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Boutique PAF Clones
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JohnA
Guitar God


Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Posts: 4176
Location: Leicester UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mole Man wrote:
Does anyone have any experiences (good, bad or indifferent) to share on the boutique PAF-a-likes emanating from the following UK based pickup winders:

SHED
Cat's Whiskers
Wizard
Bare Knuckle
RD Pickups

Many thanks.

Darren


Recetly bought a set of RD P1's and they are amazing, the only Bare Knuckle I own is a Stormy Monday and that's also a fantastic pickup too.

I agree with a lot of the comments to some extent, a ?120 pickup is only going to sound a bit better than a good stock pickup if it's in a great guitar, the laws of diminishing returns definetely apply with tone, but that little bit of improvement is enough to put a smile on my face
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrillerKiller wrote:
and as for buying second hand,if they were so good why get rid ? ... dissapointment ?

and are they really better than a good stock pickup ?

and if they are,are they really worth the markup for which (after all) is 30 pence of materials ?

if a guitar doesnt "sing" acoustically,sustain forever without help,then all the money in the world isnt going to make it ...

strings, good setup plectrum and thats before she`s even plugged in

if you want a sound to mod and call your own get butchering your gear

my advice is buy a guitar you like the sound of !!! (you do try them first dont you?)


What you're basically describing is the story of The Emperor's New Clothes - if we spend $200 on a pickup, our ears hear it as being better when it might not be. There's some truth in that, I guess.

But often the weakest point of many guitars is the pickups - or they might not be to our taste. I usually find Japanese pickups rather brittle & thin sounding - every Goldstar I've ever tried (and that's a few) has sounded better to me with warmer, fatter sounding pickups. But my TE70 is the exception to to the rule - it's the best sounding Tele I've got, stock. And the Japanese pickups on a Bacchus (Yutas?) are fat, warm & loud.

People sell pickups because they don't suit their personal taste. I've bought a few secondhand and been very happy with them.
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marcusnieman
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Joined: 22 May 2003
Posts: 8773
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stratman323 wrote:
And the Japanese pickups on a Bacchus (Yutas?) are fat, warm & loud.


You're not kidding there. They also have nice mid range on the bridge pickup - not shrill and brittle like most strat bridge pickups.
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JohnA
Guitar God


Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Posts: 4176
Location: Leicester UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I'm a big fan of the Yuta's too! probably not 'Stratty' enough for some, but for my tastes they are great!

The latest trend seems to be putting quality pickups in cheap guitars, there are a lot of Chinese built guitars using SD's at unbelievable prices, like ?100 on top of the pickup prices you get a whole guitar!! SD must do some very good OEM deals.

I really try to use my ears when judging pickups, and the RD P1's are definetely a cut above the rest for that airy PAF tone I was looking for.
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnA wrote:
The latest trend seems to be putting quality pickups in cheap guitars, there are a lot of Chinese built guitars using SD's at unbelievable prices, like ?100 on top of the pickup prices you get a whole guitar!! SD must do some very good OEM deals.


Aren't they the "Duncan Designed" pickups? Presumably that means they are made by someone else, somewhere cheaper.
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DrillerKiller
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Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 45
Location: int chippy

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnA wrote:
The latest trend seems to be putting quality pickups in cheap guitars, there are a lot of Chinese built guitars using SD's at unbelievable prices, like ?100 on top of the pickup prices you get a whole guitar!! SD must do some very good OEM deals.


i`m amazed at some of these cheap guitars ...

there`s a shop near me that do pro setups on all their stock,some of these guitars are a lot more playable and satisfying than their dearer cousins ...

JohnA wrote:
but that little bit of improvement is enough to put a smile on my face


good point

stratman323 wrote:
What you're basically describing is the story of The Emperor's New Clothes


loved that analogy ...

stratman323 wrote:
People sell pickups because they don't suit their personal taste. I've bought a few secondhand and been very happy with them.


it`s a shame that people fork out for `em and then have to sell on
unfortunatley theres no "try before you buy"


you lot know your stuff
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrillerKiller wrote:
it`s a shame that people fork out for `em and then have to sell on
unfortunatley theres no "try before you buy"


Not for me it isn't. I got two SD Twangbangers off eBay for around ?35 each instead of the ?75 they would cost me new. I love 'em, & I'm glad two players bought them new, didn't like them & then sold them to me for half price.
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DrillerKiller
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Joined: 27 Feb 2010
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Location: int chippy

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

!!!!!! suppose everything has its upside
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JVsearch
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Joined: 01 Jan 2009
Posts: 2017
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrillerKiller wrote:
my advice is buy a guitar you like the sound of !!! (you do try them first dont you?)


Yeah, great, that's marvellous advice, but completely meaningless for anyone who doesn't live in the US where the choice is enormous and the prices good.

EVERYBODY buys off the internet now, especially when it comes to used vintage guitars, even more so when they're Japanese as the best stuff has to actually be bought from Japan.

When you think about it, guitars are probably one of the things that should never be bought via the internet, but hey, like Blur said "modern life is rubbish" when they built on what Pink Floyd were saying in the 70s. What can ya do?
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DrillerKiller
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Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 45
Location: int chippy

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JVsearch wrote:
Yeah, great, that's marvellous advice, but completely meaningless for anyone who doesn't live in the US where the choice is enormous and the prices good.

EVERYBODY buys off the internet now, especially when it comes to used vintage guitars, even more so when they're Japanese as the best stuff has to actually be bought from Japan.

When you think about it, guitars are probably one of the things that should never be bought via the internet, but hey, like Blur said "modern life is rubbish" when they built on what Pink Floyd were saying in the 70s. What can ya do?


how true,good guitars are few and far between,and really good ones are rocking horse sh*t ... theres no way to tell looking at one ...

least the ones with vids give you some idea

i`ll never let my lust get the better of me and buy something thats so personal off ebay again

no guitars in australlia?,least you got the weather

btw cant try ? dont buy
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Mole Man
Guitar God


Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 268
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnA wrote:
Mole Man wrote:
Does anyone have any experiences (good, bad or indifferent) to share on the boutique PAF-a-likes emanating from the following UK based pickup winders:

SHED
Cat's Whiskers
Wizard
Bare Knuckle
RD Pickups

Many thanks.

Darren



Recetly bought a set of RD P1's and they are amazing, the only Bare Knuckle I own is a Stormy Monday and that's also a fantastic pickup too.

I agree with a lot of the comments to some extent, a ?120 pickup is only going to sound a bit better than a good stock pickup if it's in a great guitar, the laws of diminishing returns definetely apply with tone, but that little bit of improvement is enough to put a smile on my face



Thanks John!

That is exactly the kind of answer that I was after. I think that it probably goes without saying here that an expensive replacement pickup is going to sound better than a good stock unit if the inherent quality in the guitar it's going into is worthy of the upgrade. The law of diminishing returns also definitely applies to other hobbies/areas of interest - like Hi-Fi for instance!

Best regards,
Darren
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mole Man wrote:
The law of diminishing returns also definitely applies to other hobbies/areas of interest - like Hi-Fi for instance!



Very true! I wonder what Cyrus pickups would be like, if they made them?
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Mole Man
Guitar God


Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 268
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stratman323 wrote:
Mole Man wrote:
The law of diminishing returns also definitely applies to other hobbies/areas of interest - like Hi-Fi for instance!



Very true! I wonder what Cyrus pickups would be like, if they made them?


Or naim? Was listening to some Cyrus CD players recently as a matter of fact: CD6 & the new CD8SE - excellent!
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Naim made pickups, they would have some daft (but supposedly superior) method of mounting them that was incompatible with non-Naim made guitars. Thanks God they aren't part of the guitar market!
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Dave_Mc
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Joined: 08 Oct 2008
Posts: 916
Location: Northern Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnA wrote:

I agree with a lot of the comments to some extent, a ?120 pickup is only going to sound a bit better than a good stock pickup if it's in a great guitar, the laws of diminishing returns definetely apply with tone, but that little bit of improvement is enough to put a smile on my face


i dunno, i changed pickups in a mid-price guitar (ibanez mij rg), and the difference was pretty obvious. the stock pickups were very mediocre, though. and i'd definitely agree that you'll notice the biggest difference in a good guitar. Something of a paradox, though- cheaper guitars won't show a pickup in its best light, but then they're more likely to have poor pickups, while better guitars will showcase a pickup best, but then they're more likely to already have good pickups. i think i agree with mike, though, i'm more likely to change pickups if the stock ones just don't suit me (i they're the wrong spec, basically).

only bkps i have is a miracle man/cold sweat set... hardly paf-types...

i really liked the swineshead condor in the neck of my rg, but i think they've stopped trading...

JohnA wrote:

The latest trend seems to be putting quality pickups in cheap guitars, there are a lot of Chinese built guitars using SD's at unbelievable prices, like ?100 on top of the pickup prices you get a whole guitar!! SD must do some very good OEM deals.


well, either that or it shows how much we get gipped on duncans... i know in the states they go for about $70-$80 each, new...
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