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Gold Patent Applied For lettering on p/u mounting ring

zz666

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May 8, 2002
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Ive just bought a beautiful 82 creme custom. There is on each pickup mounting rings gold Patent Applied For lettering. Any body seen these before, are they PAF reissues or something? One thing's for sure they sound amazing, very smooth, very wide, very cremey. Every LP ive ever owned ive had to change the pickups, these I think will stay.
 

1959burst

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yeah those are most likely the early tim shaw paf replicas, nice pickups.
 

Ed Driscoll

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1959Burst,
1959burst said:
yeah those are most likely the early tim shaw paf replicas, nice pickups.
My 1983 Custom had those stickers as well. Is it safe to say that any LP with the little "PAF" stickers on the pickup rings were the Shaw pickups?

I just did a search on "Tim Shaw", but I'm not sure if it answered why he redesigned the PAF. Did Gibson feel the then current models of the late 1970s weren't authentic enough for the reissues they were planning?

Searching under "Tim Shaw" did bring up a thread which linked to a photo of a 1985 Standard with a Kahler that had those stickers that was on sale earlier this year on Ebay. Is it safe to assume that all Les Pauls had them in the 80s until at least Norlin's Gibson division was sold?

Ed
 
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1959burst

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i'm no norlin era expert!

guys MIKE SLUB IS THE NORLIN EXPERT! i didn't pay attention to that era much. i'm sure mike will come along and provide his insight into those pickups....sorry!
 

Wilko

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Here's what Gibson says:

Whether it was rivalry between plants or increased market awareness, the Nashville plant jumped into the reissue action in 1980. By this time, one of the most glaring deficiencies of new Les Pauls (compared to the originals) was the humbucking pickup. In preparation for its first attempt at a reissue, Gibson assigned engineer Tim Shaw the job of designing a reissue of the original Patent-Applied-For humbucking pickup-within certain restrictions. "This was 1980 and Norlin was already feeling the pinch," Shaw said, referring to Gibson's long decline through the 1970s and early '80s. "We weren't allowed to do much retooling. We redid the bobbin because it was worn out. We got some old bobbins and put the square hole back in. We did it without the T-hole, whichstood for Treble."

To replicate the magnets, Shaw gathered up magnets from original PAFs and sent them to a lab to be analyzed. "Most were Alnico 2's," he said, "but some were 5's. In the process of making an Alnico 5, they stick a magnet in a huge coil for orientation, but an unoriented 5 sounds a lot like a 2. They started with Alnico 2 and then switched to Alnico 5."

Shaw discovered that the original magnets were a little thicker than 1980 production magnets. "Magnetic strength is largely a function of the area of the polarized face; increasing the face size gives you more power," he explained. So he specified the thicker magnet for the new PAF.

Wiring on the originals was #42 gauge, which Gibson still used. However, the original wire had an enamel coating and the current wire had a polyurethane coat, which also was of a different thickness or "buildup" than that of the original, which affected capacitance. Norlin refused to go the extra mile-or extra buck, as it were. Enamel-coated wire cost a dollar more per pound than poly-coated. Shaw could change the spec on the buildup without additional expense, so the thickness of the coating was the same as on the original wire, but he was forced to use the poly coat. The difference is easy to see: purple wire on the originals, orange on the reissues.

Shaw later found a spec for the number of turns on a spec sheet for a 1957 ES-175. "It specified 5,000 turns because a P-90 had 10,000 turns and they cut it in half," Shaw said. In reality, however, originals had anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 turns, depending on how tight the coil was wound. Shaw later met Seth Lover, who designed and patented Gibson's humbucker, at a NAMM show. Lover laughed when asked about a spec for windings, and he told Shaw, "We wound them until they were full." The spec for resistance was even less exact, Shaw said. The old ohmeter was graduated in increments of .5 (500 ohms). Anywhere between 3.5 and 4 on the meter (3,500 to 4,000 ohms) met the spec. Consequently, Shaw pointed out, there is no such thing as an exact reissue or replica of the 1959 PAF pickup. There can only be a replica of one original PAF, or an average PAF. As Gibson would find out in the early 1990s, the same could be said about the entire guitar.
Shaw's PAF reissue debuted on Gibson's new Nashville-made Les Paul Heritage 80 in 1980. Compared to anything Gibson had previously made (which is to say, compared to nothing), it was an excellent reissue of a sunburst Les Paul Standard.
 

Heritage 80

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Wilco...

Thanks for the great history lesson. I've never known much about the Shaws in my H80.:dude
 
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Wilko

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that came from a link way down at the Gibson website.

their credit and copyrights apply.


I first had those pickups in a very cool custom shop 1982 guitar.

It was a black all mahogany body with a deep dish top and the body was almost 1/8 to 1/4 inch flatter at the rim. 7 ply binding on the top, one ply binding on an ebony dot markered slim taper neck with grovers placed on a small headstock just like on a 335. Had gold hardware and those little PAF stickers on the rings.
 

Charlie R57

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Jul 15, 2001
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Third Wave, if you pop the pickup out and look on the
bottom it should have the Ink stamp # if it's not worn
off. The # on one of mine is 3721083.
Love those Pickups. :dude
 

Ed Driscoll

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Apr 24, 2002
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Charlie,
Charlie R57 said:
Third Wave, if you pop the pickup out and look on the
bottom it should have the Ink stamp # if it's not worn
off. The # on one of mine is 3721083.
Hey, I just got mine back from the shop--I'm not planning to pop anything on it anytime soon--especially since it does sound good! :smokin

Ed
 
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