Gibson's PAF humbuckers are often referred to as the holy grail of Les Paul electric guitar tone.
Here are six inspired modern-day recreations every PAF lover needs to know about…
1. Rewind Electric True Kalamazoo
Founder James Finnerty is renowned for his intimate knowledge of PAFs gleaned from years of first-hand research.
ReWind Electric offers a range of vintage-spec variations derived directly from original Gibson PAFs dating between 1957 and ’62. The True Kalamazoo set brings James’s knowledge to life, recreating history down to the finest detail.
2. ThroBak SLE-101 MXV
As ThroBak owns two ex-Gibson winding machines from the original Kalamazoo factory, its meticulous PAF reproductions are the result of having mastered the very same equipment and techniques employed by Gibson back in the day.
ThroBak’s flagship Alnico 2 humbucker features vintage-spec materials, including 42AWG plain enamel wire wound using an ex-Gibson Leesona 102 winder.
3. Bare Knuckle The Mule
Bare Knuckle’s Guitarist Gold award-winning humbucker, The Mule, is tuned to sound as close to some of the best examples of late ’59 PAFs that Bare Knuckle could lay its hands on.
With each coil wound with a differing number of turns using vintage correct 42AWG plain enamel wire and sand-cast Alnico 4 magnets, The Mule kicks out tone in serious vintage style.
4. Lollar Pickups Low Wind Imperial
Jason Lollar’s Low Wind Imperial set is a finely tuned masterpiece inspired by the sound of lower output PAFs.
Using custom-degaussed Alnico 2 and 5 magnets in the neck and bridge positions respectively, the Low Wind Imperials produce a characteristically bright tone that allows greater string separation and overall clarity.
5. Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Joe Bonamassa Amos
The magnetism of Joe’s ’58 Gibson Flying V PAFs measured so high that Seymour Duncan’s Custom Shop settled on the unusual choice of using Alnico 6 magnets in order to recreate it.
Wound using an ex-Gibson Leesona winding machine, the Amos set offers a unique alternative for those seeking a powerful PAF-style sound.
6. Wizz Premium Clone
Aged to perfection and with options for Alnico 2, 3, 4 and 5 magnets, the Premium Clone PAF pickup set is a work of art and as close to the real thing as you’re likely to get without scouring the vintage market.
Featuring vintage-correct custom parts crafted by hand in Wizz’s very own workshop, we’re guessing many PAF-savvy punters would be hard pressed to tell the difference!