P.A.F. Reproduction Humbucker Set

P.A.F. Reproduction Humbucker Set
Click To Enlarge
  • Item #: 1753

P.A.F. Reproduction Humbucker Set

This is my top humbucker set. It's also the one that got me started on this crazy venture years ago. Click the photo to the left to get a slide show for a better look. Original Patent Applied For humbuckers are scarce, and astronomically priced. They are what you would expect to find in one of those 1959 'burst Les Pauls that are so coveted. The best ones have long ago been snapped up by wealthy collectors and musicians. Most players today have never seen or played an original, but they have heard them in many, many classic recordings. P.A.F.'s aren't especially hot, in fact they aren't very hot at all. It's that they are so clear and rich and versatile and touch sensitive that makes them so addictive. Whether it was by great design or just great good fortune, they have always been the one to beat. Somehow along the way, little by little, the changes in methods and materials caused that magic combination to be lost. Accordingly many pickup makers have done their best to reproduce the elusive P.A.F. design.

If you are looking at these, I probably don't need to tell you all the history, some makers were more successful than others, and still the quest goes on. A few makers have done a good job, since in several "P.A.F. shootouts" the best made clones have done as well or better than the originals, and can command prices upwards of $400 a set. Those makers have each fanatically studied every possible detail and nuance of the P.A.F. construction, and take no shortcuts. Part of that information is closely gaurded, but much has also been published in various places. I have for years intensively studied all I could find that has been written and posted, and I've purchased and examined many of the best clones in great detail physically and electronically. I have an ugly looking as can be, but great sounding 1963 Patent Sticker example that I use for comparisons. That's as close as I can come to owning an original P.A.F. for now, and I paid through the nose for that. My comparison "pickup library" also includes 2 other patent sticker models from the mid-late 60's and a dozen or more later models and many highly rated copies. I have thoroughly characterized them all and also have done much experimenting to reproduce the manufacturing techniques and the winding pattern. And I go to a lot of trouble and expense to source vintage accurate materials for them. I pay up to four or five times the price for the material in these compared to what goes in a standard humbucker. For example, I have custom ordered the magnets for these made to my specs. Some of the materials that were used in the 50's can't be obtained at all anymore, but I get as close as I can, and I still do have to make some of the parts myself to get them right. They are not handwound, or potted, nor were any of the originals. That's why I got the CNC winder, so I could reproduce the winding patterns. No one should rightfully claim to produce a completely accurate clone of the originals because they varied too much. But I have tried to recreate every last detail of materials and construction that I can verify. I make a nice Patent Applied For decal for them, so I put the serial number and my signature on the magnet and also make one internal lead wire (that is impossible to replace without rewinding the pickup) blue instead of black to discourage anyone from using these as counterfeits (see photos). Unoriented Alnico V magnet alloy is standard, but Alnico II is an available option, both were used at times. All of this detail is fun, but it is all usless unless the tone is there, so I invite you to compare these tone for tone and detail for exacting detail to any of the most respected P.A.F. copies out there or to an original if you can find one and then judge for yourself.

  • 7.9 K ohms DC Resistance Neck, 8.2K ohms Bridge
  • Long Leg Nickel Silver Baseplate - 49.2 mm string to string spacing only
  • Butyrate Bobbins- with vintage accurate internal lead connections
  • 42 AWG Plain Enamel Magnet Wire
  • CNC wound to match vintage turns per layer pattern
  • Vintage correct metal alloys on polepieces, screws and keeper
  • Long Bar Rough Cast (M55 Dimensions) Magnet
  • Alnico 5 Unoriented Standard, Alnico 2 Option on Neck or both magnets
  • Maple Spacer, correct paper tape binding, Not Potted, P.A.F. Decal
  • Shielded Cloth covered External Lead Wires
  • Vintage Correct Nickel Silver Cover - Nickel plated standard, (or chrome, bare nickel, gold plated, or no cover optional)
  • Detailed individual test reports with all specs compared to vintage example.

Bobbins are "Zebra" color standard, other color and cover options are available on inquiry. Wax potting is not recommended due to several reasons, but if you insist, I can do it, though I won't guarantee that the butyrate bobbins won't warp. There is only a few degrees difference between the melting point of the wax and the softening point of the bobins.

Price is for a boxed set of two humbuckers.  Backorders are enabled if I'm out of stock on these or just use the contact us page if you want to order custom options.

Price $385.00
Availability Out-of-Stock