The CANADIAN PAF Pickup Shootout of 2013

VastHorizon

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Here we go, folks!

The website is up and running! Click on the image above and it should
redirect you to the page.

It has been a long time coming, but we've done it.

The voting system is as follows:
- listen to all the clips before making a decision
- have the voting page open while listening
- rank in order of 1 - 8, 1 being your most favourite sounding set and 8 being the least.


There is a catch/curve-ball, one of the sets was used twice, BUT
in a different guitar. Therefore, there are 8 clips, but 7 pickups.
We have kept all variables constant. We've
used the same pickups, electronics (pots, caps, etc.), and hardware
(strings, pickup heights, etc.). The only difference between the
two guitars are just the actual guitars (wood) themselves.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW ON WHICH TWO SETS OF CLIPS DO YOU THINK HAVE THE SAME
EXACT PICKUPS, BUT ON DIFFERENT WOODS/GUITARS.


This is an attempt to show/settle the debate that the wood and
construction of the guitar can affect the tone despite the exact same
setup.


Thank you and please have fun!

And to the winders, thank you for your support and trust!

A BIG THANK YOU TO:
- Rod of Skatterbrane Pickups
- Alex of Wizz Pickups
- James of ReWind Electric Pickups
- Mike of Reilander Custom Guitars and Pickups
- Jeff of Sheptone Guitar Pickups
- Jon of JS Moore (Tone For Days) Guitar Pickups


We will reveal the results at the end of July 2013. :dude:
 

jcsk8

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I found 1 and 3 too sound "similar" so I'll guess they are the same pickup.
My favorite was 8 followed by 5. From 4 to 8 all sounded very good. I didn't like the three firsts (1 to 3)
 

VastHorizon

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I found 1 and 3 too sound "similar" so I'll guess they are the same pickup.
My favorite was 8 followed by 5. From 4 to 8 all sounded very good. I didn't like the three firsts (1 to 3)
Thank you for your input, jcsk8!
 

LPSGME

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Re The same pickup/different wood:

Sets 3 and 4 sound close to me - but I don't know that is because they are the same pickup on different wood, as I think wood does make a difference. I just think they are very close sounding pickups.

Sets 1 and 2 also sound close - but different enough that they could be the same on different wood ---- however..

Sets 5 and 7 [even 6] also sound similar as well, and maybe more so - so I'll go with 5 and 7 being the same on different wood.

Set 5 seemed the cleanest with most highs.

Set 8 and 3 had the most balls yet with charm

I like both 5 & 7 as I like clean, no wait I also like like 3...and 8...

Actually they all sound good and unique as one might expect personal taste aside. PS this was listening on my Mac laptop. A terrible reference in some ways but not in others.
 

MiniB

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I chose #'s 6 and 5 as my favorites. Couldn't quite guess which were the same pickup. Very nice test though, and a good sample of guitar playing to test with.
 

VastHorizon

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Re The same pickup/different wood:

Sets 3 and 4 sound close to me - but I don't know that is because they are the same pickup on different wood, as I think wood does make a difference. I just think they are very close sounding pickups.

Sets 1 and 2 also sound close - but different enough that they could be the same on different wood ---- however..

Sets 5 and 7 [even 6] also sound similar as well, and maybe more so - so I'll go with 5 and 7 being the same on different wood.

Set 5 seemed the cleanest with most highs.

Set 8 and 3 had the most balls yet with charm

I like both 5 & 7 as I like clean, no wait I also like like 3...and 8...

Actually they all sound good and unique as one might expect personal taste aside. PS this was listening on my Mac laptop. A terrible reference in some ways but not in others.
Thanks, LPGSME! It would be great if you can find a good set of
headphones to use to listen to the clips! Very interesting observations
and thank you for the input!
 

VastHorizon

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Wow, Vast, that was a lot of work!
Thank you, River!

It was indeed a lot of work! I was wearing a neck brace everytime
we recorded and me doing most of the work (switching pickups,
soldering, recording, etc.) and I wanted Andrew's job to just play
and for him not to mind the extra things. I was almost in tears
everytime we ended a session as my neck and back hurt REALLY bad.

I would appreciate your input on it! :)
 

VastHorizon

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I chose #'s 6 and 5 as my favorites. Could quite guess which were the same pickup. Very nice test though, and a good sample of guitar playing to test with.
:dude:

Thank you!
 

Batman

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Awesome job Vast! :thumb:

Pickup sets 3 and 4 sounded the most similar so they get my vote as the same pickup in different guitars.

Set 4 is my second favorite overall and Set 3 was in third.
 

cooljuk

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ohhhh! This is awesome.

Nice job! Wonderful interface. I can't vote yet. I'm going to listen a few more times in different places.

First impression - 6 & 8 are sounding real nice in the neck/mid.
 

VastHorizon

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Thanks, guys!

I would like to add this note since I have received a few messages about it:
The furthest I am going to say is that we used two Gibson R8's with the same EXACT hardware, pickups, pots, caps, strings, etc.
I meant exact that they ARE the same as transferred parts from one guitar to the other.
The ONLY variable in the entire thing are the woods of the guitars.

There has been a huge debate about the woods not playing a role in the actual tone of the amplified sound of an electric guitar.
We're hoping to settle the argument! The shootout aims to hit two birds with one stone. :D
 

VastHorizon

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Awesome job Vast! :thumb:

Pickup sets 3 and 4 sounded the most similar so they get my vote as the same pickup in different guitars.

Set 4 is my second favorite overall and Set 3 was in third.
Thanks, Batman!

After doing the demo, I'm still not absolutely sure what set is staying in that
guitar. They are all exceptional sets and we were blown away by each and
every one of them having different flavours and qualities that stood out.
Needless to say, it's going to be a tough one!
 

VastHorizon

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ohhhh! This is awesome.

Nice job! Wonderful interface. I can't vote yet. I'm going to listen a few more times in different places.

First impression - 6 & 8 are sounding real nice in the neck/mid.
James, thank you!

Please do take the time to listen to the clips! It would be great
if we can hear your input on which set you think the ReWinds are!
 

Mreilander

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This is spectacular!! What amp and mic setup was used, if I may ask?
 

VastHorizon

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This is spectacular!! What amp and mic setup was used, if I may ask?
Hello Mike,

Thank you! We tried different combinations of setups, but what worked best for us is the following:

R8 -> Marshall -> 1x12 Cab with Celestion G12H30 -> Shure SM57 -> Eleven Rack's mic input -> Reaper
 

Ayton

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I really want to do this (thanks so much for going to all the trouble) but I can never reliably get all the sets to play. I might get through one or two, then the rest of the clips hang after a couple of seconds. :(

No one else?! Perhaps a Mac/Safari thing?
 

Mreilander

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I really want to do this (thanks so much for going to all the trouble) but I can never reliably get all the sets to play. I might get through one or two, then the rest of the clips hang after a couple of seconds. :(

No one else?! Perhaps a Mac/Safari thing?
Worked fine on both my macs, one being a 10.4 and one a 10.5. Try firefox.
 

cooljuk

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My two Macs (10.7 and 10.8) are both playing it just fine with Safari and Firefox.

Adobe Flash update, maybe?






I've downloaded all the clips and made some playlists in iTunes so that I can listen to "all the clip 4's" or "all the clip 1's" together. I found that to be very helpful when comparing bridges to bridges and necks to necks, etc.

I'm still not ready to cast my vote, but I can say for sure that I like sets 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8, each for different reasons. Geez, I guess I like them all. lol! Really great sounding pickups, gear, and definitely great playing! Props are deserved all around on this one.

Set 2 may be a favorite, perhaps because it stands out as a little fuller and thicker, not that it's better than the others. They are ALL excellent! I feel that set 2 sounds big and mean, without loosing much articulation, and has a really thick warm and fuzzy woman-tone. I like the way it "goes both ways" and plays good cop/bad cop with the amp.
 


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