Find Reviews and Compare Prices for:
 
 
 
 
User rating
 
4.2 (13)
 Add a review

Dimarzio PAF Pro

 
The DiMarzio PAF Pro was created when chops-intensive playing was reaching high popularity, and high-gain amps and rack systems were the norm. A pickup was needed that combined a lot of presence and "cut" with an open-sounding PAF vibe.


Price: $25 to $104 at 17 stores
Searched Dimarzio PAF Pro in Reviews
 

 

Classic tones with extra bite. featured

Comments My experience with these pickups was with an RG570ct, direct mount, alder body, through a variety of amps. Since I usually favor high output pickups and use higher gain settings, I was concerned that these wouldn't do the trick for me. I was pleasantly surprised when I played them, though. What struck me most was the clarity. Just the right balance of lows, mids and highs gave me great note articulation at higher gain settings, and better sustain than I expected at cleaner settings. I had these in both the neck and bridge positions of my guitar, and they balanced very nicely. I though they offered better than average dynamic range, and clean up nicely. In the bridge position, they have plenty of output for most situations except maybe the heaviest of heavy death metal. I simply adjusted my amp/pedal settings to add more gain. Where it really shined, for me, is in the neck position. I often find humbuckers in the neck position to get muddy, but these were clear enough so that I ended up using the neck pickup a lot more often than I used to. I recorded several versions of SRV's "Riviera Paradise" on the neck pickup alone. And, while obviously not an SRV tone, the tone I did get was just right for the song. At the time I owned this guitar, it got more play time than the Evo-loaded Jem I had at the time. It's a great all purpose pickup. I would recommend these for anyone playing covers, as they'll cover a wide variety of styles, from blues to hard rock to even (most) metal. I'm actually going to purchase another set for my JP50.


Liked about it Versatile, quiet, nice midrange kick.


Didn't like Output could be slightly higher to compensate for weaker amps.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By robochimp
Nov 03, 2013
 
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores

Superb Vintage Style Tone featured

Comments I was looking for a pickup that would give me that late 80's shredder tone, and came upon this one as the one in Paul Gilbert's early guitars. I loved some of his tones back then, so decided to try it.

For me, it was a great sound, throw on some moderate/high gain, a ton of chorus and reverb and bingo, 80's shred sounds.

The PAF Pro is super articulate and has a cool "airy" sound to it. It's very earthy, for lack of a better word. By that I mean that it has little distinct sound on its own (to my ears), it has a pretty even EQ, and a moderate notch in the midrange for the "aw" vowel sound that a lot of these kinds of pickups from Dimarzio have. However, the PAF seems to really let the sound of the guitar through, and sounds distinct in each guitar its installed in.

I tried it in two different models. A mahogany bodied Ibanez in the bridge position, and a basswood bodied Ibanez in the bridge position. While the PAF sound was there, both guitars sounded very different with the pickup installed, but both good.

For me, I thought PAF was a little low output, so it was not a permanent switch, more of an experiment. However, I did find a place for it that I love, it is in the neck position of a mahogany RG and sounds incredibly vocal and smooth there, with just the right amount of gain. In the bridge position, it just lacked the drive I wanted. It could still do a very good rock tone and I have no complaints about the pickup for that. The pickup itself is great.

It is well worth experimenting with this pickup if you're after a lower output, clear, almost neutral pickup.


Liked about it Very versatile sounding, can do almost anything you throw at it depending on amp/guitar and EQ setting. Sounds cool split with a single coil. It's a tone chameleon to me, it sounds more like the guitar you put it in than any distinct sound of the pickup in general.


Didn't like I have no complaints about the pickup at all, it just wasn't right for what I wanted. A little more output and it would've been perfect.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By blackspy
Feb 03, 2010
 
Last updated: February 09, 2010
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores

A versatile classic that still holds up in today's musical climate. featured

Comments I have a couple different views on this pickup, some theoretical, some practical. As far as the history and technology, the first JEM models had PAF PRO bridge and neck pickups. This has to say something about their tonal quality and versatility as Mr. Vai doesn't "settle" when it comes to tone. Juxtaposed against this is the fact that the EQ curve on the PAF PRO is almost flat but favoring the highs, coming in at Bass 5, Mid 5, Treb 6. Now contrast that against the Evolution pickups--the neck model is not all that different with slightly less output, but a boosted (yet still almost flat) EQ favoring the highs at Bass 6, Mid 6, Treb 6.5. The Evolution bridge model really pushes the output, up almost 33%, and with a mid-push in the EQ. So, it's fairly easy to demonstrate that the Evolution pickups were based at least in part by the PAF PRO. In a practical setting, I have this Neck/Bridge setup in my '88 FP and feel this may be the most versatile-sounding guitar I have. The variance in tones between all the positions is quite high and I haven't had any "lack of gain" problems. I liked the PAF PRO so much that when the 20th anniversary RG550 came out, I put a PAF PRO in the neck of my RFR and an Evolution neck in the neck of my DY (both have Super 3 bridge and Evolution middle) and there's not that much difference, and I dare say I like the PAF PRO better. The fluidity and clarity of the notes when soloing above the 12th fret is wonderful and clean tones shine, but don't bite as hard as they do with a pickup that heavily favors the treble like a Super 2 (also a favorite of mine). Much like the Evolution pickups, I think the deal with the PAF PRO is that you get out what you put in--they'll accentuate every master stroke, but also every flaw. I can see with today's metal and drop-tunings some might need a pedal in front in absence of a high-gain amp, but I've got no problems running this pickup straight into a Marshall JVM410H, Hughes & Kettner TriAmp MK II, Hughes & Kettner Switchblade, Marshall Vintage Modern, Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo, Marshall Haze 40, or even a Marshall Class 5. All sound great--you just need to have the chops and realistic expectations (I'm still working on the chops...).


Liked about it PAF tone with higher output.
Nice warm, glassy, fluid tone in the neck position.
Price has come down due to decreased popularity and expanded catalog.


Didn't like Not available with factory-installed nickel cover for Les Paul guitars. This should be a no-brainer.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By racerevlon
Jan 02, 2010
 
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores

Classy. featured

Comments This was my first after market pup waaaaay back in the late 80's or even early 90's.... It was my bridge pup in my Ibanez until I put in an EVO, now it resides in the neck. Apart from its obvious looks being a give away -it like the EVO are green - it really made a HUGE difference to the guitar. The stock pups were powersound generic and were muddy, when the PAF Pro was in the bridge it gave the guitar a great voice, I far nicer than the RG with USA pups I was also using. However it really is suited to the neck position with a hotter bridge too. When I initially bought it it was purely because Vai was using them in JEMs at the time and this guitar was my JEM wannabe!


Liked about it Clarity - very articulate and open.
Versatility- I have it wired so I can switch from series to single to parallel.
Tones - Powerful enough to drive an amp, not into death metal brutality but really power a good rock solo, and yet cleans up wonderfully. It can make a good chorus sing!


Didn't like This is hard! I have been using this pup for 20 odd years now. That must say something!
I think people who will buy this pup are not looking for super high output so that is not a bad thing either...


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By Shockme.au
Dec 18, 2009
 
Last updated: December 20, 2009
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores

A true classic featured

Comments Since its release in 1986, the DiMarzio PAF Pro has become a standard pickup in many people's guitars. It's since been superseded by an army of similarly voiced pickups, but it still has its place in the pickup world.

It is a medium power pickup according to the DiMarzio website, and utilises an Alnico 5 magnet. DiMarzio state that it sits well as a bridge or a neck pickup. Steve Vai's older JEM models utilised this combo, as has a couple of Paul Gilbert's PGM models.

I installed the PAF pro in the bridge position of my Ibanez RG550 20th Ann reissue. I felt it was a good classic addition to a classic guitar. DiMarzio talk about the sound of this pickup, stating that Low notes have a "snap and chunk", and that it has a subtle "aw" vowel sound, coming from it's strong mid range presence. I definitely found this to be the case.

Whilst these properties make for a great sounding guitar pickup that can cut through the mix, there are some issues I had. Maybe it's just because I've been playing guitars equipped with EMG pickups over the last few years, but the PAF Pro just didn't drive my amp hard enough.

When playing through my Blackstar HT-5 using a guitar with EMGs I get a great chunky tone on my dirty channel, with the gain rolled to 3 o'clock. Not insanely buzz-saw chunky, but musically chunky, great for Metallica, Iron Maiden, Opeth, etc type tones depending on how the amp is EQ'd. The sort of tones that sold me on the HT-5.

When using the same amp settings the PAF Pro just doesn't hit the amp hard enough. There's a bit of dirt and chunk, but not nearly at the same level as my EMG equipped guitars. I can see by this why more people nowadays may use the PAF Pro in the neck position of the guitar, but go with a more powerful pickup in the bridge position.

It's a pity though, because I otherwise loved the tone of the PAF Pro. It really makes the guitar sing with lead playing, and gives rhythm playing the cutting power in a full band situation. Splitting the PAF Pro with the single coil resulted in a great chimy, Strat-like tone as well which was glorious for clean playing and blues lead. I typically use the split with the neck humbucker for these sorts of styles, but I could easily swap to the other setting.

Overall, if you are playing music that doesn't require real high-gain tones, the PAF Pro is a perfect addition to your sound. It really sings in a way that cuts through the mix, and sounds great. If you are playing with higher gain tones then an overdrive or clean boost pedal, or an insanely high gain amp might make you happy with the PAF Pro. I decided to mod the pickup with a ceramic magnet, and managed to get myself a bit more power and drive. I've ordered a stronger ceramic magnet to try and push it more, but as it stands I'm quite happy with the PAF Pro in my RG550 for particular sounds.

UPDATE: 30 July 2010
--------------------
Since installing a DiMarzio Tone Zone in this same guitar I have moved the PAF Pro to the neck position, and reinstalled the original Alnico magnet. It has completely blown me away in this position. To my ears it has the clarity of a neck Stratocaster single coil tone, but with some added girth due to the fact it is a humbucker.

With distortion the PAF Pro gives such sparkling tone, with a clearness that I wasn’t expecting from a humbucker. It provides a truly beautiful lead tone that sounds nice and clear at the lower ends of the fretboard, where playing with a neck humbucker typically can start to sound muddy. At the higher ends of the fretboard it sounds like it sits half way between traditional bridge and neck humbucker tones.

When playing clean the PAF Pro in the neck position sounds lovely and chimy, and sounds especially nice for slower strummed passages. Once again it provides Strat-like single coil tone and clarity, while still sounding like a humbucker.

Splitting the PAF Pro with the middle single coil provided twangy Strat tones, although the 500K potentiometers installed in my guitar made it quite overbearing in the high-end if the tone knob wasn’t rolled down a bit.

The PAF Pro provided an excellent contrast to the roaring Tone Zone installed in the bridge position, making my RG550 an extremely versatile guitar. I definitely recommend the pairing of a PAF Pro with a high gain bridge pickup to provide the ultimate in versatility.


Liked about it The vocal, vowel like sound, especially when in the neck position.
* Lovely chimy Strat-like sounds when split with a middle single coil pickup.
* Ability to cut through the mix.


Didn't like Not enough power compared to modern bridge pickup designs.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By LonePhantom
Nov 18, 2009
 
Last updated: July 30, 2010
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores

A modern classic that is worth another look featured

Comments It is a bit hard reviewing this pickup. To be honest there are so many variations of it that you almost feel that music and guitar playing have moved on and it isn't really relevant anymore. It is one of the least recommended pickups that I see mentioned on Jemsite. Never given a bad review, but not worthy of special mention. You know, I think that we all might be missing something here.

Like the Super Distortion, the Paf Pro is one of the older aftermarket pickups and like the Super Distortion has probably featured in more of the music that made us pickup the guitar in the first place than we realise. Maybe that is the problem, maybe familiarity does breed contempt.

The overall sound is pretty clear, with a noticeable vowel sound. It is very rewrding particularly when you start phrasing your bends to bring that our. There is a fair amount of snap to it, particularly when you play hard, and it is absolutely fantastic at ringing chords or something heavier (think the riff to Crazy Train). It copes equally well in the neck or bridge, but possibly lacks some of the bottom end you need to get a really soulful sound.

Coil tapped they give a nice single coil sound, but again without that real shimmering clarity you get from a true single.

I have these in a couple of different guitars. A basswood Jem and an Alder custom strat. I think in Basswood they sound slightly too thin although they don't ever really get shrill which is a real bonus. In Alder they really spring to life and you get this wonderful aggressive growl in the bridge position. It really makes me wish that my guitar would go up to 11!


Liked about it Good dynamics
Lovely Vowel sound
Really usable in a lot of ways


Didn't like Not the most soulful of sounds
Possibly superseded by an army of derivatives


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By nickcoumbe
Nov 04, 2009
 
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores

Tried and true!

Comments Guitar : Ibanez RG with maple thru body, mahogany wings, RW fretboard. Bridge position.

I really like the sound it produces.. This pickup to me has very good clarity.
The pick attack is very tight. The sound is EQ'd very uniquely, this give this pickup its distinctive vowel like sound.
It cut thru heavy gain really well without sounding thin, Instead with frequencies that sound unusual, yet very sonorous and musical.
I was a bit worried about the output, but it turns out just right, not too hot, but distort very well with good chunk and clarity.
If you use medium gain amp you will need an OD pedal though..

I notice some people say the paf pro sounds thin. I have played this pickup also on my friend's basswood JEM77FP and it also sound amazing..
I presume those people use brighter wood such as swamp ash/maple.. Or they are using a bright British style amp, or perhaps they are players who don't play with saturated gain.. Because when you add gain, aside from sustain it also add some fatness (and mush) to the sound.. With the paf pro it just "click" right when you add saturated gain, like it's designed for this purpose, the mid-range come into play giving you great cut and definition through gain.
If you are a classic rock ac/dc kind of player, you probably wont notice a lot of difference between this and other hot PAF style pickup. The unique clarity is simply less noticeable -and not needed- for medium gain sound.


Liked about it 1. The sound.. It's so addictive! I have to say this is the closest I've been to the sound I'm looking for.
2. Clean up well with volume knob.
3. Blend well with single coils in HSS guitar


Didn't like 1. Split sound is a bit weak


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By bowie8889
Feb 15, 2012
 
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores

A pickup that sings

Comments I have a set of these in my 1990 JEM777VBK.

These pickups are not for the metal guitarist, I suppose. They have a medium output and never sound harsh or over pronounced in some frequencies.

But what they do: They make the guitar sing like no other. :) You can play metal with these, but more the classic style. I think this pickup is perfect for instrumental rock/metal. Every time I play my JEM, I end but playing leads with closed eyes... ;) and simply being inspired by the tone it produces. They have a big response to the height you adjust them, so you should just play around a bit with that. I have them quite far away from the strings which is giving me a more "airy" tone.

I prefer these pickups over the evolutions which came on the more recent JEMs. The PAF Pros do not sounds as hard as the Evos, in my opinion.

I love this pickup, but I give it a 4, because there are better pickups for rhythm work. But if you're mostly into lead work, don't look further.


Liked about it - in the lead channel, it cleans up nicely when the volume pot is rolled back
- the guitar "sings" with this pickup
- beautiful lead sounds
- good clean tones


Didn't like - could be a bit powerful for rhythm work, maybe.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By digitalpig
Jun 07, 2010
 
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores

Great Versatility

Comments Medium output with a slight hump in the highs gives you a great sounding neck pickup with definition and well balanced tone. As for a bridge pickup it is really interesting, especially if you tend to use a overdrive pedal to boost the saturation of the amp. It is articulate without being too thin. I use it on the neck of a JS1 and was amazed at how good it sounds on a 22 fret instrument. I also have it mounted on a Jem777VSK on both neck and bridge position and it also sounds really good. The bridge might sound a bit thin but neck position on 22 and 24 fret guitars just sings.


Liked about it Versatility, it responds really well to the player's touch even at high distortion levels. But i prefer the neck position on a 22 fret guitar, it is simply perfect for this application through my amps (Bogner, Matchless, 5150)even with boost pedals.


Didn't like Bridge could use a little bit more output but nothing major that a good clean boost can't fix in a second.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By Luthier
May 28, 2010
 
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores

Worth The Money!

Comments The Paf Pro's are very versitle they where good clean or distorted, play many styles of music and they worked for everything! They are well worth the price, i paid around 250 for the neck double coil single coil custom and the bridge double coil! There are allot better then Evos.


Liked about it The top thing i liked about this was the Pink color. I also loved the ease to install them, and last of all i liked the no buz that emitted from them when i first hooked them up! These are a great all around pickup! They work great with tube amps and are very reliable. They are cheaper then many other Dimarzio's and preform better then the 4 other kinds i have used over my guitar career.


Didn't like These kind of felt cheap and light, The middle pickup was black and came with a pink cover, wires felt cheap. I would like them to have changed the custom middle pickup to be better built and actually pink like the rest of them, but all in all these pickups are great for the money.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By verus
Feb 11, 2010
 
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores

a very fantastic sounding higher gain take on the PAF!

Comments full disclosure -- I am a current DiMarzio endorser, and proud of it. I have been using their pickups for 30 years, and my very first aftermarket pickup, which i bought in 1977, was a DiMarzio PAF!

The PAF Pro is a great pickup.....I first used them in my JEM 777SK, and liked it a lot. Has the basic tone of a PAF, with a tad more gain and clarity.


Liked about it I liked the sound of the PAF Pro a lot, and used them until I got acquainted with the FRED. the FRED had a bit more midrange content, and a "juicier" sound to my ears, especially with high gain. So I ended up replacing my PAF Pro pickups with FREDS in the rear position. However, I like them STILL for a neck position!


Didn't like nothing to dislike! i still like them in the neck position, but prefer the FRED in the bridge


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By bobbydevito
Nov 29, 2009
 
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores

Great pup for almost anything.. Best with Set neck guitars in my humble opinion

Comments I've had this in RG's, a set neck LP, etc, and I love it. It has this quality that just cuts in the mix. I used it with a medium gain amp, and used an over drive pedal in front of it when needed. It has great cleans, and sounds really pretty I thought with some stereo chorus with cleans. I used it in the bridge of an RG and it was a tad bright, but I was able to clean this up with some EQ. But, this thing really shined in a set neck mahogany body and neck guitar.. It just has this sweet sound that I just love. I can't describe it. If you have a set neck or short scaled guitar I'd try this in the bridge. If not, and you have an RG or other, it will work there, but you'll probably like it in the neck best, and using a more powerful pickup in the bridge such as the Tone Zone, etc,.


Liked about it Great harmonics and a cool awe vowel sound just like Dimarzio claims. High enough output without being over the top, and yet can really scream with some distortion or over drive..


Didn't like Sometimes in a bolt on Strat type guitar it might be a little bright in the bridge, but this isn't bad, just different. You can usually eq it out..


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By HoosierDaddy
Oct 12, 2012
 
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores

Excellent..

Comments I put it into my RG570 and the Tone was unleashed, I can get Guthrie Govan, Shwan Lane tones, While Getting Pablo Gilberto Epicness Easily.


Liked about it Tone
Great for Lead
Many Tones.


Didn't like Wish it had Screw Pole Pieces
Bit Muddy


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By Pooluke41
Feb 19, 2011
 
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No

Report this review
 
Price: $25 to $104
Compare Prices
at 17 stores
 
 
























Something wrong in this page? Let us know!
internal use: spec68 spec356 spec573