Real PAF's in a Historic ?

teleboli

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I have access to a pair of '59/'60 (likely '60 ) black bobbin PAF's with same year untouched wiring harness.
I'm trying to decide whether to put them in a LP or sell. I've done a lot of research on this and there's much differing opinion for various reasons.
Anyway, just wondering who's had great results doing this and from those who feel the boutiques are close enough etc.
No biggie. Just something to discuss.
 

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ESchmidt

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I have a 2010 R8 that I have PAFs in. The neck is a long magnet PAF with one of the coils rewound by Tom Brantley. I purchased the pickup from Eric Ernest and it reads around 7.90k. The bridge pickup is a later, short magnet PAF, all original. It reads out at 8.20k. They are matched really well and sound great together. Do they sound "better" than the best repros out there? No I don't think so. I think that hype about originals is just that, hype. Don't get me wrong they certainly don't sound any worse than the best repros out there. I do have 1959 centralab 500k C2 pots on these pickups and in my opinion that is where the difference is. Those pots make the best repo PAFs feel just like original PAFs, in my opinion. I think people get so caught up in thinking the humbucker is solely responsible for the tone that they forget there are a lot of other parts to the signal path.
 

grayd8

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I would try them out and see how they sound, if you aren't floored by them; quietly sell them and buy some nice booteek PAF's.
 

RAG7890

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Depends on the PU's. I have 3 x Sets of Vintage PU's and they all sound awesome to my & other's ears.

Not all Vintage PU's are great as many of us know.

On the flip side I do have one Set of Aussie made Boutique PU's that are line ball with my early '62 EP's with '58 Long Magnets in them & they cost a load less than the early EP's.

I also like Mark Stow's OX4's. Lots of great Boutique choices now.

My '58 PAF's are great & my '58 P90's are beyond awesome IMHO. These P90's are not going anywhere.

I suppose if you don't do it you'll never really know.

From a budget point of view a Vintage Harness + good Boutique Set with Vintage Magnets is a cost effective option. Vintage Pots are a major bonus.

Lastly, I'd have to add that everything we do is really potential small gains & some of those gains cost a load of Money. I wouldn't use Vintage PAF's and then run the Guitar through a so so Amp & Cab.

You can do it & see what happens and then sell them if you don't "hear" the value.

My 2c FWIW.

Good luck.

:cheers2:
 

goldtop0

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Tried PAFs in my first Historic some years ago and yes I was underwhelmed(but you've got to give it a go don't you) and eventually sold them. Some boutique pups are really good at a fraction of the cost....... and P90s.......I love them.
 

freebyrd 69

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I have a 2010 R8 that I have PAFs in. The neck is a long magnet PAF with one of the coils rewound by Tom Brantley. I purchased the pickup from Eric Ernest and it reads around 7.90k. The bridge pickup is a later, short magnet PAF, all original. It reads out at 8.20k. They are matched really well and sound great together. Do they sound "better" than the best repros out there? No I don't think so. I think that hype about originals is just that, hype. Don't get me wrong they certainly don't sound any worse than the best repros out there. I do have 1959 centralab 500k C2 pots on these pickups and in my opinion that is where the difference is. Those pots make the best repo PAFs feel just like original PAFs, in my opinion. I think people get so caught up in thinking the humbucker is solely responsible for the tone that they forget there are a lot of other parts to the signal path.
I absolutely love this post right here. Very nice to see somebody be so honest. OP, your question is answered right here. Close the thread. LOL
 

jlb32

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It will all vary from guitar to guitar. The same pickups do not sound the same in every guitar. Original PAF's may be great in certain hyped Originals but not so much in some Originals.

There are dog Originals, just like every year, but you don't hear about those Originals like the hyped up ones.

Rarity is why the Originals are what they are and priced the way they are. The rest IMO is all hype.
 

teleboli

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Thanks for the thoughts guys. Basically everyone is reinforcing several views/possibilities I already have or am aware of.

Before I would bother transplanting the harness/p/u's into a LP it would need to be a resonant, lively, balanced guitar acoustically. Without those qualities I likely wouldn't bother and it would be a non-starter. Even with those qualities I value there's no guarantee the p/u's and wiring harness would bring the whole thing to an awesome level 'for me'. Lots of variables.

Of course I'd also have to love the weight and neck profile etc. as well. The other option is installing just the wiring harness and going with a pair of boutiques as mentioned.

At the end of the day I could always keep the p/u's and wiring harness and keep trying them in whichever guitar comes through until things click. Having said that, maybe the first guitar I try them in will be the one. Trying them is the only way to know. I have a guitar on the way that I 'think' may have the qualities I mentioned. I had to buy without playing first so we'll see when I get it in my hands.

Love hearing the opinions.
 

jlb32

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Thanks for the thoughts guys. Basically everyone is reinforcing several views/possibilities I already have or am aware of.

Before I would bother transplanting the harness/p/u's into a LP it would need to be a resonant, lively, balanced guitar acoustically. Without those qualities I likely wouldn't bother and it would be a non-starter.
I use to feel that way but over my years of playing and owning so many different guitars I've found that acoustic properties with electrics really mean nothing IMO.

I've had so many acoustically dead sounding guitars that were amazing plugged in and so many great acoustically resonant guitars that sounded poorly plugged in, I've pretty much dismissed that theory all together.

Just my preference but to me how a electric sounds acoustically doesn't always translate through amplification.

IMO the only way to tell if it's great or not is to plug it in.

For me some of the acoustically deadest sounding guitars have been monsters plugged in.

To me with electrics it's more about how the individual guitar interacts with the wood it's made of over how it resonates acoustically.

Completely different animal compared to a actual acoustic guitar.
 
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teleboli

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jlb32 I completely agree. I was thinking that ,among other things, while typing, just didn't want to get too windy.

Acoustic resonance/volume is not necessarily an indication of plugged in characteristics, especially with solid bodies.

Again, I'll just need to try things out and see the results.
 

Sharky

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I wouldn't use Vintage PAF's and then run the Guitar through a so so Amp & Cab.
always made me wonder. People shell out big money buying RIs, booteek PUPs, while a nice vintage amp can be had for much less. I paid around 1k USD for my 1961 Tweed Champ and it sounds dripping sweet as honey. I bought the EC Tweed Champ RI before and returned it right away. Totally disappointing in my book. Was even 200 Euros more expensive than the real deal. Do your math
 

Lefty Elmo

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I've installed original PAFs into three different Les Pauls. The first was a routed Deluxe from 1977, I had a set of terrific double-whites in my Rossington, later a PAF and early Patent-Sticker in the Rossington, then a pristine set in my goldtop. The other guitars are long gone, but I still have the goldtop, and the truth is, it sounds every bit as good (maybe better) with a set of Throbaks, as it did with PAFs.
 
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jamman

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All very good advice posted above ... RAGS ..... if they do ,,ever go someplace (those P-90's I sold you),, I better be 1st on the ask list :wave::naughty: I'll buy another git to have a home for them .


OP , the Point really is , you can't know unless you try them in your guitar /guitars ...
You wont devalue them anymore then they already have been ,and with a little Solder braid(Used on the pots) you can clean up almost all /any solder and make it look pristine ....

It's the same with all pups .. Not every pup/pups will work in any 1 guitar .
If you don't try them , you will never know ....
If they turn out to be great ... You'll be happy you tried ...
But ,, It's never just 1 aspect of a guitar , that gets it there ... It's everything ,together .
If it meshes up well , you can find you have made a special guitar with a few well placed mods ...

Go for it :thumbs:
 

wizard1183

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always made me wonder. People shell out big money buying RIs, booteek PUPs, while a nice vintage amp can be had for much less. I paid around 1k USD for my 1961 Tweed Champ and it sounds dripping sweet as honey. I bought the EC Tweed Champ RI before and returned it right away. Totally disappointing in my book. Was even 200 Euros more expensive than the real deal. Do your math
That's the thing, the GUITAR is what got famous. Not the amp cause of the guitarist. Therefore it's THE guitar that MADE the sound when in actuality the amp had much to do with it.

As they say. Take a $50 guitar and plug it into a $3000 amp and you can make it sound phenomenal. Take a $50 amp plugged to a $250000 guitar and it STILL SOUNDS like shit lol
 

d1m1

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if the paf´s are good ones it will be for sure a great tonal upgrade. but the wood is also very important. a historic propably wont sound like a 50ies one just because of the paf´s. for sure there are also good historics (rarely) and also bad 50ies ones (as well rarely) but the magic about that 50ies tone is in the combnation of 50ies oldgrown wood and 50ies pups. i use to say the pups are the heart of a guitar and the wood the soul. cheers
 
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korus

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You have to try them in YOUR guitar through YOUR amp in a A/B test with YOUR best modern PAF replicas for that guitar and amp. Then you will be able decide if the cost difference is justified by the tone difference. Just do not hold your breath as it rarely does.

I mean, we do not have the real numbers. We do hear for all PAFs that were stellar, but we do not hear for all PAFs that were sold at loss as they were meh. And that does not even include all the PAFs that are meh but the owner keeps them as he is not able to hear it.

However, if your aim is to replicate tone of originals with the modern post '68 copy by Gibson or some replica builder, having PAFs and original wiring harness in not enough. You ALSO need original hardware that makes tone in that guitar - tailpiece with studs and bushings, bridge with posts and wheels, nut and tuners.

If the Gibson is CS is 2007 or earlier, preferably HM-ed, or replica is made of oldgrowth wood you will be as close as possible, but only if that particular set of PAFs is good one AND if it is a good match for your guitar. I did not say it would sound exactly like originals as it can not, but it will be as close as possible tonally.

In my book, the overall cost is too high with risk that is too high, but anyone's mileage my vary. On the other side, you might like that PAF set it in your guitar so much that you simply keep them there for life.

Therefore, as already said, you need to try them and decide for yourself.
 

jamman

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That's the thing, the GUITAR is what got famous. Not the amp cause of the guitarist. Therefore it's THE guitar that MADE the sound when in actuality the amp had much to do with it.

As they say. Take a $50 guitar and plug it into a $3000 amp and you can make it sound phenomenal. Take a $50 amp plugged to a $250000 guitar and it STILL SOUNDS like shit lol
Well ,, Not really ,, I've seen/heard a $50 guitar (~) . but just say cheap) and a Cheap Amp sound GREAT ,, in the hands of a Great player ,,,and that , above everything , is the key .. Doesn't matter much what you play ,, It's how well you play that matters .
 

wizard1183

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Well ,, Not really ,, I've seen/heard a $50 guitar (~) . but just say cheap) and a Cheap Amp sound GREAT ,, in the hands of a Great player ,,,and that , above everything , is the key .. Doesn't matter much what you play ,, It's how well you play that matters .
I agree the player is key. It was a sarcastic statement saying the guitar got famous. It's what "they" make claim and many think. But yes. Great player can make a crap guitar sound great. But a great player won't get an original LP to sound great through a crap amp
 

FlamingTop

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All you need to know can be found in the posts of ES and Rag!

The harness is a huge part of the equation in maximizing the PAFs.

But then again tone is the sum of all parts so everything needs to line up to your preference including your amp, your speakers, your fingers etc.

Is it really worth it? To some yes, to others no.
 


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