Please name your favorite PAF replica. Thanks in advance!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Terry McInturff, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,140
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsboro NC
    Hello all,

    I suppose that the topic says it all. All responces are appreciated! :)

    I'd be especially interested in responces by those who have had experiences with the originals, in a real-world playing environment. If this is the background behind your responce, please describe not only the "tonal impressions" but also a description of the instrument that sported the original PAF units.

    To narrow the question right down...if you had a fabulous Les Paul chassis, what PAF style pups would you choose...and please tell me why you have made this choice....as detailed as possible.

    Many thanks in advance,
    Terry McInturff
     
  2. TRIODEROB

    TRIODEROB Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,342
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    san diego
    do a search on the les paul forum
    there are a million posts about this exact subject
    done by folks who are the worlds greatest experts
    on this very issue
     
  3. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,140
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsboro NC
    That is great advice, and I do thank you for it indeed!

    I am aware of that resource...but I would like to hear from the folks here at TGP as well.
    Terry
     
  4. Mac Daddy 355

    Mac Daddy 355 MilkBone Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,778
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    having had over 75 guitars with Paf's
    I would have to say Wolfetone legends , Timbuckers , Holmes ~~ I haven't played the other's
     
  5. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,140
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsboro NC
    Thanks for your post. I know that it would take more time than you may have right now, but what is it about those units that inspire you to recommend them?

    A story about your favorite set of originals...and the guitar that sported them...would be great, if you have the time.
    Thanks,
    TCM
     
  6. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

    Messages:
    1,760
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Location:
    3rd stone from the sun
    Wolfetone. Tried just about everything out there as far as PAF clones, and I think Wolfe really has hit on something. I have a burst and 2 fine LP replicas I used to run real PAFs in, and replaced replica PAFs with Wolfetones and I don't miss the PAFs at all. With all the other clones I tried in the replicas, I ended up putting the PAFs back in after a while because it seemed like something was missing.

    It's a pretty subjective topic anyways. You almost have to try the different makers and decide for yourself. Results may vary.
     
  7. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,623
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    I've never been a fan of hot, middy sounding humbuckers. After comparing real PAF's in Les Pauls to Holmes, Antiquities, Voodoo's, Fralin's, Wolfetone's and Tim's I found the Rolph's to be pretty much indistinguishable from the real thing. I like the clear, sweet, bright sound of a real PAF and the Rolph's do that for me with an LP into a Marshall style amp. The other guys pickups all sound great and I've got some of most of them in different guitars but for a true PAF deal, the Rolph's do it for me.
     
  8. BBHollowbody

    BBHollowbody Member

    Messages:
    656
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2002
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    Hey Terry,

    lately I've been using a set of RS Guitarworks/Fralin Aged PAFs in my LP. They are great. I've only had them about 3 weeks but have used them on a few gigs. I've heard a few sets of original PAFs in similar LPs and I think these pickups really capture the highly coveted sonic properties that folks desire from the original PAF.

    Brandon
     
  9. Mac Daddy 355

    Mac Daddy 355 MilkBone Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,778
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Terry
    Their truly is no pickup out their that comes close to the real thing
    but their are some new pickups & Guitars that inspire you in the same way
    vintage pieces do (Guitars,Amps,elec's,etc)
    maybe time will tell
    here's my funky looking Wolfetone's ~~~~ legend's ~~~~
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Chris T

    Chris T Member

    Messages:
    628
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Memfus
    From G.E. Smith someone who is well acquainted with the old stuff and the new:


    "But people should take a look at some of the new stuff being made, especially by Fender and Gibson. They are making some GREAT guitars again. And I believe that Seymour Duncan is making the best pickups ever made, not just as good, but BETTER! If you take a matched set of his Antiquity pickups, they are better than original Gibson PAF’s, I truly believe that."

    For the whole interview:
    http://www.tomguerra.com/smith.htm
     
  11. Babaji

    Babaji Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    Location:
    Alexandria,
    ...I had a great set of real PAF's that I used for about ten years. I sold them because of the sound that I got from Rolphs. His Strat and Tele pickups are also the best I've encountered...
    Bill
     
  12. BrownDog

    BrownDog Member

    Messages:
    322
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Location:
    Olathe, KS
  13. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,060
    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Northern MD
    I would like to name mine George.

    All kidding aside, the Tom Holmes humbuckers are quite awesome...though I dunno if they're $600 a pair awesome.

    I have experience with the Tom Holmes pickups in your Taurus model, Terry. They enhanced the tonal properties of your instrument. the only potential downside being that they didn't split well IMO...at least not as well as your Zodiac's in the same instrument.

    My only experience playing real PAF's came about 6 years ago, and it was through a cranked Super Lead, so it's really apples and oranges, but from what I recall, the overall character was similar to the Holmes PUP's. I know that you are fond of them as well from a discussion a few years ago, and that you are friendly with Tom as well...so there's my .02

    Dunno if he could make them in the qty's you'd need...or if he'd cut you any slack on the $$
     
  14. 1959burst

    1959burst boogieman

    Messages:
    1,077
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2002
    Location:
    Sault Ste. Marie Ont CDN
    i have a bunch of paf gibsons and after trying everything out there seymour duncan antiquities are the closest.:AOK
     
  15. TRIODEROB

    TRIODEROB Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,342
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    san diego
    In test that I did with a historic R57
    The Lollar imperials blew the bustbuckers/Antiquity's/wcrs
    out of the water.

    it was not even close.

    :crazyguy
     
  16. Don L

    Don L Member

    Messages:
    1,741
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    I agree with Mark. Of all the PAF clones I've heard and tried, the Rolphs were the closest to my ears, too. I also recommend Harry Haussel pickups from Germany. I like them just as much as the Rolphs now...
     
  17. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,641
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, Marin, Chico, CA
    Hey Terry -

    I own a '59 Dot Neck ES-335 - came to me in 1980, and in '75 I was 1/4 owner of a 1960 LP. Both have real PAF's.

    A few weeks ago I played an R9 plaintop w/ Tom Holmes PAF's. I immediatley thought, " That's it, that's the right sound of a PAF," the first notes I played. Best I've heard to date.

    I like the SD Antiquities, but I find them inconsistent - all of 'em good, some great and very close to PAF's, but they're not all great. I like the Harmonic Design HB's, but they're not exactly a PAF, though they have that vibe to them. I like the stock Fralin HB's, but the ones I had didn't sound like PAF's to me. I've never actually played Lollars, Wolftones, Rolphs, and I've only played one set of WCR's.

    Tom Holmes PAF's - best I've ever heard for a 'real' PAF sound.

    Dana O.
     
  18. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,140
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsboro NC
    Great responces, and many thanks. Keep them coming...and the more that you can tell me, the better!
    Terry
     
  19. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,605
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    My tech says Holmes are the one. I played a set he had in a Les Paul and thought they were very nice. Never played a real PAF, but I trust my tech. I compared them to one of my Les Pauls with Seymour Seth Lovers and the Holmes were smoother, clearer, rolled off better etc.....

    That being said, the Seth's were in the ballpark. I've tried 3 Wcr's and thought they were very nice, but not right for me. I have heard nothing but great things about the Lollar Imperails and have a set waiting to go in a Custom guitar. Fingers crossed!!!!
     
  20. '70 RS

    '70 RS Member

    Messages:
    5,353
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    North of South San Jose
    Terry,
    I've never owned a PAF loaded guitar but have played a '59 Burst, a '54 conversion w/real PAFs and a '59 ES-335. I have owned MANY humbucker guitars (solid and semi-solid).

    By far my favorite pup so far has been Wolfe's 'Caretaker'. It had exactly the tone I was looking for. Growling mids, not too dark, sweet highs (not buzzy) and VERY articulate. I could go from sweet to roar by altering my pick attack. They didn't mask the sound of the guitar or amp like many pups do. I was very impressed.

    I had them in a PRS Santana III and played thru an early Fender Vibro-King and Mesa Lonestar Classic.
     

Share This Page