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If you only have one PAF...

Rich R

In the Zone/Backstage Pass
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
4,998
If your're replacing a pickup in a non-Fifties LP (like a Historic), and you only have one PAF to work with, do you you prefer to put it in the neck or bridge position? Where do ya'll feel you get the best bang for the buck?
 

goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
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7,946
Bridge position........with a P90 in the neck.........what more can one say:wah
 

brandtkronholm

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Dec 3, 2006
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2,073
Bridge position........with a P90 in the neck.........what more can one say:wah

+1 Boy oh boy, I like this idea a lot.

BUT - try both positions and see what happens. What's the other pickup? If it's hotter than the PAF then put the PAF in the neck. If it's similar or not as hot, put the PAF in the bridge. Experiment!
 

garywright

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Aug 17, 2002
Messages
14,115
If I ever get another historic my first move would be to install a new quad of VIP pots ..the hotter the better ( 550+ ) ...also, a pair of luxe caps .....22 bridge 15 neck ...then play the guitar as is and see which position I like the least ( if any ) ..great pafs are known for their clarity ..so most likely the neck position would be the recipient :hank
 

VamboRool

Member
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Nov 25, 2015
Messages
328
I would measure the impedence of the p/u and depending on what it reads would determine where it went.
 

MikeSlub

Administrator
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Jul 15, 2001
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14,713
Rich, it’s personal preference. I know a lot of LP players live on the bridge pickup. I’m not a high gain guy, and favor the middle position or the neck position. So I agree with the comment about trying both positions and see what works best for you. :hank
 

rockabilly69

Active member
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Jul 29, 2001
Messages
2,562
Rich, it’s personal preference. I know a lot of LP players live on the bridge pickup. I’m not a high gain guy, and favor the middle position or the neck position. So I agree with the comment about trying both positions and see what works best for you. :hank

I'm with you Mike, I live on the neck pickup, and I personally think it's harder to get a good neck tone than bridge tone, but I would still try the pickup in both positions!
 

lare65

Member
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Feb 18, 2017
Messages
92
I like the thought of trying both position. With that said - a PAF in the bridge position would probably be my choice in the end because I like PAF´s in combination with some sort of distortion and when I play my neck pu its mostly with a clean sound.
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
Messages
3,713
Well if i only had one PAF i then would want a second one to complete the process . Then my next issue would be which Les Paul would i install them in ? I would also try the one lone pickup first in the bridge and then check out how it would sound in the neck position .
 

sws1

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Dec 4, 2001
Messages
2,581
Even though I probably play on bridge the most, I'd put it in the neck, as the reward of a great pickup is greater there.
 

fakejake

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Sep 3, 2010
Messages
1,210
Funny how everyone seems to assume that this PAF would automatically sound better than what is originally in the guitar...
You might find that in neither position that specific PAF gives you what you are looking for.
 

goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
Messages
7,946
Funny how everyone seems to assume that this PAF would automatically sound better than what is originally in the guitar...
You might find that in neither position that specific PAF gives you what you are looking for.


They are what they are and as has been said ad nauseum over the decades a pickup needs to suit the 'wood' it's going into........but on a general rather than a specific note the OP has posed the question for us to ponder.
Further to that, the 3 x PAFs I've used in my historics over the years were not outstanding examples and were surpassed by T-Tops, Timbuckers and Custombuckers.
Custombuckers that have been around now for 8-9 years I think are great pups.
 
Last edited:

el84ster

New member
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Sep 10, 2001
Messages
1,351
Well, i think it’s almost like asking what color to paint your house, only you can answer. But for me it would be bridge for sure! That’s where I live. And after playing les Paul’s for 20 years I still don’t know how to get a sound I like out of the neck. 😖
 

garywright

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Aug 17, 2002
Messages
14,115
Funny how everyone seems to assume that this PAF would automatically sound better than what is originally in the guitar...
You might find that in neither position that specific PAF gives you what you are looking for.

I think they were just answering his question
 

Ed A

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Jul 16, 2001
Messages
4,609
I would say try in both but I lean towards the neck because as another forumite mentioned I think its harder to get a great neck sound.... a great PAF will give you that hollow, open bright and sweet tone a bit better than any new pickup (not dissing the many great replica builders, but that is my experience)... and thats what I look for first in a guitar is killer tone and character from the neck without the mud
 

goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
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7,946
..great pafs are known for their clarity .. :hank

Yep gary in my limited experience with vintage 57-61 PAFs I'm yet to find a good'un.......like the crisper more luscious tone I get from a stock neck P90:wah
 

latestarter

Active member
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Nov 9, 2009
Messages
3,971
Depends on lots of stuff. But for fun whack the PAF in the bridge and find a T Top for the neck. Use a no-load tone for the neck. Clarity will abound!
 

korus

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2003
Messages
633
Neck is more critical position for sure.

But for me It depends on a guitar and a particular pickup, and what the non PAF options are for the other position. It is the match making of 3 elements not just 2.

And I am also sure I would use it in the other position after some time...
 
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