Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 58

Thread: What is a PAF pickup?

  1. #1
    Tone Member The Vault's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    164

    Default What is a PAF pickup?

    Can someone please explain the difference between PAF's, humbuckers, single coils and P-90's.

    TV.

  2. #2
    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Somewhere around... Chicago!
    Age
    39
    Posts
    17,201

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    A true PAF is gibson's original humbucking pickup from the late 50's. PAF stands for "Patent Applied For" which is what the sticker said on the bottom of the pickup. I know one of the first guitars they came in were the Burst Les Paul Standards from '58, although something tells me they were introduced in '57. In the Custom?

    Most full size Humbuckers now are the shape and size of the original Gibson PAFs. Single coils only have one coil (duh) as opposed to two, and they come in sizes from a strat/tele up to the P90 that was in GIbson solid bodies prior to the PAF. Think the Les Paul "Goldtop" or Les Paul Junior.

  3. #3
    Stratologist Pierre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    9,379

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    A humbucker consists in 2 coils using a common magnet. The coils are wired so that their phase cancel out the hum that you normally get with single coil. They also have more output and a smoother, warmer tone than single coils.
    PAF stands for Patent Applied For. It was what Gibson stamped on the back of the first ever humbuckers, invented by Mr Seth Lover. The pickups you find on Les Pauls usually are PAFs. SDs PAFs are the Pearly Gates, the Seth Lover and the '59. I guess the Screaming Deamon could be seen as an overwould PAF but I'm not too sure if the sound follows. PAFs have a very warm tone and go hand to hand with LPs.
    The P90 is the bastard son of a humbucker and a single coil. It has a huge sound, but still with hum. Just a huge single coil.
    I hope that helped a bit?

  4. #4
    Tone Member The Vault's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    Would the APH's qualify as PAF's?


    What about the JB?

    Tv.

  5. #5
    Mojo's Minions Kamanda~SD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Ottawa
    Age
    29
    Posts
    4,475

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    I beleive the APH would be. But I don't think the JB is.

    If you go here: http://www.seymourduncan.com/website...mbuckers.shtml

    I beleive all under "vintage" are "PAF's" and thats it.
    TOUQUE ROCK...EH???? I AM CANADIAN

  6. #6
    Tone Member The Vault's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    I assume PAF's breathe better under high gain (for classic rock, funk, and R&B) as opposed to non-PAF's

    Tv.

  7. #7
    Fleecy Sweaterologist The Golden Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    upyerasskickinfootballs
    Age
    50
    Posts
    8,537

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    If you really wish to get into it...

    DiMarzio has a trademark or whatever on the use of the term "PAF" so the correct way to refer to an early Gibson humbucker is a "Patent Applied For" humbucker.
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*
    Quote Originally Posted by Slash2987
    Oh c'mon man, quit being such a liberal and actually accept someone disagrees with you.
    Quote Originally Posted by PVFan
    I'm a good sex man.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    I am just jug the merlot.

  8. #8
    Stratologist Pierre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    9,379

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Golden Boy
    If you really wish to get into it...

    DiMarzio has a trademark or whatever on the use of the term "PAF" so the correct way to refer to an early Gibson humbucker is a "Patent Applied For" humbucker.
    Quite ironic isn't it

  9. #9
    Mojo's Minions Bludave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    9,036

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    IMHO PAF's are the best all arond HB PUP that I have had the experience playing. I work closely with a Luthier here in NY who specializes in restoring vintage guitars and I have played many PAF equipped guitars. I have also had the oppurtunity to compare them against just about everything else out there. What makes them unique is good and bad. Back in the 50's most PUPS were wound by hand, some would have more windings than others and this caused them to be inconsistant. This is not always bad, but I have heard some PAAF's that were not very good. Some PAF's were amazing..... probably the best sounding bridge PUP I have ever played or heard is a PAF in a 1960 335 Stereo that is owned by a friend of mine. PAF's will run $1500.00 to over $2000. depending on the configuration. The PUPS that I feel sound the closest to the real PAFS are the Duncan Alnico2 Pros. Some may say the Antiquities, some may say the Seths, and I have even heard people who feel that Holmes are very close, but IMO the Alnico2 nails the PAF pretty well. I have also played PAF's in a variety of guitars and Amps. Super 400, 335, 61 SG LP, and a few other archtops. I have played them thru Blackface Fenders and 60's Marshalls as well as other Amps. They sound very good in all situations.
    "So you will never have to listen to Surf music again" James Marshall Hendrix
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know peace."-Jimi Hendrix

  10. #10
    Tone Member The Vault's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    I've never tried a Dimarzio so I won't even comment...

    Tv.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vault View Post
    Can someone please explain the difference between PAF's, humbuckers, single coils and P-90's.

    TV.
    PAF = patent applied for - a nickname given to seth lovers design while Gibson was waiting 4 years for the patent to be granted. Humbucker is 2 single coils together with the electrical signal running in oppisite directions to do just what the name implies - Cancel or buck the Hum P-90 is and over wound gibson single coil pickup.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    The specific original PAF was Seth Lover's humbucker design. 2 single coils cancel out each others hum and one with 6 adjustable pole pieces the other not and both were enclosed in a 2 and 3/4 by 1 and1/2 inch metal housing. It took over 4 years for the patent to be approved and by then the pickup design was dubbed with the nickname PAF as a sticker was placed under the pickup which read "Patent appled For" while they waited for the patent to be approved. This pick which appears on most Les Pauls is Specifically the original PAF.

  13. #13
    Let it B JeffB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    15,904

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    Been 8 years. Dude prolly has figured it out by now.
    I'm an internet person. All we do is waste time evaluating things that have next-to-zero real world significance.

    Remember, it's just a plank of wood. YOU have to find the music in it - The Telecaster Handbook

  14. #14
    Li'l Junior Member MetalManiac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Marked Side of the Dune
    Posts
    15,522

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    Ya know what PAF is spelled backwards, don't ya?
    "Anyone who understands Jazz knows that you can't understand it. It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it." - Yogi Berra

  15. #15
    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    19,413

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre View Post
    The P90 is the bastard son of a humbucker and a single coil. It has a huge sound, but still with hum. Just a huge single coil.
    Soundwise, not chronologically. P-90's came out years before PAF's. And actually, P-90's were out several years before Leo put them in his solidbodies in 1950, so P-90's are first of the three you mentioned. Leo shrunk them down to save money, and Gibson added a coil to reduce noise, and increased the cost.
    "Completely Conceded Glowing Expert."
    "And Blueman, I am pretty sure you've pissed off a lot of people."
    "Wait, I know! Blueman and Lew can arm wrestle, and the winner gets to decide if 250K pots sound good or not."

  16. #16
    Mojo's Minions
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    3,743

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    Blah blah blah

    Cutting to the chase... A PAF IS AN 8k TWO-WIRE (hot & ground) PICKUP WITH ALNICO MAG AND DUAL COILS WIRED FOR HUM CANCELLING.

    A "real/original" PAF comes from late 50's Gibsons only, because that is where the original humbucker was from. Popular or famously close in tone pickups may be known as "Someone's PAFs" (insert brand or winder name). Also. DiMarzio holds a trademark to officially call their own replica the "DiMarzio PAF", while the others are either from prior eras, actually carry similar Patent Applied For stickers (cant trademark that, lol), or are simply popularly known as PAFs on account of being made to that spec.

  17. #17
    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    19,413

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adieu View Post

    Cutting to the chase... A PAF IS AN 8k TWO-WIRE (hot & ground) PICKUP WITH ALNICO MAG AND DUAL COILS WIRED FOR HUM CANCELLING. .
    Not quite. The resistance on PAF's was pretty wide over the original years, and the range included much higher and lower than 8K.
    "Completely Conceded Glowing Expert."
    "And Blueman, I am pretty sure you've pissed off a lot of people."
    "Wait, I know! Blueman and Lew can arm wrestle, and the winner gets to decide if 250K pots sound good or not."

  18. #18
    Toneologist DeanSweden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    920

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    correct me if I'm wrong but weren't the original patent for
    a tailpiece or something like that?

  19. #19
    SDUGF Founder Evan Skopp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Goleta, California, USA
    Posts
    7,844

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    DiMarzio's trademark is for "PAF" without periods. If one refers to the pickup as "P.A.F." that is not infringing on DiMarzio's trademark.
    Evan Skopp, Inside Track International
    Sales and marketing reps for D'Addario, Musopia, Reunion Blues, Q-Parts, and Nukleus Pickups.

  20. #20
    Mojo's Minions Rand-O-Monium's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Jax,FL
    Posts
    6,061

    Default Re: What is a PAF pickup?

    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    Not quite. The resistance on PAF's was pretty wide over the original years, and the range included much higher and lower than 8K.
    Didn't diff mags float in & out,too?
    "Scalloped & Stickered"
    A Colled One & A Rold One!!!

    RIP My Beloved Sleepy Flower

    https://forum.seymourduncan.com/show...t-67-Of-Myself

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •