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Thread: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

  1. #21
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    Rio Grande Pickups.

    Their PAFs are
    Buffalo Bucker -- Very '50's, medium-output
    Genuine Texas -- More output
    Texas BBQ -- More output than the Genuine Texas

    Added bonus: A "Texas" feel I can't describe, but they sound great with rock and blues. Played clean, the tone has a piano-like density.

    I built a guitar for my brother that has a BBQ in the bridge and a Buffalo Bucker in the neck. Very nice.

    I have another guitar with Rio Grande single coils in the bridge and middle and a Genuine Texas in the neck. In that guitar, the Genuine Texas has the best sound.

    Although they are hand-made, they are priced competitively. They hold up fine, but the only real drawback is that their build quality doesn't have the same clean look like a Seymour Duncan or Gibson pickup.

    Unexpected celebrity endoresement: I live in Houston, where Rios are made and ZZ Top are locals. When I took a guitar into the repair shop that had Rios in it, a guy in a funny hat next to me at the service window commented on them being very good pickups. It was Billy F. Gibbons. The tech later informed me my arrival had interrupted a good 'on tour' story. I'm such a tool.

  2. #22
    Mojo's Minions Christopher Caruana's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by bryvincent View Post
    the pearly gates came out first before the burstbuckers.
    true.....but the first pearly gate pups that were made for billy gibbons, were based off of the original humbuckers that were in his orginal '59 Les Paul Standard. The burstbuckers are just a reissue of the original pickups that came stock in the '58 and '59 LP standards from gibson back then
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    Ultimate Tone Member Micah's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    Ive never tried them, but can any one speak to the vintage PAF flavored humbuckers made by our own forum bro Zhanguliqin (Zhangbucker Pickups)?

    Incredible guy by the way. Ive been shooting the breeze with him for a few days now about a Paul Bunyan Tele pickup I will have him make for me. Guy really seems to know his stuff.

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    Toneologist SlayerSlaughter's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    I had the Gibson 57' Classic's in my 1957 Gibson Les Paul First Edition. Sounded beautiful, but I play Metal so I dropped in EMG's.
    Quote Originally Posted by Funkfingers View Post
    Soooooooooooo, You've obviously never encountered SlayerSlaughter.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    Throbak Limited's are wound with NOS wire on the same machines Gibson used for the PAF and Patent # pickups... they look promising.

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    Mojo's Minions LtKojak's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by supernosher View Post
    Throbak Limited's are wound with NOS wire on the same machines Gibson used for the PAF and Patent # pickups... they look promising.
    For $ 450.00 a set I'd say I stay with Custom Shop Duncans...
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    SD PAFs design pickups are the best. Wether hot vintage, true vintage, or whatever. SD just seems to have its finger on that pulse. Dimarzio PAFs seem to be too much or not enough. But for the ultimate in PAF tone go with Gibson 57 classic set.

    Dimarzio: PAF Pro, PAF 36th anniverary set, maybe Air Classic set. Would not use for straight ahead Jazz, Country, or Blues.

    Bareknuckles: Stormy Monday and Blackdog. Really shine with alittle bit of overdrive. Too compressed for cleans.

    Seymour Duncan: 59 model, Seth Lovers, and Alnico II Pro set. Great for warm cleans to moderate overdrive. So Jazz to Classic Rock.

    Gibson: Very good and a safe bet.

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    Mojo's Minions Ed Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    TOM HOLMES P.A.F's..!
    If you have not heard these it is a must! They have the bloom,the 3D tone and a increible sparkle and shimmer. Too bad he no longer makes these he really got em right!
    Last edited by Ed Hunter; 06-30-2010 at 08:56 AM.

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    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    Lollar Imperials. The king of "Woman tone" IMHO.

    WCR has a whole bunch, all sounding very different.

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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Caruana View Post
    GFS should not be in there! my personal use of them has not been good. ive tried a few of there pups, including the new "VEH" model and they just sound.........weak and dead. i compare them to the stock epiphone pickups
    Thats a bit harsh!
    Re: comparing them to stock epiphone pickups.
    I replaced the stock epis in my joe pass with a pair of 59s - brilliant results, no comparison.
    I put a pair of 59s in my strat plus deluxe instead of the lace sensors. again brilliant.
    I put a pair of dogear p90s in a 1966 epiphone casino and compared them to a friend's current epiphone - again, no comparison.
    I have also used a bunch of the single coils in strats and teles, and while these are off the topic, they all had some good sounds in there.

    To make this relevant tho: the seymour duncan 59 has more clarity in the treble and a bit more in the lows...more of a scooped sound, where the gfs is more midrange oriented (vintage kind of sound). I have to say that SD59s are the bees knees in my opinion tho.
    Gibson 57s have alnico II magnets and compared to an SD59 they are smoother, tamer and more vintage sounding - less tops and bottom, more mids. I still dig the SD the most out of the 3 pickups i have mentioned, but that does not mean the other two are bad...just different.

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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Caruana View Post
    GFS should not be in there! my personal use of them has not been good. ive tried a few of there pups, including the new "VEH" model and they just sound.........weak and dead. i compare them to the stock epiphone pickups
    I had the same experience. All the GFS humbuckers I tried were muddy. Not near any of the quality of the serious pickup makers when it comes to humbuckers. Their single coil pups are good though. The 64 set is really good in my Strat, but this is a PAF thread, so enough about that.

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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Hunter View Post
    TOM HOLMES P.A.F's..!
    If you have not heard these it is a must!
    Someone on the LPF did a very good controled test (lab quality) of a few top PAF types against a real good hand-picked (best of the bunch tested) set of original Gibson PAF's. The test was on a hand picked Historic LP (I believe). The amp/speaker setup was very transparent and organic (a must)...which allowed you to really hear the tone spectrum and dynamics. After A/B listening to the real deal against the top pics out there, the Holmes came the closest to my ears (and his). The dynamics and full flavor of the tone was very close to the real PAF's (that 3D quality). I hope to get some soon for my LP. It was the best I ever heard.

    The problem I have with the reports people are posting here is what they are using as a guitar and rig to make these observations. It very well could balance out for them with their setup, but with a different amp/speaker/guitar combo it would be total $#!+. Like when I hear someone put a known-to-be-bright pup in the bridge of an SG, and then say it is the perfect PAF tone. How could that be? SG's are really bright due to the thin low mass of the wood. The only answer I can think of is a dull sounding amp/speaker rig combo. It's compansation. Apples and oranges here fokes.

    At least tell us what guitar/amp/speakers you are using when you make these observations. For me, I like to hear PAF tests done in "a good" (subjective) Les Paul through a healthy Marshall Plexi with good NOS Mullard tubes and old greenback H30 type speakers (miked with a U87 condenser or Royer ribbon mic). That is my idea of the ultimate test bed for PAF's. Most of us have heard tons of classic recordings with this type of setup, so we know the sound, as it is well documented. Is that not what we want out of a PAF replica? The same great PAF tone of the originals???

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    INTENSELY corrosive sweat formula73's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    I HAVE had a set wound for me relatively recently by RD Pickups out of Ireland. Having never played a real PAF, I can't compare, but next to my 73 LPs pat no T-Tops, they're a little bit louder with more bass and the neck is much clearer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty Pockets View Post
    the Les Paul is the ultimate electric guitar.
    i know that's a pretty heavy statement to make and a bunch of dudes that love Teles and shredsticks are gona argue with me, but they're wrong.
    anything you can't do on a Les Paul is because you haven't practiced enough or you don't rock hard enough.
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    You put the "pow" in "power bottom."
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    Ultimate Tone Member copperheadroads's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    how can you include gfs stuff .this belongs to boutique winders (sd ,wolf,throbak) some who really put allot of time & research into it .

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    Mojo's Minions Binnerscot's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    I am not a PAF junky, but the '78 is the best PAF pup I have ever tried, it sounds and feels so alive compared to many other PAFs, very balanced while chewy with good bite.

    PGs would be my second choice for similar reasons.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    WCR Crossroads are probably still my favorite PAF copy. I don't really care how Jim Wagner makes his pickups, if they get the tone, then so be it.

    I have Wolfetones in my guitar right now though, they're definitely solid as well. Anyone else using Wolfe's pickups? I have a Dr. Vintage in the neck and a Marshallhead II in the bridge. Really cool sounding bridge pickup.

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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    My favorites as of right now.....
    Dimarzio Paf Pro
    Seymour Duncan '59 model
    Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro
    WCR Godwood
    WCR Blackburst
    Gibson '57 classic

  18. #38
    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    This is a good thread, because it's narrowing things down to the best pickups, and I consider those to be hotter, more dialed in, PAF's.

    But there's a good handful of pickups I'm considering to be absolutely great nowadays.

    In a Gibson bridge position, try the lightly potted Brobucker, and non traditionally....the C5/59 hybrid. For A2, the Burstbucker 2 and 3. Also, the Seth and Ant. Those 6 are some of the best A5 and A2 humbuckers I've ever used.

    For necks, the Pearly Gates, 59n, 57n, Seth, Ant, and Burstbucker 1 & 2 rule the roost.

    A lot of guy's ask about strat humbucking bridges....try any of those, but particularly a C5/59 hybrid. That pickups seems to be THE one for an alder/rosewood strat bridge.
    Last edited by Gearjoneser; 07-05-2010 at 12:15 AM.
    If you play guitar chest-high, you play from your heart.

    If you play guitar waist-high, you play from your guts.

    If you play guitar low, you play from your huevos.

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    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    I'll say one thing about the pickup tone search. Don't go for high output.
    Consider what pickup company owners and gear heads with years of experience always gravitate toward...the best of vintage varieties. The homework has already been done, and those win.

    Even if you're a metalhead..... Buy killer highgain amps, but listen to vintage guys when it comes to pickups...you'll end up with the best tone.

    The consensus from singles to hums is vintage spec with slightly hotter bridge models. That's what's been determined by the best ears, so don't question it, just go that direction from the get go. You'll save yourself a lot of money, and go right to the good stuff if you just open your ears and listen.

    Refer to my signature. Both high end tone seekers, Seymour Duncan and Grover Jackson, the king of metal guitars, both came to the same conclusion....a great slab of wood, crafted by the Fender Custom Shop in the tele design, with 1 absolutely amazing pickup in it....The Custom Shop Fender Esquire. Two icons in the guitar world who came to the same conclusion....a great single coil in a great piece of wood! That right there may be the end of the road.....well, at least for ultimate purity.

    Enough of my blabbing....back to PAF's.
    Last edited by Gearjoneser; 07-05-2010 at 07:40 PM.
    If you play guitar chest-high, you play from your heart.

    If you play guitar waist-high, you play from your guts.

    If you play guitar low, you play from your huevos.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: The Ultimate PAF-style Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by BEB View Post
    Rio Grande Pickups.

    Their PAFs are
    Buffalo Bucker -- Very '50's, medium-output
    Genuine Texas -- More output
    Texas BBQ -- More output than the Genuine Texas

    Added bonus: A "Texas" feel I can't describe, but they sound great with rock and blues. Played clean, the tone has a piano-like density.

    I built a guitar for my brother that has a BBQ in the bridge and a Buffalo Bucker in the neck. Very nice.

    I have another guitar with Rio Grande single coils in the bridge and middle and a Genuine Texas in the neck. In that guitar, the Genuine Texas has the best sound.

    Although they are hand-made, they are priced competitively. They hold up fine, but the only real drawback is that their build quality doesn't have the same clean look like a Seymour Duncan or Gibson pickup.

    Unexpected celebrity endoresement: I live in Houston, where Rios are made and ZZ Top are locals. When I took a guitar into the repair shop that had Rios in it, a guy in a funny hat next to me at the service window commented on them being very good pickups. It was Billy F. Gibbons. The tech later informed me my arrival had interrupted a good 'on tour' story. I'm such a tool.
    Which combo would you suggest for a moderate to high gain amp? I have no experience with Rio Grande pickups.

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