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GuitarDiscountCenter
12-27-2007, 10:24 AM
I was wonder how do you know if an early 80s gibson pickup is a tim shaw or not? Any links?

justabubba
12-27-2007, 11:05 AM
i have no idea how accurate this information is:

The Shaws have numbers ink stamped on the back to differeniate them from the run of the mill pickups.

Number 138 880 at the bridge position and 137 880 at the neck position. These are inked on not stamped in the metal.

this site has a photo:
http://www.gibson-talk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=600

Here's what past LPF poster Big Al had to say about Shaws and what Gibson has said:

Shaws - per Big Al:
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.

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.

From Gibson on Shaw:

"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, which stood 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.....

http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=104941

GuitarDiscountCenter
12-27-2007, 11:17 AM
Thanks for the info! Unfortunately I don't have one, just a standard T top. The pat numbuer stamp only shows a 2 so I thought it might be something special. I thing the plate wasn't pressed all the way.

Jeeves
12-27-2007, 11:47 AM
This is what Walter Carter at Gruhn wrote me in an email in response to the same question:


Here’s something I wrote back in the 1990s…
http://www.gibson.com/magazines/amplifier/1999/1/mainevent1.html

In a more recent interview with Shaw, he said that there were no special markings on the “Shaw” pickups. They would have enamel-coated wire and Alnico II pickups. The II’s were entirely machined and were shiny all over. The Alnico V’s were not machined and have a pebbly texture.

Tim said there is no “where-used” document listing the models that had those pickups. The LP Standard 80 and 80 Elite had them. He said anything with a 17 degree peghead and one-piece mahogany neck, which would have been any of the reissue or semi-reissues, including the ES-335DOT and the ‘62 SG (as well as the Les Pauls), would have had his pickups.

No “Shaw” pickups had a T-top bobbin.

Basically, these were the first step toward the PAF reissues.

GuitarDiscountCenter
12-27-2007, 11:59 AM
This is what Walter Carter at Gruhn wrote me in an email in response to the same question:


Here’s something I wrote back in the 1990s…
http://www.gibson.com/magazines/amplifier/1999/1/mainevent1.html

In a more recent interview with Shaw, he said that there were no special markings on the “Shaw” pickups. They would have enamel-coated wire and Alnico II pickups. The II’s were entirely machined and were shiny all over. The Alnico V’s were not machined and have a pebbly texture.

Tim said there is no “where-used” document listing the models that had those pickups. The LP Standard 80 and 80 Elite had them. He said anything with a 17 degree peghead and one-piece mahogany neck, which would have been any of the reissue or semi-reissues, including the ES-335DOT and the ‘62 SG (as well as the Les Pauls), would have had his pickups.

No “Shaw” pickups had a T-top bobbin.

Basically, these were the first step toward the PAF reissues.

That is some great info!

Twangmaster
10-19-2009, 07:02 AM
Resurrecting an old thread here to find out what some Tim Shaw Humbuckers are worth nowadays... I've got a pair with gold covers, in great shape. Numbers are (ink stamped) 372883 (bridge) and 373883 (neck). I'm thinking hard about putting these up for sale, but can only find prices on Ebay which are ridiculously high. Hoping someone on here might enlighten me to a reasonable asking price.

Pics are here

http://i356.photobucket.com/albums/oo3/dmcmike/372pup.jpg

http://i356.photobucket.com/albums/oo3/dmcmike/373pup.jpg

http://i356.photobucket.com/albums/oo3/dmcmike/shawpups.jpg

Beng2040
10-19-2009, 07:06 AM
Everything I've heard mentions the ink stamp. I have an 80 LP and was missing one of the Shaws. Found one on ebay for $100, but that was probably a year ago. I'd think $150 would be reasonable, but I really haven't kept up much on these. They do sound great though!

WoodyTone com
12-02-2009, 08:43 AM
Anyone know if the above means that every 1980 Standard has Shaws? Asking because I just bought a 1980 Standard, pat no stamped on the back and date code inked ("Feb 5 1980") but no other ink. Guitar sounds incredible, and I would love to know what the pickups are.

Twangmaster
12-02-2009, 11:50 AM
Are you sure that inked code is a date? They sound like Shaws to me...

Bob Maximus
12-02-2009, 12:00 PM
These are in my 74 (done in 84 or so); Interesting potting on the bridge pup.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/375938/PupsBack1.jpg

tonedawg
12-17-2011, 06:34 AM
People are going to react to this but yes I traded a beat real 57 les paul for a 30th anniversary les paul because the 30th anniversary les paul sounded amazing. At the time just being a kid still in college I thought it was a great deal. The real les paul need mucho work and the pickups needed to be rewound and it didn't sound very good. So I made the trade cause the 30th anniversary sounded amazing. Thus I started my love affair with the 137 138 series shaws, I have collected other shaws from that period but nothing sounds as good as the 137 138 series... at least to me. I have two sets of them one from the original 30th anniversary I bought, and those everyone is amazed with. I will say this that there is a very well known vintage dealer
who has been in business since the 70s that has sold tons over vintage fender and Gibson. You could sit in his store with a vintage 59 les paul, flying V and so on and he has a totally nonchalant attitude towards them, but when he worked on my 69 LP and installed those pickups he couldn't stop raving, I never seen him like that over any guitar.

Rotten
12-17-2011, 07:22 AM
Is Tim Shaw still making pickups?

Tidewater Custom Shop
12-17-2011, 07:50 AM
... I made the trade cause the 30th anniversary sounded amazing. Thus I started my love affair with the 137 138 series shaws, I have collected other shaws from that period but nothing sounds as good as the 137 138 series... at least to me. I have two sets of them one from the original 30th anniversary I bought, and those everyone is amazed with...

I couldn't agree more. I have a set of 137/138 '83's in my '76 SG Standard that I used to replace the original Tarbacks. Totally transformed that guitar.

HOWEVER - I also have a pickup that has all the physical characteristics of a Shaw, but no ink stamp. This pickup was in the neck position of my 30th Anniversary LP when I bought it. I think it was the only original part on the guitar other than the wood and the tailpiece inserts. THAT pickup is the BEST sounding PAF I have EVER heard - subjective, I know, but I've been around a few guitars in my life. I pulled the pickup from the 30th in favor of real PAFs, and I'll tell ya honestly the Shaw sounds every bit as good as the PAF it was designed to emulate.

That Shaw (and yes I'm callin' it a Shaw) is now on my bench getting ready to join a Fralin rewound T-Top (done in '89 with vintage P-90 mag) in an '81 ES-335 DOT I just acquired that came w/ non original pickups (WCR Darkburst/Crossroads). I can't wait for the result!!

Shaws man. Shaws.

Mike9
12-17-2011, 08:19 AM
Not all Shaw pickups had ink stamps, but believe they all did have white plastic spacers instead of the traditional maple ones.

Dr. Tweedbucket
12-17-2011, 09:09 AM
I had an 84 Custom with Shaws .... I couldn't believe how good the guitar sounded and figured they had to be aftermarket, but I popped them out and found out about the Shaw tone. It's the real deal for a Les Paul!

The REAL Rocker
12-17-2011, 09:08 PM
Anyone know if the above means that every 1980 Standard has Shaws? Asking because I just bought a 1980 Standard, pat no stamped on the back and date code inked ("Feb 5 1980") but no other ink. Guitar sounds incredible, and I would love to know what the pickups are.------------Shaws didn't show up in every guitar that Gibson made during this time period, and there was several different humbuckers that Gibson was using during the 1980 time period. As for the actual dated pickup, that has been a bane of disagreement among Gibson fans. Some say that they are Shaws, but there was a run of pickups that were called Dated T-Tops, and these were made in small batches. The actual date was supposedly when the batch was made, and I have seen small runs from 1979 as well. Gibson doesn't seem to have a clue(company was sold soon after this time period), and It seems the only way to ascertain the difference is to take both pickups and disassemble both to map the differences, and most people haven't EVER seen both makes, much less want to destroy two pickups to be sure of their true Id.........................The REAL Rocker.

Dr. Tweedbucket
12-18-2011, 02:21 AM
My first 84 LP Custom had stickers on the black plastic ... I think it was pat applied for or something.
My second 84 LP has no stickers, but does have the ink stamped shaws.

It was my understanding that LP Customs all got shaws while other models didn't .... well, I think Standards may have got them too. The guys on LPF have the details on it, but I can't remember them.

http://i.imgur.com/S8GtY.jpg

jamdogg
12-18-2011, 05:51 AM
Original shaw from an 84 lp studio - maple neck and alder body for those keeping score.

http://gear.mendan.com/misc/lp_shaw.jpg

riffmeister
12-18-2011, 06:20 AM
Hey Dr. TB........do you still have that '84 cherryburst LPC? What do you think of it and how does it compare to other LP's you've owned/played?

FFTT
12-18-2011, 06:43 AM
My Black '85 Dot Studio Standard has them.

Sounds like a Les Paul should to me!

I bugged my old friend for 10 years before
he finally let me buy it from him.

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/3773/85lpststdbodyweb.jpg

Tadams
12-18-2011, 07:47 AM
Shaws in an 82 335http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l205/tadams001/Gear/Es335-pickups.jpg

adaytonguitarist
12-18-2011, 08:07 AM
My Cherry Sunburst 1987 Studio w/Tim Shaws. She has great tone.
http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/386125_110900372361171_100003236269052_58278_21205 18368_n.jpg

RobT
12-18-2011, 09:27 AM
I apologize for the picture quality. The pic is off my 83 Heritage Flying V and a pic of the neck pickup both the bridge and neck are inked.

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd215/robteejr/83HeritageFlyingVShawNeckpickup.jpg

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd215/robteejr/83HeritageFlyingV.jpg

Dr. Tweedbucket
12-18-2011, 09:36 AM
Hey Dr. TB........do you still have that '84 cherryburst LPC? What do you think of it and how does it compare to other LP's you've owned/played?
I answered your PM.

It was heavy as a tank. I have a black 84 right now and it's light for that era 10.5# The 84 is the best playing les paul I've owned. The neck is just amazing .... it almost just plays itself, that's how easy it is. Actually, I had a 78 that was much the same, superb neck! My plexed historic can't match it. Tone is awesome. Those Shaws are pretty low gain.

FFTT
12-18-2011, 09:54 AM
The neck and tone of my '85 was the best of 4 my friend
had available.

The clear coat guitars just didn't seem to play as fast or easy
and you could see the glue seams in all of them to some degree.

The Black painted one's are generally the fastest and smoothest.

Sloop John B
12-18-2011, 10:24 AM
I have a buddy with many guitars, including one of the '83 Moderne reissues. It is in under-the-bed condition with all original case candy, receipt, etc. He says it's his best sounding guitar and he could never figure out why! It's the Shaw pickups. And boy does it ever sound good. :)

Bob Maximus
12-18-2011, 10:34 AM
My 74 gold top has them. Its the only LP I have left...

http://i1215.photobucket.com/albums/cc516/tooncat1/Goldtop1.jpg

http://i1215.photobucket.com/albums/cc516/tooncat1/Goldtop5.jpg

StJimmy
12-18-2011, 10:57 AM
Anyone know if the above means that every 1980 Standard has Shaws? Asking because I just bought a 1980 Standard, pat no stamped on the back and date code inked ("Feb 5 1980") but no other ink. Guitar sounds incredible, and I would love to know what the pickups are.

If your guitar is one of those special run Heritage Standard 80s or Heritage Standard 80 Elites and has the original pups, they are Shaws. If it is just a regular Standard from early 1980, it should have T-tops. According to some aftermarket pickup makers, both Shaws and T-tops used the same generic ink date for the first 7-8 months in 1980, then as the T-tops were phased out, the pups changed to the more cryptic date code with the 137, 138, etc. Apparently, you cannot visably tell the difference between the Shaws and T-tops from the the first 7-8 months of 1980 without taking the covers off.

The common belief is that there are NO Shaws with t-top bobbins. However, there are guitars with one T-top and one Shaw. Also, apparently at least one person says that there are very rare hybrids with t-top bobbins, rough cast long magnet, coppe penny colored wire, one plastic spacer (ala Shaw) and one wooden spacer (ala t-top). Clear as mud, right?

Tidewater Custom Shop
12-18-2011, 12:10 PM
I couldn't agree more. I have a set of 137/138 '83's in my '76 SG Standard that I used to replace the original Tarbacks. Totally transformed that guitar.

HOWEVER - I also have a pickup that has all the physical characteristics of a Shaw, but no ink stamp. This pickup was in the neck position of my 30th Anniversary LP when I bought it. I think it was the only original part on the guitar other than the wood and the tailpiece inserts. THAT pickup is the BEST sounding PAF I have EVER heard - subjective, I know, but I've been around a few guitars in my life. I pulled the pickup from the 30th in favor of real PAFs, and I'll tell ya honestly the Shaw sounds every bit as good as the PAF it was designed to emulate.

That Shaw (and yes I'm callin' it a Shaw) is now on my bench getting ready to join a Fralin rewound T-Top (done in '89 with vintage P-90 mag) in an '81 ES-335 DOT I just acquired that came w/ non original pickups (WCR Darkburst/Crossroads). I can't wait for the result!!

Shaws man. Shaws.

Not all Shaw pickups had ink stamps, but believe they all did have white plastic spacers instead of the traditional maple ones.

Yes Mike9, I've heard this but it's not clear to me whether they were the latter Shaws, the earliest Shaws, or both.

Here's the one I'm callin' a Shaw (in foreground first pic):

White spacers, Pat. No. mechanically stamped

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh172/tidalsurge/Gibson/1971%20ES-175/DSC_0561.jpg

And uncovered:

Two white leads and orange-ish wire... No "T"

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh172/tidalsurge/DSC_0003.jpg

White spacers, rough edge on magnet

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh172/tidalsurge/DSC_0001-3.jpg

Mike9
12-18-2011, 02:38 PM
I would absolutely call that a Tim Shaw - I have a few just like it and they sound really sweet. Not a big mystery - he spec'd the bobbin material, the magnets and wire then they were wound till the peep hole was full of copper . . . just like the old days. Not exactly rocket science.

heritage80elite
12-19-2011, 09:15 AM
I've got an '81 Heritage 80 Elite, an '83 LP Custom, and an '84 LP Custom all with Tim Shaw pickups. I'm personally not a big fan, as these pickups are VERY microphonic when played with high gain amps. The wax-potted '57 Classics sound better to my ears, and do not feedback like the Shaw pickups do when you are playing at gig volume.

WarrenZ
01-23-2012, 05:37 PM
I have an '82 Black 3-pickup LPC with a Shaw in the neck and a T-top in the middle. The bridge pickup has been replaced with a Duncan Custom Custom.

The Shaw in the neck is ink stamped "3922082".

Any guess what the "20" represents? Popular theories indicate this is where the month of manufacture would be.

Does the fact that this is a three pickup guitar from the factory account for the "20"?

Any info is appreciated!

Warren
Underside of the Shaw showing the ink-stamp:

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a250/Warren-Pics/82shaw535x400.jpg


Shaw on left (neck pickup), T-Top on right.

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a250/Warren-Pics/DSC06980.jpg

Sweetfinger
01-23-2012, 06:51 PM
It is quite amazing to me(or not) how every pickup in a Gibson in the 80s is now identified as a Shaw. Go back and look at all the pics in this thread. Note how some pickups have different baseplates. Some with extra holes. Some without. Some with deep covers, some shallow. Some are Shaws .....

WarrenZ
01-23-2012, 06:53 PM
LPCs in '82 would have had Shaws. The leading numbers are 392 which have been identified to be Shaws. The bobbins, the orange wire, all say Shaw. The issue is the "20". Any ideas?

The guitar's serial number indicates it was made in February of 1982, so maybe it was supposed to "3920282" instead of "3922082"? Just guessing here...

I wish the bridge p/u was original so I could see the stamp on that one.

jp1977
01-23-2012, 08:29 PM
My 84 lp custom has shaw pafs in it factory. I noticed that many shaw equipped gibsons when new had small paf stickers on the pickup surrounds, they came in reissues but also high end models like the lp custom.

WarrenZ
01-24-2012, 03:36 AM
I'm certain it's a Tim Shaw pickup, I just wanted to add the info regarding its ink-stamp. For all others I've seen it works out that the numbers before the year could be the month of manufacture, but in this case that doesn't work.

tps5352
03-03-2012, 02:18 PM
I just posted this entry with four photos on another forum that I hope will help people better identify "Tim Shaw" pickups:

http://www.everythingsg.com/forum/pickups/18038-how-identify-gibson-tim-shaw-humbucking-pickups.html?

You may have to be logged in to view the photos, or you can get copies directly from me at: tim05031952-1@yahoo.com.

Mr. Shaw may have worked on other Gibson models (e.g., the earlier T-Tops, Dirty-Fingers, etc.) during his tenure at Gibson. But I believe that the standard two-bobbin humbucker with a single-row of adjustable pole-pieces and with most of the characteristics shown on the 1983 model I portray are what most people mean when they say Gibson "Tim Shaw pickup."

http://www.everythingsg.com/forum/pickups/18038-how-identify-gibson-tim-shaw-humbucking-pickups.html?

goodwater
03-03-2012, 04:05 PM
I recently bought a pair of Shaws and put them in my CR8---to be honest, I really wasn't expecting to be blown away by them but I'm very impressed---great tone with a grit that the PAF replicas that I had in before didn't have (they weren't BBs--I'd already replaced those with a set of Chris Carters that I really like)

alerich
12-22-2013, 12:23 AM
I've got an '81 Heritage 80 Elite, an '83 LP Custom, and an '84 LP Custom all with Tim Shaw pickups. I'm personally not a big fan, as these pickups are VERY microphonic when played with high gain amps. The wax-potted '57 Classics sound better to my ears, and do not feedback like the Shaw pickups do when you are playing at gig volume.

I had a 1984 Custom with stock Shaw chrome covered pickups. It did squeal just a touch but not unusably so. I never removed the covers to see if that was the problem. I was never overwhelmed with the pickups. They sounded good - like a basic Gibson pickup. I pulled them and replaced them with a Duncan PG bridge and 59 neck. I thought the Duncan pickups sounded fuller and rounder in both positions and the microphonics were gone.