Rewind Pickups recreates the PAF once again!

Pageburst

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I was so impressed with a set of Rewind pickups that propelled one of my great brazilian R9s well into the best of Burst territory, I asked James of Rewind to build me something for another one of my R9s.

The best Rewinds just have a PAF rightness to them that you’re like “that’s it, that’s the PAF tone i’ve been chasing”.

What’s more, after experiencing real PAFs and many boutique PAFs, i think i know what differentiates the pickups that for me have “it“ from those that don’t. PAFs have this very distinct clarity or focus. without being bright brittle or sterile. Whereas, even the very good custombuckers and many boutique PAFs have a slight softness or blurriness that you can feel particularly when you lightly touch the strings, holding them on the edge of break up. While this distinction in absolute terms is subtle, through a great NMV amp like a JTM45, you will hear and feel the difference.

Anyway. Rewind once again delivered that great PAF tone. This time for an incredible R9 that had a deep woody resonant tone but needed a little extra PAF clarity in the neck. Now, the neck pickup still provides that beautiful round vowelly tone but there’s an underlying hardness and sheen to the struck string that rolls over to warm lush shimmery overdrive without any inherent blur or fuzziness that can muddy things up. if you are going to chase tone, to me, this is what it’s all about. Nice work James!
 

NorlinBlackBeauty

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ReWind PAF-1s in my '73. Both are excellent. I now like using the bridge pickup.

Previously had 1978 DiMarzio PAFs and the original T-tops in it. Neck pickup was muddy, especially with the DiMarzio.
 

smk506

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James is a cool guy too. I had a weird pickup project he was able to help me out with, even though it didn’t net a sale he helped get me up and running.
I’d really like a set of his pickups one day.
 

musicmaniac

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While I'm no connoisseur of pickups and don't have the ability to describe them as you have, I do love my PAF-1's. Did you get a matching harness with yours? I never got to try his harness as I already had a "holy grail" type harness installed. I've always wondered how much difference it would have made if any. Congrats!
 

NorlinBlackBeauty

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James is a cool guy too. I had a weird pickup project he was able to help me out with, even though it didn’t net a sale he helped get me up and running.
I’d really like a set of his pickups one day.
Very much so.

I hit him up for advice and guidance over the phone long before he made a sale with me. Asked a lot of stupid questions, he answered them with exacting detail. He LIKES taking about this stuff. A total guitar electronics wonk!
 

NorlinBlackBeauty

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While I'm no connoisseur of pickups and don't have the ability to describe them as you have, I do love my PAF-1's. Did you get a matching harness with yours? I never got to try his harness as I already had a "holy grail" type harness installed. I've always wondered how much difference it would have made if any. Congrats!
Well stated.

All I know is my Lester never sounded better after installing the PAF-1s. We are fortunate to have him here.

I did DIY pot / cap installs bought from James before the PAF-1s..
 

red_house356

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I can't recommend James enough. Not only is he knowledgeable and an expert craftsman, but he's love a good cigar and scotch.

I was so impressed with a set of Rewind pickups that propelled one of my great brazilian R9s well into the best of Burst territory, I asked James of Rewind to build me something for another one of my R9s..... if you are going to chase tone, to me, this is what it’s all about. Nice work James!

Nice! Did you go with the 59 PAF-1s? So far, my favorite set of James' humbucker winds have been the Low Output set (NOS Wire). They were nothing short of amazing in a '68 ES 335. It really brought the guitar to life soundwise, I did not like the T Top Bridge Pickup. The post72JP is awesome if you're looking for Page tones in the middle position. My second humbucker set is a variation of "Tele on Steriods" PAFs. I loved the character it gave an old '67 Melody Maker. Currently have the bridge in a Korina Flying V. I have his '65 Strat pickups (NOS Wire) which also capture that vintage tone in spades.

And to boot, I don't trust anyone else with vintage pickup repairs. Especially if you're looking for a reasonably quick turnaround. He's taken care of a '56 p90 from a Junior I had. I just sent him a '50 Fender Champion Lap Steel to convert into a tele pickup as well. The coil wire broke from the eyelet and had a jumper attached to it. He should be finishing that up soon.
 
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NorlinBlackBeauty

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I can't recommend James enough. Not only is he knowledgeable and an expert craftsman, but he's love a good cigar and scotch.

Nice! Did you go with the 59 PAF-1s? So far, my favorite set of James' humbucker winds have been the Low Output set (NOS Wire). They were nothing short of amazing in a '68 ES 335. It really brought the guitar to life soundwise, I did not like the T Top Bridge Pickup. The post72JP is awesome if you're looking for Page tones in the middle position. My second humbucker set is a variation of "Tele on Steriods" PAFs. I loved the character it gave an old '67 Melody Maker. Currently have the bridge in a Korina Flying V. I have his '65 Strat pickups (NOS Wire) which also capture that vintage tone in spades.

And to boot, I don't trust anyone else with vintage pickup repairs. He's taken care of a '56 p90 from a Junior I had. I just sent him a '50 Fender Champion Lap Steel to convert into a tele pickup as well. The coil wire broke from the eyelet and had a jumper attached to it. He should be finishing that up soon.
I had James rewind a T-top I borked a long time ago. Superb job!
 

Pageburst

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Nicely done! The new pickups he built for me do in fact use A4s.

That said, the pickups that are in the Brazilian I described in my post are True Kalamazoos. I‘m not sure what magnet he used in those. But the minute I played them i knew they had that elusive PAF rightness

i do agree, magnets can make a noticable difference. I had a pair of custom buckers in my TH59 that i must’ve tried every magnet type from A2 to UOA5. Interestingly, i never liked A4s in my experimentation, instead preferring a particularly vibrant set of A2s. Eventually, I replaced those custombuckers for a set of low wind OX4s which sound amazing. OX4 is my other favorite boutique winder.

What magnets did he use? I'm guessing A4s based on your description.
 

Duane_the_tub

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Nicely done! The new pickups he built for me do in fact use A4s.

That said, the pickups that are in the Brazilian I described in my post are True Kalamazoos. I‘m not sure what magnet he used in those. But the minute I played them i knew they had that elusive PAF rightness

i do agree, magnets can make a noticable difference. I had a pair of custom buckers in my TH59 that i must’ve tried every magnet type from A2 to UOA5. Interestingly, i never liked A4s in my experimentation, instead preferring a particularly vibrant set of A2s. Eventually, I replaced those custombuckers for a set of low wind OX4s which sound amazing. OX4 is my other favorite boutique winder.
The "modern PAF" revolution among boutique winders seems to have been largely built on the A4 magnet. IMO it produces a brighter but more balanced sound (or more clarity, depending how it's perceived) than the A2s and A5s more commonly found in vintage PAFs. If you watch enough "PAF shootout" videos and especially read their comment sections, modern players overwhelmingly prefer the brighter tonal characteristics of the A4: "clearer, less dark or muddy, more pop and snarl," etc. Alex from WIZZ essentially built his company on this trend (the A4 is his default magnet). I think it also has to do with the way a lot of amps and effects are voiced nowadays, versus 50-60 years ago.

Yours sound awesome, by your description. I'm glad you have found some successful alternatives to the ones you don't care for as much.
 
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cooljuk

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Man, you guys are all too kind! I'm just doing my job and I'm blessed to be able to do something I love to feed my family.

Speaking of feeding the family, here's a pork belly that's just about to come off the smoker, here at RWHQ!



....with a side of ribs!
 

RocketKing

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Man, you guys are all too kind! I'm just doing my job and I'm blessed to be able to do something I love to feed my family.

Speaking of feeding the family, here's a pork belly that's just about to come off the smoker, here at RWHQ!



....with a side of ribs!
It's well deserved James!
 

RocketKing

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The "modern PAF" revolution among boutique winders seems to have been largely built on the A4 magnet. IMO it produces a brighter but more balanced sound (or more clarity, depending how it's perceived) than the A2s and A5s more commonly found in vintage PAFs. If you watch enough "PAF shootout" videos and especially read their comment sections, modern players overwhelmingly prefer the brighter tonal characteristics of the A4: "clearer, less dark or muddy, more pop and snarl," etc. Alex from WIZZ essentially built his company on this trend (the A4 is his default magnet). I think it also has to do with the way a lot of amps and effects are voiced nowadays, versus 50-60 years ago.

Yours sound awesome, by your description. I'm glad you have found some successful alternatives to the ones you don't care for as much.
It's true, but it's also my understanding that alnico 4 was the actual magnet of choice for the paf design. The other variations were for availability issues... Maybe someone can correct or integrate that
 

cooljuk

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It's true, but it's also my understanding that alnico 4 was the actual magnet of choice for the paf design. The other variations were for availability issues... Maybe someone can correct or integrate that
I haven't heard that one, yet. The VAST majority of magnets I've inspected from PAFs and P-90s are A3 (earlier) and A5 (later). P-90s are more consistent. There's some fluctuation in design materials and methods of PAFs for a period between. The original Gibson A5s of the 1950's and 1960's hold a weaker settled saturation than modern versions and both sound different from modern versions.

A4 is not a standard AlNiCo type. Most varieties of A4 that foundries produce sound too punchy and lively to me, without finding a pickup design that really compensates for that or altering the magnet formula / process to make them less ...well, A4-ish". If you've every played around with studio gear and know what an "expander" is (the opposite of a compressor), that's exactly what I think of, regarding the playing dynamics of most A4s.

I think WIZZ does a fantastic job with a bright A4 design, but most others have disappointed me. I had to do some real messing with A4 alloy and manufacturing process to get some I liked, and I'm particular about what pickup designs I put them in.
 

jbash

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Man, you guys are all too kind! I'm just doing my job and I'm blessed to be able to do something I love to feed my family.

Speaking of feeding the family, here's a pork belly that's just about to come off the smoker, here at RWHQ!



....with a side of ribs!
This man can make anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

pmonk

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Very much so.

I hit him up for advice and guidance over the phone long before he made a sale with me. Asked a lot of stupid questions, he answered them with exacting detail. He LIKES taking about this stuff. A total guitar electronics wonk!

Same here. Ready to pull the trigger on a set of PAF-1 to go with my recent MSSC Holy Grail purchase.

Very helpful once again in helping me with purchasing one of his pickups
 


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