When searching for after-market pickups most of us will never get a chance to try out multiple different units in the same guitar, with the same settings, same amp, and hence really get a good idea of what the differences are.
That’s why I love these “shoot-outs.”
Vintage Guitar has done the hard work for you, testing out nine different attempted PAF humbucker re-creations, including Gibson’s own Burstbucker 2 and Classic ’57, the venerable Duncan ’59 and Seth Lover models, the Lindy Fralin Vintage Hot, and a few others.
All pickups are tested against what is arguably the true gold standard of Gibson tone––the neck position PAF humbucker in an original 1956 Les Paul.
VG stops short of picking a favorite, but give a nice run down of the general tone and response characteristics of each of the contenders.