Replacement Pickups for PAF tone

LesSGTeleNYC

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I have a 2018 chinese tokai sg custom. It plays great. It just has those cheap ceramic pickups designed for more output and gain than suits me.
What pickups should I put in there for a paf style?
I can afford to ball out and get Lollar Imperials or Duncan Antiquity, but I wanted to consult everyone here. Are there any pickups you have found to work really great on SG copies???
Also, it is a custom so three humbuckers. Can anyone talk about how this really impacts the tone? I am honestly thinking about having it taken out/still be there but not operating whenever I have the new pickups put in.
 
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DrBGood

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A screwdriver is the easiest, fastest, cheapest and by far the most efficient way to a good tone. You might replace your pickups a dozen times, if you put them back at the same height as the last ones, the problem will likely persist.

I would start by lowering them all to ring level and see from there if they are still too hot.

Can I see at what height they are now ?
 

ChubbyFingers

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I have a SD 59/Custom Hybrid bridge and a SD Jazz neck in my SG.

Other SD fans have suggested Saturday Night Specials, Pearly Gates or Seth Lovers. The latter probably come closest to vintage PAFs.
 

rabbit

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I cannot say enough good things about my experience with GFS pickups. Very clean response and articulate note to note definition... and on the neck PU!

All future upgrades/experiments I do will be with their models as they are well-built, give the nice quick connect/disconnect feature to try other options, and all at ridiculously affordable prices.

Their vintage 'brown sound' beats out anything I have loaded from stock gibsons, to seymour duncan JB/Jazz, even the seth lovers I thought I had to have. Anyway, do what you want.

 

plankton

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I never spend much on pickups. I have had good results with ones from Vanson and Tonerider. The newer Epiphone pickups, the Probucker and Alnico Classic Pro are quite good too. Like the good Dr. mentioned though you should definitely play around with the height before swapping anything out.
 

Jestixty

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The same is here
I never spend much on pickups. I have had good results with ones from Vanson and Tonerider. The newer Epiphone pickups, the Probucker and Alnico Classic Pro are quite good too. Like the good Dr. mentioned though you should definitely play around with the height before swapping anything out.
 

fernieite

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Wolfetone pickups are another great option for reasonably priced PAFs.

All of his pickups are 25% off, as well!

My favorite PAF Replicas are ReWinds, but they're more expensive. You can't go wrong with JM Rolph's either.
 
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Westernrider

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There are plenty of videos on YT about adjusting your pickups.
And some of them go into great detail about measuring ........

This is similar to the method I was taught at the local music store when I bought my first Gibson in high school.
Lower pickup to the pickup ring.
outside screws, 1 and 2, flush with the pickup cover,
screws 2 and 5, 1/2 to 1 turn above the cover,
screws 3 and 4, 1 to 1/2 turns above the cover.
This will arch the pole pieces to the fingerboard - 12" radius
Raise bass side, play
Raise treble side, play
Adjust height on bass and treble to balance overall pickup
Adjust individual pole pieces as needed.



Overview of adjusting Gibson style guitars
 

MR D

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I have a 2018 chinese tokai sg custom. It plays great. It just has those cheap ceramic pickups designed for more output and gain than suits me.
What pickups should I put in there for a paf style?
I can afford to ball out and get Lollar Imperials or Duncan Antiquity, but I wanted to consult everyone here. Are there any pickups you have found to work really great on SG copies???
Also, it is a custom so three humbuckers. Can anyone talk about how this really impacts the tone? I am honestly thinking about having it taken out/still be there but not operating whenever I have the new pickups put in.
I hear people rave about their Tokai's...never played one myself but If it were my 'SG' Standard...and I wanted it to sound as BAD-A$$ as possible?.I'd put an Alnico 5 Magnet Pickup in the Neck position, say a GIBSON '61R....and in the Bridge I'd put an Alnico 2 Magnet Pickup like a GIBSON '57 CLASSIC...adjust the pole pieces so the strings ring at equal volume (match the fretboard radius) and then I'd ROCK on w/my BAD-A$$ Self, yeah ! I have two SG's with these pickups set-up reversed on each '61R Neck & '57 Bridge & '57 Neck & '61T Bridge and in the middle toggle position they both sound great and then there is Numero Uno that has a pair of '57's and its just the best SG I ever played...a 2017 SG Standard , '17 was apparently a great year for the SG Standard...$1300 ALL-IN w/Locking Grovers, Rolled Binding, '57's and Hard shell case all Stock...compared to the 2021 SG Standard I got, w/soft shell hag bag and 490's, they are a joke, and now @ $1799 for the Modern Standard, LOL ! in comparison? if I had not had pickups ready to throw in the 2021 SG Standard 'Modern'? I would not have bought it even @ the $1550 I ended up paying w/Hard Shell case..I threw Kluson 'REVOLUTIONS' on it and a Les Tree II Tremolo and its a great guitar now w/'61R & '57 pickups.... but stock? out of the factory...it was kind of a bad joke of a guitar, (the body is also slightly thinner now as well) for the $$$$, compared to 2017 SG Standards anyway..

I would also shield the guitar b4 hand but that just me.
 


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