Are Vintage PAFs REALLY Better?

el84ster

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Sweet playing! I love the early pat numbers as much as pafs. But you know, as cool as those pickups are, they don’t sound like anything by themselves. I tuink the player has something to do with that killer sound!
 

StudioFan

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This thread really makes me want to install the old PAT NO PAF set I have Big Juarez 59 fan here too . Great playing .
 

jwinger

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Sweet playing! I love the early pat numbers as much as pafs. But you know, as cool as those pickups are, they don’t sound like anything by themselves. I tuink the player has something to do with that killer sound!
Ah thanks man. I haven't been playing slide long to be honest but I pick it up if I ever tweak a finger is something which I seem to have this weekend. Forces me to practice it for a few days! Ha
 

jwinger

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Sweet playing! I love the early pat numbers as much as pafs. But you know, as cool as those pickups are, they don’t sound like anything by themselves. I tuink the player has something to do with that killer sound!
Thanks mate...yeah I think they really are all there tonally. And they should be...it's basically the same pickup with a different sticker. The magnet difference...well there was the odd short mag PAF even in 59 (like Mick Taylor burst) and the odd long mag even post 60 I've even heard (who knows on that though, unless you've seen an example yourself!)
 

el84ster

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Yes! I’ve had a ‘63original pat no. With a long magnet. It was odd though, it looked like a ‘63 era should but was cut at a slight angle at one end. Almost like someone just chopped a length of magnet to stuff in there! Lol

I also had a short magnet early pat no. That was actually cut in half and held together with the same tape as was around the coils! All kinds of crazy stuff. That was original too.
 

fretboarder

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I bet if this was a blindfold test more people would have chose the OTPG.. I think the early pats sound the best, even though that video isn't comparable to the first two..
 

strat1701

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I was not blown away with the set of PAF's I had. Vintage early 62 SG/LP only thing changed was a volume pot which went bad but was replaced, everything else was stock pickup wise. Even thru valve amps I just never really liked the way it sounded, honestly the after markets and a few selection of 2019 stock custombuckers sounded better to me. I chaulked it up to a shite set of PAF's which hate to break the mystique, not all of them were good. Yes tehre are some that are great but I obviously got a shitty set.
 

jwinger

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I bet if this was a blindfold test more people would have chose the OTPG.. I think the early pats sound the best, even though that video isn't comparable to the first two..
I can do another video later if I get the time but I've been comparing the PATs and the PAFs more myself this week. I'd say they are very similar...I think the differences are largely down to likely different magnets. The neck pickups are very similar but the bridge long mag PAF is dry with a very immediate attack with little give in it. Very limited, tight low end. The bridge PAT has similar levels of treble, but fat mids, more low end, and a bit more give in the attack. I'm guessing it's a short A5 but I'll get a magnetic field viewer to check.

I can't compare the middle posistions as the PAFs are out of phase and the PATs not. Interestingly, as amazing as each of the PATs sounds by itself, the middle posistion with both volumes fill up for me is a bit uninspiring...they seem to cancel quite a bit of one another out...it's a bit less vibrant and exciting than either neck or bridge alone. But THEN roll one down a bit, to 8.5 or 8 and it's probably some of the coolest tones I've had...amazing middle posistion like that. A cool slight honk, like a tiny bit of out of phase almost. Very addictive and expressive and a weird quirk of this set!
 
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Greg Dunn

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It's so dependent on the individual pickup, just like the guitars themselves. There are great, good, and garbage among all of them.
 

AJK1

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I did a video of this some time back but just an iPhone. So now I have some better recording equipment I thought I'd do another comparison.

Playing two 59 Les Paul replicas by the same builder. The one with the vintage PAFs is played FIRST. Acoustically the one with the PAFs is a bit drier than the other one, with less of a full bass - that guitar is my personal favourite but it's a close call. They are both loud and resonant.

The PAFs measure 7.7k neck and 7.3k bridge. The OTPG are 8.3k bridge and 7.9k neck. What do you think? Personally, I prefer the sound of the first guitar with the PAFs when I listen back. I can get them to 'talk' a bit more - i.e. there is something more vocal in the tone, and almost something a little bit saxophone in the low bass strings. But how much is the PAFs, how much is the difference in the guitars? Hard to say. One things for sure, and that's that the OTPG are a damn fine pickup, even back to back with the 'holy grails'.

I'm playing into a Matamp series 3000, which is going into a 4x12 cab with greenbacks (in UAD Ox Box). A little reverb from the OX also.


***UPDATE***

Early maroon wire PATs installed now in the guitar that had OTPG.

Hear them here :)

The first guitar with the vintage PAF’s sounded way better
 
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dro

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With you playing. I liked the tone of number 1. To be completely honest. If you want my feedback. You'll need to send me the guitars, and let me play them. Through my amps. Final decision could take awhile. So you'll have to be patient.
:cool:

I wanted THAT PAF tone on a track I was working on. Borrowed a buddies 1963 335 . Ended up using on of my 2005 Les Paul's
Of course, every time I went to but a 335. I ended up buying a Les Paul.
 
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jwinger

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The first guitar with the vintage PAF’s sounded way better
Yeah after I made this video I ended up needing to track down some early pat numbers for that guitar. They're fantastic...as good as the pafs
 


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