am i a paf heretic?

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by dmoss74, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. dmoss74

    dmoss74 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    615
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    i bought a set of paf pickups from a very famous winder (in these parts) a year ago. the winder can remain anonymous. who it is isn't germane to the query.

    these particular pickups had a4 magnets in them. they sounded great, but i as just thinking they were a little too muddy. the guitar is a r0. so, the winder had sent me a set of short a5 magnets (about a year ago), and i finally swapped the mags in during the last string change.

    i have to say, the guitar is now awesome sounding. nothing short of the proverbial "tele on steroids" thing that some folks here strive for.

    my dilemma is that i have taken a true paf and bastardized it. not that i'll lose any sleep over it. i'm just harboring this annoying thought that i don't have a REAL paf set of pickups anymore.

    regardless, i love the sound. all the purists can kiss my ash....:)
     
    morbidalex666 likes this.
  2. Guitar Rod

    Guitar Rod Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,345
    Likes Received:
    541
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    I'm not allowed to talk to you anymore.
     
  3. dmoss74

    dmoss74 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    615
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    it's that bad???
     
  4. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,171
    Likes Received:
    620
    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    See what this guy has tried in a real vintage pickup:



    The three bars on the left of the pic llustrate the diversity of mags found in real vintage pickups so it should exorcise the idea of heresy, which presupposes a canonic norm - BTW, AFAIK, there WAS short magnets in some P.A.F. and nobody describe them as bad sounding: it's rather the contrary.

    Last but not least, many famous P.A.F. replicas contain(ed) magnets supposedly not used in vintage P.A.F. See the A3 used in Timbuckers and in the first Bonamassa Duncan signature set, for example.

    What counts is the sound obtained, IMHO...

    Personally, I'm an adept of "mag swapping until it sounds good to my ears". And IME, swapping magnets is a good way to adapt a pickup to a defined guitar ( the last week end, I've done the same thing than you: putting a short A5 instead of a long A4 because the host guitar required it).
     
    NotScott and morbidalex666 like this.
  5. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,506
    Likes Received:
    24,228
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    If they were made after 1962-ish and by some other entity than Gibson, They weren't real PAF's anyway.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    David Garner likes this.
  6. LtKojak

    LtKojak Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,886
    Likes Received:
    2,495
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    I said it before and I say it again: you have waaay too much time on your hands, and/or much too little to think about.

    I ENVY YOU!!!!!!
     
  7. jbash

    jbash Senior Member

    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    512
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Whatever delivers the tone goodies is what matters.
     
    Stuff likes this.
  8. morbidalex666

    morbidalex666 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    287
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    You should really show more respect to your clients.
    Imagine what would happen if they didn't think stuff like that.
     
    tonybony likes this.
  9. morbidalex666

    morbidalex666 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    287
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Whatever works man!
    Rock on!!

    When we're talking about pickups that are made using modern metals, authenticity pretty much goes out the window IMHO.
    If the tone and feel is there, it's all you need!
     
  10. dmoss74

    dmoss74 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    615
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    preach
     
    morbidalex666 likes this.
  11. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,853
    Likes Received:
    6,047
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    So was this a real PAF set you bought, or a set of clones
     
  12. dmoss74

    dmoss74 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    615
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    a highly regarded clone. sorry for not being specific. if i had the cash for a real paf, i'd leave it alone.
     
  13. Guitar Rod

    Guitar Rod Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,345
    Likes Received:
    541
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Oh, if it's a clone, go for it. There were short and long magnets and A5s back in the olden timey days. No ceramics, though! :facepalm:
     
  14. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,853
    Likes Received:
    6,047
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Yep, late 1959 marked the first appearance of short mags, so an R0 is perfectly period correct with that mag.

    And of course as its not an actual PAF there is no sacrilege possible....even with the aforementioned ceramic mag.
     
  15. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

    Messages:
    13,028
    Likes Received:
    15,224
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oh, a clone!? Who gives a rat's ass? You're not even in remotely questionable territory. Mod on!

    If modding a clone makes you a heretic, what does it make me when I have throughly destroyed several real vintage PAFs?

    Well, I know people came here for a witch burning. I'll be your witch, I guess. Here's a REAL vintage 1959 PAF which I overwound by adding several hundred turns to each coil.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Original PAF coil on the bobbin, about to have more wire added.
    [​IMG]
    Here we go!
    [​IMG]

    ...and it sounds PAFtastic!
    [​IMG]

    I did it because I loved this pickup so much. ...and it was slated for destructive research, anyway.
     
    brianbzed, Stuff and bulletproof like this.
  16. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

    Messages:
    13,028
    Likes Received:
    15,224
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Hey friend, I know they are not as common as A2 and A5, and it took me some years to find one as well, but I do have hard proof of A3 magnets in genuine original Gibson PAF pickups. This 1957 PAF is an example of one, which I did a great deal of research on and the magnet is absolutely A3 by all electrical measurements and its sound, as well as having only a single polished surface, with one rough cast polar face. That last part is extremely convincing that this magnet was cast originally for P-90s and then made it into an early no-decal PAF in this pedal steel. This is not the only example of this type of magnet I have seen in a PAF, either.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have the full measurement report on the magnet, as well, if you would like it, freefrog. Just email me. I have readings as received, readings at time of saturation, and readings after settling several weeks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
    bulletproof and jcsk8 like this.
  17. dmoss74

    dmoss74 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    615
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    oh dear shiva! :) now you, my friend, should be looking over your shoulder for the paf police. lol. and actually, i did mention in my op that my pickups were clones. i guess the point wasn't well made.

    i've just read a lot of things about pafs (real, or clones) that seems to indicate that if you don't have a2, a3 or a4 magnets, you shouldn't even be calling them pafs. i figured it was snobbery, but wth. your ears like what they like.

    even in my own case, my preconceived biases are being torn asunder. when i bought into the lp style of guitar (just a couple years ago) i was convinced i would never like an a5 loaded pickup. and at first, that was true. but that was also based on anecdotal evidence, supported by listening to inferior products. the prime offender (name begins with a g, ends with an n) was making me think that way.

    but a funny thing happened a few months ago, when i bought an a5 loaded bridge pickup that blew me away. it opened my ears to a whole new aural experience. but that was a different guitar.

    i was even ready to trade this guitar i am referring to, for the fact that i was too lazy to try a mag swap in these pickups, even though the winder was kind enough to send me some short a5s to try (many months ago). i will no longer be looking to move this guitar. it sounds so effing good. it has that brightness that i love in teles, plus the meat of the humbuckers.

    anyway (james), please do yourself a favor and say a few hail marys for destroying those pieces of musical history. :) just kidding.
     
    cooljuk likes this.
  18. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

    Messages:
    13,028
    Likes Received:
    15,224
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Haha! I eat PAFs for breakfast. No guilt. Few have done as much as I to preserve this type of history.

    [​IMG]

    My small sacrifices result in massive amounts of highly detailed historical data for the future.
     
    bulletproof and dmoss74 like this.
  19. B5Erik

    B5Erik Senior Member

    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    456
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Exactly - you can't accurately recreate vintage made pickups without taking them apart to see how they were built. You've got to reverse engineer them!

    Of course, once you've taken them apart and reverse engineered them that gives you the basis to do some effective improvements to the basic design! Now, improvement may be in the ear of the listener, but you've at least got some solid specs for what was done then, and knowing the physics of the pickups you can then extrapolate how to make changes (some people would call those changes improvements) that will be pleasing to a lot of people.
     
    brianbzed likes this.
  20. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,853
    Likes Received:
    6,047
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Adding into a bit of the A3 legitimacy is the p90 + harness set I sent to James for him to look over. The pots were all dated 10/56, and this set according to him contained A3 mags, IIRC half of which had both long faces ground for use in humbuckers. As the dates make them most likely a 57 set I'd guess more than a few of those early ones fitted even into solid bodies were A3
     
    bulletproof and cooljuk like this.

Share This Page