Tone Specific Pickups

1961 Punchy P.A.F. Humbucker Set

  • 1961 Punchy P.A.F. Humbucker Set

Tone Specific Pickups

1961 Punchy P.A.F. Humbucker Set

You Deserve The Best Tone.

  • Vintage Tone - Modern Innovation.

    The early P.A.F. pickups from the 50's are famous for great tone and infamous for inconsistent materials.  A common thought is that they just used what was available in the late 1950's to make humbuckers. By 1961 they started to produce these pickups in a more uniform fashion. There were still plenty of variance from set to set but the use of Grade V Alnico bar magnets become the norm. When they got it right, these pickups were super punchy and direct with immediate attack. There was noting else quite like these especially if you want to cut the mix and have your tone heard in the back row.

     
    We used a 1961 Humbucker as a tonal starting point. Using our proprietary techniques we've added enhanced dynamics & increased sustain. This will also enable you to hear the previously hidden harmonics from your guitar. We do this all while keeping the pickup within the vintage range in terms of measurable output. You'll notice these tonal differences immediately.  

    These are the Best Humbucker Pickups for Rock, Ska, Metal, Funk or Punchy Tone but they also work great for any Guitar that lacks clarity or needs a more immediate attack. Many Rock Musicians own this set but lots of other guitarists from the Jazz, Blues & Nashville scene improved a lackluster guitar with these.

    There is reason you almost never see these pop up for sale on the used market. Most self-respecting guitarist would rather cut off their hands than sell their Tone Specific's. If you are like most of our customers, you'll order multiple sets upon hearing these.

    Our painstaking design and testing process has yielded pickups that that sound great with tube amps, pedals, solid state amps, digital devices and even software. The Pro's tell us they are very tube-like in their response.

    When comparing our pickup to other pickups, the great players hear the difference right away.  It seems the better the player, the more excited they get after hearing our pickups in their guitar.

    Our painstaking design and testing process has yielded pickups that that sound great with tube amps, pedals, solid state amps, digital devices and even software. 

    Tonal Details:

    • These PAFs sound a little more “in your face” without losing the vintage sweetness.
    • Neck is clear & punchy but still has plenty of warmth but with zero mud.
    • Bridge Pickup is mean with plenty of cut. We make these pickups with plenty of Presence and Gonads without being even a little harsh.  It’s a delicate balance that most pickup makers fail at miserably. It’s full and clear. It sounds great to drive your amp or if you want to step on a drive pedal. It is a very dynamic pickup.
    • These pickups have a lot of punch they also work great with the volume and tone pots to alter your desired tone.

    Pro Testimonials

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    “Tone Specific makes the best pickups. The sustain and warmth is incredible. They are very dynamic, very tubey. They destroy all other pickups. They go in all of my guitars.”

    -Mike Severson, Guitarist for Robert Glasper, Phillip Bailey

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    “These pickups respond just like vintage pickups. What makes them better than vintage pickups is that each set is consistent. You don’t don’t get that with vintage pickups…some are great & some are duds.  The Tone Specific’s always sound amazing. There's nothing else like these on the market.”

    -Dan Courtenay, Vintage Guitar Expert/Buyer in NYC

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    “The sustain is really amazing. They’re really easy on the hands...they just feel right. They are so dynamic...I just love them.”

    -Mike Machado, Blues Guitarist

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    "Just like vintage pickups only better. They have this dynamic thing going on kind of like a great tube amp. I imagine this is what new vintage pickups sounded like back in the 50's & 60's"

    -Dani Robinson, Blues Guitarist (Performs Jimi parts w/Billy Cox Experience)

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    “You are a Tone Wizard. My guitar has never sounded or felt so good. They respond to my playing in such an incredible way. It's just like playing an incredible tube amp. These pickups are so much better than everything else out there.”

    -Breck Phillip, Guitarist

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    “They bloom just like a vintage Tube Amplifier. There are just really vintage sounding pickups. Super warm, dynamic & they sustain forever. They just agree with all of my amps. There's nothing else like them. I put them in all of my guitars, even my vintage guitars. 

    -Ford Thurston, Guitarist for Randy Houser based in Nashville, TN

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    “Very present, warm & fat. Big improvement over thin sounding stock pickups. They just sound huge”

    -Alexander Flock, Session Guitarist

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    “They sound great & complement each other very well. They play just like butter & sustain forever. Other pickups seem very stiff compared to these.”

    -Rob Phillips, Guitarist

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    “These are the quintessential sounding P.A.F. style pickups. They give you all of that warmth, bloom & sustain you’d expect in a vintage pickups without being overly wound.”

    -Jay Leonard, Session & Touring Pro

     

    “You are a Genius. These things make a solid state amp sound like it has Tubes in it. They have this 3-D thing going on. I’ve tried every important pickup upgrade since 1983 & the pickups are the best by far. I want these in all of my guitars.”

    -Mark Whitfield, Legendary Jazz Guitarist

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    “Hey Maestro, the pickups sound amazing. There’s more depth to these than the stock pickups for sure. There’s a boat load of sustain too.”

    -Will Brahm, Virtuoso Jazz Guitarist

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    “It's like plugging into a nice Studio Tube Compressor...you hear every nuance of every note. Tone Specific pickups are more dynamic sounding, I'd say they're organic sounding. With other pickups you don’t get that. They sound very fat but very clear.  When you hit it harder you hear the dynamics you want to hear. I’ve been trying for years and with other pickups you don’t get that. They sound like vintage pickups”

    -Leo Amuedo, Virtuoso Jazz Guitarist

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    “They sound amazing. A big improvement over the other pickups I had. I use them in my #1 guitar for gigs and sessions.”

    -Aaron Lebos, Jazz Recording Artist

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    “Amazing pickups. They really capture the harmonics of each instrument. I use them in as many of my builds as possible.”

    -Stephen Marchione, Legendary Luthier

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    “I’ve had over 8 different sets of pickups in my guitar…I can honestly say without a doubt…these are the best sounding pickups I have ever heard... Well done gentleman…thanks for ending my tone search.”

    -Benjamin Fargen, Legendary Amp Builder

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    “I noticed the difference right away. I’ve tried every pickup you can imagine and the these pickups exceed everything else. Hands down the best pickups on the market. Just pure tone…the only pickups I’ll ever use”

    -Lefty Ferguson, Nashville Guitarist

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    “It sounds like the have Tubes in them...almost three dimensional. They just sound really sweet. I don’t how they do it but they even feel sweet. Just like vintage pickups but with more sustain and less noise. They are just amazing”

    -Mike Gallaher, Legendary Guitarist - Joe Cocker, Leon Russell

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    “You guys are Geniuses. I can’t put my guitar down...the response is very Tube like..very 3-D sounding. I just played a gig with the Tone Specific’s and I got so many compliments. It’s really amazing what you guys are doing over there. You've made all other pickups obsolete."

    -Cali Freeman, Session Guitarist in NYC

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    “These pickups sound absolutely fantastic. Perfectly matched and more versatile than my vintage pickups”.  

    -Steve Ouimette, Session Guitarist - Alice Cooper, Guitar Hero, Public Enemy

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    “Tone Specific always delivers a masterpiece. These responsive pickups catch the essence of my guitars & enables the musician to create the sounds he wants”

    -Vincent Cleroux, Luthier

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    “Super warm & articulate with great sustain. The best pickups you can get”

    -Pete Mroz, Nashville Musician

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    “Your pickups sound superb…they sound great in every guitar I’ve put them in…lots of sustain…clear”

    -Dean Gordon, Guitar Builder

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    “Tone Specific makes the best pickups. The sustain and warmth is incredible. They are very dynamic, very tubey. They destroy all other pickups. They go in all of my guitars.”

    -Mike Severson, Guitarist for Robert Glasper, Phillip Bailey

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    How to Buy/Pricing

    P.A.F. Humbucker Pickups start at $500 per set - Made by hand right here in the USA - Due to overwhelming demand, the current wait is 6 to 10 weeks. To order click the "Add to Cart" at the top of the page.

    The demand from Professional Guitarists & Luthiers is about enough to sustain us but we really enjoy sharing our creations with the general public.  If you are willing to be patient, then we will be happy to make a set for you.

    Our building process takes a little longer than most pickup winders and we have rigorous testing that is performed on all pickups before they ship. This includes sound test. The goal is to make pickups that will not only inspire you when you get them but also 20 or 30 years down the road. Our goal is for these to be the last pickups you have to install in your guitar. We work hard & in a mindful way to make the perfect pickup, this is why you rarely see our pickups for sale on the used market.

    Players with good ears seem to hear the difference right away. In fact, just about every pro we've dealt with has ordered multiple sets altering hearing how these pickups transform the feel & the tone of their instrument. We are sure you will appreciate the attention to detail when you hear your new pickups.

    Want to Skip the Wait? Contact a Dealer...

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    Chelsea Guitars - 212-675-4993