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How to tell if PAFs are real?

Brad737

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
99
Hello all,
I have what has probably been asked ad nausem, but after a quick search, I'm still wondering. How does one tell if a Gibson PAF is the real deal? I found this webpage:

http://home.provide.net/~cfh/paf.html

But let's say the pickup still has the cover on it. Now how do you tell?

Thanks,
Brad
 

latestarter

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
4,072
Its pretty easy...lot's of giveaway elements like cover is nickel or chrome is a good starting point and the water slide decal of course. Got a photo of the item in question?
 

Brad737

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
99
Looks real to me.

EE45006D-C638-4391-AF49-A4B9C7627941-1650-000000E31FE3DC4A_zpsc1548594.jpg
 

Yannick333

New member
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
1,095
It seems to have the L shaped tooling marks but I'm not too sure about that decal...
 

Aloha_Mark

New member
Joined
Dec 15, 2011
Messages
495
There are a few people like the owner of Wizz Pickups who can supply semi-authentic PAF stickers that glow a dusty green under blacklight. (You will have to inquires about whether he will sell these apart from his pickups).

http://wizz-pickups.com/details.html

Unless a restorer went to all the trouble to obtain such decals, I would say the blacklight test catches most fakes. In general, the best thing to do is to find a reputable seller, or a real vintage guitar with untouched solder joints.
 

Brad737

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
99
The first pickup has been sold, and the seller has a second one, but it needs a rewind. What do you think? Any guess as to the value?

3_zps523ce7c0.jpg


2_zpsa8759f0c.jpg


Thanks,
Brad
 

Aloha_Mark

New member
Joined
Dec 15, 2011
Messages
495
The trouble with a rewind is that there may be no way to save the black tape, a critical piece of evidence in authenticating a paf. The cover, baseplate, magnet, screws and wooden spacer are salvageable, however the bobbin(s) may not be. That depends on the skill of the winder. Ask Jon of Throbak or Dave Stephens of SD pickups what their repair process consists of should they need to do more than replace the copper wire. All in all, the decal, baseplate, and tooling marks seem to be things most people look at, and you have them with an open or shorted pickup. Is this worth six hundred to a thousand dollars? I think yes (and more) if you own a burst, and you documented the characteristics of the pup before it broke. Assuming you know its history (as owner), you know that pup is authentic, just not functioning. If you are buying the parts for restoring a husk, then you have to consider the cost tradeoff between buying a working one vs. a repaired one. Make the seller an offer, but don't just buy the pup for novelty reasons.
 
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