The high price of a boutique PAF

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by redgold, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    It's all about matching the pickup to the individual guitar. Some pickups work great in one guitar and not so well in another. Then again what one person thinks sounds great may be just the opposite of someone else.

    I too have bought countless boutique pickups over the years trying to find that "magic" tone. What I found is the boutique pickups may get you 10-15% closer than an off the shelf. Refer back to the 1st paragraph.

    Just my .02.
     
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  2. circle_o_5ths

    circle_o_5ths Member

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    First off, let's acknowledge that Duncan and DiMarzio were the boutique shops of their day. It was only after they began providing OEM supply that they were able to create economies of scale in which they could lower their pricing.

    Then let's realize the vintage PAF sound you are seeking is based off a part most likely made by an hourly employee who viewed the experience as a "job". They did not romanticize the experience the way the boutique builders try sell. Had someone offered the employee $10 a week more to build dog houses, they would have jumped at the opportunity.
     
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  3. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    some people surely do think that; others, just as surely, do not.
     
  4. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

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    Yes, I read a Tone Quest report with a interview with Tom Holmes and in it he stated that.

    Oddly enough, I had a wraptail R7 a few years back that had a surprisingly great sounding set of Burstbuckers in it. I swapped one out for a Tom Holmes and just like the Throbaks, couldn't get it back out fast enough. I put the burstbucker back in and left well enough alone.

    Rolph's are fantastic pickups, I completely forgot about those.
     
  5. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

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    I absolutely agree Larry.
     
  6. jwguitar

    jwguitar Member

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    Agreed. I have tried to find the best pickup for jazz guitar. I kid you not EMG 85 pickups can get your that real Les Paul (as in the musician) sound. One of the most misunderstood pickups ever.
     
  7. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

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    @Teleplayer. Hope you see this post.
     
  8. redgold

    redgold Supporting Member

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    If u don’t like potting 57 classics are a no go.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  9. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks. However, I still think Terry has a pretty good idea what he's doing. And he had them wound for that specific axe.
     
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  10. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

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    My '57 Classics are not potted and they sound incredible.
     
  11. redgold

    redgold Supporting Member

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    Really? Are the early ones unpotted?
     
  12. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

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    As far as I know the early ones are not potted. I don't know about the recent ones(which are not the same as the old ones from my understanding). Mine are from the year 2000 and were stock in my Y2K R8 blacktop.
     
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  13. RichSZ

    RichSZ Member

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    The sound of a PU is a combination of marketing, pictures, TPG acceptance, builder of of the month, how the pickup sounds in your basement, and how well someone can explain the minutiae details of construction that no one can realistically hear., and how some of us fall for it. That is the TGP way. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy it. But the sooner you realize the sound of PU is more a function of your playing than anything else, you'll enjoy how they sound much more than you ever realized.
     
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  14. GEN DAWG

    GEN DAWG Silver Supporting Member

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    I am certain that I am a victim of suggestion, just as all humans are, but I really appreciate the sound of OX4 pickups in my LP-style guitars. That’s where I land.
     
  15. tacorivers

    tacorivers Silver Supporting Member

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    I had the same experience with throbak 101+ in my Collings I35lc. Couldn't get them out fast enough. I had Marc Stow wind a low output set for 335-type guitars. I absolutely love them. Now most people love the Throbak's in the I35c, which just goes to show that its always YOUR preferences that should count. Ideally, you'd get 3-4 different humbuckers to try out in your guitar, record them by themselves and in a mix, and pick the one that you like best.
     
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  16. GEN DAWG

    GEN DAWG Silver Supporting Member

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    Yep, Mark knows his stuff.
     
  17. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Tom did help design the 57 in the 90s when he, and Bill Lawrence worked for Gibson, but Gibson said his design, and materials were to expensive, and deviated from Toms design, so Tom told them he didn't want to be associated with the 57 pickup, as they changed his design to much.

    Love my Holmes pups. Gary Moore had them in his Signature guitar
     
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  18. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

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    I've heard this a lot about that particular set of Throbaks. Don't get me wrong, I like Throbak pickups, just not the SLE101's.
     
  19. jens5

    jens5 Silver Supporting Member

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    Good to know as I was considering swapping the Loller low winds for the Throbak 101's in my I-35LC. What I don't get is the price tag on the Throbaks or any other equally priced pickups. You've got, bobbins,wire,magnates,screws and assembly. For $450 a pair, I can get a semi decent tube or solid state amp. Thinking about the materials in an amp and compare that to the afore mentioned. Makes no sense to me. Am getting used to the Loller low winds!
     
  20. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Supporting Member

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    Some people really really like their Jimmy/Eric/Duane/Billy and their 59 'bursts. If you are a pickup manufacturer you can exploit that market to rather extreme degrees.

    I'm sure a lot of these manufacturers make some fine products, and to be fair, I've done my share of dabbling in them, but I typically find the journey to the perfect pickup to have just about the most diminshed returns in the land of GAS.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
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