So you are looking to replace your humbucker with a Hot PAF but you are unsure where to start? You have come to the right place.
In this guide, we go over some of the most coveted high output PAF pickups available from all the large household brand names as well as some boutique Hot PAFs that might be a great choice depending on your budget.
What makes a hot PAF?
The original PAF pickup had an output of around 7.7k ohms, while today there are several high output PAF pickups with a lot more than that. Although the PAF was not intended to be a very high output pickup, since they were hand-wired some of them actually came hotter than expected out of the assembly line. This means some of those original PAF pickups actually had outputs close to 9k ohms.
Best Gibson Hot PAF
Gibson Burstbucker Type 2 and 3
Although the Gibson Burstbuker 2 and 3 are not really high output PAFs, they do have more output than most of the original PAFs were supposed to have. The Gibson Burstbucker type 2 and 3 were designed to produce more output and to get you those crunchy tones. Both of them are above 8k ohms and deliver a solid tone at a reasonable price. They retain most of the tone of the vintage PAF while still being more punchy.
Here is a comparison between both:
Gibson Burstbucker Pro
The Gibson Burstbucker Pro is also a hot version of the original PAF. The biggest difference to the original PAF is that it uses the Alnico V magnets instead of the original Alnico II. This gives you a fuller tone and obviously more output. While still having a great clean sound, that is both mellow and versatile.
Gibson Dirty Fingers
If you are aiming for the hottest PAF style pickup, that is made by Gibson then the Gibson Dirty Fingers are the choice for you. This is perfect if you really want that high gain tone and high sustain, and it is a great choice for shredders and for heavy rock, and metal. This is the hottest PAF style Gibson pickup, and if you want the highest output PAF you should consider this.
I have been playing guitar for the past 15 years, and my knowledge and passion for guitars prompted me to start Guitaresque to share my knowledge, tips, and tricks with other guitar players. The sole purpose of this website is to help and inspire guitar players worldwide, to improve their playing and their love for guitars.