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What the real deal with PAF's?

McMad

New member
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
54
Re: paf's

GastonG said:
.

If you swap the magnet from a Classic 57 into an Antiquity, you'll be only half way toward that "magic" tone. If you swap Alnico V magnets from a brand new P-90. You'll be so unbelievable close to a real paf...
Gaston

OK, I'm sold on all this talk, but haven't had the benefit of seeing a step by step walk thru of the transplant operation. Is there a right way to pull the HB magnets without damage to the PU, and the right way to remove the donor P 90 magnets and transfer them in the proper direction to the recipient HB's the first time without trial and error? My previous pickup replacement experiece did not require any knowledge other than removing and replacing entire assemblies and resoldering the leads.

Regards,

McMad
 

jono

LPF Recording Artist
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
1,740
McMad

Magnet replacement super easy. The hardest job is getting the cover off the P90. Mine was soldered on with about 2lbs of special high melting point solder. Then again if you're going to junk the P90 it doesn't matter. I put the old mag back in the P90 and I'm curious to know if I've invented a whole new tone, but not so curious as to actually swap it in again.
 

John Catto

Active member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
3,609
Re: McMad

jono said:
The hardest job is getting the cover off the P90. Mine was soldered on with about 2lbs of special high melting point solder. Then again if you're going to junk the P90 it doesn't matter.


Huh???

P90's have plastic covers that just slip over the top.
 

MelMann

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
202
PAFs

I'm chiming in a bit late on this one, but have to say that out of the dozen or so PAFs I've had (some in their original guitars, some put in reissues) they have all had THAT PAF sound. Yes they have slight variances, but I don't know where the notion comes from that there are HUGE differences in PAFs, at least in my own experience.

As far as this whole magnet thing, check the archives out, as we've discussed this subject a few times in the past. No offense to anyone here, but I honestly think you guys are DREAMIN' to think that changing the magnet in an Antiquity makes it sound like a PAF. There is much, much more to the way a PAF sounds that just the magnet, especially going into a pickup like the Antiquity, which, to my ears, sounds not very much at all like a PAF. Don't get me wrong, I am happy for you guys if swapping your magnets does something for you, but I kinda feel bad for all these other guys reading about it and blowing money on new pickups to pry the magnets out of them thinking they are going to end up with something that's as good as a PAF.
 

XOSKELETAL

Banned
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Messages
2,035
I knew I'd get some genious discussion. Einstein's got nothin' on youz guyz, 'cept being dead.

Now, riddle me this.

If US industrial ingenuity can make smart bombs that follow laser beams for miles right up O'Salami's ass while he sleeps, and we got computers that will soon take over the world, and satelites, digital this, and quantum physics that, WHY can't Gibson just take apart a couple of PAF's, figure out how they were made and make them exactly the same? Or, why can't they make a pu made out of whatever that matches the same tone?

Y'all are talking about how switching magnets between various pu's comes close. WHY the hell doesn't Gibson just do the same damn thing?? Is it a vast conspiracy to deprive us of the magical PAF tone? Gibson doesn't make any money from sales of original PAF's, so it is in their interest to copy them exactly.
 

darkburst

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
294
As far as this whole magnet thing, check the archives out, as we've discussed this subject a few times in the past. No offense to anyone here, but I honestly think you guys are DREAMIN' to think that changing the magnet in an Antiquity makes it sound like a PAF. There is much, much more to the way a PAF sounds that just the magnet, especially going into a pickup like the Antiquity, which, to my ears, sounds not very much at all like a PAF. Don't get me wrong, I am happy for you guys if swapping your magnets does something for you, but I kinda feel bad for all these other guys reading about it and blowing money on new pickups to pry the magnets out of them thinking they are going to end up with something that's as good as a PAF.

I respectfully disagree. First off must of us don't have and can't afford real PAF's. So the magnet change is a real alternative to getting a decent tone. I don't know if it sounds like a real PAF and it sounds like you don't either. Neither of us has A/B'd them and I'm not sure how many here have. But I do know the people that have done the swap really like it, at least most of them.

What would be great is to a have a couple of you PAF owners do a comparison and explain the differences. Not that it would stop people from doing the swap because again, I think most like the sound of the mod. But it would give those that must have that exact PAF sound a reference that is not available now.

There has been at least one member that thought enough of the mod to sell their PAF's, or at least so the story goes. It's all about tone and if the mod gives you a better tone then I don't think you should feel bad for anyone.
 
B

blackdog

Guest
Hey guys !!!
I don't mean to worry you, but I just happened to have the chance to take Doc's DeLorean for a ride and in 2030 The Tone Undisputed Standard are the "vintage" maple necked Norlin era modded Deluxes with double white Di Marzio Super Distortions....
And they run them through early CBS Fender solid state amps...


Those old late 50s sunbursts are deemed to be too old sounding... And nobody give a damn for any heating glass bottle...

You better start saving those ceramic magnets in a safe place !!!!

Luis.
 

EdA

New member
Joined
Jul 17, 2001
Messages
311
I agree Darkburst, if the mod makes for a great pickup, thats really cool. It may even make for a better sounding pickup than a PAF or maybe better for someone's tastes. By all means, people should try it, its still a lot cheaper than a real PAF. But what Im curious about is the claim that it will sound just about identical to a PAF. Im open to anything and I will do the comparison. I have two original double white PAFs in my guitar that read 7.7 and 8.3. I have two antiquities here with very similar readings. Gaston, I forgot that after you guys tried the Classic Alnico II magnet, you then tried the P90 Alnico V. My problem for comparison is that I have the Classic IIs but I dont have the Gibson Vs. I DO have Duncan Vs. I could try them but then it wont be a true comparison. I dont know if any of you guys have an extra P90 V you want to send me (of course Ill return it), to do a true comparison. Or if youve tried the Duncan V and think it does the same thing, Ill use that. In any case, youve got me interested enough to try it and I PROMISE I will give an honest evaluation. If they sound as good or better than my PAFs that would be an awesome thing for everybody....
 

GGJaguar

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2001
Messages
69
I find the pickup tinkering quite interesting, but I have to ask... does anybody like the stock Gibson PAFs? They sound good to me, better than the stock pu's in my '97 LP Std and better than the Seth Lovers I tried. Of course, I haven't compared them to every available vintage style humbucker, but they don't seem like bad pickups.

GG
 

LHakim

Active member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
2,113
The cool thing about you doing it Ed is not only do you have the ears for this test, but by using an R9 you'll be able to isolate the old wood vs. new wood part of the equation to give us an accurate appraisal of what an original paf and a modded antiquity sound like in a guitar thats more w/in the reach of our budgets than an original burst or goldtop conversion.
 
B

blackdog

Guest
I completely agree with you in that a real A/B test will clarify matters a lot. The fact that you'll be doing it on the same guitar is what I would call the best testing environment.

I've just modded a set of Antiquitys myself that plan to try during this weekend. But all I'll be able to tell is if they sound better to the stock Antiquitys (or all the other PUs I tried, 57 Classics included) to me.

Down here in Argentina I dont think I have any means to gain access to original PAFs or any late 50s LPs. But would be quite happy if I can ever get close to the legendary tone I hear on the legendary recordings. So it's all about tone in the end.

Nonetheless let me give you a suggestion, whenever you get to A/B test the PAFs/Antiquity Vs, could you possibly make a recording of that session ?? Maybe a Portastudio or a minidisc recorder is at hand...

That way you can share your experience with all of us (either local or foreign) beyond written words.

P.S.: I still have another spare P90 in the drawer, but I don't think it's going to be practical to send it over to you...
 

MelMann

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
202
Darkburst

I've put '57 classic magnets in an Antiquity. I've put Antiquity magnets in a '57. Neither of them sound like a PAF in the guitar I tried these in. I did not record my experimentation, but I am very familiar with the guitar I tried all this stuff out in, and neither experiment sounded like the PAF in the same guitar.

In my PAF equipped guitars, I would not remove them to try any modded pickups.

Again, I repeat, I am NOT saying that a magnet swap might not improve any given pickup, nor that it might be the sound YOU are looking for. But I AM saying that you cannot duplicate the sound of a PAF by putting a '57 classic magnet in an Antiquity. In MY opinion.

I also think that even with PAFs, the reissue Gibson stuff does not come up to the real 50's guitars, soundwise. But it does seem to get them a lot closer.
 

60burst

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
2,854
Melmann

I agree with everything you have said.......:dude :60burst
 

darkburst

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
294
EdA -

I've got a P-90 coming that I could send you one of the magnets from. Of course I will need it back, as I plan to use it in one of my Antiquities. But if it makes for a fair comparison I'm game and can hold off a little while longer on my upgrade. The P-90 should be here this weekend or early next week.

Let me know if that works for you.

goldtop@qwest.net
 

plaintop

Active member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
9,591
WOW! Tough thread....I did the Alnico II swap in the Antiquity. Don't waste your time on that one. The top end was harsh while the rest of the tone was a lot more woody, louder and complex. I have yet to try the Alnico V in the Antiquity. I almost bought a P-100 last week but I couldn't remeber what was in it. Might go back for it soon. IMO unless you have that 40+ year old wood wrapped around the PAF's it really dosen't matter.
 

toni

LPF Tone Chaser
Joined
Jul 26, 2001
Messages
1,103
Very good idea Ed and Darkburst !

Guys, This Forum is the Best !
I'm always impressed by how we share every "secret" and how all of us help eachother every day on every thread !

Ed, I dont know if you'll have "exactly the Same" tone as your particular PAF's tone with the moded Antiquitys (Alnico V),
each pickup has his own "DNA", but i think you will hear the same "Quality Breathy Woody Magik" kind of tone that was
impossible to get with other modern pickups (but we never tried Rolph's PAFs). This is why we wrote "we nailed the old burst tone". It was certainly not a pretentious statement. Maybe we'd better not call it this way, Antiquity will probably still retain "his" own color signature, BUT I think this wonderfull "old" tone is right in the same Ballpark "QUALITYWISE" when we fit Gibson alnico V. Big Al's discovery is absolutely stunning. He made numerous experiments before he found "that" tone. And i agree with Gaston, the good thing is that it is not so expensive, and it can be done exclusively with new parts.

We are waiting for our friend Dan's phone call right now, we'll probably A/B our 4 Historics with his 3 old Bursts today or next Friday in Montreal.

Good luck !
 
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ToneMaven

New member
Joined
Aug 15, 2001
Messages
91
Re: The secret to PAFs.

Snags said:
Alright, if you must know. There is a closely-guarded secret that I alone have recently uncovered...

Before each PAF was installed in a guitar, they were taken to a large, darkened room, lit only by two candles on either side of a pink velvet covered altair. As Seth Lover bowed upon both knees before the altair and reverently presented the latest PAF for it's blessing, a boy's choir would sing in the the shadows, increasing in pitch and intensity until, at the climax of their young, pure voices' capabilities, Ted McCarty would emerge from the shadows, part his ceremonial robe, and rub his schlong on the pickup.


So now you know.

Heh, heh, heh...Snags said titties. Does the schlong rubbing produce more headroom?
 

plaintop

Active member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
9,591
Tone Maven I think the Schong rubbing produces the "Woody" tone. :lol

Back to subject. I don't think ED A's LP is going to be a good one to A/B. No offense ED but your guitar has a lot of older parts which are going to dramatically offset the tone. Like the Centrlab upgrade is a factor that jumps right out at me. When I swapped my pots for Centralab's the tone change was MAJOR. Those pots add a sweetness to the tone that is very usable as well as slight gain increase.

I would say go ahead and try the V's in the Antiquities I am going to do the same. Forum members take a look at the Furom member section to see all the modifications that have been done to ED's guitar and keep those in consideration.
 
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Des Howl

Les Paul Forum Member, Classic Club
Joined
Jul 20, 2001
Messages
800
On a side note, it's quite interesting how the Digital Age (ie. the internet) has spawned such rapid advancement in 'tone culture.' This is like real-time beta-testing of an idea, around the world with every guitar involved. Cool.
 
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