#1
What do you guys belive is the best PAF copy out there?

There are so many, I couldn't dare put a poll.

(hint: I'm trying to find the right sounding pickup to put in my Epiphone Hollowbody)

Make this as if it were a poll tho.

EDIT: not the best sounding PAF copy, just the most convincing and authentic.

imo, 57' classics would probably take the cake, given that there made by gibson(the origianal seller of the PAF)

for all unknowers, a PAF is a very old version of the Traditional Humbucking pickup.

#2
PAF stands for patent applied for, from when gibson 1st introduced the humbucker so by logical reasoning every humbucker is a derivative of that one albeit that most companies have named theres, incedently last i heard the patent was never approved which gave room for other companies to move in, but if you can get a 57 go for it.
#3
Gibson actually does not take the cake. Reason is that most of the price is name.

My tips are Bareknuckle Mules or SD Pickups. Both are extremly atuthenic. I have the Mule and it sounds spot on. Tim Mills who's made them searched out original Gibson sheets for parts and even contaced Seth Lover for autencity.
www.bareknucklepickusp.co.uk

In America SD pickups are another great alternative. Stephen, the designer went out of his way to do as much of an exact copy as he could:
www.sdpickups.com
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#4
In the U.S. I like sheptone tributes myself. clicky
Or Bareknuckles Mules like Gabe suggested. I guess it's all about preferance and what sounds closest to a PAF to you. But if you read the link I posted. All PAF's were different so not one sounded alike.
If you start a reply with: I have never played one but I have heard good things about it! Your opinion is invalid.
#5
Most authentic in appearance or in sound?

Gibson released the first humbucking pickups, but that was back when they 1) had different workers 2) used different machines 3) used different materials. The reissue PAFs are not very good and are hardly authentic, especially compared to the other offerings out there.

Here is a list of really popular PAF style pickups. I have an (*) next to the ones that I've tried myself.

Peter Florence Voodoo '59s
WCR Crossroads*
WCR Bet Set
Lollar Imperials*
Throbak SLE
Seymour Duncan Antiquities*
Seymour Duncan Seth Lover*
Seymour Duncan '59s*
Stephens Designs Vintage labs
Shed PAF-daddies
Bareknuckle Pickups Stormy Monday*
Bareknuckle Pickups Mule*
Wolfetone Dr. Vintage*
Wolfetone Marshallhead
Wolfetone Legends
RS guitar works Fralins*
Rock Monkeys

Which ones do I like best out of these? A bunch of them sound really different. They all have that PAF quality but they all sound different at the same time, and PAFs were inconsistently made pickups so they all really sound different as well based on the magnet, DCR, etc. And there are so many famous PAF tones out there that you'd really have to choose one. But at any rate, the pickups that I would recommend personally are...

Seymour Duncan Antiquities (though you may prefer Seth Lovers in a semi-hollow)
WCR Crossroads
Wolfetone Dr. Vintage (currently having a sale, thus making them a great value)

Things like the RS Fralins are nice and all as I'm sure Throbaks and Stephen Designs vintage labs are as well, but in the end as far as I'm concerned, you don't need to spend $450 on a set of pickups to get a convincing PAF tone. Seymour Duncan does a great job with his antiquity set. He worked with Seth Lover to develop his PAF reissues, uses the old Leesona winders (as does Jon Gundry from Throbak) and makes a great sounding, vintage correct PAF reissue for cheaper than Gibson's offering. Guys like Gundry and Seymour Duncan (to a lesser extent) kind of advertise the fact that they use the old Leesonas but truth be told, a skilled handwinder can do just as well.

CorduroyEW will probably give his input on this topic.
Last edited by al112987 at Jul 8, 2009,
#6
Quote by Gabel
Gibson actually does not take the cake. Reason is that most of the price is name.

My tips are Bareknuckle Mules or SD Pickups. Both are extremly atuthenic. I have the Mule and it sounds spot on. Tim Mills who's made them searched out original Gibson sheets for parts and even contaced Seth Lover for autencity.
www.bareknucklepickusp.co.uk

In America SD pickups are another great alternative. Stephen, the designer went out of his way to do as much of an exact copy as he could:
www.sdpickups.com


+1

I agree with these two choices strongly.

What I don't agree with is saying that SD is an alternative to the Mules. The Mules are among the best you can buy around. Supposedly the SD is supposed to be amazing and whole step above the Mules, but the pricing is also a whole step above the mules.

The Throbak pickups are supposed to be another good PAF copy as well. The pups are wound on a Leesona machine, which was what was used to wind the original PAFs.

http://gundrymedia.typepad.com/throbak_electronics/2008/07/throbak-vintage.html

WCR is also another pup winder you can look at, but I've not actually heard any clips of their PAF replica, the BetSet. However, if WCR's reputation is anything to go by, you should not be disappointed.

http://www.wcrguitar.com/betset.html

EDIT: Just read al112987's post, and I've effectively repeated what he said.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no one signature PAF sound. Like al112987 has mentioned, there were so may variations in the construction of the PAFs, that all the PAFs sound different from each other. Some sound radically different from each other, which some sound subtly different, but almost no 2 PAFs sound alike.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at Jul 8, 2009,
#7
Well I hear SDs are a better choice in the US. But I love my Muels to death, could never want another pickup.

Also as already stated there is no "real" PAF tone. That is why Tim makes two PAF copies, to make them like the "famous" PAF tones.
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Last edited by Gabel at Jul 9, 2009,
#8
Aren't the Riff Raffs also PAF clones? I imagine that the PG blues bridge pickup should be a PAF too (though I know the neck is rewound out of phase with formvar) I've played the Stormy Monday and Mule, I like them, though I'd like to hear a set of Mules with A5s as well.
#9
Mules doesn't come with A5s though. Riff Raff is a Patent pickup I'd guess (60's follow up to the PAF). and the PG Blues is based of a Stormy Monday.
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#10
None. Every single PAF was different since they were not made to exact specs. The amps now are also very different from the amps back then. The magnets in the PAFs age along with the guitar itself. A guitar bought in the 50s will sound different now than when it was bought. You're better off telling us what the rest of your setup is and what you're looking for tonally.
#11
Quote by Gabel
Mules doesn't come with A5s though. Riff Raff is a Patent pickup I'd guess (60's follow up to the PAF). and the PG Blues is based of a Stormy Monday.
I know, they come stock with A4s and I've also played a set where the user replaced the neck with an A2. The only one I haven't heard is one with an A5 which would give a more powerful tone, I'm just really interested in hearing one with the A5.
Quote by ragingkitty


WCR is also another pup winder you can look at, but I've not actually heard any clips of their PAF replica, the BetSet. However, if WCR's reputation is anything to go by, you should not be disappointed.

http://www.wcrguitar.com/betset.html

EDIT: Just read al112987's post, and I've effectively repeated what he said.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no one signature PAF sound. Like al112987 has mentioned, there were so may variations in the construction of the PAFs, that all the PAFs sound different from each other. Some sound radically different from each other, which some sound subtly different, but almost no 2 PAFs sound alike.

The Betsets sound AMAZING from clips

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxcMaa99a0Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy-8vkgRq00
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZtaVrcGoDY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVy65hqrFKQ

I don't know what it is about these clips that just sound so good, whether it's the amp, the cab, the '58 sunburst, or the Betset, but good god I could listen to these forever. I get really hot and cold about a ton of different pickups but I've always loved WCRs, and I'm really quite impressed with Jim Wagner's approach to making pickups and how he's managed to nail down what he wants doing things completely differently from what all the other pickup makers are doing. WCRs definitely have their own sound though, imo they really cater to that Allman Bro crowd, and every WCR I've ever played or heard have these incredible musical mids that just blow my mind.

That being said, if someone can get closer to Dickey Bett's Fillmore East PAF tone than in those videos then let me know.
Last edited by al112987 at Jul 10, 2009,
#12
Quote by al112987
I know, they come stock with A4s and I've also played a set where the user replaced the neck with an A2. The only one I haven't heard is one with an A5 which would give a more powerful tone, I'm just really interested in hearing one with the A5.


If you want one with Alnico 5s, just put in a request to Tim when you order the Mules. I don't think Tim charges extra for different magnets.
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#13
I don't think he does, and even so, switching magnets is very easily down on one's own. But unfortunately I don't own a Mule to try it out with myself nor do I want to spend $150 just to experiment. But I am curious as to how it sounds.

My next set of pickups will likely be Betsets. In no small part to those Udo clips, although Jim Wagner says that the Betset is just the Crossroad neck and an underwound Crossroads bridge.
Last edited by al112987 at Jul 10, 2009,
#14
Quote by al112987
I don't think he does, and even so, switching magnets is very easily down on one's own.


He does, I know cuz I got one Nailbomb loaded with Alnico 5s and one Nailbomb loaded with ceramics.

Yeah you can do it relatively easily on your own, but you risk voiding your pickup's warranty.
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#15
My only experience with PAF type pups, apart from on a '61 Gibson, was a DiMarzio which really didn't do it to my ear. I'm sure the SD's or Mules would get you a better sound. I think the best DiMarzio with a PAF sound now would be the Breed but the output may be higher than ideal.
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#16
Quote by al112987
I know, they come stock with A4s and I've also played a set where the user replaced the neck with an A2. The only one I haven't heard is one with an A5 which would give a more powerful tone, I'm just really interested in hearing one with the A5.


Well the Riff Raffs however do come with Alnico V. I think they are very similar to Mules and basically seen as an A5 version.
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#17
The best 2 I've tried are:

Lollar Imperial
Harmonic Design Vintage Plus

They're not strict PAF clones per-se; but they get that sort of "vibe".

For a lower price bracket I personally think the virtual PAF by Dimarzio was really good; I haven't tried the 36th (the replacement) yet but I've heard they're very good also.

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#18
Quote by ragingkitty
He does, I know cuz I got one Nailbomb loaded with Alnico 5s and one Nailbomb loaded with ceramics.

Yeah you can do it relatively easily on your own, but you risk voiding your pickup's warranty.
You're right, sorry, I worded what I said weird, I meant I don't think that he does charge extra, but yeah, magnet switching is very simple and I don't imagine he would charge extra for just sticking in a different mag