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Question re: PAFs in the late 50s

6/2/2006 5:50 PM
Question re: PAFs in the late 50s
I'm kind of in a pissin' match with one of the driods on alt.guitar about the availability of Gibbo PAFs in the late 50s/early 60s as a replacement part. Now since they were very new at the time and awaiting a patent, I really doubt you could just get one to stick on just any guitar. Anyone have any insight as to how this worked back then?  
The thread is here:
6/3/2006 4:27 AM
Dave Stephens
I don't know the answer for sure but I don't think you could buy a Gibson pickup by itself until the early 70s. Maybe someone older than me might know. I know you could buy DeArmond stuff in the probably mid 60s and I think that included humbuckers, gibson stuff not real sure about. I don't think you could buy them by themselves when they first came out, but maybe special order, it wasn't common to change your pickups out until early 70s, which started when guys sold ceramic "hot rod" magnets to beef up your stock buckers, Duncan and others came shortly after that........
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6/5/2006 11:46 AM
David Schwab

I once worked on a 50's Gold Top (originally with P-90's and stop bridge/tailpiece) that someone had repainted brown and fitted with patent number Gibson humbuckers.  
I have no idea when the pickups were installed, but they looked pretty old!
6/6/2006 8:51 PM
Steve A.

    I think it was around 1973 that I had my MM routed out for a Gibson humbucker at the bridge. So Gibson was already selling aftermarket humbuckers at that point.  
    One post in your link said that someone would be stupid to buy a Les Paul and then take the pickup out to put in a strat. Here's a different scenario... fast forward to the early 60's when SG's were breaking necks and headstocks left and right. Someone with a broken SG might have pulled a humbucker off and mounted it on a different guitar, even a strat.  
    Maybe I'm just warped but it seemed to me that NOBODY was playing loud rock with a strat until Jimi came along. Strats were so "Buddy Holly"... :D Back in 1968-9, I knew just one guitarist playing a strat and the bridge would go out of tune so he never let anyone else touch it.  
    In the SF Acid Rock scene, I think that SG's were the most popular because Gibson was still making them (they stopped making "real" singlecut Les Pauls around 1960 I believe). Across the Pond, both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page were playing Teles and Esquires, which I think are much better for hard rock than a strat. Oops! Rory Gallagher was ripping up a storm playing his blues-rock with a strat, but he released his first album in 1971.  
    The next guitarist I noticed playing a strat was Nils Lofgren on "Cry Tough" from 1976... like I said I was very twisted and for me it was Gibsons or nothing. :D I did get a Mustang around 1976 and then got a tele in 1982 and eventually got a strat in 1987 (it was a Casio Midi Guitar with the body made my Ibanez- the devil made me do it!).  
Steve Ahola  
P.S. I believe that throughout the 60's a repair shop could order replacement humbuckers from Gibson, very possibly without having to send in the old one first. Unless one particular shop was ordering dozens of humbuckers, I don't think that Gibson minded at all. FWIW I worked in the parts department at Pacific Stereo from 1972-1976 and we did try to keep a handle on certain parts if we thought that we would need them all for customer repairs (the shops in each stores always wanted to have everything in stock). Then again some parts (like cartridges and needles) were really sales accessories, so customers could buy as many as they wanted. I believe that it was in the early 70's that Gibson humbuckers became a sales accessory instead of a repair part.
6/7/2006 7:11 AM
Rory was in the band Taste ,from 1966 , wouldn't have a clue when they released their first album though or if he used his strat , when did Jeff Beck use the tele with the buckers?  
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