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MAGNET TEST: PAF / Antiquity

howardslespaul

New member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
1,635
It's official!!!

I need not buy PAF's! Jamie(my wife) has just told me "the second one sounds better" Me-"why" J- "the first one sounds annoying...like that pedal you had" (Roger Mayer Octavia)

There it is!....folks if you'ld like my wife to critique your gear just let me know!

:)spin

:lolspin :lolspin :lolspin
 

DoobieK

New member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
880
EdA, I understand and part of my decision is based on the fact that while I do not care for high output pickups, I do like a little more oomph than the '59, Classic and other PAF copies offer. I was hoping that putting the Alnico V in the Antiquity would boost and brighten it up a bit and tighten up the lows. It sounds like this pickup is not for me in my current situation. I also dig the double note thing and pinch harmonics.

I have tried 59's and Seths. They are both very nice sounding but are a little too thin and weak for me.

If I run across a used Antiquity cheap, I may still give it a try, but at over $100.00 per pickup, it is not a high priority. I've got a new guitar I'm paying for, and other odds and ends taking higher priority.

Again though, great review.
 

jono

LPF Recording Artist
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
1,740
If this were England you'd be knighted for that work. Eventually. Prince Phil is a real LP fan. Your'e right of course, the Paf wins by a country mile. Question still remains though, In the name of Christ WHY????
 
R

RICH

Guest
I put a pair of double cream antiquities in one of my 01-59s while I was in texas, and for somebody who don't use weak pickups too much, I'm real happy with them. As far as this test goes, the PAF is the warrior, much more alive.
 

Dewey

The Czar
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
557
Great job Ed! Someday we may have the chance to a/b both our paf equipped guitars together...maybe next Arlington. If you have the dough, and the patience to find a great sounding paf, they're definitely the way to go IMO. All the paf's that I've put into guitars seem to have distinct different voices also, and when you find the right match for your wood, weight, p/u position, electrics etc, the tone is hard to match and extremely satisfying. I'd never sell mine, well shouldn't say never...but, I had my ear to the floor for another zebra lately, just because I like the white/black thing in my '99. Thanks again Ed for your time consuming evaluation, in the eternal "quest for tone";)
 

nicholas

Prince of Darkburst
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
1,648
RICH said:
I put a pair of double cream antiquities in one of my 01-59s while I was in texas, and for somebody who don't use weak pickups too much, I'm real happy with them. As far as this test goes, the PAF is the warrior, much more alive.

RICH, compare those to the Virtual Vintage PAF's
 
R

RICH

Guest
I did that already Nick, they are too damn close to call. I have the virtual PAFs in my Y2k R9, and the Antiquities are in the 01-59, and the ohm readings are just about identical between the pickups, and NONE have covers. The 2 guitars were a tad different in tone out of the box, with the y2k R9 being a little brighter, and the 01-59 being a little darker, and thats how they STILL sound. I would say the virtuals have a bit more balls, or maybe sizzle is a better word. Both guitars have CTS pots and sprague black beauties, and both have aluminum tailpieces. They both have the same amount of clarity, and the lead tones are very close. I have been comparing them back and forth, and all I can come up with, is that if you want a wee bit more sizzle/balls and only want to spend $120 a pair (in cream), the virtuals are the way to go, and if you want to spend $200+, get a little bit better matching cream color, and a SMALL amount of added smoothness (less bite), then the antiquities would be the choice. Ultimately I should compare the pickups in the same guitar, but I know what the guitars sound like in their stock form, and it almost doesn't seem worth the effort to F**k with them, its that close. This IS with my guitars with THESE pickups, maybe a hotter antiquity may be closer, maybe not, maybe different antiquities, who knows? I just can't say I favor one over the other from a sheer tone thing, not with the variables I have here. My Y2K R9 did have a tad more bite out of the box than the 01-R9, and it seems to still have it, almost as if I did actually swap pickups the end result would be the same. Tough call.
 
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Ed A

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
4,677
THese virtuals sound interesting. A bit more ballsy... I dont have any reason to buy them because I only use one humbucker guitar. But if anyone wants to compare virtuals to my PAFs, send them and I'll gladly do the test.
 
R

RICH

Guest
Yeah ED A, the virtuals almost sound like your description of a hotter antiquity, a little added something, but like I said, the guitar they are in had that little extra bite out of the box to start with, so its kinda hard to tell if its the pickup OR the guitar. At the very least they COULD end up being the poor man's antiquity, but pickups can be different from one another so I could have just gotten lucky. If you think I'm going through the shit you did, you're nuts!:lolspin :lol2
 

NewOldCokeDave

Active member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
4,945
Well, I'm usually one of those who says "WTF" on some of these sound samples, but even *I* can hear a distinct difference. I listened to the sound sample *before* I read the text, and I picked the first one as the "tone" I preferred without knowing which one it is.

What jumps out at me is that the PAF is seeming to be "breathing" and more organic. The little harmonic nuances are definitely "there"

The notes seem to struggle to get out of the Antiquity and seems sorta just lay there after the transient pick attack.

Well EdA.. You've convinced me!! I was going to mess around with my Antiquities and see if my P-100 magnets would do anything, but I'm gonna pass on that for now. I'll have to try scoring some full-strength AlNiCo IIs if I'm gonna try it...

Thanks for the report!!
 

Dave Paetow

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
13,524
Obviously there is something more going on in a PAF than just the magnet. I've got the old magnets that Dean sent me in #39, it doesn't sound bad, but they come up short against a PAF. There seems to be an upper midrange thing happening in a PAF that no matter what magnet you put in a Antiquity just doesn't happen. I wish I had Joey's box of PAFs! :lolspin
 

plaintop

Active member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
9,591
Im with NOCD. You can hear the PAF is wider and breaths a smooth woody overtone. The Antiquity is right there with tone but lacks the magic on top. ED THANKS AGAIN. It certainly clears up things for us without a PAF.;)
 

Al.

P90 Maniac
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
536
Ed A,

I agree you should be knighted for all that effort.If you ever feel like doing this again I have a pair of unused , unaltered 7/99 Antiquities
that measure 8.05 and 7.32 on my meter that you could borrow for testing purposes if you need em.

Thanks...Al
 

bluestein

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
367
Wow! What a GREAT post. The included sound file said more in a few seconds than all the previous discussions on the topic.

It seems like a well controlled comparison, and I wonder where the "swell" went to......I love the harmonic blossom at the end.

Is there some factor that we haven't taken into account?

I remember voicing a strat a few years ago...as I went down in resistance, the clarity and high end increased. The output went down too....I simply increased the pre-amp gain to compensate.

I recall a video by Ceasar Diaz where he was talking about the tonal changes related to magnetism....he measured a pickup with a gauss meter to determine if it would benefit from re-magnetizing.

I also understand that the SD antiquity alnicos are lower in magnetic field - hence the tonal change in swapping magnets.

I am curious now if we could somehow "match" the gauss reading to the paf reading, would that restore some of the magic?

I'd love to simply go out and buy PAF's...but I am put off by the fraud possibilities.

You've created a dilemma in me. I'll always be comparing my tone to the sample you've provided.

Thanks again for a fantastic post!

stein
 

Des Howl

Les Paul Forum Member, Classic Club
Joined
Jul 20, 2001
Messages
800
Very interesting shit. Now I really don't know what to do, let alone what's even in my Les Paul right now... but this sounds like a fair subjective comparison.

Maybe we'll all sleep better (get a life, even?) if we all networked and bought real PAFs...
 

Dewey

The Czar
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
557
Stein, vintage paf's have an average gauss reading about 21. When they were new they were at 25. Jim Rolph measured both of mine and they read out at 21, which he said is perfect for paf's. He charges his magnets on his paf clones at 21 and they have great reviews from several people who managed to acquire some from him.

If you or anybody is interested in vintage paf's, buy them from forum members. There are good people here, and have the real deal...no rip-offs or fakes. A few members also are in possesion of a few for sale that I know of. I've bought and sold paf's mainly from forum members exclusively, and they were always 100%!
 

toni

LPF Tone Chaser
Joined
Jul 26, 2001
Messages
1,103
Ed,

thanks a lot for all this work and good playing.

I'm very sorry...
the moded antiquities did not came to life once in this test, and i can't figure why.
I clearly hear you thinking while playing the second part "come on baby lift up please, come to life...too bad... " hee hee
pretty frustrating, no harmonics, no double tone...

Gaston has tons and tons of these harmonics and double tone...so why all this difference...

and about output, it's amazing, really.
When we tried the magnets swapping, alnico Vs were much stronger than SD's alnico II full strenght from Gaston's brand new Seth Lovers...

could it be this particular Antiquity pickup that does not sing ?, it could, maybe, i really dont know.

I'll try to email you a soundfile of my antiquities.

thanks again ! :dude
 

EdA

New member
Joined
Jul 17, 2001
Messages
311
Well its very possible Toni that the antiquity I have is a lame one. And I know the PAF I have is a good one because Ive had about a dozen and obviously Im going to keep the best sounding ones. But I think even the best Antiquity will still not sound exactly the same. Every one Ive ever tried has not given me that same (as Dave P says) upper mid thing. Im sure Gastons guitar sounds great, Ive certainly coaxed harmonics out of Antiquities before. But I think the comparison is useful to show how much easier it is to do with the PAF. Im not sure why the Antiquity was weaker with the P90V either. I just enjoyed playing it more with the Alnico II. Now remember, this is with MY antiquity, guitar and amp, so I would expect yours to sound different. Plus, Im not a pro player, Im not very well rounded. I just do what I like to do and for me it didnt cut it. In someone elses hands it could be just right. I wish I had come up with a different finding...

Id like to hear the virtuals and the Rolphs...
 

toni

LPF Tone Chaser
Joined
Jul 26, 2001
Messages
1,103
Ed,

I dont think this particular Antiquity would sound any better because you did a wonderfull job extracting the juices out of both pickups. Your particular PAF just clearly surpassed this particular Antiquity if we think about harmonics... It could not be better than this, really, great playing !
...and Killer PAF tone ! :wow

i'll send a "moded Antiquities vs Virtual PAFs" soundfile to you tomorrow. :dude
 
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heinz

Sonic Engineer
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
1,363
EdA thanks for the post, clearly the PAF does the harmonic breakup like nobody's biz. This must be a specific variable in the PAF design. For example I have a Shaw PAF that breaks up almost as much as the one in the recording, but in the same guitar other pickups don't. I have some double-cream antiquities I'm gonna throw in for comparison, but the Shaw is the shit so far. (thanks BigAl!)
 
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