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Author Topic: Would a PAF Master (Neck) Pickup Would Hold His Own with a Super Distortion?  (Read 983 times)

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Offline 123RnR

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Hello there!
I was just wondering if a PAF Master (neck) pickup would match a Super Distortion in the bridge? A year and a half ago, I went over to the Dimarzio side, and started with a Dimarzio Super Distortion in the bridge + a Transition (neck) in the neck. Since I have it on a mahogany Gibson Flying V, I only have a tone knob in the guitar. While I love the Super Distortion, I can't say the same thing about the Transition. It feels like ''another bridge pickup but in the neck''.  My ears are asking for something clear, bright, not so bass heavy, muddy or dark in that position, that could hold his own with the Super Distortion, but provide me a vintage experience at the same time.  My SH-5/59n' Seymour Duncan equipped guitar is one of the best, and if DC Resistance is an indicator of something, there would be less difference pairing a Super Distortion with a PAF Master (neck) than a SH-5/59n'.

I have gotten Super2, PAF Pro and PAF36 recommendations, but no PAF Master recommendations. I read that it's an underpowered pickup or something. Just would like to know your opinions on the subject. This guitar gets bass heavy on the neck, maybe something tamer on the department would do the trick.

Offline gtrjunior

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I canít speak to he Master but I had (HAD) a 36th anny neck in my LP paired with a Super D.
Like you, I love the Super D but the 36th is super thick and for me, too muddy. Especially in the lower registers.
I replaced it with a Bluesbucker and I like it much more. Itís still thick but the notes are so round and well, bluesy.

Offline 123RnR

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I canít speak to he Master but I had (HAD) a 36th anny neck in my LP paired with a Super D.
Like you, I love the Super D but the 36th is super thick and for me, too muddy. Especially in the lower registers.
I replaced it with a Bluesbucker and I like it much more. Itís still thick but the notes are so round and well, bluesy.

Hi there! Glad to see (read) you! I hope you're doing well!
My former guitar tech had a Bluesbucker, and I passed on the offer. He also had the Titan set. :(

I will research it. I read that it's P-90 like, with more output than the PAF Master, treble, and less bass. My tech also confirmed what you wrote about the 36th. He said that if I disliked the Transition, the 36th is in that direction too. Dimarzio should have left the original PAF in production (I know they're still some in the market today), and provide us with finer options to pair the Super Distortion with. I know it's a classic and some may say ''dated'', but damn! It's an amazing pickup! Proper neck pickups should be made to match his tone glory, while providing us with a more vintage, classic, not so modern alternatives for the neck position. Not everyone wants another ''Super'' something in the neck. I consider myself a versatile player, and really would love that this guitar becomes my #1 someday. It's close. Just need the right neck pickup...

Offline buddroyce

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The PAF Master neck would work fine with the Super Distortion bridge. I've been considering putting in a Super Distortion in my ESP Potbelly that I have equipped with the PAF Master set
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Offline 123RnR

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The PAF Master neck would work fine with the Super Distortion bridge. I've been considering putting in a Super Distortion in my ESP Potbelly that I have equipped with the PAF Master set

#WIN
I was worried the Super Distortion was going to ''overpower'' the PAF Master. To my ear, the Super Distortion is really like a ''hot''/overwound classic pickup. I really don't feel the ceramic thing there. It's very organic (to my ear and touch/playing). The Transition feels processed and ''fake'' compared to the Super Distortion. That's why I was searching for something classic for it.

Do you think the Super D/ PAF Master combination could work out with just one tone knob on my guitar?  I wouldn't like to move the tone knob to ''match'' each humbucker sound. Just go like bridge, neck, bridge, neck, without thinking oh no!!! This one is very dark/muddy and the other one bright, while feeling an abrupt (not complimentary) EQ shift.

Offline buddroyce

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The Super Distortion would overpower the PAF Master about as much as the original PAF. I'm pretty sure you can get away with just one tone control on your guitar although that would really vary from person to person. I rarely if ever use my tone control but there are some guys that know how to work the tone control really well.
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Offline 123RnR

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The Super Distortion would overpower the PAF Master about as much as the original PAF. I'm pretty sure you can get away with just one tone control on your guitar although that would really vary from person to person. I rarely if ever use my tone control but there are some guys that know how to work the tone control really well.

That's nice to know. According to the clips I hear, the PAF36 seems to be a darker, smoother, (jazzy?) type of pickup. I hear more clarity on the PAF Master. I also have found success with Alnico V neck pickups, and I definitely want clarity, attack, and an "alive" sound in the neck pickup. I definitely haven't had with the Transition. As I wrote on another thread here, I believe it's made for longer neck scale guitars. It's cold, dry, boomy, something that a brighter, longer scale guitar could fix. I also need that they balance well. I had a Slash Alnico II Pro set in this guitar that I couldn't find a way to work for me because of a low output bridge for my style of music (worked while I plated on a pop cover band), and because there was huge differences in the EQ. If you played the neck pickup, the tone knob could be rolled, and sound on-point. Change to the bridge pickup and it got muddy, without enough attack or clarity until you got the tone knob numbers up. That fixed issue! That means that it's a set that needs a two tone knob guitar, the Flying V only has one. I really need a pickup that could get the job properly done, balancing fine without the use of the tone knob. I use my volume knobs for clearing or gaining distortion volume, and raise the tone knobs as another volume increaser. In two tone knobs guitar, I set them...neck mellower, bridge with more attack, but prefer to not move the tone knobs.


Offline Mark

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You could wire the tone knob so that it only works on one of the pups.

I tend to want more brightness from the neck, so in 3 pot guitars I tend to use a neck spin a split, bridge volume and tone.

Offline 123RnR

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You could wire the tone knob so that it only works on one of the pups.

I tend to want more brightness from the neck, so in 3 pot guitars I tend to use a neck spin a split, bridge volume and tone.


That's the thing. I want to have tone controls for each pickup. For me, the neck is the most important one for clean rhythms, and I need to ''tame it''. I like totally rolled off neck tones, but also need the brightness for clean rhythms, chording, some leads, etc. I do love my Super Distortion. It's the PERFECT bridge pickup for me, but getting a proper neck that can balance correctly (without the use of the tone knob) is a challenge. I had APH-2 pickups on my guitar. Everybody talks about the warm blah, blah, but the Transition I have on the neck at the moment sure is WARM! I really want and need some attack on that position. That's why I always write about the brightness. It surely can help me balance out, and get the tone I need to get out of my guitar. I know every guitar/pickup relationship will be different and all is test & trial, but I really want to find the proper one for my guitar. I have liked the tone I have heard of the PAF Master neck pickup, but I believe it would be lacking output/hotness in the long run. But that's just my ears with what I have heard. I like it, but it seems it wants something a little more low output in the bridge.

Everybody recommends me the PAF Pro! I just don't want thin leads, and I definitely don't shred at all!

Offline Strobe

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One worth mentioning - I have changed it out on a couple guitars as it is a little too dark for my tastes, but the Gibson 490R neck pickup is a very warm, dark sounding neck pickup. It kind of sounds like a lot of other neck pickups with the tone rolled off. If you want something that is fairly dark, but also liquidy even with the  tone fully on, this could be a good option for you. My opinion is that it is exceptional for leads, and takes gain very well. I do not like how it sounds clean or for rhythm - like I said, darker than I prefer but it sounds exactly like what you are describing.

Offline Mark

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You could also use a concentric pot to effectively make a 3 pot guitar into a 4 pot set up. They can be fiddly to use though - IMO better for staying at one setting.

Offline 123RnR

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You could also use a concentric pot to effectively make a 3 pot guitar into a 4 pot set up. They can be fiddly to use though - IMO better for staying at one setting.

Hi! First time I read about those pots. I definitely would prefer to keep it the way it's (2 volume/1 tone knob) since I already have a very balanced guitar with a one volume/one tone knob combination. It's a DBZ Bolero with a Duncan Custom SH-5  + 59n'J humbucker in the neck. I would love to have a similar combination with my Flying V, but I still haven't had luck. I definitely want to go for something lower output and more complimentary-balanced to the Super Distortion in the bridge. Compared to the Super Distortion, the Transition (neck version) feels very modern, EMG like, dark, bass heavy, muddy, dry, and dead in the highs. I definitely want/need something brighter in the neck position, and I'm scared that the PAF36th (DP103) is so similar to the Transition that I get the same results. I was considering the PAF Master due to the attack, clarity and vibe I get from the clips I have seen; but I worry it will not have enough output or the right amount of bass to match the Super Distortion in the bridge.

One worth mentioning - I have changed it out on a couple guitars as it is a little too dark for my tastes, but the Gibson 490R neck pickup is a very warm, dark sounding neck pickup. It kind of sounds like a lot of other neck pickups with the tone rolled off. If you want something that is fairly dark, but also liquidy even with the  tone fully on, this could be a good option for you. My opinion is that it is exceptional for leads, and takes gain very well. I do not like how it sounds clean or for rhythm - like I said, darker than I prefer but it sounds exactly like what you are describing.

I have one on my Gibson SG Standard. I definitely don't want to go in that direction. I played 5+ years with that guitar (the SG), but I really would prefer something more bright, ''alive sounding'', and with more output than the 490r. Where would that take me in the Dimarzio realm? Something vintage/old school sounding preferred. Modern sounds have certain pros, but it's not the right vibe for this guitar in the neck position.

I appreciate both of your answers in this forum. Looking forward to your replies!


Offline 123RnR

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UPDATE!
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2018, 04:47:27 pm »
Purchased a PAF Master (neck) pickup on Reverb.com today.
I read good feedback on Air Classic neck and the 59' PAF.
Anyone here have experience with them?  I'm a little worried about the output thingy, and not having enough bass, but I believe is better than too much bass. 

Let's see what happens!

Offline DarthPhineas

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Found the PAF Master and the PAF 59 pups to be disappointing, based on the expectation based on DiMarzioís marketing.
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Offline 123RnR

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Found the PAF Master and the PAF 59 pups to be disappointing, based on the expectation based on DiMarzioís marketing.

How was your experience with them? Tracii Guns uses the PAF59 in the neck + Super Distortion in the bridge. It shouldn't be that bad, but I hate the fact that they're not wax potted, and are only offered in cream. Only one of my guitar could have cream, and it definitely ain't the one I'm looking pickups for.
There's not much information about those pickups...

BTW!