Something I've been thinking about lately is what do pickups sound like? I know, sounds like a weird thing to say, but if someone asked me "what does a PAF sound like" I honestly couldn't answer that question. People say "it's a little less PAF-ish than..." and I wonder what the hell they mean!

One thing the PRS experience (excuse the pun, I'm talking the guitars, the company, the players, this forum) has opened my eyes and ears up to, is a deeper consideration of the guitar as an instrument. I now think of it as a (largely) hand-made thing, a sum of more than it's parts, the decades of development, the mistakes, the wins, each individual component and it's effect on what comes out of the output jack (yes, even steel blocks), and whole other bunch of stuff that I can't even formulate into words.

There's been some great threads on here, and I think we're lucky to have members with good ears, and the time and generousity to share their thoughts/conclusions/ideas etc with the "rest of us." They have taught me a lot, and invoke inspiration to learn more.

So what this thread is about, is, what do people think pickups sound like? What defines them? What about a pickup makes you instantly think "oh that's a...". It's something I'd like to know, as my search for "my tone" continues...

I'm talking P-90s, PAFs, 50s Strat, 57/08s, #6s, T&Bs, HFS/VB, anything!

Chris has already done a wonderful job demo'ing just about every PRS pickup under the sun, in clean and gain settings (thanks again!) but let's hear some words on them, and others (please)!

How about we start with peoples favourite pickups and go from there... please remember there's no right or wrong, tone is in the ear of the axe-holder: