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Encyclopedia > PAF (pickup)
P.A.F.
Manufacturer Gibson
Period 19561967
Type Passive humbucker
Magnet type Alnico 2 (early used 2-5)
Output specifications
Voltage (RMS), V {{{outputrms}}}
Voltage (peak), V {{{outputpeak}}}
Noise, dBV {{{outputnoise}}}
Impedance, KΩ 7.5 (early have 7.5-9.0)
Current, µA {{{outputcurrent}}}
Sonic qualities
Resonant frequency, Hz {{{resonantfreq}}}

P.A.F. or just PAF is a famous first in the world humbucker guitar pickup, invented by Seth Lover in 1955 as an engineer for Gibson and started to be used in mass production guitars in about 1956 or 1957. This article or section needs to be wikified. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... A picku device acts as a transducer that captures mechanical vibrations (usually from suitably equipped stringed instruments such as the electric guitar, electric bass guitar or electric violin) and converts them to an electronic signal which can be amplified and recorded. ... Traditional humbucker pickup, uncovered A humbucker is a type of electric guitar pickup. ... Alnico alloys are composed primarily of aluminium, nickel and cobalt (hence the term al-ni-co) with the addition of iron, copper, and sometimes titanium. ... In mathematics, the root mean square or rms is a statistical measure of the magnitude of a varying quantity. ... Josephson junction array chip developed by NIST as a standard volt. ... Josephson junction array chip developed by NIST as a standard volt. ... Kilo (symbol: k) is a prefix in the SI system denoting 103 or 1000. ... The ohm (symbol: Ω) is the SI unit of electric resistance. ... Micro is a SI prefix in the SI system of units denoting a factor of 10−6 (one millionth). ... The ampere (symbol: A) is the SI base unit of electric current equal to one coulomb per second. ... The hertz (symbol: Hz) is the SI unit of frequency. ... Traditional humbucker pickup, uncovered A humbucker is a type of electric guitar pickup. ... A pickup device acts as a detector and captures mechanical vibrations (usually from suitably equipped stringed instruments such as the electric guitar, electric bass guitar and violin) and converts them to an electronic signal which can be amplified and recorded. ... Seth Lover (born January 1st, 1910 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA; died January 31st, 1997 in Garden Grove, California, USA) is most famous for inventing the humbucker or hum-cancelling electric stringed instrument pickup, most often used on the electric guitar. ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section needs to be wikified. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The strange name of pickup wasn't intentional. Gibson and Seth Lover filed a patent on June 22, 1955. After that, first produced Les Pauls had new pickups with a sticker on a bottom plate of a pickup that said Patent Applied For. A patent was issued on July 28, 1959. Since it took more than 4 years to get a patent number, the unnamed pickup had been dubbed "PAF" by lots of guitarists in the meantime. Even after getting the patent (U.S. Patent 2,896,491), Gibson printed the wrong number on some PAF stickers: most humbuckers were labelled with U.S. Patent 2,737,842 until 1962. The number shown on the pickup is actually a patent for a Gibson trapeze tailpiece bridge, not a pickup at all. Both true PAFs and incorrect patent marked PAFs are pretty rare today and make an expensive vintage collectors' item. June 22 is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 192 days remaining. ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Gibson Les Paul signature model is among the most recognized solid-body electric guitar designs. ... July 28 is the 209th day (210th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 156 days remaining. ... 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


PAF pickups can be usually identified by their look: they have two internal coil bobbins under a 1.5" x 2.75" metal cover with one bobbin having a row of six adjustable pole pieces, with the other bobbin having non-adjustable pole pieces. Standard PAF pickups had 5000 turns of wire on a bobbin and impedance of 7.5k ohms. In electrical engineering, Impedance is a measure of opposition to a sinusoidal electric current. ... The ohm (symbol: Ω) is the SI unit of electric resistance. ...

Contents


Timeline

The range of 1956-1961 is usually dubbed the era of early PAFs. These pickups were first used on lap steel guitars in 1956, on Les Paul Gold Top, and Les Paul Custom electric solid-bodied guitars in 1957. 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... The lap steel guitar (also called Hawaiian guitar or simply lap steel or steel guitar) is a type of guitar, and a method of playing the instrument. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


These early PAFs tend to differ from each other significantly in terms of output level and tone - many factors are quoted as a reason for such difference:

  • Gibson pickup winding machines were manual-operated at that time and had no mechanisms to automatically cut the wire after a set number of turns. Thus the pickups had a different number of wirings and that lead to different output tone.
  • Gibson used Alnico magnets in PAFs, the same magnet as used in the P-90. Alnico has several different grades and different magnetic properties (grades 2, 3, 4 and 5 are usually used), and Gibson assigned them quite randomly until the end of the era of early PAFs.
  • Such vintage pickups today are over forty years old and thus their magnetic fields may have changed significantly.

Early pickups were wound with #42 plain enameled wire, this wiring looks purple, as opposed to later varieties. Alnico alloys are composed primarily of cobalt, nickel, and aluminium with the addition of iron, copper, and sometimes titanium. ... A Les Paul Faded Doublecut with two P-90s. ... The enameled wire is a thin wire with a plastic coverage used for made the electric motor coils. ...


Since July 1961, Gibson standardized the PAF construction process. A new, smaller Alnico 5 magnetic plate became standard. In about 1963, Gibson switched to polyurethane-coated wire, thus changing the tone yet again, and wire color from purple to red. About 1965-1968, automatic pickup winding machines came into use, thus making pickups that had a consistent number of turns and fixed impedance. 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... A polyurethane is any polymer consisting of a chain of organic units joined by urethane links. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ...


In about 1967, the original PAF design changed, so it became known as a next Gibson humbucker, called T bucker. 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ...


Modern variants

Nowadays, the PAF is considered a vintage humbucker with relatively low output and soft, mellow tone. However, original Gibson PAFs are scarce and very expensive, so most major pickup manufacturers produce copies of original PAF design. Approximate price is given for comparison is a suggested retail price in manufacturer's price lists as of 2006. Please note: sound indications are of course very personal. The sound indications mentioned below are taken from the Les Paul Forum [[1]] website. The Suggested Retail Price (SRP) of a product is the price the manufacturer recommends that the retailer sell it for. ... 2006 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Notable pickups include:

  • Shed Pickups Spider PAF (Daddy Long Legs). An unbelievable reproduction of the original PAF using more vintage correct materials than the Shed PAF Daddy. These are not designed to be indistinguishable in terms of looks from the originals but can be ordered with aged nickel covers or exposed bobbins. They are scatterwound with unbalanced coils and are unpotted with sand cast Alnico 4 magnets, plain enamel wire and black paper tape. 180$
  • Seymour Duncan SH-55 Seth Lover Model. A modern pickup trying to reproduce Seth Lover's '55 prototype design in great detail: a nickel silver cover (not brass one), long bottom plate, plain #42 enamel wire, Alnico 2 magnets, wooden spacer, and black paper tape. Very close to an original P.A.F., but can lack a bit of "raunch" 120$
  • Seymour Duncan SH-1 '59 Model. A replica of late 50s PAFs, gives a bit fatter sound, more known as a signature tone of famous blues/rock guitarists of 60s. 99$
  • Seymour Duncan Antiquity Humbucker (11014-01 and 11014-05). An as-close-as-possible replica of a late 50s PAF, complete with a patented aging technique. It looks, smells and sounds vintage. Amongst players, these pickups are considered the closest to real PAF's. A fairly low output, leaving "air" and "life" in the tone. 155$
  • Gibson '57 P.A.F. Gibson's most regular take take on the P.A.F, but these are not scatter wound and they are wax potted. Since the mid-'80's this is the standard pickup on most higher level guitars. Very good sounding, albeit sometimes a bit bland, and they tend to be on the muddy side of the spectrum, especially in the neck position. 80$
  • Gibson Burstbucker. Gibson's newest take on the P.A.F. Scatter wound, not wax potted, these are the closest Gibson ever got to replicating an original P.A.F. An airy sounding pickup, with more treble than an original PAF, and a bit more modern sounding. These pickups come stock on the Historic line of Reissue Les Paul's. 110$
  • Tim White "Timbuckers" a.k.a. "White's". An American builder of handmade P.A.F. replicas known as "White's". Ordering is only possible through e-mail, and the waiting list is about a year long. By many players and collectors, these pickups are considered the best of the best. 200$
  • Lindy Fralin Humbucker. Fralin builds several PAF orientated pickups. While players rave about his Stratocaster and Telecaster pickups, his humbuckers are considered good but not exceptional. 120$
  • Lollar Guitars Imperial Humbucker. Jason Lollar is known for his exact replicas if vintage pickups, and his Imperial Humbuckers are excellent pickups that possess a little more highs than real P.A.F.'s, which can come in handy when used on a dark sounding guitar, or in the neck position of a Fender Telecaster. $150
  • Voodoo '59 Humbucker by Peter Florance is a very open and smooth sounding pickup that works best on darker sounding guitars. $140
  • DiMarzio PAF (DP103). One of the earliest P.A.F. replicas, it replicates later P.A.F. designs, with several enhancements, such as wax dipping to eliminate microphonics, Alnico 5 magnet, 4-conductor cable for split and series/parallel wiring. Good pickups, but can be a bit bland sounding compared to the more expensive pickups. 94$
  • DiMarzio PAF Classic Bridge (DP195) and Neck (DP194). PAF pickups with pre-installed covers, wax-dipped twice (before cover installation and after). In terms of sound, it's slightly beefed up version of DP103. 105$
  • DiMarzio Virtual Hot PAF (DP214), Virtual PAF Bridge (DP197), Virtual PAF Neck (DP196). Pickups built with patented Virtual Vintage technology that gives a more balanced pickup characteristic: both ends of tonal range sound as smooth as it's center, plus, it gives a warm and solid sound in split coils mode. 99$
  • Rio Grande Texas and BBQ Humbucker. Rio Grande is a company from Texas that has it roots drenched in dirty blues by the likes of ZZ Top and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and you hear it in their pickups. The "Texas" humbucker is an excellent remake of the original P.A.F., but it has a bit more "meat" and "balls" to the sound. The BBQ Humbucker takes that concept even further. 90$

Seymour Duncan is a company that is most famous for manufacturing of guitar pickups, and currently has a line of effects pedals. ... Seymour Duncan is a company that is most famous for manufacturing of guitar pickups, and currently has a line of effects pedals. ... Seymour Duncan is a company that is most famous for manufacturing of guitar pickups, and currently has a line of effects pedals. ... This article or section needs to be wikified. ... This article or section needs to be wikified. ... There are several notable Tim Whites including: Tim White (anthropologist). ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... The Fender Telecaster is a dual-pickup, solid-body electric guitar made by Fender. ... DiMarzio (full name: DiMarzio Musical Instrument Pickups, Inc. ... DiMarzio (full name: DiMarzio Musical Instrument Pickups, Inc. ... DiMarzio (full name: DiMarzio Musical Instrument Pickups, Inc. ... The Rio Grande flowing in Big Bend National Park The Rio Grande in its lower course, between Matamoros and Brownsville Known as the Rio Grande in the United States and as the Río Bravo (or, more formally, the Río Bravo del Norte) in Mexico, the river, 3034 km... ZZ Top on the cover of the March 1991 issue of the Guitar World magazine. ... Stevie Ray Vaughan on Austin City Limits Stephen (Stevie) Ray Vaughan born in Dallas, Texas (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American blues guitar legend, known as one of the most influential electric blues musicians in history. ...

Reference

Patents related to PAF pickup:

1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... July 28 is the 209th day (210th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 156 days remaining. ... Seth Lover (born January 1st, 1910 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA; died January 31st, 1997 in Garden Grove, California, USA) is most famous for inventing the humbucker or hum-cancelling electric stringed instrument pickup, most often used on the electric guitar. ...

External links


 
 

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