Closest Pickup to the Classic Gibson PAF

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by dkbemb10, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. prawnik

    prawnik Tele-Holic

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    Lately, the Les Paul guys are raving about ThroBak pickups. This has continued for some time, which is rare among that set in and of itself. Supposedly the Throbaks are wound on old Leesona winding machines similar to those Gibson used (contrary to popular belief, PAFs were machine-wound, not hand-wound.)

    Another favorite are Sheptone Blue Sky pickups.

    Neither Throbaks nor Sheptones are cheap, FWIW. Zhangbuckers are a less costly alternative.
     
  2. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    The Throbak pickups will probably be as close as you will get. They actually purchased the winding machines they use from the old Gibson Kalamazoo factory. The whole story is told on their website. It's pretty interesting.

    I know 3 guys in town here that use ThroBaks and they love them. These are guys who have used Sheptones and all the boutique stuff in the past. One guy is a very good friend of mine and I got to play his 1980 Historic LP (w/ stock Tim Shaw pickups origianally) just this weekend that has the ThroBaks in it and they sound amazing.

    One thing to keep in mind is that there is no single PAF sound. Back when they were winding PAF's they just put wire on until the bobbins were full. Seth Lover has said this in an interview with Seymour Duncan from years ago. They didn't take measurements. They were just throwing pickups together to put into guitars. So there are good PAF's and not so good PAF's and then there are magical ones but it was all hit and miss because they weren't trying to make the 'perfect' pickup.
     
  3. caliban335

    caliban335 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Lollar Imperial Low Wind.
     
  4. DavidS

    DavidS TDPRI Member

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    Throbak SLE-101 Ltd. They are the real deal and what I have in my 1999 R7.
     
  5. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads TDPRI Member

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    The Rocksong bridge is great, it is definetly like having a nice PAF type of humbucker with that added extra output.
    It´s a nice and warm pickup but if you wan´t to it´s gonna scream and squeal if you like to play heavy stuff.
    If you like to play some rock n roll and blues it´s gonna rock as well and it does cleans without any problem.

    Your playing defines it´s character so to speak.
    I swapped the Alnico 2 magnet in my Rocksong Bridge for a Alnico 5, it gave me a tighter sound and more drive which is what i wanted :)
     
  6. Chrismo

    Chrismo Friend of Leo's

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    So that's probably along the lines of a Duncan Custom Custom (with the Alnico 5 a Custom 5). Sounds good to me!
     
  7. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads TDPRI Member

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    It´s not only the magnet that distinguish them from each other.
    My Burstbucker Pro bridge and neck had the coils in paralell on both pickups.
    The bridge read 8,31kOhm and the neck 7,68kOhm.
    From what i´ve heard paralell takes the total resistance and divide it into half of the total resistance which means that the Burstbucker Pro´s has twice the resistance measured.

    About PAF
    The original design were;
    2 slug coils and i think it was 5000winds on each coil.
    Alnico 2 magnet and a nickel cover without any holes in it.
    In 1963 the PAF had evolved into the T-Top IMO.
    You can read more about it here http://home.provide.net/~cfh/paf.html
     
  8. WaylonFan76

    WaylonFan76 Poster Extraordinaire

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    How about Lollar Imperials ?
     
  9. allen st. john

    allen st. john Friend of Leo's

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    Try a guy named Jon Moore from Canada.
    I had him wind a set of PAFs for my (son's) JetKing, and I was blown away. I'm not a huge humbucker guy, but my guitar tech, who's fussy and likes to pick apart boutique gear, was equally impressed, saying they were better than the $500 Holmes he had installed the week before.
    He's also cheap (for now) at $100 each, and winds each pickup to order--mine came with a split coil--in a very reasonable turnaround time. Great guy. Great pickups.

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=685230
     
  10. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

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    And Boneyguy made the most important observation of all: The original PAF's were very inconsistent, so there no such thing as a "best" copy. If this was my project, I would worry less about "best" and more about good and inexpensive. A Duncan '59 would fill the bill.

    Since what you are really trying to do is emulate Keef's sound, I think you might do best by concentrating your resources on getting the right amp. You could put on the finishing touchs with a good equalizer.
     
  11. tgfmike

    tgfmike Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A Gibson 57 Classic is a really nice pup in all respects. I've never seen a humberbucker that was better made or had a more nicely balanced tone.
     
  12. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    The Rocksong are 8k neck (fairly vintage), 12k bridge (a bit hotter to compensate for less volume there). They have alnico II magnet which should should like an old PAF i.e. a slightly aged alnico V (but note the original PAF used any flavour alnico). Alnico V is stronger than alnico II is stronger than alnico IV. Magnets do get weaker as they age. Hope that helps.
     
  13. geetarfreek82

    geetarfreek82 Tele-Afflicted

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  14. looney77

    looney77 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a Duncan '59 in the neck and a JB in the bridge of my Esp (LP copy). I love both of those pickups and can get Stones/Black Crowes tones all day long out of the '59 in the neck. Great pickup, IMHO.
     
  15. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    My partner in Telenator is getting rave reviews about his vintage PAF repros. The same scrutiny and attention to detail you'll find in a Telenator WRHB repro is evident in these remarkable PAFs.

    Hand built to perfection. You can reach him at guitarproblems@aol.com and tell him Telenator sent ya!
     
  16. DMace

    DMace Friend of Leo's

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    Wolfetone Dr. Vintage or WCR Crossroads or Betset.
     
  17. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    zooooommmbbbbbeeeeeeeee.....
     
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