It all comes down to the sound

And if you just haven’t got it, no amount of hype or “vintage-correct” ingredients will get you there.

Rough-cast Alnico magnets, 42AWG plain-enamel wire, nickel-silver base plates, butyrate bobbins, mismatched coils—these and other secret ingredients of the hallowed Gibson P.A.F. pickups of the late ’50s are all in the public domain by now, and every one of the 300 makers claiming that only they know the key to re-creating accurate vintage-spec P.A.F.s has their hands on the same shopping list. What’s different, though, is that everyone else has been chasing the dream backwards. Until now.

Rather than reverse-engineering whatever random original P.A.F. you can get your hands on and throwing together a new assemblage of parts, hoping the sound will follow, Mojotone determined that the tone is king—and that’s precisely where the challenge begins, and ends. Employ components that are as accurate to the originals as is humanly possible, of course, but make your guiding star the sound of the best vintage P.A.F.s you’ve ever heard, use the best ears in the business to chase it, and the results will be clear when you get there, and clearly heads above the rest.

Introducing the Mojotone Premium Historic Limited 59 P.A.F. Humbucker  a  limited-release pickup that represents years of extensive tone-first R&D aimed firmly at delivering the most accurate and best sounding reproduction P.A.F. available anywhere. Mojotone’s entire pickup team put its ears to the task, but those ultimately responsible for the final result belong to our chief pickup designer, David Shepherd, an engineer known to have the highly refined “ears” of a great producer or one-in-a-million musician.

Many guitarists have the sound of a great vintage P.A.F. in their heads—gorgeous articulation, rich harmonic overtones, a seemingly impossible marriage of muscularity and clarity, and broad dynamic range and responsiveness to touch—but you can spend tens of thousands of dollars acquiring original late-’50s Gibson humbuckers without ever landing a truly good one. David’s stellar achievement is two-fold: He identified the most desirable characteristics of a handful of the very best vintage P.A.F.s, and reproduced them accurately and consistently, populating an inspiring and perfectly balanced set of neck and bridge humbuckers. These pickups are primed to deliver the deeply expressive sonic delights of a magical one-in-a-hundred vintage P.A.F., time and time again, at a price any hard-working guitarist can afford.

The parts do matter, of course, so using the essential, carefully sourced vintage correct components, David painstakingly experimented with winding patterns to find the perfect combination of elements to achieve the tone that makes your guitar come alive. He also replicated the offset winding and unpotted coils that he had found on original P.A.F. examples that he liked most, and we believe he hit the bulls-eye dead center with the results.

David wanted a neck pickup that was clear and not tubby, and one which would match the volume of the bridge pickup. In his research, David found that many modern and even some vintage pickups tended to be muddy and almost muffled sounding in the neck position. He also observed that, because of where these pickups physically sat on a guitar, there was a perceived jump in volume in the neck position when you switched from the bridge position. To solve this, David underwound the neck pickup to around 7k ohms DCR. This gave the pickup the clarity and liveliness he was looking for—and the sonic result is beautiful.

In the bridge position he wanted a pickup that would have a clear, bell-like quality that would be able to be pushed when needed. This pickup also needed body and warmth, but again should never get tubby or muddy. Clarity, responsiveness, and a delightfully musical harmonic complexity were the primary qualities David sought, and we think he found the sweet spot. He wound this pickup to around 8k ohms DCR, and the combination of vintage-correct parts and the offset windings produces the perfect P.A.F. tone David was looking for.

Paired together, we are confident that the Mojotone Premium Historic 59 P.A.F. Humbuckers are the most responsive and articulate sounding, vintage-correct reproduction P.A.F.s on the market.

Mythological Tone without a Mythological Price:

While this Limited Production Run P.A.F. Humbucker Set bears all the hallmarks of a boutique pickup, we are offering them for the unheard-of price of $249.95 a set. Why? Because in today’s dollars, that is equal to about what the original P.A.F.s would have cost in 1959. How’s that for an authentic reproduction?

So that’s our pitch: Authentically spec’d, accurately reproduced, affordably priced, and amazing sounding vintage P.A.F. Humbuckers, handmade in the USA. All in an effort to get you the Vintage P.A.F. tone you want, and for us to earn your support and admiration.


The Details That All Add Up

BOBBINS-

Each Vintage-Correct White Butyrate Bobbin is molded out of the original butyrate plastic material used in P.A.F. humbuckers. Our mold was made using a 3D scan of original P.A.F. bobbins to ensure the exact dimensions and details. They even smell like the originals!

MAGNETS-

The rough-cast bar magnet is hand poured using the same chemical composition and dimension as our original Alnico 2 P.A.F. magnet sample. We are lucky to own several different vintage Gibson magnet samples from the ’50s and this particular magnet demanded the most attention when comparing them in our shop.

POLEPIECES & SLUGS-

Our polepieces were cloned from an original polepiece screw using the vintage correct alloy, size, and head shape. Each slug is machine cut one at a time from the same vintage alloy with the correct vintage bullseye look.

KEEPER BAR-

This is the shoe that surrounds and evenly magnetized the polepieces. The type of metal, the size, and how it was produced was carefully replicated to the original spec and proper details.

BASEPLATES-

Made from vintage correct German nickel silver material, with long mounting legs and polepiece holes that are hand tapped and threaded just like the originals.

WINDING-

We found many of the original P.A.F.s had mismatched coils, because both coils were wound on different machines. Each machine produced slightly different turns per-layer and sometimes a different total number of turns. After performing many rewinds of original P.A.F.s, we have documented what these differences were, and the impact they have on the sound of our pickup.

COIL WIRE-

Each coil is wound using our custom-made vintage spec 42AWG plain-enamel wire, which was specifically made with the same chemical compounds and specifications found in vintage P.A.F. coil wire. It’s very expensive to make and hard to get, but we know this dark purple vintage insulation is critical in authentically replicating true P.A.F. tone.

LEAD WIRE-

This is a small detail, but like all details they add up as a whole to make a big difference! Our external braided wire was custom made to have two strands like the original wire. Compared to the modern production external braided wire that has three strands, there is less capacitance per-foot in the two-strand wire. We believe this does impact the tone and contributes to the overall clarity of vintage P.A.F.s, and our reproductions.

SPACERS-

Maple wood spacers were used in the original P.A.F.s to act as a shim for the bobbins, but many believe this small detail was a key part of the magic. So of course we spared no expense and cut our own maple spacers in-house, to be faithful to the originals.

LIMITED EDITION “LIFTON” STYLE PACKAGING-

To top it all off, we sourced materials and created a box that replicates the look of the original ’50s “Lifton” Cases that would have housed the guitars of the era that these P.A.F.s are based on.         

Specs:

  • Around 7k ohm DCR Neck Pickup (Actual readings may vary slightly due to the nature of copper wire)

  • Around 8k ohm DCR Bridge Pickup (Actual readings may vary slightly due to the nature of copper wire)

  • Vintage-Correct White Butyrate Bobbins

  • Field-Charged Rough Cast Alnico 2 Magnets

  • Vintage-Correct 49.2mm Spacing

  • Long-Leg Nickel Silver P.A.F. Mounting Frames

  • Wound with Mis-Matched Coils Like the Originals

  • Vintage-Correct 42AWG Plain Enamel Wire

  • Vintage-Correct Two-Strand External Braided Leads

  • Vintage-Correct Slotted Mounting Screws and Springs Included

  • Lifton-Style Solid Pine Brown Box with Original ’50s Pink Case Liner



Product Specs

Condition
Brand New (New)
Brand New items are sold by an authorized dealer or original builder and include all original packaging.learn more
Brand Mojotone
Model Premium Historic Limited ’59 P.A.F. Humbucker Set
Categories Guitar Pickups
Year 2019
Made In United States

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We ship all paid orders within 2 business days, unless the item mentions a lead time in the listing, such as Mojotone Pickups ( which usually have a 3 to 5 day lead time ) or Mojotone Cabinets (most cabinets are in stock as pictured or will ship within 2 weeks ). Our amplifier kits have an average production time of 3-4 weeks.

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We unfortunately do no accept returns on speakers or tubes.

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Burgaw, NC, United States
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Mojotone Premium Historic Limited '59 P.A.F. Humbucker Set
$249.95
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