Monty's PAF set is our flagship pickup, an authentic recreation of the PAFs used in '58-'60 Les Paul Standards. Developed over many years of careful repair, dissection and study of original PAF pickups, we believe that we have captured the tonal essence of Seth Lovers original Patent Applied For humbucker design.
It's important to note that not all PAF’s were created equal. Due to the somewhat primitive nature of the original winding machines, original PAFs feature differences in resistance, coil balance, and magnetism. This means that there can be huge sonic variations from one pickup to the next; it is perfectly possible to find very ordinary sounding PAFs, but a good PAF is an experience like no other.
To our ears, the perfect PAF tone has always paired the big 3D richness of a humbucker with an almost single coil clarity. Think telecaster on steroids. This makes for a harmonically rich, open tone that responds to your playing style and is far more versatile than you might expect of a vintage output pickup; our PAFs are beautifully clear when played lightly, but are more than capable of sounding huge when you dig in a little.
We've been lucky enough to work on many PAF’s in our time, both through repairing the pickups themselves and servicing late 50's/early 60's Les Pauls (when I say we, it has all been Matt. He's the brains/pickup wizard/repair maestro around here). All of the PAF pickups we have instantly liked have had an incredibly similar combination of magnet strength, output and coil balance. We honestly believe that Monty's PAF has perfected this formula. Our best-selling pickup by a country mile, they are designed to offer up a tone that makes you pick up your guitar and play for hours.
Just like the originals, our PAF replicas aren’t wax potted. This ensures they are incredibly sensitive and dynamic. The two coils are a little offset (they have slightly different resistance readings), massively increasing the top-end response. In a single concession to anyone in touch with extreme modernity, we do make our PAFs available with 4-conductor wire, perfect for coil-tapping/splitting. We know this isn’t vintage correct, but you asked, and we delivered.
The PAFs come with long-legged frames as standard, if you need them with short legs please make a note on your order and we will be happy to make them that way.
Scatter wound using 42-gauge Plain Enamel wire:
Neck- Alnico V, 7.2k
Bridge- Alnico II, 7.7k
I will have some official soundbites up soon but in the meantime here are some clips made by some of my friends and customers.
In a Tokai 335
In a Gibson Les Paul