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best current production PAF

Ian Anderson

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Aug 5, 2001
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I'm sure this has been done to death on here, but I'm new here and thought I'd ask the question.

My LP std has a Seth Lover in the bridge and SD '59 in the neck and that combo suits me down to the ground.

I'm in the market for some pickups for my classic plus though and had previously decided on some Tom Holmes PAFs, but I thought I'd ask for recommendations here first. It would cost me $274 for the pair inc shipping to the UK, but I've seen SD Antiquities around for $99 (can't find the damn website though - followed the link off an ebay dealer's auction)

So what's the general preference here and why?

:!
 

professor

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Jul 22, 2001
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Ian...

My personal favorites are the Holmes, but others seem to gravitate towards the Antiquitys... but having heard both, I think either would be a good choice...
 

1959burst

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seymour duncan antiquities

this is my choice till i fire up the way back machine and go back to 1957!
 

Ian Anderson

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what do you think are the differences between the Holmes and Antiquities compared to the Seth Lover?

:!
 

1959burst

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THIS IS MY OPINION! (disclaimer)

to me that is,the lovers sounds like a paf brand new in 1957, the antiquities sounds like the same pickup only mellowed from age, the holmes i don't like as they don't sound anything like a real paf, new or used! they are more like a DIMARZIO! GASP!
 

Ian Anderson

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1959Burst,

Are your opinions based on comparisons with *real* PAFs?

Anyone else think the Holmes' suck? - I was under the impression they were the most accurate PAF currently available.

So you'd say the Antiquities are the best and are basically a mellowed out Seth?

I do like the Seths alot and think the Antiquities may be the way to go in light of this info.

:!
 

1959burst

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yes,i compared them with the real deal paf's

i was looking for the best realistic paf's on the market,i compared 30 sets of replacement pickups (it's pays to have a fully stocked shop!)against 2 sets of real deal pafs, i put the pickups in my 57 goldtop, the paf antiquities came out the winner overall...........i didn't say the holmes sucked,they just don't sound like the real deal.
 

Ian Anderson

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Sorry if I overstated things a little ;)

I guess I'll try the Antiquities then.

Where is the cheapest place around?

:!
 
R

RICH

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Duncan himself told me that the antiquities are just aged seths. The cool thing about the seths and the antiquities is that they are using the right bobbins made from the right material, I'm not sure if anybody else is though.
 

Ed A

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Jul 16, 2001
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I agree, Antiquities. Ive tried just about every PAF copy myself including Holmes and Seths. Compared to my real PAFs, Antiquities are the closest. -Ed A
 

toni

LPF Tone Chaser
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Jul 26, 2001
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I put very weak Antiquity's in my 59/1999 (7.75 and 7.35 K) and like them very much !

I know that many of you think Antiquity's are the closest thing to old PAF's.
My goal is not to imitate that unique sound. I want a rich full and pleasant musical tone.

But if you forget about the exact PAF tone, how would you compare Fralins tone quality to Antiquity's.
are they fuller, thinner, more or less compression, more or less treble, cleaner , any chimes or bells etc...

Thanks
 

professor

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Jul 22, 2001
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The thing I found about "real" PAFs is that, being hand-wound, they do indeed vary by a fair amount. I had three pair that I ab'd one time, and they were all very different from each other. As far as Holmes go, I've only played two sets of his "aged" pickups, and both, to my ears, were the closest approximation of my *favorite* "real" PAF...

Not intended as a slam at anyone's favorite pickups, but just a further clarification of my preference for the two sets of Holmes that I have...

Needless to say, *your* mileage, may, of course, vary...
 

1959burst

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i'll stick my neck out again!

i tried the lindy fralin's(as i was very impressed with his single coils)and they flat out sucked! i couldn't believe it. as for the differences in paf's that is true, but i have over 2 dozen paf equipted guitars and the antiquities still won!
 

toni

LPF Tone Chaser
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Jul 26, 2001
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...so Fralins sucked !
for what ? too bright ?, too dark ?, no chimes or bells ? no definition, no balls, or simply because they are not faithfull to the PAF tone ?

I ask this because a lot of people seems to love them very much even if they are not a PAF tone copy.
a PAF is not an absolute by itself. It is only a tone signature, do you agree ?
The
And if Hum. Fralins is not a copy of that tone, i dont care as soon as they are really musical.

There should be a better tone than a PAF tone for somebody in the world...

thanks

Toni
 

omarxx

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Jul 16, 2001
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It's such a subjective thing, Ian. They had a PAF clone shootout in Vintage Guitar magazine and the Fralins came out on top. Everybody's got a different opinion and they're all correct. Before I got my Holmes, I read about another guy who compared them side-by-side with real PAFs and he thought the Holmes were as close as anything. It all depends on your ears so, you may have to go through a couple sets before you find what you're looking for.
 

60burst

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Jul 15, 2001
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2,854
A friend of mine converted a 52 goldtop to humbuckings and TOM and at first had T-tops installed which I don't really care much for at all. They made for a weak sounding guitar. He then installed Fralins and I liked those pickups but they were quite a bit darker than PAFs which is what I am used to. We then installed some real PAFs and the guitar just sings. I liked the Fralins but they really were not too PAF like, to my ears. (but then neither are T-tops.) All are good pickups, I guess. It depends on your taste.:60burst
 

dgk

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Jul 17, 2001
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dgk

ok, so to my ear..my 01 58 ri is too bright...so what would be the best too install for a smoother, thicker tone??..thanks!...(and hey ian!..welcome aboard)
 

Ian Anderson

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Aug 5, 2001
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dgk,

Cheers for the welcome.

From what I can gather, the Antiquities sound like something I'd like - an 'aged' Seth Lover.

The Seth in my std is my favourite sound, though admittedly I've only tried the stock Gibson pickups, some 'hot' Gibson ones out of my classic plus, some T-Numbers, and a Gibson '57 classics.

:!
 

toni

LPF Tone Chaser
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Jul 26, 2001
Messages
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DGK
did you try to raise your stop tailpiece ? it takes about 2 minutes
on my 1999/59 and my 2001/58 i get a much much smoother tone

Toni
 
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