Old school PAF pickups

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by Nosrep, Sep 13, 2018.

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  1. Nosrep

    Nosrep Junior Member

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    Hi, can somebody of PAF Winders describe me how to start to wind, give me some tips for beginning and tell me materials for PAF that you are using if this is not secret? I'm interesting of building a couple sets for my guitars of A4 pickups, but I do not know which exactly materials I need use for bobbin, plate, etc.
    Cheers
     
  2. DarrellV

    DarrellV About as sharp as a bowlin' ball! -NPM Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    Hi! :welcome: to the best forum on the planet!

    We have a sub forum under 'Tonefreaks' dedicated to just Pickups, and you might get a better response there.

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forum/pickups.24/

    We have lots of resident winders in here, but that's the place to find them!

    If you like you can ask one of the moderators to move this thread over there for you...
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  3. Nosrep

    Nosrep Junior Member

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    Thank you very much! :cheers2:
     
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  4. DarrellV

    DarrellV About as sharp as a bowlin' ball! -NPM Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    you are welcome!
     
  5. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    The best winders will do is give you mechanical tips on how to setup to best get the wire on the bobbins without breakage.

    Anything beyond that is what they pay their dues to gain......
    But if you are looking for accurate materials well they are not to hard to find most of them once you've done the research.....well I'd just buy some basic stuff first while you are in the initial learning phase. You make a lot of duds first before you get to the gold. Plus unless you're going all-out then some of the details become pointless, or even tonally move you in the wrong direction due to other aspects you simply cannot buy anymore.
    Plus read - the details of most of the obvious bits are available in threads here, and also books.....in fact there is a recent book co-authored by one of this forum's better (and most generous) winders in the form of James from ReWind.
     
  6. Nosrep

    Nosrep Junior Member

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    Can you please give me link of the book?
     
  7. marijnsloth

    marijnsloth Senior Member

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    I have a wishlist on the PLT website with a pretty good selection of PAF style parts (without getting too lost in the details) for when I start my own winding adventure. Haven't ordered any of these, but should be good stuff since PLT never let me down before.

    I can't really share the link because it's stored in my user account. But here is a screenshot:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Nosrep

    Nosrep Junior Member

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    I can not open this picture. Can you please PM me or post different?
     
  9. Sunburstman

    Sunburstman Senior Member

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    This should help https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Onli...ctronics_and_Wiring/Humbucker_Pickup_Kit.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  10. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    cooljuk likes this.
  11. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

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    Are you really aiming for a long-term goal of truly-PAF-sounding pickups or do you just want to make a few low output humbuckers that work and don't sound awful?

    Keep your first-attempt goals realistic. You'll probably spend quite a long time just tweaking your system to not break wire, so that you can wind even one single full coil without problems.

    There's no point in concerning yourself with accurate materials and such specifics, at that point.
     
  12. Nosrep

    Nosrep Junior Member

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    I'm really interested in long term goal of truly PAF sounding pickupis.
     
  13. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

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    You'll need a machine with, at the very least, a fully adjustable auto-traversing system and a high torque drive, as well as a reliable/accurate tensioning system. Hand-winding coils isn't an option for truly PAF-sounding pickups. Nice sounding pickups, yes. PAFs, no.

    Then, start buying original vintage PAFs and choose the ones you want to replicate. They don't all sound the same because they aren't all made with the same materials and methods, but nobody sells PAFs stating anything other than that they are the absolute best examples ever sold. I've never in my life seen a PAF sold as, "Meh, it's kinda dark and probably not ideal for most people or most guitars." ...but there are certainly examples out there like that. So, you'll need to create a nice collection to get ones you want to replicate, as there's no point copying what you don't care for in sound.

    Make lots of audio recordings of them in different guitars, and take extensive electrical and physical measurements with appropriate instruments. Don't skimp on that appropriate instruments part. You'll regret not buying a everything you need up-front because there's no going back and measuring what's not there later. Make sure you have everything you need from those pickups before you destroy them in the following steps of research, regarding the coils, steels, and magnets.

    It's not going to be cheap. I sold everything I had, cashed out my entire 401k, and borrowed even more money to get started. It was, and still is, a massive risk.

    Beware or be wealthy. Both, ideally.
    :cheers:
     
  14. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

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    I'll be honest, I think going straight for the end goal is wasteful. You'll make mistakes and have regrets that only experience could have avoided.

    There are PAFs and vintage pickups that I've actually destroyed that I wish I could go back and take another measurement or recording of, and such. Something I didn't think was relevant at the time. Something I didn't know would later turn out to be unique. That really hurts me to think about. Not the wasted money but the wasted irreplaceable history.

    Personally, I think you should start basic and at least try to make some pickups you like the sound of with cheap parts and simple methods.

    That said, be free and do what you want. Best of luck to you with it.
     
  15. Nosrep

    Nosrep Junior Member

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    Thank you very much for advice. I will start doing and researching todays modern gibsons paf like 57 classic and burstbuckers which are not expensive, maybe some SD or Dimarzio modern PAF and then I will invest in some real deal late 50's pickups. What you think of that?
     
  16. D'tar

    D'tar Senior Member

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    PAF??? Good advise cooljunk..

    Start here around page 115 through page 122 and questions and answers throughout. Along with a few threads here at MLP this thread should be mandatory reading for anyone wishing to build a vintage spec LP.

    Good luck to you. It can be done. Not all have the patience and capital to do it "right". Please share your adventure!!!


    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/1959-les-paul-build.194271/page-115#post-2430775





    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  17. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

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    FYI - those pickups are not at all made with the same materials and methods as vintage PAFs.

    Those pickups are made with the least expensive materials and methods to make a generally acceptable product that doesn't feedback or get returned. A product that sells at a given price point, while will being profitable after covering the large overhead of a mass-production setup and mass-marketed advertising.

    If you just want to make some pickups that work (a good first step), just buy the cheap off-the-shelf materials and learn to turn them into functioning pickups.
     
  18. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    As James has said, it is utterly useless looking at anything modern and from major makers. Even someone like me knows every element of the construction is different.

    If you want to try with modern pickups first, buy some of James' offerings plus Throbak and Wizz. These are the guys who have seemingly invested the most into both wind, materials and aesthetics.
     
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  19. judson

    judson Senior Member

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    those six words above are perfect for alot of things in life.....:h5:

    thanks for that !
     
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