Standard vs. Short Spacing PAF

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by sangandongo, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. sangandongo

    sangandongo V.I.P. Member

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    Hi all,

    I just got a 1958 Byrdland with the original PAFs still in. These guys tend not to be as molested as other models because the pole spacing is tighter than standard PAFs due to the thinner neck and scale.

    I'm curious if anybody has A/B'd the short spacing against a standard PAF? If so, what are your thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    The sonic differences from one PAF to another PAF of the same spacing from that time are more significant than the sonic difference in different pole spacing.

    It's not like today's modern pole spacing differences in pickups, where the bobbins themselves are actually longer, resulting in more length of wire used per turn and a significant change in the properties of the coils. The pole pieces are just closer to each other. Same amount of the same steel mass inside the same coil with the same inductive properties, for the most part.

    You're not rolling the dice on the sound any more than you would be on a wider spaced PAF of the same era.
     
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  3. sangandongo

    sangandongo V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks. This thing sounds like a million bucks. I just wasn't sure what the actual differences between the pickups were aside from the spacing. I appreciate the clarification.
     
  4. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    OP you're a lucky guy! I'd like to see pics of that old Byrdland! :photos:

    I have a question for James that's related more to the pickup response in relation to the pole pieces being offset.

    Is there a response hit if the pole spacing isn't correct for the string spacing on the guitar?

    Mine are Shaw PAF's and I have been wondering for a while now if there might be a sonic penalty of any sort in the bridge pickup due to the way off center pole pieces as seen in the pic below.


     
  5. sangandongo

    sangandongo V.I.P. Member

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    I'll venture a response on this one.

    In my experience, there's little difference in output between an F-spaced and G-spaced humbucker. If you look at the magnetic field of the pickup, you see that the strings sit well within them whether or not the poles line up perfectly with the strings. Bringing the poles closer will create a different response, but realistically, it's more aesthetic than practical in difference.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
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  6. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    Thank you, sir!
     
  7. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    I couldn't tell you the difference in sound of a Les Paul with PAFs that has the pole pieces all lined up with the strings, as I've never seen one.

    The strings don't waggle around much at the bridge when you play so unless one of your E strings is too quiet, I'd just forget all about the alignment.
     
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  8. sangandongo

    sangandongo V.I.P. Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here you go.

    I removed the celluloid pick guard because it was off-gassing badly. You can see the corrosion on the upper frets and on the high string side of the pickups.
     
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  9. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    But..But..But what about the blogs/websites/internet vids/ that say..??

    Oh my gosh i feel woozy...
    [​IMG]


    :laugh2:
     
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  10. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    It matters more in Fender style single coils with AlNiCo pole pieces.

    The magnetic flux is so dense at the end of those rod magnets, and the top of the strings are so close to the magnet's polar surface, that you only have to move the string or pickup a little to the side to reduce the magnetic flux density by a great degree - maybe even more than a 50% difference with a 1/4" move?

    You simply don't have that kind of extreme range in flux density over the surface of a PAF. It's far more evenly spread.
     
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  11. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    :lol::lol::lol::lol:
    Once again, Chasen delivers the goods!:cheers:

    thank you both for the replies.

    James it looks like its only a matter of uniform spacing (of course they are mass produced) being used in both positions.

    In my example the neck lines up perfect, but the strings widen more toward the bridge causing the mis alignment.

    In OP's Byrdland they are proper spaced, but the neck and spacing is thinner so it works for that model.

    And BTW @chasenblues , is that a laminated neck! :wow: Before Norlin! :run:

    Oh, we could have some fun with that too! :rofl:
     
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  12. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    :wow::wow::wow::wow:

    Dang, I KNEW I should have gotten bibbed up first! :drool:

    That's positively stunning! :cheers:

    Thanks for sharing! :applause:

    I wouldn't worry too much about the spots.....On a human they would be called beauty marks!
     
  13. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    I was just referencing/joking about lining up (or not) the slots on the screw heads on adjustable pole pieces.
    It may be true/have some effect..I don't know
     
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  14. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    Ya, I dig it. Alignment is way more important with Fender style singles than PAF style pickups, so there's a little truth to that part, at least.

    Lining up the pole screw slots - I have only head of lining up the slots for looks or for not having the slot alined with the strings, as to catch them while playing. I just move them to where they sound good. I do have a certain slot pattern and stagger I put on the buckers I ship out, but that's just me trying to be a neat craftsman. Like an electrician who lines up all the screw slots on your outlets and switches or bank facing bills. Not really a critical listening point or anything. Just a rough guess of what sounds good and looks good. Plus Gibson did it like \ / \ / \ / so I do it for that reason a bit too. For sound, I just adjust to taste once installed in the guitar.
     
  15. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    I agree completely. It's much easier to have one set of tools, parts, products and use that one product for both bridge and neck. As Gibson discovered, the spacing wasn't actually that critical anyway. They only made "humbuckers" and not "bridge" or "neck" specific pickups until the very end of the 1970's, with rare exception - like that Byrdland pickup and some P-90s and stuff for jazz boxes.
     
  16. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    I watched a little bit of a video the other day about adjusting the pole pieces..
    The guy made a statement to effect to make sure when you adjust them don't put the slot in the head directly under the string..| because there is less of a magnetic field that way.:shock:

    Now maybe he's got a valid point idk..But i'd never heard that one before.
    I've read/seen about adjusting them with a radius and the way you've described and a couple others. But that one was a new one to me.
     
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  17. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    What if it's a Phillips head screw?! :run:
     
  18. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    Or an socket/Allen head? :dunno:
     
  19. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    Or a DiMarzio hollow hex head? :wow:

    sorry, Chasen....
     
  20. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    The only sensible option is to be like Rickenbacker and use painted iron nails.

    [​IMG]
     
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