally arrive where I felt was a great balanced sound from string to string.

 

As far as boutique, you can spend a lot of cash chasing a figment of your imagination. I would for example give the Seths or 57/DiMarzio a good look first and find your space. Same thing with Alnico II and V, I mean we are talking lots of different things.

 

That said I have heard the Seths A/Bd with some of the better boutiques and for sure dollar for dollar they hold their own.

 

Excellent post! I have owned 4 different sets of 57/57+ combos (in 4 different LPs) and 3 out of the 4 were very similar sounding (the odd one out was rather Ice Picky and I returned the guitar (purchased new) for another one with 57s which was better sounding). Anyway, they are pretty plug and play. I will definitely give Gibson that... they tend to built their stuff fairly consistently. My biggest problem with the 57s is they are pretty compressed and this results in them being rather 1-dimensional, IME. The DiMarzio 36th Annys in my Trad are more open sounding than any 57 I've ever had... and has a result have more of an airy 3-dimensionality to them which I find very, very appealing. The key to really telling the difference between pickups is to swap them into the same guitar. Every guitar has its own character and thus in order to remove that variable you need to test pickups by putting them into the same guitar. I've had 3 different sets of pickups in this Trad of mine that now houses the DiMarzio 36s. The DiMarzios are the best so far. The other two sets were the stock 57/57+ and another boutique set that was very airy and "3D" (even more so than the DiMarzio 36s, frankly), but were a bit too "thin" sounding for my tastes and thus lacked the guts and attitude I was looking for. Plus they were unpotted and, frankly, were pretty microphonic (I tend to play a good amount of gain most days) and I just can't a abide microphonic squeal... so I returned them (and ended up with the DiMarzios instead).

 

I really love the DiMarzios and could just leave well enough alone and be happy with them I'm sure... BUT... I did decide to pull the trigger on the Zhangbuckers I mentioned in a previous post. David Plummer (the owner of Zhangbucker) lightly pots his pickups unless you request otherwise and will install them and test them against squeal before shipping them to you. And he has a stellar reputation, and the clips I have heard of his pickups are pretty impressive! So I figured I'd give boutique at least one more shot. If I don't love them, I can return them (or he can tweak them to my liking)... so I figured, why not.

 

I do agree that you can spend a lot of money on boutique pickups chasing a dream, but I don't think it's necessarily a figment of the imagination. There are a lot pickup winders out there that make some very good stuff that have some extraordinary tonal characteristics. But, of course, it's all subjective.

 

Anyone interested in just how good geniune PAFs can sound, and who likes A/Bing pickups in the same guitar, should give the Doug and Pat Show a watch: The Doug and Pat Show

 

Doug and Pat have two vintage LPs with PAFs in them. A 57 Gold Top called Oscar and a 60 Burst called Jayne. Both LPs have their original PAFs and give a good representation of what good PAFs sound like. They also do a ton of testing of boutique PAF style pickups in a particular Heritage LP copy. This really gives a good idea of what each pickup brings to the table. Plus they're just entertaining to watch. :) I highty recommend their channel.

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Anyone play these or own one? I been seeing a few around from the 2014 run pretty well priced. Haven't heard them though. Nice looking guitar though.

 

http://www.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2015/Memphis/ES-Les-Paul.aspx

 

Tempting I'll tell ya.

 

 

Pickups Rhythm Lead

Style: MHS Humbucker MHS Humbucker

Winds/Coil: Screw side/Slug side: 4900/5100 5200/5400

Material of Wire (gauge): Enamel (42) Enamel (42)

Coil Dimensions (per coil): 6.6294 cm x 1.7272 mm / 2.61" x 0.68 " 6.6294 cm x 1.7272 mm / 2.61" x 0.68 "

Coil Material: ABS ABS

Coil Winding Process: Scatter Wound Scatter Wound

Pole Piece Material: Nickel plated steel Nickel plated steel

Pole Piece Position from Nut: 47.4218 cm / 18.670" 59.5173 cm / 23.432 "

Slug Material: Nickel plated steel Nickel plated steel

Slug Dimensions (diameter x length): 4.7498 mm x 1.24206 cm / 0.187" x .489" 4.7498 mm x 1.24206 cm / 0.187" x .489"

Magnet Material: Alnico III Alnico II

Magnet Position from Nut: 48.26 cm / 19" 58.42 cm / 23"

Magnet Dimensions: 6.35 cm x 1.27 mm / 2.5" x 0.5" 6.35 cm x 1.27 mm / 2.5" x 0.5"

Polarities: Screw side is the south pole of magnet Screw side is the south pole of magnet

Cover: Nickel plated Nickel plated

Qfactor: 3.21 3.2

ResistanceDC: 7526 ohms 7963 ohms

Resonant Frequency: 2859.84 Hz 2695.19 Hz

Tonal & Resonant Advancements:

Historically accurate "Patent Applied For" replica with airy tone and unbalanced coils. Slightly under wound.

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I have not heard these (or even heard *of* them until now)... but sure would like to. They look very interesting! [thumbup]

 

Me either, I have to get out more. [biggrin] Actually I haven't been in GC in so long not a single person was left their but one from last time I bought strings. Definitely an interesting piece. I never played one.

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What is PAF? One persons PAF is another persons 'mid 70's'. Every discussion about what makes for the best PAF tone seems to be very subjective (obviously) but also often not singing from the same hymn sheet to begin with. [biggrin]

 

PAF to me means underwound, Alnico 2 on a driven amp. Its thin, reedy and harmonic. It sounds poo on high gain. The epitome of PAF for me is pre PAF. Its found in the 50's P90's.

 

Like this one:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ATolIMMqZM

 

And this one:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAWl8sD088k

 

That is purest PAF. [thumbup]

 

The 'PAF' tone that came with the buckers was just those that sounded the most like the P90's that came before. Greeny et al.

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