Geppetto Guitars from Texas, USA have a new ‘PAF Clone’ called the Camelot Humbucker. Of course, it’s a handmade scatter-wound pickup and aims to sound as close as possible to those original ‘Holy Grail’ Seth Lover-designed Gibson humbucking pickups of the ’50s. Owner Mike O’Donoghue has created a pickup certainly seems to tick all the boxes.
The new Geppetto Guitars Camelot is firmly in the boutique category of guitar pickups. Mike has spent two years working on this design, so it’s not exactly something he just threw together quickly and marketed using vacuous hype.
PAF or ‘Patent Applied For’ is the name given to original Gibson humbucking pickups, which were designed by legendary designer Seth Lover to combat the cycle hum of the company’s previous P90 pickup, which came in the original Les Paul guitars. The PAF has become synonymous with tone and especially blues tones and also classic rock as well, so many players covet that sound.
If you are chasing classic guitar tones then this new Camelot humbucker seeks to get you there, with the classic bloom of notes and an almost single-coil-like clarity, which modern higher gain pickups just cannot achieve. Think Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, Mike Bloomfield and Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s Blues Breakers if you need a reference for how a good PAF humbucker can sound.
They use a German Nickel/Silver frame loaded with original style butyrate bobbins and 1022 steel alloy screws and slugs separated by a Maple spacer. They are then scatter-wound with 42 AWG Plain Enamel coil wire using period-correct, rough cast Alnico 4 magnets.
Although this model features the Alnico 4 magnets, if you prefer the sound of Alnico 2, 3 or 5 then they will make custom-wind you a set. You can also have the wax potted to avoid squeal, although original PAF pickups were not originally available with wax potting.
Camelot pickups are available with either nickel covers or an aged nickel cover. You can also get them uncovered in either double black, double cream, zebra or reverse zebra.
The Camelots look and sound pretty darn PAF-like. With the 1950s originals changing hands for ridiculous amounts of money, you’d be a fool not to buy something modern. But buy something you have researched well. With all these vintage-correct specifications these are definitely one for all the PAF aficionados out there. The pricing seems very keen compared to a lot of other ’boutique’ pickup ups out there.
Check out the video below for a good demo of the Camelot Humbuckers around the 30 minutes mark by Doug and Pat (they are definitely both chasers of tone!).
RRP Camelot Humbuckers USD $90 uncovered or USD $100 with nickel per pickup, plus shipping and taxes
Geppetto Guitars Camelot humbucker details can be found here