PAF lovers, did you dump all of your distortion type humbuckers?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by gulliver, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    I’m asking because I’m finding it hard to go back to my shredder-ready Dimarzio AT-1 after playing my Voodoo 57/59s and Suhr SSV PAF types (current favorites). The AT-1 sounds great, especially through my JCM800 2205 (higher gain compared to my 2204), but it’s overly sensitive to my touch and I find myself adjusting my playing style to control it.

    I swapped the AT-1 with a BG Bucker Dark (hot PAF @ 9.25k), and I’m rocking out again with full feel, although the tone is not as rich with harmonics.

    Anyone else experience this?
     
  2. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    Pretty much. I still have a SD Super Distortion in my Guild S300 because that's what came with it, but I pulled all the high-gain pickups out of my other guitars, including my WCR Ironmans. Most of my humbuckers are now WCR American Steeles. I've learned that I greatly prefer the lower output grind, articulation and sensitivity.

    One of my favorite humbuckers - the Guild HB1 - is about 7k on a meter, and it sounds amazing though any amp I've played.
     
  3. Telefunky

    Telefunky Member

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    I always hated humbuckers UNTIL I tried some real PAF's. Mind boggling.
     
  4. just_one_more

    just_one_more Member

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    PAf type pickups are in some of my hum based guitars. I do have some that have hotter distortion types in them though. At one point I just had too many guitars and too much overlapping in tone with PAFs in most all of them. The way I do it now is to have 1 of each "type" (LP, 335, Tele, Strat, Parker, Dou jet etc.) that is the best example I can find of each and have it loaded with the type of pickup it is designed/famous in MY mind. I like that different pickups make me play differently, it is kind of the point for me.
    If I could have only 1 it would be my LP with Sheptones as it is my #1 and has been for a few years now. Hotter pickups paired with the right guitar and amp can be great too.
     
  5. DRS

    DRS Member

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    Even medium output humbuckers like 496/500 are too hot for me. I like Seth Lovers and similar.
     
  6. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    wow

    i always felt that the 500t was a flame thrower!
     
  7. slugworth

    slugworth Supporting Member

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    Yeah, a 496/500 set is pretty damn hot.
     
  8. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    low output for me, all the way.

    You can always "dirty up" a clean signal, but not the other way around.
     
  9. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    Did that guy just call the 500 a 'medium output humbucker'?

    The three humbucker guitars I play most often have Seth Lovers, 57 Classics and the last has a GFS Alnico II in the neck and an Breed in the bridge. My strat with an HB has an Air Norton in the bridge.

    I don't see it as competition, just different tools. I understand wanting a more focused range in your instruments, but the Seth Lovers in the 335 and the Air Norton in the strat... they are very different guitars and I like the pickups for different reasons.

    Or said another way, of the guitars I currently own, I'd prefer to keep the Air Norton in the strat than install another Seth Lover or 57 Classic in there. I'd rather have the variety than consistency.
     
  10. NashSG

    NashSG Member

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    I've found the Duncan Custom 5 to be a pretty good humbucker as it is pretty tweakable. It's got pretty good amount output opened up, but it sounds good and to me pretty knock on a lower output PAF style pickup with the volume rolled off, especially with some good pots that don't kill the highs when rolled down.

    I play harder rock most of the time, so with lower output humbuckers, you end up often having it wide open most of the time anyway and if you want a bit more juice have to turn to a pedal.

    I think with the 500T and really most ceramic humbuckers, they just don't get the same juicyness rolled down like an alnico humbucker. You can temper the output, but they don't sound quite as good really low like an A2 or A5 pickup. That's not always the case with single coils with ceramic magnets, but it's what I have heard with ceramic magnet humbuckers.
     
  11. jads57

    jads57 Supporting Member

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    I've found that lower power p/ups tend to have a better overall tone. And I'm finding the same with overdrive pedals as well.
     
  12. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    I like all sorts of pickups.
     
  13. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I tend to like cleaner or less compressed and hot, pickups. More dynamics and especially for cleaning up with the knob and stuff. If I play a hot output guitar, I like to drop the pickup down so it's not so overly sensitive. They're about sustain and compression and I don't want too much of that because of the trade off. You have to play it easy, because it's more sensitive to movement. Even if you do dig in, it's too compressed to make as much of a difference. So yeah, give me a lower output, even single coil and I'll add a pedal if needed.
     
  14. grapeshot

    grapeshot Supporting Member

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    I have SSVs in my PRS McCarty. Great pickups! 36th Ann PAFs in my Custom 22, also great pickups. The Grosh Blown 59s are also great. PAF like pickups is where it's at!
     
  15. Sensates

    Sensates Member

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    Sort of made my mind to stick with lower output humbuckers.. until I got my PRS SE Akerfeldt. Really likes the SE HFS pickup in it.
    So I'm thinking maybe there's more to high output humbuckers..

    Anyone has any good experience with high output boutiques(besides Bareknuckles)?
     
  16. gillman royce

    gillman royce Member

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  17. gtrdaddy

    gtrdaddy Supporting Member

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    I really dig the Fralin PAFs! They are beautiful sounding.
     
  18. Ruraltom

    Ruraltom Member

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    ^ Pretty much what everyone has said above. I no longer use any 'high power' humbuckers, amps today are built so you really don't need them.
     

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