Sunday, March 4, 2007

Spot the PAF

There is a great thread on the LP forum. One of the members has taken the time to record a set of original PAF's along with 4 from the most talked about winders. I am not one of them. Yet. Also the PAF's in another different guitar as a ringer. He has posted them and is asking everyone to identify the PAF. Great fun. I can't say for certain which is the PAF but I know which ones I prefer. They just had something extra to my ear.

One of the other members made some interesting, and I think valid, observations about the contest. He has had a lot of experience with originals and he has found them to sound different in different guitars. You just can't install a set of PAF's into any guitar and expect to get "that" sound. His main point was that they are un-potted and microphonic and pick up the acoustic properties of the wood as well as the strings. You can actually speak into them and amplify your voice. So you need a guitar that resonates well acoustically for the PAF's to really do their thing.

That is something that I had never considered. I make my own personal pickups un-potted and I do it at the request of the customer. I find them to be a little livelier than potted but I must confess I had not spent a lot of time considering why. The set I have in my Studio are a little too microphonic but sound great, considering the guitar. By too microphonic I mean I have to be careful where I stand, but they slide into harmonic feedback with the greatest of ease. The ones in my Historic are very nice but now I am thinking I might try a set that is wound a little looser.

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