Patent number pickups vs modern boutique paf replicas

ESchmidt

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Hello all,
I was wondering about how modern paf replicas (wizz, ox4, thro bak, antiquities, etc.) stack up against genuine Gibson patent sticker pickups (1962-1965). I know the past few years the boutique builders have come closer and closer to replicating the original PAFs. I'm looking to replace pickups in a guitar. Genuine PAFs are out of the question due to the current prices, but i could get early 60s pre-t top patent sticker ones. Which would you go for?
 

RAG7890

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I have several Sets of Vintage PU's.

My '62 EP's have '58 Long Magnets in them & they are outstanding IMHO.

They were also outstandingly expensive. :laugh2:

Based on the PU's I have or have had I'd get OX4's to start with but in reality there are many great Boutique PAF's. As you mentioned Throbak, Wizz, not to mention ReWind, ECP, Sheptone etc. etc.

Lots of great choices for not much money compared to Vintage.

Good luck.

:cheers2:
 

Blacksheep

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I have pats in a 63 SG and a set of Bare Knuckle Mules in a 2005 Les Paul Faded. In terms of tonal quality, nothing to choose between them IMHO.

Now p90s are another story. The vintage p90s in my 57 Special wipe the floor with the modern Gibson versions in my CS 1960 Special. I believe the old wood/vintage p90 combo, whether in Specials or Juniors, to be unbeatable.
 

Kris Ford

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I'd rather have the Patent Numbers..
Hell, I'd rather have a T Top than ANYTHING new..
 

ESchmidt

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I have pats in a 63 SG and a set of Bare Knuckle Mules in a 2005 Les Paul Faded. In terms of tonal quality, nothing to choose between them IMHO.

Now p90s are another story. The vintage p90s in my 57 Special wipe the floor with the modern Gibson versions in my CS 1960 Special. I believe the old wood/vintage p90 combo, whether in Specials or Juniors, to be unbeatable.
That's what I keep thinking. Is it worth it to spend $1000 per pickup on vintage pats? I can get a set of any high end boutique reproduction wound to my specs for less than $600 a set.
 

idnotbe

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based on ~20 pre T-Top experiences.

1. if use the same magnets, i cannot distinguish the tones between PAFs, early 60's PAT #s (purple) and mid 60's PAT #s (red, pre T-Top)
so, PAT #s are more bang for the buck choice.

2. i feel lots of PAF boutique replicas are NOT similar to PAFs or PAT #s in tone.
tried 2 pups OP mentioned, but they are not similar to vintage, imho.

3. the modern PAFs have the clear benefits.
for ex, you can expect the tone, while the vintage pups are more random... (though they share some characteristics.)

4. considering some boutique pups are over $500, i think PAT # (which is ~$1,000) is great choice.
let's say... $500 for a fake chanel bag and $1,000 for a real chanel.
 

Donfledermaus

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I would go for the PAT, if in a hurry. Otherwise, i'd save for PAFs. Tried a lot of replicas, now have PAFs in a 335 and another set in a Les Paul; it's just day and night. The only issue is that you can also get -it can happen- PAF's that are a bit dead...Otherwise, nothing comes close to them.
 

Jumping@shadows

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I've had many, many PAFs, and even more PAT's and if you're a purist/anal tone nerd into really analysing and savouring the nuances of your humbuckers, then you'd do well to find a great sounding set of original vintage pickups. If you're 'just' looking for killer vintage flavoured tone, I'd go with a 2-3 of the current popular winders, as it's splitting hairs really, and as others have noted there's dud PAFs/PATs too that will fall short of modern repro's. My personal favourite boutique winder is Wizz, as you get a really authentic, juicy, expressive and lively PAF that gives you all the 'good stuff' and provides the essential sonic signatures of the real deal, plus are available in hotter winds than you'd be lucky to stumble upon so you get a 'hot '59 PAF' experience..
I have a couple sets of purple wire PATs, and will be trying them in my '68 conversion next week, but I'm very, very happy with the Wizz in there now fwiw ;)
 

RAG7890

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Re the comments above, while I agree that Vintage PU's are awesome & if they are great Sets, in a World of their own, you are paying for that privilege big time.

Vintage P90's are IMHO another World. The '58 P90 Set I own is better than any PAF's / EP's I own or have heard & so much better than modern P90's..........IMHO.

The OX4 Set I own was tested in a Conversion against the Conversion's Vintage PAF's (or EP's, can't remember) & the Luthier / his friend said they couldn't really tell any difference between the two Sets; i.e. they were that close.

I also own a Set of Cilia PAF's in a Custom built Guitar by Charles Cilia in Australia & I'd put them up against any Set...........Boutique or Vintage but Charles only winds his own PU"s to put in the Guitars he makes.

I know several here have bought T-Tops & slapped earlier Mags in or bought great Boutique Mags & had awesome results. T-Tops, as mentioned above are a cost effective solution.

Lastly, let's not forget several really important factors here.

1. What are you generally playing?
2. What Amp are you using?
3. What music do you generally play?
4. What Guitar is this going in to............IMPORTANT?
5. What Harness is in your Guitar............IMPORTANT?

They are a myriad of ways to the get a great result & bang for buck.

Good luck.

:cheers2:

P.S. Forgot to mention you can also go Boutique + Vintage Magnets.
 

goldtop0

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I've had short magnet PAFs, T-tops and Timbuckers in my historics. I liked the Tims and the Ts best.
 

Cookie-boy

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Anyone who has spent $5-10,000 on a pair of PAF's will undoubtedly convince themselves that they sound better than anything else. Fact.
 

Jumping@shadows

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I have had truly exceptional PAFs, the best being a 8.9k '59 Zebra fwiw, that sounded even better than my best P90s- fatter, more complex and incredibly expressive, but it's all luck if the draw..
 

Kris Ford

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Maybe even Gibson knew this themselves, and perhaps, just maybe, that is why T Tops are so consistent?
A lot of the major changes in Gibson history were due to warranty issues, wonder if this is one of them too.
I am quite content with T Tops, and have yet to find one that I can't make work for my tone. Not one yet. (assuming they are unmolested..those obviously won't do, for any pickup IMO)
Because, I would be the guy to finally drop the coin on a set of PAFs just to have a lackluster experience...
I like consistent.:naughty:
Square foot first generation DiMarzio Super Distortions are very consistent too..with those (and T Tops), you know what you're gonna get each and every time.
 

RAG7890

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Anyone who has spent $5-10,000 on a pair of PAF's will undoubtedly convince themselves that they sound better than anything else. Fact.
I've certainly convinced myself that I'm an idiot Cookie. :laugh2: :shock:

IMHO this is all about splitting hairs whether it be Guitars, PU's, Speakers, Tubes, Cabs & Amps.

This afternoon I stumbled across a young French girl playing a Les Paul Standard through a fairly basic Amp. She ripped through Dave Gilmours's solo from Comfortably Numb like nothing else I've heard recently.

Makes all the crap we all go on about here on this Forum seem pretty silly. I'm thinking of running a Thread on it in the Historic Section so they can all understand how important the right Plastics are to Guitar playing & Music. :laugh2: :laugh2:

Cheers, Rudi.
 

goldtop0

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Anyone who has spent $5-10,000 on a pair of PAF's will undoubtedly convince themselves that they sound better than anything else. Fact.

I spent NZ$5k for 3 of 'em....and they didn't suit my R0 compared to other pups.
It depends, if you are objective about the 'experiment' or not:naughty:
 


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