Our 'PAF Replicas' are our own recreations of perhaps the Holy Grail of great electric guitar pickup tone: the original PAF pickups from Gibsons golden era of production, which are quite rightly revered as the some of the finest ever made.
We are incredibly proud of our PAF Replica pickups, developed over a number of years and we believe that they capture the essence and open tone of the late '50s pickups perfectly. My personal belief is that when Seth Lover was tasked with designing the first humbuckers for Gibson, his aim was to create a pickup with all the warmth and clarity of a P90 but without the inherent hum associated with single-coil pickups, and that's almost exactly what he achieved. The P90 had been Gibsons main pickup up until 1956/7 and known for its grit and warmth. However, with such a beefy tone it suffered perhaps more than other singlecoils with 60 Cycle hum issues. Lover’s PAF design was a huge success and the earliest models certainly shared the P90 voice: warm, open and transparent sounding with a moderately low output that allowed the natural tone of the guitar to shine through. The borderline microphonic nature is inherent in the design and this again allowed players from to turn up their amps and use the singing, musical feedback tone that went on to define and change popular music forever.
Unlike most modern humbuckers particularly the overwound, high or hot output variants, the original PAF has a far brighter, open and transparent tone than many people realise. Few of us have been fortunate enough to play late 50s Les Pauls, but they sound absolutely nothing like a modern version. Over the years, I've worked on countless vintage Gibson guitars; many of them still had their original PAFs onboard and it became evident that certain PAFs really stood out above others. We've used this experience and knowledge to reverse engineer and really nail what makes a superior PAF tone.
Recreating this tone was no easy task and there was a huge amount of research & development undertaken. We've used the finest components available including butyrate bobbins, sandcast magnets, the correct fillister pole screws, nickel silver baseplates and un-potted nickel covers - plus the all-important maple spacers. We also use Plain Enamel coated 42AWG copper coil wire and our own coil wind patterns were refined and referenced until we reached a perfect and repeatable formula to match the DC Resistance and tonal subtleties found on old PAF pickups.
PAF Replica Specs:
Fillister pole screws
Nickel silver baseplates
Un-potted nickel covers
Plain Enamel coated 42AWG copper coil wire
DC Resistance 7k - 7.5k, approx