• THIS IS THE 25th ANNIVERSARY YEAR FOR THE LES PAUL FORUM! PLEASE CELEBRATE WITH US AND SUPPORT US WITH A DONATION TO KEEP US GOING! We've made a large financial investment to convert the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and recently moved to a new hosting platform. We also have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!
  • WE HAVE MOVED THE LES PAUL FORUM TO A NEW HOSTING PROVIDER! Let us know how things are going! Many thanks, Mike Slubowski, Admin

Gibson releases exclusive new 'historic' PAF: 1959 Humbucker Collector’s Edition Series 1

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,903
They look pretty good. Corners and extra "dent" around holes looks more late 60s when the tooling was tired.

Here're my DMC:
dmc_covers.jpg
 

Mustardc Caps

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2021
Messages
63
You left out part of that Tom Holmes quote:




So, in 1971 that's $1.25 a magnet. It's odd to assume that with the vast increases in productivity across many manufacturing industries that the price is the same...but let's pretend it is.

In 2024 money that's a hair under $10 a magnet.
THROBAK

I really never intended to sell ThroBak USA Made Alnico as a stand alone part. We use them so we can make the best repro pickups possible. However at some point I had so many people asking to buy them to experiment with that I put ThroBak USA made Alnico on the website.

Maybe this will put the pricing in perspective. ThroBak spends 6x more for each USA Made Alnico bar magnet and 15x more for each USA Made Alnico rod magnets than competitors for overseas made Alnico magnets. On top of that our order minimums for USA made Alnico require 5x the minimum order quantity just to get them made. So the breakdown for ThroBak's overhead cost to maintain stock of bar USA made bar magnets is $120,000 to stock 8 varieties of USA Made Alnico bar magnets and $90,000 to stock 3 varieties of USA made Alnico rod magnets.

ThroBak Alnico bar magnets are $59 each shipped. Divide that price by 6 and you get $9.83 shipped which is a fair price for a single shipped Chinese Alnico bar magnet.

So is ThroBak overpaying for USA Alnico magnets? The short answer is, no. What Leo Fender was paying for USA Alnico rod magnet in '51/'52 is known. His own cost breakdown notes are in the Blackguard book. When adjusted for inflation Leo Fender was paying today's 10k quantity price for USA Alnico rod magnets and Fender was almost certainly ordering 10k magnets at a shot. ThroBak orders 5k pcs. per size for rod magnet so we don't quite get Leo's 10k pricing but the upshot is we pay the historically correct price for USA made Alnico magnets.

ThroBak makes very expensive 50's and 60's era Gibson and Fender style repro pickups. I want to make the most detailed repro I can and part of that is ThroBak paying the price for the correct parts and materials and that includes paying way more for Alnico magnets. It's not a complaint but the higher cost is the reality for USA Made Alnico.

There are great sounding pickups being made with overseas magnets. There are pickups in the same price range as ThroBak pickups that use overseas made magnets. But as long as they are available I plan on using USA made Alnico for ThroBak pickups. I recently purchased some A3 and A5 rod magnets directly form the major Chinese manufacturer that supplies most of the pickup industry to compare against ThroBak USA Made Alnico. The overseas magnets are well made, no complaints about quality or customer service. I can see why 99.9% of pickups makers use them. However does the extreme cost savings amount to cutting corners on tone? In my A/B comparison, overseas Alnico magnets are different in tone, strength and inductance profile that the USA made equivalents. I have been told that overseas magnet makers use iron as a filler in the Alnico mix to keep the cost down which may account for the difference in tone, inductance profile and price. I would have to do lab testing to know for sure.

We spent a lot to make everything to the highest standard here the USA. Thankfully people like ThroBak magnets, covers etc.. However they like them so much that it is common for me to see used ThroBak pickups on Reverb and The Gear Page that have ThroBak covers removed or replaced with inferior covers. And I'm quite sure that sometimes they cannibalize them for the magnets too.
 

deytookerjaabs

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,596


Yes, I read it and pointed out on TGP how through domestic retailers the price of a throbak versus import magnet is 18:1. And that's fine, folks like me buy them so technically the market will handle that price.

Of course, the style of rhetoric where people keep quoting the up front cost and not the unit cost? Who talks like that? As if that's not how business works....

I'm sure McDonald's dropped MILLIONS getting hash browns to all the stores this year, but at $3 per brown is still a huge upcharge to anyone with their head screwed on straight.
 

J.D.

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
10,043
They look pretty good. Corners and extra "dent" around holes looks more late 60s when the tooling was tired.

Here're my DMC:

Those DMC covers are nice but quite expensive. A bit odd to chase that sort of detail on a Gibson USA. The hoop-d guitar equivalent ?
 

deytookerjaabs

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,596
The throbak covers don't look like late 60's, that's just the angle of the photo.

Edit, here's a 60's cover on the left, throbak on the right.

s8HQJgWh.jpg


The throbak is rounded at the edges but much more square at the corner, the 60's cover corners have a much bigger slope. I think the throbak looks pretty good but I removed the gold "relic" on mine. The throbak is also a pretty thin variety in terms of paf cover thickness.
 
Last edited:

SpencerD

Active member
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
911
Man, all I know is that I have had a great time for a long time swapping out pickups in guitars. I'm an old fucker man, there wasn't any options for a long time.

Dudes started winding their own things and opened up a wide door!

At my house in my guitars there are quite a few custom wound magnets from different people -- I like all of them
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,903
Those DMC covers are nice but quite expensive. A bit odd to chase that sort of detail on a Gibson USA. The hoop-d guitar equivalent ?
You haven't seen the guitar or followed the makeover. It's one of the best sounding hunks of wood I've owned (I've had a quite a few great Les Pauls. ANd the top is right up there with Gladys or Dorothy.
 

J.D.

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
10,043
I've too had some magical sounding non-historic Gibson Les Paul style guitars. Historical detail accuracy and good tone are two really completely different things.

What is puzzling me is why the pickup cover detail is of such importance when those inlays, neck binding, bridge anchors, top carve, etc. seemingly aren't.

No explanation needed. It's your guitar and money.
 

jwalker

Les Paul Forum Sponsor
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
2,593
There are two versions of vintage P.A.F. pickup covers. One type are made with a flush trim die and the other type are made with a pinch trim die. They were probably stamped by two different shops. One shop was Johnson metal here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I don't know where the other shop was. ThroBak copied the flush trim version of the vintage cover because they are the thinner of the two versions, plus I think they just look better.
 

Cliff Gress

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 26, 2004
Messages
3,333
There are two versions of vintage P.A.F. pickup covers. One type are made with a flush trim die and the other type are made with a pinch trim die. They were probably stamped by two different shops. One shop was Johnson metal here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I don't know where the other shop was. ThroBak copied the flush trim version of the vintage cover because they are the thinner of the two versions, plus I think they just look better.
Go GR!
 

cowboymod

New member
Joined
Mar 6, 2015
Messages
2
I want a set! I'm already getting people emailing ThroBak about them. I need a pair so I can accurately answer customer questions about how these compare to ThroBak P.A.F. repros. I think it is a plus for any pickup maker in this price range. They will bring awareness and invite comparison in this price range.

My understanding is Gibson is using plain enamel wire for these pickups and there are parts that are unique to this set.
hey, did you ever get a set, & if so, what is your opinion?... thanks james
 

cowboymod

New member
Joined
Mar 6, 2015
Messages
2
so, i bought a set when they came out, number 52.. shipping to uk was crazy, & with import tax... $1600. put them on reverb, just to see the reaction, none over here, no offers... anyway, that does not bother me, as i do want to hear them. the price is ridiculous, & then i read here all about the throbaks, tom holmes etc etc... i love 57's, my friend makes ox4 pups here in oxford, his bloomfields are great, i have them in my 55 335 ML, & in my 2018 R9, i've had antiquities as well... i don't know what sound i'm really after, just something good to my ear, & when i saw these , i just jumped on them, in hindsight, i might have bought some throbak or holmes instead, but, hey ho... & right now, i am sitting here thinking to put them either the les paul, or the 335, but, can't decide which?... i am using a fender 48 duel pro amp, which is an incredible, pure sounding amp.
 
Last edited:

NickiC

Active member
Joined
Jun 30, 2022
Messages
123
so, i bought a set when they came out, number 52.. shipping to uk was crazy, & with import tax... $1600. put them on reverb, just to see the reaction, none over here, no offers... anyway, that does not bother me, as i do want to hear them. the price is ridiculous, & then i read here all about the throbaks, tom holmes etc etc... i love 57's, my friend makes ox4 pups here in oxford, his bloomfields are great, i have them in my 55 335 ML, & in my 2018 R9, i've had antiquities as well... i don't know what sound i'm really after, just something good to my ear, & when i saw these , i just jumped on them, in hindsight, i might have bought some throbak or holmes instead, but, hey ho... & right now, i am sitting here thinking to put them either the les paul, or the 335, but, can't decide which?... i am using a fender 48 duel pro amp, which is an incredible, pure sounding amp.
 
W

Wizard1183

Guest
so, i bought a set when they came out, number 52.. shipping to uk was crazy, & with import tax... $1600. put them on reverb, just to see the reaction, none over here, no offers... anyway, that does not bother me, as i do want to hear them. the price is ridiculous, & then i read here all about the throbaks, tom holmes etc etc... i love 57's, my friend makes ox4 pups here in oxford, his bloomfields are great, i have them in my 55 335 ML, & in my 2018 R9, i've had antiquities as well... i don't know what sound i'm really after, just something good to my ear, & when i saw these , i just jumped on them, in hindsight, i might have bought some throbak or holmes instead, but, hey ho... & right now, i am sitting here thinking to put them either the les paul, or the 335, but, can't decide which?... i am using a fender 48 duel pro amp, which is an incredible, pure sounding amp.
Well depends on what you play? If you mainly stay on the bridge? Put each IMR as a bridge. I know one is 7.6 but might work?
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,675
They look pretty good. Corners and extra "dent" around holes looks more late 60s when the tooling was tired.

Here're my DMC:
dmc_covers.jpg
I just remembered that Gibson used a vendor that made the pickup covers for them in the Golden era .
 
Top