Following on from my review of the excellent DiMarzio PAF Master Bridge model humbucker, here is my review of the PAF Master Neck model. First of all, apologies for the lengthy delay between reviews and posts on my blog. My RSI has been particularly bad over the past several months, and working on a computer has been too painful for me to get onto writing. Without any further ado, here is the review!
With an Alnico 5 magnet and a DC resistance of 7.37Kohm, the PAF Master neck is the perfect companion to it’s bridge model sibling. The EQ specifications of 4..5 (bass) – 5.5 (mids) – 5.5 (treble) and low resistance create a warm vintage neck pickup sound.
I loaded the PAF Masters into my Saga PRS style kit guitar, which has a basswood body, maple bolt-on neck with rosewood fretboard, tune-o-matic bridge with roller saddles and tail piece. As usual I tested the PAF Master bridge through my Blackstar HT-5 head, running into a 1×12″ cabinet loaded with a Celestion Vintage 30.
Starting on the dirty channel, the PAF Master Neck model has a warm throaty tone that responds really well to pick attack. Soft picking yields a rounder, softer, cleaner tone, and digging in gets more aggressive. Chord work is nice and juicy with a creamy top end that works brilliantly for dirty blues and classic rock rhythm work. There’s enough articulation to let open and complex chords ring with each note getting it’s own space, and with the right touch there’s a nice musical bloom to the sound.
The PAF Master Neck offers a lot for lead guitar work. It’s aforementioned dynamic abilities offers a lot to any player that can extract the most out of a note. The guitar I installed the PAF Masters in has a darker tonal quality, so things can get a little muddy in the lower registers the amp isn’t dialed just right. In saying that, with the right settings the PAF Master Neck provides a pretty decent snap to picked notes, helping to really define each note.
Moving over to the clean channel, the PAF Master Neck offers up that classic PAF neck clean sound. It have a nice warm presence without getting all muddy, and has a beautiful chiming top end that sounds great for gentle chord work. The PAF Master Neck doesn’t ever get too harsh, even with a very strong pick attack. Lead work is nice and tasty and will definitely suit blues and jazz players perfectly.
as mentioned in the PAF Master Bridge review, PAF Master Neck works brilliantly when combined with the PAF Master Bridge. The tone thickens up ever so sweetly, with a tone that is great for rhythm or lead, clean or dirty.
Overall the DiMarzio PAF Master neck humbucker is a brilliant ode to the original Seth Lover created PAF humbucker. The bridge and neck models make for a perfect pair of pickups for anyone wanting to play jazz, blues, country, and classic and modern rock. They would also work nicely for more classic metal tones, but modern metal is probably a bit too much of a stretch. If you are looking for a fantastic sounding vintage humbucker that can easily match any of the fancy boutique offerings then definitely check out the PAF Masters.