Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 42

Thread: PAF: the unHoly Grail.

  1. #21
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Creve Coeur, MO
    Posts
    5,992
    You had me at unholy.
    Plank Owner

  2. #22
    Senior Member Audie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    521
    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Well, this may or may not be the case, since there are folks who have gone so far as to have metallurgists examine the composition of the wire and metal parts, and who claim to go further to duplicate what was available in the 50s than Duncan has gone. There is no mystery to the design of a humbucking pickup. It's not like Seth Lover had some deep dark secret to the humbucking pickup. The patent application contains all the details.

    You say it all right here with your last three sentences, which puts the metallurgist in the weeds with the nerds.

    Actually, Seth Lover was employed by Gibson to design the pickups. The revenue for such a design goes to the employer but the employee signs a written agreement to the employer relating to the patent. The patent application is also in the name of the employee, with the assignment to the employer listed. Same with individuals who are hired by a company to work on a specific thing for the company on a per-project basis. Thus it is also true for a "commissioned invention" as it is for an employee hired to invent a specific product.

    This understanding is very basic to patent law, and in fact has been the case since at least the Civil War.

    Again, Did not say anything to the contrary. And yes, Their is a well known rift though that was well documented between Gibson and Seth.

    It is similar to copyright law in the case of a "work made for hire," only in the case of the copyright law there is no written assignment or release required; in that case, the law operates automatically. Why does this make sense?

    The thinking behind it is that companies are encouraged to hire people to invent things, to pay them salaries for lengthy periods of time, to make significant investment in laboratories and research, in some cases tens of millions of dollars, which constitute risk, to achieve the rewards of the things they invent. This kind of investment would not take place if the company taking this risk did not ultimately own the patent.

    And frankly, the world would not be better off. Imagine companies not being encouraged to do research into medicines, computers, aerospace, automobiles, and other modern products!!! The ownership of the patent, and the right to profit from it, is the carrot at the end of the stick for investors and companies who engage in research!

    I did not say anything about better off, that would be your testimony counsel.


    Does anyone think for even ten seconds that some guy in his garage or basement has the equipment and investment necessary to create something like a sophisticated new breakthrough in biologics? Medicine? To create something like an MRI?

    This is why Stephanie Kwolek, the inventor of Kevlar, doesn't own the patent for the product she was paid to discover in her experiments, DuPont does. You don't hear her bitching about it, either. She loved working for DuPont and appreciated the reward of not having to invest in a lab, create a marketing team, raise capital, etc., that individual inventors not backed by companies are forced to do.

    And to be paid a salary while she was free to work on her ideas.

    Same goes for a huge number of other products. Inventors need jobs and time to create their inventions. Companies need inventions to spur their trade and commerce, and it is obvious that they need to own the inventions they pay people to experiment on.

    It's a two-way street.

    Most patents in the 20th and 21st centuries have gone to companies who are paying the employee a salary in exchange for their work, and not to the individual employees of the company who actually create the patentable item. And most patents do not go to individual inventors.

    Seth Lover was not somehow ripped off by Gibson. And at some point he obviously had the right to reproduce his design for Duncan despite Gibson's patent.

    Never said he was, he just designed the best pickup ever and was consumed by capitalism. Such is life.

    The fact that Seymour Duncan licensed Seth Lover's name to sell pickups and to allow the man and his heirs to profit off his design is a very nice, and gentlemanly, thing to do. I admire that. But let's not delude ourselves into thinking that was somehow necessary to replicate the PAF in every detail.

    Seymour and Seth found each other on this venture by mutual respect for their craft. Their plan was do it right or not do it all. Seth did not like that Gibson altered his design in the mid sixties. He did not like all the mis info and drama about something that was to support music.


    To anyone who thinks this is unfair, imagine a movie, an art form that requires the collaboration of hundreds of individuals, many of whom create original works for use in the film. Scripts, set design, film shooters, makeup artists, musicians, and many others, all creating original works that are subject to the copyright laws.

    Definitely not unfair, just business. Maybe a little ruthless and less than gentleman like, but business just the same.

    Now imagine if in addition to paying these people, the film makers had to pay them copyright royalties as additional costs every time they ran the film. This would literally be required.

    Forget for the moment the monumental accounting nightmare, you have teams of folks collaborating in different ways, and they'd all sue each other and the film company over it. Films would be so expensive to show that making them would be nearly impossible, and a lot of people would be out of work.

    As a practical matter, the "work for hire" provisions of laws like this make things like films, television productions, radio productions, magazines, newspapers, for-profit blogs, and many other ventures possible and practical. Same with records, because it goes beyond writer and publisher; the recording of a creative work is a separate creative work. Who'd own it? The engineer? Gosh, that would be great, my son would make as much as 30 Seconds to Mars for their most recent record! Wooo! Hey, it makes sense to me...

    The same is true for companies who want to come out with new and improved products.

    I'll get off my soapbox now, but it always amazes me that people buy into the idea that there is some kind of grand conspiracy to deprive guys who create products for companies of their just desserts. Because clearly they have not given serious consideration to what is necessary for a business to actually operate and innovate.
    Bottomline, the PAF is still available as it was originally in a Gibson. Gibson does not like that and many purist do not either. As you said a pickup is not rocket science. Seth told Seymour what parts and wire to get and what to pay attention to and the rest is, well, it just is...

    I like your passion Les, you should get back in the courtroom

  3. #23
    Mostly Normal AP515's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    843
    PAF's, I'v not heard them up close and personal. So PAF to me is something figurative in my head. It is what I want PAF to sound like, and it probably isn't what the PAF really did sound like.

    Who says that the PAF (the first humbucker to reach production) was somehow the best possible configuration for magnetic field disturbance sensors? Was the first internal combustion engine the best ever invented? Was the first anything the best version to be invented? Usually not. Now I think Seth did a terrific job. And I think the idea that SD Seth Lover pups should be used as a standard is a genius idea. I have a pair, and they do sound like what my mental PAF is supposed to sound like. But I doubt that the SD Seth's are exact reproductions of his PAF's from the 50's despite what they say. They are close I am sure, but probably better; even much better. We all know that the windings were not consistant from the start, so there is no way for Seth to tell you what the exact number of winds needs to be. I am sure he got these where they sounded like he remembers after 50 years and he said "make that the number of winds". I bet he experimented a good while and found a sound that reached the heights of what the best PAF's did and maybe better. Would he stop at some intermediate sound and say "well that is what we had so build it even though this other one sounds better"? He found the best sound he could during development of the new Seth and he said "that's the sound" regardless of what the originals really did sound like. It is just the way we as humans think.

    My sound doesn't have to come from a PAF pup. I've had a number of good guitars. I have kept the ones that sound the best to me and even though some had the same pickups, the others have gone to someone else who thought they had the sound they wanted. My sound happens to sound a lot like my Bernie with Seth Lover's does. Warm, clear, lots of overtones. The guitars I have kept have that sound coming from an HFS/Vintage, Dragon 1's, SC245's/Mira's, 57/08's, Starla's, #7's, and T&B's. Not a who's who of PAF pickups. Maybe it's more how I use them than anything.
    1988 CE24, 1995 CE22, 2000 SC, 2003 Standard 22, 2003 Cu24 AP, 2006 Cu24 AP, 2006 SC AP, 2007 CuRo22, 2010 Mira
    2007 SE Soapy 2, 2010 SE 25th Anni Cu24, 2012 SE Bernie, 2013 SE Angelus Custom

    PRS 2 channel "H", PRS SE50, Mesa RectoVerb, Mesa Lonestar, Fender HRD

  4. #24
    Classic Rocker prsrocker1988's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    676
    PAFs.... I like the good ones...

    But if you gave me the choice of owning a Burst with new pickups, or having a new LP with PAFs, I'd take the old one with new pickups.

    I definitely like a lower output pickup but to me I can't put all of the eggs in one basket and say PAFs are the only reason Bursts sounded so good. A lot of it is the construction and aging and wood from that time.

    But for me I think PAF's are very inconsistent. I've had the thrill of playing two Bursts with them, both Bursts were outstanding but one definitely sounded better plugged in than the other and it was the pickups. One set was dramatically different in spec and output than the other.

    For me when it comes to amazing tone from the classic rock heyday, the sum is greater than the parts and you have to factor in the amp and effects used and also the recording process (mics, eq, gear). And in terms of live tone, the amp and micing techniques for sure.

    I love the 57/08s personally. I use them in a not-so-classic rock guitar (CU24) and they still come across like all the great recordings I love with the right amp.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Audie View Post
    I like your passion Les, you should get back in the courtroom
    Audie, that's a great compliment, thanks!

    However, I won't go back.

    I want to go out swingin'. Like Benny Goodman.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 04-09-2014 at 11:13 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  6. #26
    Kingsley, I dug your demo! Both guitars sound really great, by the way.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  7. #27
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Downers Grove Il.
    Posts
    7,997
    Quote Originally Posted by kingsleyd View Post

    Who cares what the sticker sounds like when you got licks like these?

  8. #28
    Senior Member kingsleyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    350
    Quote Originally Posted by AP515 View Post
    Who says that the PAF (the first humbucker to reach production) was somehow the best possible configuration for magnetic field disturbance sensors? Was the first internal combustion engine the best ever invented? Was the first anything the best version to be invented? Usually not.
    That's a much trickier question than it appears on the surface.

    For one, what is "best"? Who determines it, and according to what criteria? Personally, I would love it if the concept of "best" could be stricken from everyone's vocabulary, at least when applied to anything relating to music and/or gear. It ends up doing a lot more harm than good to constantly chase after, or think in terms of, "best."

    The PAF, like everything else in the world of guitars that happened in the 1950s, was the product of all sorts of elements that are simply "what was available at the time." All the component parts. The way things were built. The people who built things. The people who managed the people who built things. The people who designed things. From one perspective, you have to say "man, all those people at that time were *blessed*, 'cos what they did, what they built, still stands up today in terms of being functional, great-sounding instruments."

    Of course a whole lot of the reverence from that stuff ends up being because of what musicians did with it. The Three Kings. Clapton-Bloomfield-Green-Allman-Page-Gibbons-etc-etc-etc-ad-infinitum. Chicken/egg, maybe? Would Clapton have stood out regardless? Hard to say, but count me among those who hear the sound of the lead guitar on this and get all warm & runny inside.



    As for the variability among PAFs, well, part of that is because stuff wasn't made to quite the same tolerances then as it is now. Part of that is because the people building the things did things in a less tightly specified and controlled environment. Certainly there are some that don't sound so, ermm, magical, (which is also a function of failure-over-time, which happens to mostly everything that humans build) but I'm not sure it's an especially high percentage. It does (and should) give anyone pause from simply assuming, "hey, I'm gonna buy a pair of PAFs on the open market and throw 'em in my guitar and it will sound just like [name favorite recorded example here]." In my experience, that only works if (a) you are very familiar with the seller (and s/he with you) and (b) you have a guitar (and ancillary gear) that will be well-served by those particular pickups. If those two aren't true, well, can you say expensive crap shoot?
    Last edited by kingsleyd; 04-10-2014 at 09:32 AM.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by kingsleyd View Post
    Of course a whole lot of the reverence from that stuff ends up being because of what musicians did with it. The Three Kings. Clapton-Bloomfield-Green-Allman-Page-Gibbons-etc-etc-etc-ad-infinitum.
    This was something I also said and completely agree with.

    In the world of instruments, things become benchmarks when we hear them over and over on recordings by good players.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  10. #30
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    1,457
    As a young person who has had zero opportunity to play an original PAF loaded guitar, I can honestly say, I lose no sleep at night at the prospect of playing PRS guitars and never owning a holy grail vintage instrument. The tones are great, and there comes a certain point where you just have to stop cork sniffing and play the damn thing. Plus I'm sure the new PRS stuff is more reliable and less delicate.
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow - SE Akesson+57/08's - Mira X - SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE 30 Head/Cab

  11. #31
    Senior Member kingsleyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    350
    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    This was something I also said and completely agree with.

    In the world of instruments, things become benchmarks when we hear them over and over on recordings by good players.
    I do think, however, that it's a mistake to think that's all that's going on. Those guys chose those guitars over other available-at-the-time guitars for a reason. In particular, rather than play current-model Gibsons, they chose to play a discontinued model. Hmmm... ...of course, what was available as a current model in 1966 is a pretty different thing from what is available as a current model in 2014. And thank goodness for that!

    Just in case anyone is thinking this is a new thing in music, here's a read for you. It's a scholarly article that tries to get at the evolution of why the violins built in Cremona, Italy in the late 17th and early 18th centuries are so widely revered. In the process, they spend a lot of time exploring how it is that knowledge-in-the-field is developed and expanded -- or, in some cases, lost -- over time. Gives you some perspective on why Paul Smith might have been so driven to cultivate a relationship with Ted McCarty, and why it's such a good thing that he did.

    It's a very dry and scholarly article, but stick with it. There are some really telling quotes included in places that I guarantee will have a familiar ring to anyone who's spent any time around these guitar forums.

    http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~rdunbar/...uecreation.pdf

  12. #32
    Senior Member kingsleyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    350
    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    As a young person who has had zero opportunity to play an original PAF loaded guitar, I can honestly say, I lose no sleep at night at the prospect of playing PRS guitars and never owning a holy grail vintage instrument. The tones are great, and there comes a certain point where you just have to stop cork sniffing and play the damn thing. Plus I'm sure the new PRS stuff is more reliable and less delicate.
    Nor should you. The great thing about guitar-based music is that it's still very much about having something to say and having your own sound. Despite the attempts of some to classicalize it so that the only proper sound and way to play is represented by Mr. Clapton, or Mr. Ford, or any of those players who the Tone Nazis decide is the best.

    On the other hand, as a young guy, realize that a big chunk of your life is still ahead of you. Don't be afraid to explore and learn new things. Or learn from old things. (and old dudes)

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    As a young person who has had zero opportunity to play an original PAF loaded guitar, I can honestly say, I lose no sleep at night at the prospect of playing PRS guitars and never owning a holy grail vintage instrument. The tones are great, and there comes a certain point where you just have to stop cork sniffing and play the damn thing. Plus I'm sure the new PRS stuff is more reliable and less delicate.

    I was thinking almost exactly this. All I know is the 57/08's kick much ass and the playability of my MC-58 and SC 58 destroys my R8 which is the closest I'll get to owning a vintage Gibson. They sound different but they are awesome. Period.
    Weapons Acquired: 2005-20th Anniversary Custom 22 2006​-Custom 22 2006-McCarty 2008-Chris Henderson 2009-Ted McCarty SC 245 Soapbar 2010-Tremonti 2010-25th Anniversary Modern Eagle III 2010-Modern Eagle Quatro 2011-PRS Experience Custom 24 2011-SC-58 2011-McCarty 58 2011-Angelus Custom 2011-85 Throwback 2012-DGT 2012-Custom 24 (Hand Signed Headstock Logo) 2012 Private Stock #4029 2013-Paul's Guitar AMP-PRS CAD Blistertone 50

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by kingsleyd View Post
    I do think, however, that it's a mistake to think that's all that's going on. Those guys chose those guitars over other available-at-the-time guitars for a reason. In particular, rather than play current-model Gibsons, they chose to play a discontinued model.
    Yes. That's why they chose them. There are a lot of reasons things happen the way they do; I don't want to oversimplify.

    But a lot of later players chose them because the songs they loved had those instruments, too. And that's how something goes from a good instrument to a tonal icon.

    Frankly, Gibson and Fender both made very high quality instruments and it's no wonder that players chose them. Lots of factors.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  15. #35
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    868
    Kind of related, George Gruhn on fads in the vintage market. Tastes change in guitars and even pickups.
    http://www.gruhn.com/newsletter/vintagemkt4.html
    Last edited by NomadMike; 04-10-2014 at 02:56 PM.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by kingsleyd View Post
    Despite the attempts of some to classicalize it so that the only proper sound and way to play is represented by Mr. Clapton, or Mr. Ford, or any of those players who the Tone Nazis decide is the best.
    Here the astute reader can observe a gaggle of Tone Nazis in their natural habitat:



    All were convicted of crimes against humanity as a result forcing Allied prisoners to listen to accordion music.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  17. #37
    Auth. PRS Dealer GC Ron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    137
    Bet you I can make them all sound the same. Just ask Dane.
    Ron Lucas
    Guitar Center Cincinnati
    ronald.lucas@guitarcenter.com
    513-671-4555

  18. #38
    PRS Convert FennRx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    South of Heaven
    Posts
    150
    Quote Originally Posted by NomadMike View Post
    Or in many cases, marketing creates the legend and illusions.
    This is so true and so appropriate it's like it was posted tongue in cheek

  19. #39
    Senior Member kingsleyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    350
    Quote Originally Posted by FennRx View Post
    This is so true and so appropriate it's like it was posted tongue in cheek
    Well the marketing/illusion thing might be another chicken/egg relationship.

    There's an observable trajectory where some people's hard-won, experience-based knowledge gives rise to a widely-told legend which becomes another person's illusionary belief system which becomes a marketer's target. The speed with which that trajectory happens, in these days of electronic communications, can be mind-boggling for us AARP members who remember when information about guitars and guitar-related stuff was hard as hell to come by.

    It's all a matter of perspective.

  20. #40
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Downers Grove Il.
    Posts
    7,997
    Quote Originally Posted by kingsleyd View Post

    There's an observable trajectory where some people's hard-won, experience-based knowledge gives rise to a widely-told legend which becomes another person's illusionary belief system which becomes a marketer's target.
    There are so many small and relatively rare issues that are now considered to be attributes that ALL examples of certain musical instruments/hardware seem to now have because of the internet.... It's like I don't even have to try anything for myself anymore before passing judgement on it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •