Late 70s DiMarzio PAFs - how do they compare to modern pups?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by NorlinBlackBeauty, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. NorlinBlackBeauty

    NorlinBlackBeauty Member

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    I installed the PAFs in my Norlin back then. The original Norlin pups were not looked upon very favorably at that way before the internet time as I recall. Or was it just the marketing I fell for?

    My question is, how to do they compare to the bewildering number of choices we have today? Not necessarily wanting to replace them, just curious.

    I still have the original Gibson pups...

    For historical perspective, Seymour Duncan had tiny ads in Guitar Player magazine for his pickup rewinding service. Fairly certain they had not started making their own pups around then. I could be wrong, often am.
     
  2. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Yep, they were trash then, but internet and especially forum experts have deemed them the Second Coming.

    T tops are cool in my book, but so are the DiMarzio PAFs. I like a T Top (or PAT#) for hard rock tones through a Marshall...but in all honesty, the DiMarzio PAF is good pickup as well...so it would usually be the winner from a test whichever does what I need it too.

    It's ALL about whatever the latest trend is for guitar players it seems..if you like them then they are good. :D
     
  3. NorlinBlackBeauty

    NorlinBlackBeauty Member

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    Well thanks for the "not so great" confirmation on the Norlin pups. As old as the DiMarzios are, I consider them vintage. :) They are not going anywhere.

    Trends ... got it. Maybe too many pup choices out there.
     
  4. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    It all depends on what you are after. I didn't have a guitar back then being too young - so I have only had that era pickup since buying guitars more recently with them.

    In the 70's everyone was driving (or trying to) a non MV amp hard for hard rock, and the lower output pickups didn't do that as well as some of the aftermarket options.
    As amp saturation has become so easily achievable at even whisper levels, pickups now can be used for tonal reasons not output reasons.....I mean the t-top was in guitars from the mid 60's and was fine for players when all they wanted was blues.

    So I'd say there was more than a degree of 'brainwashing' going on then too - one person says they're junk so you just go along with the crowd.
     
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  5. NorlinBlackBeauty

    NorlinBlackBeauty Member

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    non MV?

    I was of the purists back then even as a teenager. All tube, traditional overdrive sound. The DiMarzio Super Distortions were the other popular option. Way too much magnet pull as someone figured out shortly after.

    I bought the Mesa Boogie Mark II as it was the first all tube amp with 2 preamps, allowing to overdrive at any volume.
     
  6. NorlinBlackBeauty

    NorlinBlackBeauty Member

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    I was going to ask was a T top / Pat # was, but just figured it out. The original pups from my Norlin. They are the DiMarzio pole piece screws. The gold Gibsons are in the DiMarzios. I also have the gold covers for the T top.

    PU01s.jpg PU02s.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  7. NorlinBlackBeauty

    NorlinBlackBeauty Member

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    The sales receipt is with it! $38.16 for one pup. That is $143.36 today.
     
  8. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    MV is master volume.

    So any amp like Plexis where to get the overdrive you need to run them full volume....or where the drive is not really enough for hard rock.

    Of course this was most big amps that people used back when. Of course you'd probably know the scene way better than me - I came into music in the late 80's into early 90's......and whilst huge volumes in small clubs were still the norm, at least there were the JCM 800's with a master so you could keep things down in small rooms a bit.

    Those stickered T-tops are essentially the same as the ones from the late 60's if I'm correctly remembering the info from this forum. I have 2 of the embossed cover ones from '72 - great pickups really. I also have 2 of the latter ones from March 1980 when the Shaw began to replace T-tops. Again great pickups with beautiful tones in all positions.
    As I said before.....not so good if your only goal is to overdrive vintage marshalls to hard rock levels of gain. But if you are actually into tone and nuance....well they have that in spades if you have the chops to bring.
     
  9. NorlinBlackBeauty

    NorlinBlackBeauty Member

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    Thanks for the MV definition. Just for fun, I checked out eBay for T top / Pat #. All over the place price-wise, from mid-$100s to close to a $1k. I've had them this long, I'll keep them.
     
  10. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    They vary....the later ones are not so expensive, but the sticker ones tend to go for the $250 and up.
     
  11. ehb

    ehb Chief Discombobulator Premium Member

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    The Ts are great pickups... From my experience a bit hotter than PAF. One of my old Lester Customs has Ts...
    The DMZ PAFs I've heard in Lesters sounded good.

    I am not a fan of the superhots... I like PAFs, Ts, minis, and P90s...
     
  12. NorlinBlackBeauty

    NorlinBlackBeauty Member

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    Agreed.
     
  13. AlvisX

    AlvisX Senior Member

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    I love the old DiMarzio PAFs. I still have a couple from high school in service (class of 81)
    I suppose a good part of my appreciation is nostalgia. Those were great days to be learning rock guitar . DiMarzio was kinda the only game in town
    But also , I find 'em quite pleasing tonally . They're not too far over the top as far as output/drive go AND they (the double creme) kinda look cool in certain situations
    I like the recent reissues too
     
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  14. NorlinBlackBeauty

    NorlinBlackBeauty Member

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    Very well put. It was a great time to be an aspiring guitar player regardless of ability.
     

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