PAF (pickup)

PAF (Pickup)

Guitar Pickup
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PAF (pickup)

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P.A.F. or just PAF is the world's first humbucker guitar pickup, invented by Seth Lover in 1955 as an engineer for Gibson and began use in mass production guitars in 1956 or 1957. However Rickenbacker and Gretsch had developed humbucking pickups also. Rickenbacker released theirs in 1953 but discontinued it in 1954 because of the 'distortion' it caused.

The strange name (PAF) of the pickup was not intentional. Gibson and Seth Lover first filed a patent on the design on June 22, 1955. After that, Gibson Les Pauls were equipped with these new pickups, with a sticker on a bottom plate of a pickup that said Patent Applied For. A patent was eventually issued on July 28, 1959. Since it took more than four years to get a patent number, the unnamed pickup had been dubbed "PAF" by many guitarists in that period during which the pending application and this naming continued even after the patent had been issued.

PAF pickups can usually be identified by their look: they have two internal coil bobbins under a 1.5" x 2.75" metal cover with one bobbin having a row of six adjustable pole pieces, with the other bobbin having non-adjustable pole pieces. Standard PAF pickups had 5000 or so turns of wire on a bobbin and a DC resistance of 7.5 kΩ (early pickups range from 7.5 kΩ to 9.0 kΩ).


The range of 1956-1961 is usually dubbed the era of early PAFs. These pickups were first used on lap steel guitars in 1956, on Les Paul Gold Top, and Les Paul Custom electric...
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