Neck pickup shootout: Evolution vs PAF Pro in a RG550RFR - Jemsite
Pickups & wiring Discussion about pickup types, replacements, recomendations, switching, wiring diagrams and sustainer systems for ANY guitar, JEMs included.

 7Likes
  • 3 Post By Drew
  • 2 Post By Takin' a Ride
  • 1 Post By Drew
  • 1 Post By satch_jr
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2018, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 6,200
Neck pickup shootout: Evolution vs PAF Pro in a RG550RFR

I wanted something pretty over-the-top in this guitar since, well, it's bright red, so I'd originally ordered an Evo neck and Evo 2 bridge for it. I just couldn't gel with the Evo, though, so after a week and a half of wishing it was a PAF Pro, I called up Dimarzio and arranged for a swap. I shot some video and captured a DI before I sent it out, though, so when I got the replacement in I did the same and threw together an A/B comparison of the two, as when trying to make my mind up I was kind of surprised I couldn't find one on YouTube.



The PAF Pro is clearly brighter, deeper, and sort of more "alive" and open clean, though the differences in tone distorted are less pronounced than I would have expected. If anything, the PAF Pro is a hair darker, though the more open attack (IMO of course) seems to make it a little clearer and more responsive. It FEELS very different to me, though, the Evolution feels stiffer, this feels bouncier, and I'm pretty happy with it - this really is my favorite neck humbucker I've ever played.

Anyway, these are two pickups Vai used at various points in his career, and it's a neon RG, so I figured you guys would get a kick out of this. There are cut points in the description on Youtube if you want to be able to jump around quickly.
jono, JSibanez and FireEagle like this.
Drew is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2018, 09:36 PM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,746
Re: Neck pickup shootout: Evolution vs PAF Pro in a RG550RFR

Cool, look forward to checking this out. Coincidentally I just had a PAF Pro show up today that I'm going to use for the neck on my Genesis RG550RF.
Takin' a Ride is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 04:44 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: France - Strasbourg
Posts: 560
Reviews: 6
Re: Neck pickup shootout: Evolution vs PAF Pro in a RG550RFR

I used to have a paf pro in my RG in neck position but changed it for an EVO neck. To me the paf pro lacked of pick attack, I pretty much like a "ballsy" sound from the neck pickup and am since the swap happy with it. The description of the EVO on the DiMarzio website really was what I was searching for: "... The neck pickup is fat, punchy and loud..." I think it sums it up quite well
satch_jr is offline  
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 08:51 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 207
Re: Neck pickup shootout: Evolution vs PAF Pro in a RG550RFR

I've learned to love my neck Evo, but for a lot of stuff it's a bit too punchy to get what I'm going for when I'm playing a lot of funk/dance/pop stuff. That said funk/dance/pop stuff is work and isn't what I enjoy playing in my own time, for what I enjoy playing the neck Evo is amazing, and out of necessity I've learned how to tame it for the other stuff. Not tried the Evo2, I was thinking between that and a PAF Pro if I pick up an RG550 Genesis, that said I'm just about to order a Suhr Classic T so the red RG550 might take a back seat, we will see.

I was surprised on the RG550 how much I missed the scalloped final 4 frets from a Jem, wasn't impressed with the off the shelf setup. Had the guitar been really good when I picked it up I probably would have bought it on the spot, the shops loss ultimately but I think due to popularity of the model it will sell pretty quickly anyway.
BigBazz is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 07:59 AM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,746
Re: Neck pickup shootout: Evolution vs PAF Pro in a RG550RFR

Finally had a chance to check this out on the headphones to really get a sense. I was kind of as surprised by the results as you were. On the clean tone, the PAF Pro sounded a bit more open and chimey, especially on the lower strings. But distorted, there was clearly much more definition and presence with the Evolution. Which I guess makes sense considering what Steve is after. I guess I should have been less surprised. The EQ curves and output are nearly identical for these two pickups. I've also seen it mentioned that ceramic magnets are more focused and have more "speed" whatever that means.

In my quest to find a neck pickup I like, I finally reached what I think should have been obvious at the start. The classic "superstrat" is an HSS guitar and for very good reason. It's just not possible to use a humbucker in the neck position without significantly fattening up the tone. If you want more of a Strat neck tone, you need a single coil there.
mike570 and FireEagle like this.
Takin' a Ride is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 6,200
Re: Neck pickup shootout: Evolution vs PAF Pro in a RG550RFR

Quote:
Originally Posted by satch_jr View Post
I used to have a paf pro in my RG in neck position but changed it for an EVO neck. To me the paf pro lacked of pick attack, I pretty much like a "ballsy" sound from the neck pickup and am since the swap happy with it. The description of the EVO on the DiMarzio website really was what I was searching for: "... The neck pickup is fat, punchy and loud..." I think it sums it up quite well
So, I had the exact opposite impression, but I think that's more of a matter of how you and I perceive pick attack (as well as possibly our signal chains) than it is about one of us being "wrong."

The Evo is unquestionably the "thicker" sounding pickup, and is more concentrated in the midrange than the PAF Pro. The PAF Pro has deeper lows and brighter highs, but either because it's a little more open in the midrange, or possibly because the way it responds rewards and in turn encourages me to dig in a little more, the pick attack itself seems more dynamic and to jump out a little more.

So, my guess is either 1) your rig is more compressed than mine, evening out the dynamic effects, or 2) you tend to focus more on the midrange and the "thickness" of the initial sustain component of the attack, whereas I tend to focus on the brightness and the initial transient of the attack, when we think about what a pickup with "plenty of attack" is, or 3) both.

It's kind of interesting, though, either way.

Also, I was dumbfounded that a YouTube search didn't turn up a single A/B comparison between these two pickups. Seriously?
Drew is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 02:25 PM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,746
Re: Neck pickup shootout: Evolution vs PAF Pro in a RG550RFR

I think in general I do focus more on the midrange of the pickup and I find myself gravitating to pickups with boosted mids (EVO 2, Gravity Storm Bridge, Liquifire). Strangely, two of those pickups have a very rolled off treble response but I don't really perceive them that way.
Takin' a Ride is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 12:48 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: France - Strasbourg
Posts: 560
Reviews: 6
Re: Neck pickup shootout: Evolution vs PAF Pro in a RG550RFR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
So, I had the exact opposite impression, but I think that's more of a matter of how you and I perceive pick attack (as well as possibly our signal chains) than it is about one of us being "wrong."

The Evo is unquestionably the "thicker" sounding pickup, and is more concentrated in the midrange than the PAF Pro. The PAF Pro has deeper lows and brighter highs, but either because it's a little more open in the midrange, or possibly because the way it responds rewards and in turn encourages me to dig in a little more, the pick attack itself seems more dynamic and to jump out a little more.

So, my guess is either 1) your rig is more compressed than mine, evening out the dynamic effects, or 2) you tend to focus more on the midrange and the "thickness" of the initial sustain component of the attack, whereas I tend to focus on the brightness and the initial transient of the attack, when we think about what a pickup with "plenty of attack" is, or 3) both.

It's kind of interesting, though, either way.

Also, I was dumbfounded that a YouTube search didn't turn up a single A/B comparison between these two pickups. Seriously?
I guess I focus more on the midrange and thickness (I used to have a double whammy DP150 in neck for many years in that slot). I found the PP lacked of that, more than the paf joe actually, to my ears at least.
I changed of amp recently and still love the EVO neck sound through my new amp (DV mark micro 50 head + 2*12 DV mark cab).
satch_jr is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 6,200
Re: Neck pickup shootout: Evolution vs PAF Pro in a RG550RFR

Quote:
Originally Posted by satch_jr View Post
I guess I focus more on the midrange and thickness (I used to have a double whammy DP150 in neck for many years in that slot). I found the PP lacked of that, more than the paf joe actually, to my ears at least.
I changed of amp recently and still love the EVO neck sound through my new amp (DV mark micro 50 head + 2*12 DV mark cab).
Yeah, makes sense. I just think it's interesting, and kind of cool, how different people can focus on different "parts" of the attack, when deciding what they like about a pickup.
Drew is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2018, 02:13 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: France - Strasbourg
Posts: 560
Reviews: 6
Re: Neck pickup shootout: Evolution vs PAF Pro in a RG550RFR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
Yeah, makes sense. I just think it's interesting, and kind of cool, how different people can focus on different "parts" of the attack, when deciding what they like about a pickup.
Yeah I guess that's a fact that prroves that we are all different and all searching for our own tone, our endless quest.
FireEagle likes this.
satch_jr is offline  
Reply

Tags
dimarzio , evolution , neck pickup , paf pro

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Evolution Neck as a Bridge w/ PAF Pro Neck t1r12003 Pickups & wiring 10 02-19-2015 05:46 PM
Neck Pickup: Evolution vs. Breed vs. PAF Pro vs. PAF Joe IronMaidenRocks Pickups & wiring 4 06-18-2006 06:01 PM
What neck pickup? Paf Pro? Air Norton? ElectriK Pickups & wiring 7 07-07-2005 06:19 PM
Neck position: Evolution vs. Paf Pro Ralph khoury Pickups & wiring 22 03-06-2004 05:39 AM
evolution bridge + paf pro neck - > good combination? Pee Pickups & wiring 2 04-10-2003 08:52 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome