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Thread: Shaw PAFs

  1. #1

    Shaw PAFs

    Anybody have any experience with these? When were they used by Gibson? What do they go for nowdays?

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    An early attempt to dupe the PAF. It doesn't, BUT it has a real cool tone that I like, power and clarity with a nice bump in the upper mids for a little more growl, and they came in Black, Zebra and Creme. i don't know what they sell for, BrianGWN has bought some recently.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  3. #3
    Great 'Double White' North ~ Electronics Specialist BrianGWN's Avatar
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    Hey there Big Al, what are you looking at me for? ;) spin Okay, alright, I did get one or two of those... I've been digging the older style zebra or "reverse zebra" look.

    To add to what Al said, I understand those pickups were introduced in the 1980 Gibson LP Heritage 80 series of guitars. They continued to be used in some other model of guitars through to the mid 80s, probably the higher end guitars, LP Customs.
    As to the going rate, you can sometimes stumble across a good deal for them on ebay as many people won't know what they are just from sight. There were other models of humbucking pickups in the earlier 80s so it is not obvious at a glance whether something is a Shaw. They may go for as little as $30 if offered as just normal '80s pickups, but if someone mentions if was off of a Heritage 80 guitar or specifically indicates it is a "Shaw" then you are likely looking at $40 or more, zebras typically a little more.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Shaw PAF's

    I def. like 'em.
    Have them in my H-80 and 30th Ann. Goldtop.
    Very nice pickups.

    St

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Flavum's Avatar
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    I've heard mention of these pickups here on the Forum, but how can they be identified? Are they the ones that had the "Patent Applied For" sticker on the pickup ring (that usually falls off)? My '85 Custom Shop dot neck 335 has those, and it's an awesome sounding guitar. Thanks - Tom

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    I know what you mean about the ID of early 80's Gibson pu's..According to the Big AL, there is a code ID'ing it's a Shaw nk or br..pu. this is in addition to the patent #..In my case I just received a pair of Shaw's from a seller, if I remember correctly, the nk checked out with Big AL's(thanks) description, but the bridge did not have that second code, just the corresponding pat# and date stamp..july 80' with believe it or not a conspicuous paf sticker (silver), go figure..what is this second pu..both are a definite improvement over the pearly gates/59 combo I pulled out..Stranger, is in my Leo(kalamazoo), with so-called Shaw pafs, they both have, the pat # plus a blk paf sticker, but no 3rd code, judging this guitar I'd say these are orig..Has any one else seen discrepincies on Shaw Paf bottoms...Mike..Big Al... is the difference down to nashville vs kalamazoo..

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    They were all made in the same place. They all had a seperate inked in number on the base plate in addition to the stamped patent number.

    The first three digits will tell you the type. 137 is a neck pickup with less windings and 138 is a bridge pickup with more windings. There is a date code after the fist three digits. 1381280 would be a bridge Shaw made in December 1980. Not all of them had the silver PAF sticker.

    They had PAF coilforms with the square/round inspection holes and no T on top. The wire is a bright copper color. The magnet was a special Alnico V that was longer like the 50's style and rough cast. This is a special magnet and the closest to a vintage PAF in tone to my ears. They had white plastic spacers and braided connecting wire.

    They typicaly read under 8Kohms and seem to average out in the middle 7's. They sound very big and powerful in spite of the low readings.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member DoobieK's Avatar
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    I have one that I THINK was out of an '83 The Paul Deluxe. I may have bought it as an aftermarket single though, Can't remember that far back.

    The pickup is currently in the neck position of my wine red Classic. It sounds pretty darn cool. Not really like any other pickups I have. Not better or worse, but different and good.

    Big Al, Interesting it has an alnico V mag. I thought it was alnico II because it is a PAF copy.

    No matter how hard I try not to, I learn something new every day.
    I bought a PRS. Can I still hang out here?

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member rays44's Avatar
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    I just put one back in the neck of my heritage elite. It replaced a 59er and more recently a seth. The Shaw is brighter with a nice growl on the wound strings. I find it a bit too bright in the bridge.
    Also have them in my Modern (neck & bridge) and they sound quite different. Not as bright and a bit fuller. A cool choice in that guitar.
    Big Al, my hat's off to ya. Great info on these p/u's.:dude

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Tim Shaw who designed these pickups under Norlin restraints did a remarkable job IMO. They really are a neat sounding alternative to most humbuckers. the Magnet , as was explained to me was "Unoriented AlnicoV" I do not know what that means other than it isn't a regular AlnicoV. It seems that AlnicoV has higher gauss mesurments or something to that effect than any other type of pickup magnet, and Tim said that by deleteing a final step that puts a full charge or orientation on the magnet, the tone was closest to what he was after. It was a long time ago, but that is how I remember it. I really don't understand all the fine points of Magnetism so I could have some terms mixed up. Basicly it is a real cool sounding, Big Al approved magnet. This is what I put in my Antiquities.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  11. #11
    Sonic Engineer heinz's Avatar
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    Hey Big Al quite some time back you had looked at a pickup I have in the bridge of my LP and said you thought it was a Shaw... but it doesn't meet some of the specs you mentioned above (inked stamp, square hole). I know it came from the Custom Shop in the early '80s, I do not believe it is a t-top... the top is clean of any markings whatsoever. If you have a sec, have a look and let me know what you think. topside - bottom side
    Last edited by heinz; 05-31-02 at 01:17 AM.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Heinz,
    The top shot is dead on Shaw.
    It has the PAF coilform with the round/square inspection holes at the end and no T top. If you know that pickup for sure was pre 83, it is a Shaw with a missing/rubbed stamp.

    Bottom shot shows no Shaw ID date ink stamp.

    Could be two things. 1 a Shaw that had the stamp rubbed off, easy to do, or 2 a post 83 non inked stamped "Patent Applied For", which for all intents and purposes is a Shaw without the stamp. These mostly had the little silver PAF sticker on the rings which usualy were removed. Sometime around 83/84 all Les Paul Standards and Customs were upgraded to Shaw's PAF's which were identified as "PATENT APPLIED FOR MODELS," it marked the end of the T top.

    Soon a new varient was issued. The 1959 Reissue Pickup which is like a Shaw without the ink #. I do not know when the Magnet was changed from Tims spec. Nor am I sure when they discontinued the white plastic spacers. I know that sometime after 90 I started seeing them with a dark wire in the coils.

    If they measure less than 8k and have the long Magnet they are Shaws.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  13. #13
    Sonic Engineer heinz's Avatar
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    Thank you BA, I do not know the exact date on these but I was told pre-'85 so it sounds like you narrowed it down. As always you are a wealth of information, it's great to have you back on the forum! :dude

  14. #14
    Thanks for the great responses. My questions have been answered. I think its very cool that there are people on this forum that appreciate stuff beyond just the '58 - '60 Bursts.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Speakin' fo myownbadself, kidcheezyriffs I love 'em all. I think there is something to be learned and tones to exploit in them all. Cool name BTW.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  16. #16

    shaws

    shaws came in spotlight specials and the artist models (both lp and 335)-while you probably wont find a spotlight being cannabalized, you may find an artist as the rd electronics are often replaced-just a thought as to where to look-i agree there something to all of the stuff which can be appreciated-the shaw pups are one of my favs-very beefy and round and alive

  17. #17
    Big Al - spoken like a true player.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Hey Big AL, after pulling up my pu's and taking a look, my nk ink stamp is #137 481, which I guess makes it April 81', the bridge which possibly is a rubbed out Shaw, has a straight up (July 80'), stamp and the Paf (silvr) sort of long profile lettering sticker stuck to the bottom, which I take from your post originally was on top, but I also take from your post that the Paf sticker would only apply to post 83'. The sound on the nk is hairy and driven, almost narly, Ive got it pretty low, the br is almost as big sounding a little less sweet with a bit of a mid bump, also low. In comparison to the Leo's shaw (blk paf) sticker pu's, considering leo's low frets vs her 80' larger frets, the nk matches up but the leo br is darker tighter dare I say more Paf sounding...I was told the Shaws were typically White, any idea what they sound like with covers off and has any one seen these blk sticker Pafs before..Mr Shaw did a good job..

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Tim Shaw did a heroic job trying to resurrect the paf under Gibson's then corporate culture. There is link to an interview with him which has pretty intersting info. If I can locate I'll post it.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    And here it is:

    http://www.gibson.com/magazines/ampl...ainevent1.html

    Just scroll down past the flame.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: shaws

    Originally posted by Stevedenver
    shaws came in spotlight specials and the artist models (both lp and 335)-while you probably wont find a spotlight being cannabalized, you may find an artist as the rd electronics are often replaced-just a thought as to where to look-i agree there something to all of the stuff which can be appreciated-the shaw pups are one of my favs-very beefy and round and alive
    I don't know about the Spotlights, I thought they made a "Spotlight Pickup"? Mike Slub is the man for that, but they did not come on the Artist Series Guitars. The active Artist had the epoxy encapsulated Super Humbuckers. Shaws are unpotted BTW, as all Gibson Humbuckers were(except those super hummers), until the 90's I believe. I'm not sure exactly when.

    Yes Mr Shaw did do a heroic job.
    I seem to remember the silver stickers may have shown up on the aftermarket Shaw Humbuckers we sold. They were not on the pickup but the plastic case they were sold in. Some would stick them on their pickups. I didn't see them on the rings on guitars till after 83.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    BIG AL.

    HEY AL, Thanks for the info on the shaw paf's.mine are 138 882. is it an acurate dating method for the inked #. mike slub told me it was a patent#??. i think he could be wrong .ROBBO
    LIVE & DANGEROUS

  23. #23
    Administrator MikeSlub's Avatar
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    The literature on the 1983 Spotlight Special refers to the pickups as "PAFs". They are basically Shaws as Big Al describes from the 1983 era on.
    Mike Slubowski

    * "Gibson guitars are like potato chips - you can't have just one!"

    * "So many Gibsons to love, so little time..."

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member Charlie R57's Avatar
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    Mine are Shaws.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Like I've said, I fact check with Mike. He Da Man!!! They did (Gibson), sometime later, offer a Spotlight Humbucker, but I don't know anything about it.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    MIKE, THAT STILL DOESN'T EXPLAIN WHY YOU TOLD ME THAT THE INKED #WAS A PATENT #??
    LIVE & DANGEROUS

  27. #27

    shaws

    al my LP artist has shaws

  28. #28
    Administrator MikeSlub's Avatar
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    ROCKER67: I was wrong when I originally gave you that response. I was speaking from memory (a dangerous thing) instead of pulling the pickup again and checking. As Al says, the stamped number is the patent number. Again, my apologies. :dead:
    Mike Slubowski

    * "Gibson guitars are like potato chips - you can't have just one!"

    * "So many Gibsons to love, so little time..."

  29. #29
    Here are some Shaws I have. Note that it is hard to see the square hole inside the round hole, but it is there if you look real close. There seemed to be some variation in the bottom plates. Some had short legs, some had long legs. Some had an extra row of holes on the bottom plate, some didn't. They had white plastic spacers, which you can see through the hole on the short leg baseplate. They came in black, zebra and double cream.




  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Have those been rewound? The wire looks darker than the early Shaws I have. Good shot of the coil form. All mine have the six hole plate. The Black and White connecting wires for the coils is clear in that shot too. I forgot to mention that the Shaw had one coil wire black and one white and not two black ones.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  31. #31
    Yes they have. These were dead ones I got from the Pete Alenov parts stash blowout. I had Fralin rewind some and they sounded like shit, and I had Tim on the forum rewind a pair and they sound great now.

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Sorry guys, I'm confused, Dave's Shaw's have only the pat#, it seems based on all the info you have to pull the covers off figure out what you have. So far we have Pat# only, Pat# + 137/138 code, Pat# + blk paf sticker, and also a Pat# + date stamp..The only constant tag is the Pat #2737842, is this the Shaw ID code or a blanket Gibson Pat#, seems like alphabet soup...

  33. #33
    The ink stamps might have worn off mine. I have seen the ink stamps on some others I've owned.

  34. #34
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    rewinds

    Dave, I'd like to know more on the rewinds. the fralins sounded like shite. Yes, shite,Can you give some background on the gauge wire used on both? differences you noticed.Which Tim you are referring to. No emoticons. I'd really like to know.
    LIVE & DANGEROUS

  35. #35
    Great 'Double White' North ~ Electronics Specialist BrianGWN's Avatar
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    Just to add a little more confusion into the mix, I've seen some where they have a six digit inked number but not beginning with 137/138. I have one Shaw in front of me, double black, inked number is 329883, so I rather expect that was from 1983. Maybe the 137/138 numbering was with the earlier ones that were intended to be in the Heritage Standard 80 guitars, and later on other inked number codes came into use.

    I've seen one with short legs, also the dual rows of pole piece holes. Note that at some point in the early 80s or so those Dirty Finger pickups came out so probably at some point Gibson started making at least some of the metal pickup frames with twelve holes to accommodate the Dirty Fingers 12 adjustable poles, while other pickups with the conventional six adjustable/six fixed pole pieces that got built using those frames would use only six of the holes.

    tojoe, regarding >>The only constant tag is the Pat #2737842, is this the Shaw ID code or a blanket Gibson Pat#<< That is the infamous wrong incorrect patent number that Gibson put on their humbucking pickups from the earlier 1960s through the 1980s, on a sticker up to about 1974 and then stamped/impressed into the metal pickup frame from 1974. About all it means for sure is that the pickup frame was made by Gibson. ;)
    Last edited by BrianGWN; 06-03-02 at 03:25 PM.

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member DoobieK's Avatar
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    Mr. Paetow...

    Please quit hoarding the Shaws. You're going to get a reputation like BrianGWN had a few months back.spin spin
    I bought a PRS. Can I still hang out here?

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Brian that 329 # means it isn't a Shaw. Is it Zebra? I'd check the magnet. Shaws have a distinctive rough cast long thick Alnico magnet. Sounds like a Velvet Brick.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  38. #38

    Re: rewinds

    Originally posted by ROCKER67!
    Dave, I'd like to know more on the rewinds. the fralins sounded like shite. Yes, shite,Can you give some background on the gauge wire used on both? differences you noticed.Which Tim you are referring to. No emoticons. I'd really like to know.
    He just goes by Tim here, the Tim rewind sounds great, more like a PAF. Ed A thinks it is as good as a Rolph. You can ask Tim for specifics.
    timwhite@knology.net

  39. #39
    Les Paul Forum Member LesPauloholic's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Big Al
    Brian that 329 # means it isn't a Shaw. Is it Zebra? I'd check the magnet. Shaws have a distinctive rough cast long thick Alnico magnet. Sounds like a Velvet Brick.
    Al,

    Are the Shaw magnets Alnico 2 or 5??

    Greg
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    A: Just one more.

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I explained abut the magnets on my third post in this thread.
    The older I get, the better I was.

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