When Les Paul fanatics talk vintage style pickups, there’s one pickup type that gets talked about more often than any other: the legendary "PAF". Those three letters stand for "Patent Applied For" and are a reference to the earliest humbucking pickups used in Gibson guitars. Even after more than forty years of continued development and advancement in pickup technology, the PAF remains the premier tonal choice for expressive blues and rock players.
This has driven early original PAF pickup prices to extreme levels and as of this writing in 2003, prices of $1000+ each are not uncommon for those that require the original deal. For the rest of us thankfully, replacement pickups fashioned after the original PAFs are offered by numerous pickup manufacturers and are much more affordable.
Introduction by David Szabados, Review by Mike Mullen
After playing through a P-90-loaded guitar for the first time, my immediate thought was, "OMG! Where have you been all my life? And where have I been all these years!?"
While focusing on getting my ideal rock and blues tones for years, I’ve always played through and with countless variations of Les Pauls and Stratocasters (and copies) with a myriad of pickup arrangements. For one reason or another however, I had never gotten to trying a guitar equipped with P-90s. Until late last year…
I’ll admit I really lagged on doing a feature on pickups. It’s so much easier to just plug in a pedal, or play through an amp, etc. rather than having to go through the process of installing pickups with all the guitar dismantling, the soldering and even restringing of the guitar which isn’t something I’m ever thrilled to do. In any case, I knew that I eventually would have to take a look at some pickups so I made a call to premier pickup maker Seymour Duncan first.