Best paf reissue

laurencer83

Member
Messages
409
i'm having trouble deciding on a paf reissue for my 72 les paul custom 54 reissue black beauty routed for humbuckers. i think it has patent decal humbuckers. but i really don't like the sound of my bridge. i figured i might as well get a pair just to have an extra neck pick so i can compare them. anybody have any suggestions? fralin, voodoo, holmes, wcr ? the only one's i've got to hear were the wcr one's from the website. i really liked the crossroads paf. but i want to see if any of you guys have any first hand accounts with any of these pickups.

i like classic rock ala aerosmith, zeppelin, stones. i don't want a lot of gain but enough for a good crunch. thanks for your help
 

Shemp

Member
Messages
981
I've owned, played or heard a bunch of PAFs. They all have similar characteristics, but they're all different. I like Antiquities, Voodoo 59s, Holmes, Rolphs, Fralins, Gibson 57s (particularly in a semihollowbody), and I just bought a set of WCR Crossroads.

I think you have to play or hear a few to find the "one" that will work for you. In fact pups will sound different depending on the guitar they're in and your playing style. But all the pups mentioned above are excellent, it just depends on your taste.
 

Mike Dresch

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
943
I really like WCR Fillmores. One caveat about them though, I've had them in three different guitars and they sound different in each guitar. The best match for me was a Fillmore in a Hamer Standard Custom (explorer shape). Tone for DAYS!
 

r9player

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,849
Personally like the sound from Burstbuckers and 57 Res.
Also like the Antiquities and '59s from SD (but not so sure if 59s really sound PAF)
Will be trying out some Rio Grande BBQ and WCR Cross Roads soon
 

58relic

Member
Messages
48
The burstbuckers in my 58RI weren't that bad at all. But after reading alot on this forum I had to try a set of those Wagners. Had a great offer on a set of Crossroads en had them installed last week together with the RS truetone kit.
Difference is night and day. And I mean night and day!!! Beautiful tone, endless sustain, no mud. I really prefer the bridge and the middle postion. I was never a big fan of the bridge position (too trebly), but with the RS kit, too much treble is easy to tame. In the past, I heard clips of several PAF shootouts, and I could hardly hear any difference beween these pickups, so I didn't expect too much from the Crossroads. Was I wrong, buy yourself a set, and you won't look back!

Btw, since last week I have this PRS McCarty, and I'm sure this one needs Wagners as well .......... :cool:

Cheers, Rob
 

laurencer83

Member
Messages
409
Originally posted by 58relic
The burstbuckers in my 58RI weren't that bad at all. But after reading alot on this forum I had to try a set of those Wagners. Had a great offer on a set of Crossroads en had them installed last week together with the RS truetone kit.
Difference is night and day. And I mean night and day!!! Beautiful tone, endless sustain, no mud. I really prefer the bridge and the middle postion. I was never a big fan of the bridge position (too trebly), but with the RS kit, too much treble is easy to tame. In the past, I heard clips of several PAF shootouts, and I could hardly hear any difference beween these pickups, so I didn't expect too much from the Crossroads. Was I wrong, buy yourself a set, and you won't look back!

Btw, since last week I have this PRS McCarty, and I'm sure this one needs Wagners as well .......... :cool:

Cheers, Rob
do the crossroads pafs sound anything like the fourth clip they have on their website? check it out it you haven't heard. the reason i ask is because i love the tone on that fourth clip on the crossroads paf mp3's.

here's the link to that fourth clip http://www.wcrclips.com/clips/JimMCR.mp3
 

58relic

Member
Messages
48
I like my tone a little cleaner, but with the right amp no problem at all! I play this Aiken Invader, I'm sure it will deliver!
This pickup really shines when set up a bit cleaner. Too much overdrive, and they all sound pretty much the same .... IMHO.
 

Mark C

Member
Messages
4,417
It really depends on which PAF tone you want. Not all PAFs were created equal, so some of the clones sound different. I currently have two different types in my guitars: WCR darkbursts in my Les Paul (they belong to another forum member and are on loan) and a Duncan Antiquity in my 335 bridge position. The Darkbursts nail that hollow, biting, vicious PAF tone that I've always found elusive. The antiquity sounds a little more midrangey and creamy to my ears. Both are excellent pickups as are, I'm sure, voodoos, Rolphs, Harmonic Design, etc.. However, If I can ever come up with some cash, WCR will be getting a nice big chunk of it.
 

laurencer83

Member
Messages
409
i'd love to get a pair of wcr crossroads but i'm real tight on money. i may just end up getting a used pair of lindy fralins with a 9k bridge and 8k neck. fralins are some of the better quality paf reissues aren't they?
 

Tom CT

Old Supporting Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,912
Originally posted by Mike Dresch
I really like WCR Fillmores. One caveat about them though, I've had them in three different guitars and they sound different in each guitar. The best match for me was a Fillmore in a Hamer Standard Custom (explorer shape). Tone for DAYS!
Great pickups (I have a pair), but they're not PAF clones. Any pickup that reads 13k is not based on standard PAF specs. Crossroads would be a more accurate choice, although SD Antiquities are my current "flavor of the week".
 

fatback

Member
Messages
3,693
I've been around the block and had a chance to try out Duncans, Dimarzios, Lollars, Gibsons, WCR's, Frailins, Voodoo's, a Lentz rewind, and more. I've even had a chance to hear some real 58' and 59' PAF's thanks to meeting Arriba here from TGP. I have to agree that it all comes down to matching the pickup to the guitar to the type of music you are playing. The two old PAF's I heard sounded slightly different, but both had an amazingly mellow air to them with stellar dynamics! There are lot's of cool PAF style pickups out there, but for my ears the most dynamic/authentic/lively sounding PAF repro has got to be...

Tom Holmes

Now don't go doing something silly like paying over $600. for a pair of his pickups on ebay. He's still in buisness, just a little low key about it, and will gladly wind you pickups to your needs. I just got a 456 (his hotter version of a bridge PAF) that he wound for the bridge in my alder Grosh retro. What a smokin' sound! Tom's the man!
:dude

here's his website:
http://www.tomholmescompany.com/
 

Bonedance

Member
Messages
497
Well, you have received some excellent answers so far! I guess I'll opine my .02 cents.

Best is subjective (at best). As you can see from all the replys, everyones idea of whats best is what works best for them. Me too. I tend to recommend what I've had experiecne with and what works for me. I have certainly not tried all that are out there, but I have tried quite a few.

I prefer my PAFs on the lower output, vintage side, so take that into consideration. Seth Lovers work well for me. Many people like them, others don't. Lollar Imperials are wonderful. Open, rich, articulate. Dimarzio's virtual vintage pafs are great for the money as are Kent Armstrong vintage winds. Good bang to buck ratio.

The best I've used are from a fella in Canada named Jon Moore. I went for a total, unpotted vintage wind, but he'll wind them however you want. Beautiful tones. How they would compare with Tom Holmes I can't say as I have not had the pleasure of trying those. The Moores are good enough that I'm not looking elsewhere for pickups these days!

Just tried a Wagner Goodwood. Very, very nice pickup, but a bit too hot for me. Very responsive to the guitars volume control. For the right player, it would be killer. I'd still like to try the darkbursts as those would probably be more up my alley! One thing is for certain....with all the talented winders out there, it's a great time to be a guitar player! Good luck on your search.
 

sabbath90

Member
Messages
562
i really like my darkbursts as far as PAF tone goes. voodoo's and lollars are very nice too. for less money i'd recommend seymour duncans. the pearly gates are my absolute favorite inexpensive pickups for les pauls.
 

Tom CT

Old Supporting Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,912
Originally posted by Bonedance
I prefer my PAFs on the lower output, vintage side, so take that into consideration. Seth Lovers work well for me. Many people like them, others don't.
This is good advice, IMO. I believe that vintage PAFs with a high-7 neck and low-8 bridge are the exception, not the rule. Jim Rolph is a big fan of slightly lower output pickups, and he takes pride in their clarity as opposed to their "oomph".

I have an early pair of Timbuckers that have been replaced with Antiquities (as mentioned above), because in my particular guitar the SDs sounded much better for the tone I was after. I also agree that one pair of pickups can sound completely different in two different guitars. It's a delicate balance of matching the tone that's inherit in the guitar with the frequency curve that a specific pickup accentuates. There's no right choice. Tom
 

JDW3

Member
Messages
3,637
That to me is not a great example to compare pickups tones with. Any guitar with that much OD will sound about the same. Sounds like a damn fuzzbox. They should be plugged into a halfway cranked tube amp, with no effects.


----do the crossroads pafs sound anything like the fourth clip they have on their website? check it out it you haven't heard. the reason i ask is because i love the tone on that fourth clip on the crossroads paf mp3's.

here's the link to that fourth clip http://www.wcrclips.com/clips/JimMCR.mp3 ----
 

alderbody

Member
Messages
682
try a set of WCR Crossroads for a classic PAF tone.

now, Jim offers the traditional nickel-silver covers.

the best Humbuckers i ever played.
 




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