Zhangbucker - Paul Bunyan vs. Tar Paper Bridge (Need Advice)

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by DeNeriOne, May 14, 2021.

  1. DeNeriOne

    DeNeriOne TDPRI Member

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    Need advice from Tele players who may have tried both of these pickups.

    I have a Nash 52 Tele (blonde with black guard). Great guitar. It came stock with Duncan vintage stack pickups. Looking to upgrade to a new Zhangbucker bridge to match up with a ZB Telebucker 3 in the neck position. I am looking at a Paul Bunyan A5 magnet 9.5K vs. a Tar Paper A3 magnet 8.5K.

    I am not looking for Tele twang. I don’t play country. I play rock n roll. I lean towards warmth, clarity, and chime with some stank on it. I use the middle position constantly.

    Would the Tar Paper be a better fit for the rock player that plays through an AC15? I was thinking the A3 magnet might have added chime and warmth, and the slightly less output might be magic - be more nuanced, and maybe less of a hammer. I don't want a true vintage wind that is bright or twangy, but I also don't want a sledgehammer either.

    My concerns are that the Tar Paper may be too polite and not snarl enough, and that a PB with A5 magnet might be too belligerent with far less airy, sweetness on the top - you know, a sledgehammer.

    Does anyone have insights they can share about these two choices? Thanks!
     
  2. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

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    I can only share about the Paul Bunyan as I've yet to have the pleasure of trying a Tar Paper. I will say the PB is among my all time favorite bridge pickups. I like more beefy bridge pickups, and the PB pretty much does it all for my needs. It can twang, it can be P90ish....just a great tele bridge pickup. The Tar Paper sounds like a killer though. Anything Dave winds is top notch in my book. Great guy to deal with also. Good luck on your choice!
     
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  3. Drak

    Drak Tele-Afflicted

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    I have an A3 Tar Paper and an A5 Super Paul Bunyan with the large 1/4" rod mags.
    Tho I had them in different guitars at different times.

    In regards to what you outlined, the standard PB all the way, you have nothing to worry about.
    If you have any issues, which I don't think you will, just adjust the volume pot value up a bit.

    An aside...he has his phone number listed right on his website.
    So one day I had a question and figured what the hell, and called it...and he picked right up.
    So if you have any questions, just call him directly, nice guy.
     
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  4. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    I had a PB and didn't really feel there was anything special about it and didn't care for the overwound coil. It just sounded slightly lifeless to me, but then the few 9k range tele bridge pickups i have tried all did. If thats what you want maybe u will like it but IMO even tho you don't care about twang and all that, a lot of richness lives in lower wind and overwinding them kills a lot of that IMO.
    So i did what i often do to pickups like that and unwound it down to 8k which if i recall is what the tar paper is. (could have sworn the TP was A5) It gained back much of what was lost at 9k but then sounded really bright and thin. They use a tall bobbin to get all those winds on it and i think that makes for a loss of mids compared to a standard size bobbin. You might wanna try what i just did.....have bootstrap wind you a 7.5k or even 8k A5 bridge pickup with 42AWG. I think 8k will fit a standard bobbin with 42AWG but ask Ryan.His drop down menu doesn't offer that DCR but you can email him and tell him you want that and if he can get that much on the bobbin he will, then when u place the order email him with your order number and tell him the DCR u want. It will cost u $10 more for a custom wind but thats whats great about bootstrap.....even with the custom up charge the shipped total price is $41 ! That pickup to my ear sounded much more "right" than the PB at either 9.5 or 8k. It still had the bite but w/o the pain, and lets face it, BITE is an important feature of rock tone and gets lost in high winds.
     
  5. DeNeriOne

    DeNeriOne TDPRI Member

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    Thanks so much for the replies so far. Great information, and on-point in terms of addressing my issue/question. This particular Tar Paper has an A3 mag rather than the standard A5.

    I have a couple of sets of David's HBs in Gibson guitars. Low output versions. Love them for their musicality and warm, airy chime. Subtle and sophisticated, even in a rock n roll setting. They clean up brilliantly but still snarl when pushed.

    And that is the essence of my original post. I don't know how best to achieve that same vibe with a single coil Tele pickup, or more to the point, which choice gets me in that zone.

    Again, thanks for sharing your experiences.
     
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  6. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

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    Do a search for tdpri member named refin. He made some killer demo recordings using a Paul Bunyan bridge pickup. That may give you an idea of the tone.
     
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  7. TinkerSolderTry

    TinkerSolderTry TDPRI Member

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    i own a paul bunyan with a tap and it’s great.
    also own the bareknuckle boss with 8.2k AwG 42.
    the paul bunyan on the tap is about the same dcr as the boss. iT’s true it’s a lil less full tapped because of it’s taller bobbin (i guess) compared to the boss (std sized) but also clearer.
    coming from humbuckers, i feel more at home on the full 9,5k paul bunyan. the attack is just fuller but a long way from muddy. not as “plingy” as with lower wound singles.
    on full the mids sit just right. not honky or scooped but definitely more than vintage output. the added wire/turns need the stronger A5 magnet or it would sound too midheavy IMHO.
    the super paul bunyan is what i would call a sledgehammer (in a good way), although the highs are even tamer.
    with a humbucker in the neck the paul bunyan is the better match, i’d say.

    also on lower winds i roll the tone a lil bit down. the paul bunyan is perfect to me on 10 (250k vol, 250k tone)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
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  8. DeNeriOne

    DeNeriOne TDPRI Member

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    BB - thank you for suggestion to listen to Refin's clips. His ZB HB clips from years ago led me to purchase David's HB's in the first place. Great player; great tone and phrasing. When I listen to him, it makes me want to quit the game (as Bill Murray said in Caddyshack). hahahaha.

    TinkerSolderTry - your response is so helpful - especially your point about "coming from HBs", feeling more at home using a PB, and that PB will likely balance better with a HB in the neck position.

    Thanks everyone for all your responses. Glad I asked the experts. I am ready to move forward now!
     
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  9. Frontier9

    Frontier9 Friend of Leo's

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    The refin demo of the Paul Bunyan was what sold me. Glad I bought it. It's a very versatile pickup - there's some twang if you go looking for it, but undeniably a great rock pickup. Just the right amount of mids to make it sound mean when you want it to.
     
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