DiMarzio 36th PAF vs. StewMac Parson Street PAF?

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by jbyrd78, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. jbyrd78

    jbyrd78 Junior Member

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    Jan 12, 2019
    I am a newbie on this forum who has lurked for sometime. I have been playing for the past couple of years a 2016 Gibson Les Paul Traditional. I bought the Les Paul used and it already had a set of Seymour Duncan Whole Lotta Humbuckers installed in it. The pickups do the classic rock gig really well, but as of lately I have been wanting to swap the pickups out for a more traditional PAF type pickup. I think I have narrowed it down to either the DiMarzio 36th anniversary PAF, or the StewMac Parson Street PAF. Both of these pickups are selling around the same price, but the Parson Streets have a few more choices, such as a hotter bridge pickup, and an A2 magnet. So I was just curious, if you fellas could give me some input on these two brands as far as to which one will help me get closer to the classic PAF tone?
  2. AJK1

    AJK1 Senior Member

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    Apr 19, 2014
    All i know is that i once had a set of 36ths in my LP Custom and they were ordinary
    I replaced them with SD Pearly Gates and they are much better sounding IMO
  3. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Member

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    Aug 1, 2014
    I haven't tried the StewMac branded one but I have owned this Dimarzio PAF 36th anniversary set. It's a good pickup set. If I recall correctly, I paid 200 bucks for the set with chrome covers... a bit pricey to be honest, but sounded good.

    I installed it in an ESP eclipse, which has a much thinner body than a LP. It sounded good, but I still preferred my LP with 57/57+. Hard to say if it was the thicker body or the better pickups that made me like the LP more.

    Another option for you is to look for a used set of pickups... you could find a set of gibson 57/57+ or burstbuckers for around $200

    Also, not sure you're looking at pickup sets with chrome covers, but do get a set with covers if you want the traditional PAF tone. I looked at a few comparison videos on youtube and noticed it does make a difference, at least to my ears.
  4. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

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    May 21, 2011
    Welcome onboard.

    Never tried the StewMac but I wouldn't describe 36th's as "more traditional PAF" than WLH's...

    Technically, their features are far from P.A.F. specs and/or specific to DiMarzio : heavy wax potting, silicon washers separating the pole pieces from a smooth sintered A5 mag, added slugs inside the coils…

    Sonically, they have a special harmonic response, that I wouldn’t qualify as P.A.F. ish either. IME, they are a variation on what DiMarzio calls “dual resonance”.

    If you like them, that's fine but "traditional P.A.F." they aren't IMHO - albeit they are surely "PAF" since this acronym without dots is a DiMarzio trademark. :)

    FWIW, "vintage correct" boutique P.A.F. clones can be found here and there as second hand products for a reasonable price - not higher and sometimes lower than the cost of brand new 36th’s.

    Good luck in your choice!

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