Howdy gang! I just received an email inquiry from a
pickup customer in the UK … asking such a fine question that I thought it would
make for good blog fodder. So, let’s get
started with the initial email, and the questions and answers to follow. Good stuff!
Hi Vaughn, … I tried Fralin vintage hot singles found them flat, tried his pafs, too nice
and soft no grit, then I tried lollar imperials loved these in my LP but the
neck was muffled which is why I replaced it with an Alnico II pro for its
sweetness and clarity, then I tried his single coils and they didn't live up to
his reputation either perhaps because of expanding his business like you said.
And I have tried others like Bareknuckle in the uk none come close to the real
three dimensionality of yours, when I'm playing I really feel I am talking
through my guitar. Will the 57 pafs still provide proper grunt and grit for heavy rock in the
bridge? Not sure how to go on the LP re: covered uncovered, and bobbin
colours.... Is covered neck open bridge the norm here? I think I prefer the
feel and tone of uncovered pups but two black might not look so good here. Best regards T
Hi and thanks again for the props! So ... on to your questions ...
Q: "Will the 57 pafs still provide proper
grunt and grit for heavy rock in the bridge?"
Well ... it depends ... Yes, if you like the high(ish)-gain tones Slash and
Billy Gibbons get in the bridge position. ...but... No, if what you are
really going for is more along the lines of Dimebag Darrell ... or even say,
Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) or Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake).
I will say that with either set, I do more
"calibration" between the neck & bridge pickups than is typical
... so my bridge pickups are always a good bit meatier than the neck (as is
required in my opinion). And, all my humbucker sets are lightly potted in
my own special system that retains true PAF tone ... but also allows high-gain
without ugly feedback!
In a nutshell:
Go Alnico II (57) if you get most of your gain from pedals
and want great string/note definition, a lot of sweet and complex harmonics,
and a magical ability to clean-up as the volume is rolled down.
Go Alnico V (59/60) if you get most of your gain from the
amp and need a tight and powerful tone for heavy palm muting with very high
Q: "Not sure how to go on the LP re:
covered uncovered, and bobbin colours.... Is covered neck open bridge the norm
here? I think I prefer the feel and tone of uncovered pups but two black
might not look so good here."
First, I love your UK spelling of
"colors" :-) Soooo .... yes, if it comes down to old chrome
over brass covers, I certainly prefer uncovered as well! However, I use
only Nickle-Silver covers, which are darn-near sonicly transparent, so go with
what you want it to look like! Personally, I prefer bare (unpolished)
covers ... they ESPECIALLY look the most authentic and "right" on
straight-up LP Bursts like yours, and they naturally age
beautifully. Open black would be fine ... like the look of so many bursts
that had their covers removed in the 70's and 80's. The one thing I would
suggest against is shinny covers, they only look right on closet-queen shinny