VINTAGE PAF SPEC?

jbash

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It’s the magic behind Led Zeppelin I and Appetite For Destruction!

Happy Thanksgiving, homey!

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ARandall

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Don’t you know that Led Zeppelin I and Appetite for Destruction sold more Marshalls and Gibsons than any other albums?

….even though neither album featured a Marshall or a Gibson.
I went down a big hole many many years back of trying to get a strat tone like what was on Another Brick in The Wall, only to then discover it was a DI recorded p90 goldtop.
 

KS 5150

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Don’t you know that Led Zeppelin I and Appetite for Destruction sold more Marshalls and Gibsons than any other albums?

….even though neither album featured a Marshall or a Gibson.
I'm pretty sure that AFD was recorded with a modded Marshall from SIR (Stringed Instrument Rentals) in LA.
 

gibsonguitar1988

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I think it started as a Marshall Super Tremolo and was modded by someone and SIR had it for rent.

To me modded Marshall's are still Marshalls. Actually, I tend to think of the Jose-modded Marshalls or JCM800s as *the* Marshall sound in my head. The Marshall I consider to be "The Marshall sound" is *not* a stock JTM45 or 59SLP. I want more gain than that. For me, it's a modded hot rodded JMP/Plexi or a JCM 800. Usually the mods on the JMP's and Plexi's keep the same tone and vibe but just bring more gain to the party and at reasonable volumes. It's not like they turn it into a different amp like a Triple Rec or something. The sonic character and EQ is still a Marshall all the way.

I agree a Derrig isn't technically a Gibson but I mean its the same construction as a Burst, it's going to sound like a Les Paul regardless of who's name is on the headstock. However those are not PAFs, those are Duncan Alnico II Pros which are a key to Slash's sound. Very creamy sounding pickups.

Now Led Zeppelin I is another matter altogether - that's Supros and Telecasters. That isn't a Les Paul and a Marshall. Not even close. But I can see why AFD sold Les Pauls and Marshalls - because while the Marshall had been slightly modified and the Les Paul made by someone else - that's what they sound like - a Les Paul and a gainier Marshall. So I can understand that. And it's a great sound.
 

ARandall

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Actually the AFD amp had also been on another famous player's album at about the same time - I think it was George Lynch who used it just before for his solo album. So it was a fairly well known head. GnR (or their management) hired it without knowing just how good it was - it so happened that they got that head. But I think whoever the other famous player was specifically went for that head as the mod made it an outstanding sounding amp.
 

cooljuk

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I'm aware of (what's commonly accepted as) the history of SIR # 39, SIR # #35, Tim Caswell, Frank Levi, etc.

Just because something started as a Marshall, doesn't mean it is "a Marshall" heard on the album. You couldn't call up Unicord, Marshall's US distributor at the time, as a dealer and order that amp. You could order a 2203 with cascaded gain stages but, apparently, it wasn't at all the same thing, according to those who were involved, including its legal and illegal owners and renters.

Those who want to get serious and point out a flaw in my joke about Marshalls and Gibsons not appearing on AFD will know that Slash and George Lynch both wanted to buy the amp(s) from SIR, but SIR turned them down, and that George Lynch paid far more than the cost of several Marshalls just to rent the particular modded one he found to be unique for a tour. Slash attempted to (and did for a while) steal his favorite SIR amp when he couldn't buy it, while he could have just bought any other Marshall he wanted.

The way those three parties treated the Caswell / Levi modded amps show how the AFD pre production and album amps were no longer just "a Marshall" as they started out. Now, they were something significantly different enough to make them far more valuable to all three parties. Those three parties all had other Marshalls and access to many more.
 

cooljuk

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Actually the AFD amp had also been on another famous player's album at about the same time - I think it was George Lynch who used it just before for his solo album. So it was a fairly well known head. GnR (or their management) hired it without knowing just how good it was - it so happened that they got that head. But I think whoever the other famous player was specifically went for that head as the mod made it an outstanding sounding amp.

Was that amp on one of Lynch's albums, too? I think the one he had rented was the original #39, the Super Tremolo with the repurposed trem tube. I haven't read up on it in a while.

I think the crazy expensive rental of it was for Dokken's tour. Tooth and Nail? ...or maybe it was after for Under Lock and Key? There was a while when I tried to find some old camcorder video of it from whichever tour posted to YT but I don't think I ever succeeded. There was fan video to be found, even showing George's rig, but cameras weren't so great then to see the details from a distance.
 

ARandall

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Yes, actually I did a little reading on SIR #39 after posting. Apparently according to this source GnR rented SIR rehearsal rooms and had a bunch of Marshall amps to try for pre-production. #39 had just come off the Dokken tour and was one of the ones in the room - and was the clear 'winner' and was used on AFD.
Also SIR had so many requests for #39 that they started modding other amps in the stable to be clones of it - of course none were trem heads so had to have the chassis drilled for the extra tube.
 

KS 5150

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Was that amp on one of Lynch's albums, too? I think the one he had rented was the original #39, the Super Tremolo with the repurposed trem tube. I haven't read up on it in a while.

I think the crazy expensive rental of it was for Dokken's tour. Tooth and Nail? ...or maybe it was after for Under Lock and Key? There was a while when I tried to find some old camcorder video of it from whichever tour posted to YT but I don't think I ever succeeded. There was fan video to be found, even showing George's rig, but cameras weren't so great then to see the details from a distance.
My recollection was that #39 was used for the "Under Lock And Key" tour in '85 - '86 just prior to GnR renting it...and that was definitely an expensive rental!
 

Mosster47

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What exactly is vintage paf spec. I see this term tossed around so frequently. Can someone p,ease for the love of guitar explain it to me.
The top of the cork sniffing food chain are going to tell you their wire and magnets are the only correct ones. You can't do anything about the wire, but all of them sell their magnets for $100 a pair or less.

Here is what qualifies:
Nickel baseplate
Butyrate bobbins
42AWG plain enamel wire
Maple spacer
Mismatched winding between coils
7k-9k dcr range.

You can find that from Stew Mac for around $90 a piece up to $500+ new. Ones with a mystique that aren't being built anymore can fetch well over a grand (Sigil vintage wire, ReWind vintage wire, OTPG, Electric City, etc.)

Having owned basically everything, here is my advice. Find the cheapest pickups you can that meets those specs I mentioned above then play around with magnets. The non-cork sniffing ones laughably cheap ($15 a pair). Find the right one for you. Then tell everyone it's some super expensive one. They can't check, they absolutely won't be able to tell, and they'll all say "those sound killer."

Pickups are like bourbon. Once you've spent all the way up to Pappy 23 year you just realize Evan Williams was as good as everything else all along.
 

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