Which pickups closest to original PAF?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by HaroldBKNY, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. HaroldBKNY

    HaroldBKNY TDPRI Member

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  2. Golem

    Golem Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Seymour Duncan collaborated with the original designer of Gibson's PAF, Seth Lover, to produce a pickup with his name on it. So, as far as I'm concerned, that's the closest you can get to how they were designed to sound. You can argue about any particular actual example you copy to produce a reproduction, but I think that one's going to be truest to Seth Lover's vision.

    All that said, not everyone wants to use an unpotted pickup and there are plenty of other PAF type pickups that I think sound great.
     
  3. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is just opinion. I'll say that the 59's, Seth Lover's and the Dimarzio's are all about the same thing. The 57 classic's and Antiquity's would be the same as the before mentioned, but with A2 magnets instead of the A5's. Burstbuckers were brighter than all the before mentioned pickups. Similar to Filtertrons.
     
  4. psykobilly

    psykobilly Tele-Meister

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    I have a set of unpotted mules that do it for me. Have wanted to try some unpotted seths, just haven't gotten around to it.....yet. Something about the absence of the wax that makes em more musical. Ime. The mules aren't as microphonic as you would think. I have had them in some LOUD situations with no problems. Cleans are as sweet as I've ever heard from a bucker.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  5. HaroldBKNY

    HaroldBKNY TDPRI Member

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    Looks like Seth Lovers are alnico II, not alnico V: https://www.seymourduncan.com/single-product/seth-lover
     
  6. Golem

    Golem Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    @Zepfan I've never felt any filtertron, or at least not the ones TV Jones made, sounded like a PAF. Possibly the new broadtron designed by Tim Shaw might, from what I've heard. The Seth Lovers are A2, and unpotted. The 59s are potted and use A5.

    I've never tried the antiquities humbuckers but I understand them to be A2 with some sort of demagnetization (not advertised but widely rumored to be the case).
     
  7. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I stand corrected.

    I said the BB's were "similar" to Filtertrons. I mean that in a way that only a PAF type could get close to. BB's had A5's and the FT's had A5's, both are low wind.

    A2 magnets have less magnetic strength than the A5's already and I know people advertise the further de-guassing for the Antiquities, but I'm not convinced.
     
  8. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Which Gibson PAF? Lot’s of variation in the original PAFs. There are so many pickup builders making PAF type pickups, could be a deep expensive rabbit hole to go down.
     
  9. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I must interject here - those old PAF recordings also involved an amp, a specific guitar, recording environment, and a tape machine. My guess is that there are far too many variables to state that a pickup can sound like an old recording.
     
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  10. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Meister

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    I'm at a buddy's house right now and he just played his R9 and R7 back and forth several times. The BBs in the R9 had more midrange punch. The 57s were more scooped and dark. But, he has two Les Pauls with the 57s and those are the ones he records with. When he gigs, he uses the guitars with more midrange punch.
     
  11. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's

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    Well, my LP with Custombuckers through my amp sounds like some recordings by Peter Green and Dickie Betts. I can get their tones. I could not do as Well with Burstbuckers.
     
  12. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    Im quite interested in swapping out my BB's in my 2015 LP Standard as it is slightly too bright for me. A trait I have heard the 2015's tend to suffer from (amongst all the other "issues" that I mostly really like, one of the very few :) ).

    After spending years trying to brighten up my TV Silver Epiphone LP Custom Pro I am now in the reverse situation....getting a fraction of tops of the Gibson would be quite nice.

    Especially as the Helix tends to be slightly bright, as do my amps, Origin 20, AC30CCH and so on.

    Given there appears to be a wealth of experience in this thread...

    I have my eyes on and wonder, would the Antiquity's or Seth Lovers be considered brighter than the BB's?
     
  13. NiceTele

    NiceTele Tele-Afflicted

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    The Shaw PAFs I have in my '84 ES335 are articulate, not muddy, not high output and sound great- the best humbuckers I have used by a mile. I have had the Seth Lovers and SD Antiquities in other 335s but they all sounded pretty boring. There's a guy here in Australia- Mick Brierley, who IMO makes the best humbuckers going around anywhere if you're interested.
     
  14. Morpeli

    Morpeli TDPRI Member

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  15. schozwo

    schozwo NEW MEMBER!

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  16. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude TDPRI Member

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    I would stick with Lollar Imperials. Best humbucker I have ever played.
     
  17. Russp

    Russp TDPRI Member

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    I'd say nearly impossible for most people to say as I'd think that most people haven't been lucky enough to try original PAFs in the flesh. Next best thing, in my opinion, was watching The Doug and Pat Show on YouTube - that opened up some avenues of exploration. I think that getting fantastic sounding pickups only matters if a player plays dynamically and expressively - if you're going to hammer the crap out of them you loose the subtleties and benefits that classic dynamic pickups deliver.

    It also depends on how developed, sensitive or attuned your ears are to tone - and whether you care. As for myself I didn’t care and couldn’t care less only a few years ago. It was only through the obsession of one of my siblings that it gradually rubbed off on me. Fast forward to now and my personal favourites are from Throbak - I have them in two Gibson Les Paul guitars replacing the stock pickups. They’re more expressive, dynamic and have more bite - they make a huge difference.
     
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  18. bananafist

    bananafist Tele-Meister

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    I've played a couple of vintage 58-60 LPs and borrowed one for the evening. That second one had a beautiful sounding neck pickup, clear, articulate, and sweet, bridge pickup bright, sharp but not too sharp, both really nice - @'as you'd expect' clean sound,(Peter Green?) The other LP, pretty average, nothing special. Owned 6 or 7 reissue LPs since 1972, (mainly a Fender man,) and put some Tom Holmes in one of them. That guitar sounded the closest to the original I liked that I've ever heard. Costly pickups though nowadays, even used. Good luck.
     
  19. clayville

    clayville Tele-Meister

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    What does the guitar sound like now? Is your amp capable of delivering the sound you're after? What direction do you want to take the sound from the current baseline? Can you get "there" through simple adjustments like pickup height, pole piece height, twiddling your tone knobs on the guitar or amp? Not to sound like a simpleton, but all that stuff makes a difference.

    If none of that satisfies, then look for pickups (or some other component - pedals, pots, caps, strings, freakin' picks) with characteristics that compensate for the tonal shortfall you feel inherent in the guitar and the amp. There's no one magic component - it all has to work for you as a System, and there are many routes to the summit... try to bring the guitar there, rather than impose The Single Magic Solution.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  20. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Afflicted

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