Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Braga, Portugal
Re: Pull S2620 PAF Pros? Replace with?
It is a very personal choice.
I, personally, love the PAF Pros. I find them incredibly versatile and, in the neck position, it shakes any mud you can have on your rig, being amp- or effect-wise.
That being said, I also like other pickups. One of my favourite neck pickups is the Liquifire. I also like the Air Norton (I have several versions/adaptations of it). However, I don't tend to enjoy the "Petrucci" bridge pickups. With the exception of the D-Sonic.
I tend to prefer balanced EQ pickups with a punch in the midrange: Evo 2 is a great example. And it's an incredibly articulate pickup!
One that I'm curious to try is the Titan (bridge, or even the neck/bridge set, for the matter).
Then you have other manufacturers. You can't go wrong with a Seymour Duncan '59/JB set. You just can't!
And I'm not that experienced with BKP, but I do have a Black Hawk Alnico set (7str) and they are simply the best sounding pickups that I have!
What I'd say is... try to "listen" to what your guitar and the general tone of it, particularly unplugged. A mahogany guitar tends to be a bit less bright and more mid-punchy. But that means zip, actually.
Try to figure what you're lacking on EQ in your amp and what you'd like your guitar to do. Do you want it to drive your amp harder? Do you feel it's too bassy/muddy or too trebly/thin? Or to you need that midrange kick so you can get ever more cream out of your overdrive?
Than take a look at several pickup models, their output and EQ curve. Don't spend too much time on that, otherwise you will be even more undecided then when you started. :-) And keep in mind that pickup manufacturers will neuro-market the hell out of you!
I tend to lean towards the older models. If they are in running production for several years now, it's because players actually like them. The PAF Pro, the '59, the 81 are all good examples. New pickups are, sometimes, just marketing gimmicks.
Now, that's a rather long post.
Ping me a PM if you need more help! I'd be glad to shed some light over you.