Mojotone PAF Clone Style Humbucker
Let me start off by saying that I’ve been using Mojotone for supplying my shop with guitar and amplifier parts and I’ve been happy with their products and services for many years. I’ve recently discovered that they are now producing a line of their own pickups and the good folks at Mojo asked me to try a few sets and do a written review. I eagerly agreed because I like sampling new gear, especially practical things like pickups.
For this review I asked my friend Phil Caivano from the band Monster Magnet to help me by loaning me his Gibson ’61 SG reissue and his ears. The Mojotone PAF clone style humbuckers fit perfectly in the standard Gibson rings. There was plenty of vintage style two conductor braided lead to reach the volume pots in the control cavity. Installation was a snap and I noticed that the nickel plated covers had nice, crisp corners and edges. I don’t like rounded pickup covers and these reminded me of the original PAF style covers. The bridge pickup clocked in at about 8.2k ohms and the neck pickup measured 7.3k ohms.There are two options for charging the magnets of the Mojotone PAF picups. One is standard charge and the other is field charge. The pickup set for review had the field charge option which means that the magnet is energized after the pickup is assembled. The entire pickup is put into the capacitive discharge energizer. The field takes the shape of a humbucker and gives a little more gain without losing clarity. The standard charged magnet is energized before the pickup is assembled. Interesting….
With the technical specs out of the way it was time to plug in the SG and give them a whirl. I used a small 30 watt, 1×12 Pennalizer amp based on the latest model I built for Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem. The Mojotone PAF humbucker set sounded very nice and clear. The clarity and note separation was the first character to catch my ear. The next thing I noticed was that they had a nice full body to go with the clarity. Not too full sounding but enough girth to let you know you were playing a nicely wound humbucker set. Balanced is a great word that comes to mind. As I cranked the amp and switched between the pickups I did not have any trouble with squealing which is a pet peeve of mine. I hate a pickup that squeals but also hate a dead, flat sounding/feeling pickup. The Mojotone PAF set had a nice liveliness to them which contributed to the dynamic feel. I strummed and picked the strings very lightly and the sound was clear and tight but when I dug in and played harder the pickups responded and drove the amp into a pleasing, overdriven distortion. Single note lines had a nice singing quality to them and chords held together without being blurred or muddy (muddiness being another pet peeve of mine). Another quality that was cool about the Mojotone PAF set was when you turned down the volume controls they cleaned up very nicely. This really works great for rhythm playing.
As I mentioned my friend Phil Caivano loaned me his SG for this review so I suggested that he take the guitar with the Mojotone PAF pickups for a session or two to get some “real world” feedback. Phil just happened to be working with a band called Ten Ton Mojo on their debut album. This was a perfect opportunity to get some great feedback from some pros in the studio.
After a week or so of tracking Phil sent me this quote in an email about the Mojotone PAF pickups:
“The pickups are everything I look for in a humbucker. Clear and punchy with a tight low end. When turning down the volume on the guitar the clean sounds are awesome. I was also very happy with the way the low notes held together on the lead tracks. No mush”!!
Apparently the Mojotone PAF clone pickups worked so well that you will hear a bunch of guitar tracks on Ten Ton Mojo’s album that will be released soon.
The new Mojotone PAF Clone Style Humbucker pickups are awesome and carry a modest price tag for the quality of the product which is $120 each. But get this….during the month of May they are on sale for 50% off!!! That’s right they are $120 for the pair! This is all part of “Mojotone’s Summer of Tone” going on right now!
Clear, dynamic, warm, punchy and overall great sounding. You can’t ask for more than that in a guitar pickup. I’m sure that the Mojotone PAF Clone Style Humbucker pickups will work for many players looking for a PAF clone style pickup without feeling like your paying through your dovetail! Check these great pickups out!!