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Masterwound ‘The Last Word’ humbucker

Above: a Last Word humbucker on my bench, showing the unique tooling patterns found on genuine 50s PAF covers.

I’ve been very lucky over the years to have had the opportunity to examine, measure and sometimes rewind many original PAF humbuckers from that golden 58/59 era. I have kept extensive notes, taken hundreds of photographs, and believe there’s nobody in the pickup winding business with more experience of these iconic pickups.

Building exact replicas is a taxing job, and in the past I have built very close approximations in my Masterwound range, but have kept the cost down by using some materials that weren’t available in the golden era.

Now I’ve decided to build what I consider to be the ultimate PAF replica using all the 50s materials and techniques.

The ‘Last Word’ set features butyrate bobbins, machined keeper bars, maple spacers, PVA plain enamel wire, rough cast alnico magnets … even the tape and hookup wire are totally authentic. The covers are the best replicas available of the 59 originals.

Their sound is open and airy, mildly microphonic but surprisingly feedback resistant. Under gain they clean up on the volume like a good PAF should, and are touch sensitive … the more you dig in the more grit you can encourage when pushing a good valve amp. The neck pickup never clogs up or loses it’s ‘string definition’, and the bridge pickup avoids the harshness found in many ‘hand wound’ PAF types. These are machine wound (as all original PAFs were) using winding patterns, turns per layer counts and end stop positions that I’ve meticulously copied from valuable originals.

The pickup sets will be un-potted, and only available covered. They come in a wooden presentation box engraved with our logo and the set’s serial number.

These are my ultimate PAFs …

Price approx £400.00 for a set plus insured postage and packing £7.60

Lead time on these will be around five working weeks.

They aren’t cheap, but I have other pickups in my range at more affordable price points … these are simply my ‘Last Word’.

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